Viva Las Vegas
Only in one city in the world can you walk from an Egyptian pyramid to the Statue of Liberty to the Eiffel Tower toÂ VenetianÂ canals.
Somehow I have managed to make it 30 years without visiting Las Vegas. It seemed necessary that I remedy this oversight as part of our adventure, and so many months ago, when I still lived in London, a plan was hatched.
In London I had a group of friends who would meet up on a regular basis. We called ourselves “the dream team” because we had worked together on a very successful project, and we always had a great time together. When I announced I was leaving London, my job and them, we decided to meet up in Vegas.
Last Thursday evening, that plan became a reality.
Phil and I didn’t manage to leave my friend Brian’s house near Salt Lake City until 5pm, so the six hour ride to Las Vegas included a lot of riding in the dark. Phil’s bike behaved okay. Still not great, but not nearly as bad as the previous ride. We finally arrived in Las Vegas and could see the tall buildings and neon lights of the Strip rising out of the sea of lights that make up the city of Las Vegas. I felt a great sense of relief at finally arriving, because our decision to drive back to Canada after the Burning Man festival had put a great deal of pressure on us. We had to push ourselves to arrive on time. Phil wasn’t at all happy about this pressure, and was even less so when his bike started playing up again. He’s been in a pretty dark place since Burning Man (as I’m sure you can tell from his past couple of posts). Deadlines and bike difficulties have not at all helped his mood.
Since arriving, the pressure has been off. Phil and I are staying at our friend Ed’s suite at the MGM, which is beautiful, and it is so great to see Mike, Alison, Steve and Peter again.
We’ve walked many miles up and down the Strip, explored fantastic hotels, and eaten our weight in delicious food.
I can’t help but compare Las Vegas with Burning Man, there are many similarities, both cities in the desert, with bright lights, people in costumes, music, shows and art. However it is missing the love, the participation, the radical inclusion, the dust… I can’t help but feel it is ruined by the commercialism, the money, the spectators. People are here expecting to be entertained, and/or wanting to be paid, people on the street aren’t instant friends. It’s really not the same, nor nearly as fulfilling or joyful. Â It’s superficial.
Don’t get me wrong, I’ve enjoyed my time here. Today I had a great birthday, exploring the Luxor (pyramid shaped hotel), eating a “proper” American diner meal, and seeing Zumanity, a Cirque de Soleil show. Spending time with my friends in a place dedicated to having fun is no bad thing. It’s just that I now have seen how it could be so much more meaningful with more love and less money.
We’re here for a couple more days of sun and relaxation before the next adventure starts. Just wait until you hear what it is.