learnedax: (wywh)
(CAUTION. Trip may have contained one or more of the following: sex, drugs, rock&roll, explosives, falling rocks, detainment, adult themes, pie. Well, ok, it definitely included rock & roll, and that's as much as I'm saying.)

Our plane landed at 10-mumble Friday night, and the return flight took off at 10:00 Monday, so we were there for 72 hours, or roughly a week.

Vegas is big, bold, beautiful, chaotic, tawdry, and tiring. It never really occurred to me, but in a lot of ways LV is the wild west, surviving and evolving for the modern era. The emphasis on drinking, gambling, and dancing girls has remained essentially unchanged in Vegas, and its core culture is still one of lawlessness and excess. Although it does not physically resemble the old west anymore, it is in spirit a lone pocket that has withstood the transition to modernity.

We spent a lot of time observing art, architecture, art installations, and performances. All of these are just strewn about, and many are very good. The indoor rainstorm at the Aladdin and the dancing waters at Bellagio were especially cool. Wandering the canals of Venice is also eminently worthwhile. We certainly didn't see everything, but I think we hit the preponderance of the really interesting stuff. At some point I'd like to spend a whole trip just seeing Vegas-exclusive shows, e.g. the cirques that are permanently there.

I was viciously sick when we arrived,* and as you might guess I didn't take it particularly easy. Mostly I doped myself with whatever variety of numbing chemicals were ready to hand. Sleeping was unpleasant unless I had consumed a lot of alcohol, which worked out alright. Still, I have had something less than 20 hours of sleep since Thursday morning, or averaging less than four hours a night, which does not make for a speedy recovery. It does make for an interesting weekend. We never quite shut down the city, but mostly because we gave up on the extra-late club scene as surprisingly lame.

Also, somewhere in there we drove out to the Valley of Fire, which is the extreme opposite from The Strip, in that it is genuinely awesome natural beauty, and not a plastic facade. The brilliantly red rocks in the VoF have some great 4000-year-old petroglyphs of drunken goats and atlatls, which are truly fascinating. It was good to have a stark contrast with the omnipresent trashy undercurrent of much of the city. It doesn't actually take that long for bombardment with pretty-but-fake scenery to jade me.

*I had actually barely slept the night before from sickness, which about matched [livejournal.com profile] new_man having not slept for timing reasons

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learnedax

November 2011

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