Friday, June 13, 2008

Vegas is vaguely cool (but it's hot)

We're staying at the Stratosphere which has a 1,000 foot tower with views right down the Strip. We took a ride on the Big Shot at the top of the tower, which hurls you upwards at a rate of 4 gs. It was scary. We could have gone on rides which dangle you over the edge, but just looking down was enough for me.

The casinos here are like giant versions of seaside arcades, with zillions of slot machines. When we played them with the 'free' money the hotel gave us ($15 each!), we made some of it back, but not much. There are almost no happy people here. Everyone sits at the slots in a trance, pushing buttons.

There's more life around the craps tables, roulette and in the poker rooms, but generally this is a very sad place.

We skipped out the casino to breakfast at I-HOP, then drove into the suburbs to find a Christian bookstore and Souper Salad for lunch. The bookshop had Bible action figures in two different sizes, 'Bibleman' action figures and various other toys. I resisted the urge to buy something for me, but I did buy something for my brother. I can't say what it is though because he reads this and I don't want to ruin the surprise.

Tea was at the Earl of Sandwich, a new franchise sandwich shop in a mall on the Strip, which if it takes off will kick Subway to the kerb. I was a bad vegetarian again and had a bacon and grilled cheese sandwich.

On our way home we watched the fountain display at The Bellagio. It was like watching fireworks created from jets of water - probably the best thing we saw in the whole of Vegas. With so much tack and sleaze around, it helped me regain a bit of faith in human creativity, to produce something so beautiful from just water.

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