Vegas. Where you can see the world, from the 34th floor.

So another Vegas work trip comes to an end, and I am once again able to reflect on the true soul of life in America.

Seriously. I have never in my life seen such ridiculous excess. And I'm not referring to the hotels lavish public restrooms or indoor tropical jungles. Not even the 70 foot limos. Or the hotel suite larger than my house. I'm talking strictly about the people. Thousands and thousands of tourists flock to Vegas. Daily. Each for their own reasons. 

But stand still for a few moments, and just start looking around. There's the petite 80 year old with the snow white Dolly Parton wig. Accompanied by Jed Clampett in the flesh.
The leggy brunette with blond extensions, a skin tight mini red dress and 7" spike heels. Just screams escort. But perhaps that's just the Vegas style trend. There's the rotund, cigar smoking gentleman in the zoot suit, black bowler hat and Orbison shades strutting through the casino with his entourage. 

Anyone remember Flo? From Mel's Diner? She and her 5 identical twins were all there too. All dolled up, faces painted and hair in flame red beehives. 

Gambling wasn't high on my list. It's just too much fun watching everyone else. They seem to lose all sense of decorum...actually... they just seem to lose all sense. They do things they would never do back home. Because they believe all the hype. What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Um, ever hear of Twitter? Facebook? The National Enquirer? 

Now I do enjoy a quick spin on a penny slot. I get to push the button well over a 100 times, and annoy the hell out of hubby while he waits for me to run out of credits. He He. 

And I must say it's very impressive when an elevator opens and people began exiting one by one, and they keep on exiting. Like that old VW ad. Thing is, these elevators only hold about 6, max, and about 20 people step out. Big people. Big people with big drinks. You know those foot tall glasses of pretty colored liquids that look so harmless? Trust me, not so harmless.

And the food. Well if you like to eat...anything... Vegas is the place. You can literally find everything from a genuine New York pastrami sandwich to Oysters on the half shell to a Kobe burger with a wee dram of Guinness, all within a 1 mile indoor radius. Yeah. These hotels are big. Little cities within a city. Bring your walking shoes. And a foot massager. You'll need one. 

The entertainment of course if flawless. In my several trips to Vegas, I've seen Elton John, Terry Fator, Jay Leno, Jeff Foxworthy, Dana Carvey and the most amazing Cirque de Soleil Beatles show ever. But that still leaves all the other stuff I've missed! Since usually I'm there to work, there's not a lot of free time to enjoy it all. And every hotel has it's own "natural" attraction. The fountains at the Bellagio. The Volcano at the Mirage. The Beach at Mandalay Bay. And then there's the Venetian, with it's Canal, and well, amazing freaking rooms. My personal favorite. There's the Eiffel Tower of course and pirate ships and well, it's an endless list of Vegas replicas.  

Welcome to America. Where traveling abroad has been replaced with an enormous replica in the desert. It's truly an American phenomenon. No passport required. Why see the 7 wonders of the world when you can see Las Vegas. It's quite possibly The 8th Wonder of the World. And let's face it. As Americans, we've been led to believe that we aren't welcome around the world anymore. We're not safe. It's dangerous out there. Batten down the hatches and close those borders to all perceived threats. Just leave 'em open for the money.

Even more amazing, the number of tourists who come from the real thing to see our Americanized version. And they DO need a passport. And a Visa. Preferably the swiping kind. We don't want just anyone. Go to Vegas and look around you. You'll see The French traveler who came over 5000 miles to see the Eiffel Tower. The Italians traveled almost 6000 miles from their Venetian Canals to get a glimpse of our Chlorinated Vegas version.  

But to truly understand the depths to which we as a society have plunged in our zenophobic materialistic hedonistic ways...we now have a US Stamp featuring Lady Liberty. Not the one in New York. The one at the New York-New York Hotel and Casino in, where else, Las Vegas. 

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