Breaking the Illusion

Las Vegas is a place of illusions, but as the city never sleeps, sometimes you get to peek behind the scenes.

First, Nevada is a desert, but you’d never know it when you’re walking down the strip. It’s in the middle of nowhere, but it’s a city with literally EVERYTHING you could need or want. When you start thinking about the amount of money spent on electricity, water, shipping, and shows, it’s staggering. Entertainment like that shouldn’t be available in the middle of nowhere… and yet, it is!

Second, everything is pretty clean and well-maintained, considering the amount of people that trample on the grass, sit in the seats, and lean against the walls. Most hotels and theme parks have a “down” period, where regular maintenance occurs. There’s no “down” period in Vegas, so the maintenance occurs out in the open. I came down one morning to see a worker re-painting the columns white, lawn men pulling weeds daily, and people spraying down the sidewalks. It’s just odd, because most bigger-than-life places try to keep up the magic by doing maintenance in secret. Not seeing the maintenance makes it feel like grass and shrubs just magically stay beautiful in a place like this. It contributes to the feeling that everything is a vacation in that place. See, the sand is just ALWAYS white! See, the grass is just ALWAYS green! If only I could live in a place where no work takes place! Aside from the fact that I was on a business trip, seeing all the maintenance and work going on in Vegas was actually pretty stressful (not to mention the crowds everywhere!)

Finally, you can just see the people on the street in morning after a looooong night. Vegas gives you the sense that it’s a party all the time, but the tired eyes and looks of nausea show that it does come to an end. Yes, I did see a guy lean out the window of a limo and throw up all over the street… clearly he partied a little too hard. I’m all for a good time, and Vegas certainly delivers a party atmosphere, but at some point, real life sets in. The body can’t handle excessive amounts of alcohol, rich food, walking, sex, and over-stimulation of the sense. Even good things should be experienced in moderation! The illusion of the high life comes crashing down in the bright light of the morning sun, and I think Vegas gives people a warped sense of their limits on partying.

Overall, it was a good trip, but I was definitely ready to come home after a few days. I think I’ve had enough Vegas to last me for several years! If you do take a trip out there, I highly recommend Blue Man Group and any of the Cirque du Soleil shows. My parents mentioned that Elton John was amazing, so maybe I’ll check out “The Million Dollar Piano” when I visit next time.

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