Friday, July 20, 2007

Las Vegas, Day and Night

The trailer accomodations at the Little A'Le"Inn shook and rattled as the desert reverberated time and time again with booms and roars.

Were we under attack? Was there a fire? A violent storm? Or were all those creepy rumors about aliens and space ships really true?

As we were without any means of keeping time, I can not report the timeline of these events with any accuracy, although I can say it happened well into the wee hours more than once or twice.

My husband finally identified the cacophony as sonic booms from Air Force space craft in nearby Groom Lake.

Although the incident shook me emotionally as well as physically, it certainly added an additional element of atmosphere to our stay in the storied Area 51 region.

After a fractured sleep and an overpriced breakfast, we drove 2 hours into Las Vegas—the route Rachel residents must travel whenever they need to purchase anything more than the basic staples available in Alamo—a tiny outpost between Rachel and Las Vegas.

Las Vegas is the antithesis of the rest of the state of Nevada. Barren wasteland surrounds Rachel for hours in all directions and the bam—suddenly you’re in a Mecca of cutting edge urban living, complete with shops from New York designers and celebrity sightings. We didn’t see anyone famous, although a billboard of Jerry Seinfeld created quite a stir.

After an afternoon that included a drive into Arizona to see the Hoover Dam and a good deal of indecision that began to resemble a bad date night, we decided to tarry in Las Vegas in order to see the fabled lights.

Whereas the rest of Nevada takes pride in the darkness that affords a view of the Milky Way, Las Vegas takes pride in the neon that obscures every last twinkle in the night sky.

We spent the evening walking the streets in suffocating heat that brought back memories of why I was glad to move away from Longview, Texas.

Our foray through the fashion district left me wishing I had larger feet. Allison and I went into Kate Spade to gawk at the $300 flip flops and $800 pumps, when we came across a “last pair” sale—featuring the cutest little flats in my favorite style—for $24.00, a price my son noted was a dollar less than the bobo brand sneakers I bought him at Target prior to our departure.

Wouldn’t you know, they had nothing to offer within a half size of my foot. But Allison scored big time. Now she’s walking around in her Kate Spades, but she generously offered to let me carry the bag.

We’re making one last trek onto the strip this morning before our departure.

Brandon grabbed the hotel pen and pad of paper from the night stand. “I’m ready for celebrity sightings,” he said.

“You can’t get celebrity autographs on hotel paper,” my daughter insisted. “Unless it’s from the Bellagio.”

“Well,” my son replied with an air of authority, “This paper is from the world’s largest Super 8.”

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