Reflections on Vegas
I am officially back in the LA rhythm and grateful to be home. I had a wonderful trip with my friends, Kevin, David, and Jason in Las Vegas! It's so good to hang out with old friends. Living in a new city can get exhausting - and being with old friends is like putting on a pair of your favorite jeans. They just fit perfectly. You don't have to ware em in or stretch em out. It's just there. comfort. love.
Driving out to Vegas on Sunday morning was a bit of a challenge. I started to fantasize. I get this way on the open road. I'm a traveller at heart - and when I travel, I escape. I live in fantasy. I imagine romantic affairs. I walk with a different kind of confidence. I have this feeling that anything could happen and no one from home will ever know. As the fantasy crept in - it took me over. I was ready to find a road that went north, and just drive. Drive and drive forever and never look back. I started fantasizing about drinking whiskey and living in the hills and playing the banjo and finding a lover and throwing my phone and computer away. Essentially - disappearing from reality all together. This is dangerous territory for a newly sober drunk. All of a sudden, I was ready for relapse! Bring it on Vegas! Let's get crazy. Who cares about life. Who cares about responsibility. Let's chuck all our hard work and dedication and get PISSED.
Needless to say, I called a lifeline. I got my sanity back. I made my way off the proverbial edge. Started listening to happier music and did my VLOG. I was officially ready for Vegas and no longer scared of 'the drink.'
Vegas is...not really my cup of tea. It was fun - I like eating. I like people watching. I like hotels and shows. But there are two things I hate: casinos and malls. Vegas is one endless casino and mall - except the worst part about it is that you can't find your way out. They trap you! There are no doors, or windows, or natural light or air. In order to exit, you have to walk through another casino. I felt so claustrophobic! Get me the hell out of hell! Not only are you trapped in a casino, but you're surrounded by smoke and addicts. Depressed looking people, mindlessly hitting up the slots.
Vacant stares. I can't shake the feeling that they are getting bamboozled. Gambling is a scam. You hardly ever win more than you put in! And it perpetuates this lazy desire to get something by doing nothing. Let's get rich without working. In my opinion it keeps the poor poor and it makes the rich richer. What a fabulous tradition! Glamour is really nowhere to be found.
I thought the hotels were going to be stunningly beautiful and extravagant. They are over the top, that's for sure. But Not really clean and high class. They're somewhat trashy - even the best of the best. How can anything look classy with a huge casino in the middle? It's impossible.
A few notable beauties:
The ceiling of the Bellagio hotel
The fountain show outside the Bellagio
The inside of our suite at the Wynn
The lobby outside of The Beatles Love show at the Mirage
The white tigers at The Mirage
a few of the hot guys walking around in suits
That's about it. As a world traveller, I was not that impressed. The Sistine chapel is WAY more beautiful than the fake Sistine chapel in The Venetian Hotel - obviously. But Vegas is Disney for adults. It allows you to pretend, escape, and indulge in a controlled, pretty much non-consequential area. You wouldn't do the things you might do in Vegas in downtown Paris or Milan or Rome or New York. You might get shot. But what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. People roam the streets with open canisters looking for trouble. I was grateful I don't drink anymore - because I would have had NO PROBLEM finding trouble. I'm a magnet.
But this time around, we kept it classy in Vegas. We rode the roller coaster at the New York New York hotel.
We explored the hotels and casinos. I got to gamble a little bit and observe the black jack tables. We ate delicious food at the Venetian late at night - even though it always appears to be 3pm in the afternoon there. The ceilings are a gorgeous, blue, afternoon sky and gondoliers travel through the chlorinated canals singing songs to drunken lovers. It's surreal.
Kevin celebrated his 30th birthday - even though it's a leap year - in front of the Bellagio fountain at midnight. The show was fantastic! I've never seen water do...that. And to the sounds of Whitney Houston singing The Star Spangled banner, no less! It was fabulous.
I may have gambled a little bit. And I may have won a little bit. You'll just have to check the vlog on Monday to see how much!
Long story short, even though I am a fantasy junkie, I prefer reality. I prefer the actual city of New york, to fake New York with casino inside. I prefer actual Venice to The Venetian Hotel. Fantasy is fun, but after getting more comfortable with reality these days, I prefer it. I didn't end up driving into the hills and escaping my life. After a day and a half in the playground of Vegas - I was ready to go back to reality. Back to making my bed and paying my bills and playing my guitar and putting one non-glamorous foot in front of the other. I find that an honest day of living - focused on discipline and hard work and love and generosity - pays much higher dividends than a day at the casino!
It's good to be home. Next time I'm in Vegas, I will be seeing The Beatles Cirque show, "Love." That is a fantasy world I will pay money to enter! Take me away to Strawberry fields. Until then, I'm putting all my bets on what is here, now.