Vegas Day 2 – Shock! They’re nice here

Those are turtles spitting in the fountain
The view from our window

Highlights of our first full day in The Land of Neon Lights:

– Las Vegas is surprisingly friendly. I was expecting Snidley Whiplash. I’ve met Barney Rubble. How odd to find such hospitality outside the South.

– Unlike in Boone, you can find parking anywhere. And it’s all free. If you’re in too much of a hurry to look for a space, there’s a valet waiting somewhere nearby. They’ll be happy to park it for you. Really, I’m in shock. They smile and everything. Not once did they go for my wallet.

– We happened to catch the water-and-lights show at the Las Vegas Fountain in front of Ceaser’s Palace. It was set to Celine Dion’s tiresome “My Heart Will Go On,” a song I’ve detested … until now. Even watching as we were from our Budget Rental Impala snaking down the boulevard, we were moved by the scene. It was water masquerading as fireworks. The early evening dim added something tangible. The sounds of whishing water was genius. Traffic was slow so we caught the whole show. Near its end, I looked in the back seat and caught Gabrielle leaning forward straining against her car seat restraints. She was seated furthest from the window nearest the show, yet was silently watching what she could. It was like she knew this was a cool moment. I may have become a Dion fan (behold the magic of Vegas! .. someone kill me now!!)

– I had too much fun with my camera. I shoot with film, so I won’t have photos until we get home. I embarrassed the preteen more than once, especially when I laid down in the middle of the mall to try for a cool shot of mom against the Renaissance paintings on the ceiling. There was also the shot of me grabbing Whoopi Goldberg’s boob. Granted, it was a wax Whoopi, but it will earn me rave reviews with the nearsighted fellas.

– It wasn’t all popcorn dreams today. The preteen’s anxiety over the most minor inconvenience coupled with the wife’s over-reaction to any situation and my short temper created more than one trash stew. Since Vegas approves of most everything except murder, I went vindictively verbal more than one. Our one saving grace as a family is that any ill wind blows by quickly. It may not be forgotten but it’s not dwelt upon either.

– Oddest story of the day – we were in an huge mall. I and the preteen were rummaging around a pop culture memorabilia store while Amy headed to a bench outside to wait. A tall blonde in her mid-20s suddenly plopped down beside Amy and forced upon her a conversation. Within a handful of minutes she told Amy all about how:

herhusbandcalledherfatwhensheworethis
sexydressandcanyouopenformethisohwhataprettybaby
youhaveIhavetwogirlsshe’ssopreciousIhavetolose
someweightIcan’topenthispacketofaspirinandmyhead
hurtscanIholdherohshescosute …

At one point, just prior to her lungs reloading, she asked Amy where she was from. She replied North Carolina, which led to “wowthat’socoolI’mfromFayettevillewheremydad’s
acolonelatPopeAirForceBasehowcool!”

It’s always nice to meet a kook from home.

– Vegas is gorgeous at night. It’s a desert flower powered by Duracell. I assumed all that neon would be tacky – it looks that way in the movies – but it’s not. It’s Christmas with buildings in place of trees. The surrounding area brings to mind fireflys buzzing over a gigantic Lite-Brite. I hope my photos turn out.

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