Monday, 23 July 2012

Viva, Viva Las Vegas!

So this is my last blog of our great American adventure. We are sitting in the airport unbelievably early - yes, really! - for our flight back to Gatwick. Number 3 is catching up on his cricket, rugby and golf news and number 4 has gone airport shopping. My beloved is editing the hundred or so photographs he has taken in that most eccentric city, Las Vegas.
The last three days have been a blast. This is a massive weekend destination for Americans and on Saturday, the pool area of our hotel was packed with stag and hen parties. The volume of the celebrations, coupled with music, made the pool a hot and noisy place to be. We hung out there till the heat and the noise got too much for us and then we headed out to explore.
The Bellagio has to be everyone's favourite. It's a surprisingly beautiful building and it manages to maintain its dignity despite having thousands of fruit machines in it. And the restaurants are superb which explains a lot why my beloved has such a fondness for the place.
At my insistence, we fight our way along the packed pavements to the Venetian which has, yes, proper canals and gondolas - and singing gondoliers. Lovely friends of ours stayed there when they got married earlier this year in the Elvis chapel so we had to go and check it out. All these hotels have huge shopping malls and I suppose the strange thing about this place is that actually you could come here for a week and never go outside. And I suspect that this is a reality for serious gamblers.
Amidst all the colours, sights and sounds of this brash city, we (my beloved and I - 3 and 4 being galleried out) went to the Monet exhibition in the Bellagio. Peace and extraordinary beauty by a painter who was a favourite of mine in my teens and twenties.
So our last forty eight hours have been spent relaxing by the pool, eating, drinking and taking in the sights and sounds of Vegas. For me, the high point is the amazing Bellagio fountain to which no video can ever do justice. We must have watched about five performances of the fountain - the last, appropriately Elvis singing Viva Las Vegas. So goodbye USA, now it's planes, trains and automobiles for the next 24 hours to get back to Blighty.

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