Monday, January 12, 2009

Something New -- Las Vegas, Faux or Real?

A few years ago I gave my husband the book, 1000 Places to See Before You Die. The gift was not just the actual book, but the promise to travel with him to see many of the places. This year for Christmas my husband turned the table and gave me a four day trip to Las Vegas where we stayed at The Bellagio, one of the 1000 places. This was our first time in Las Vegas and we were both amazed by how unreal so much of the city seemed. There was the obvious – girls with fake this and fake that; the less obvious – a hotel hallway to our room that we later learned had taken us to a completely different building over a block away. There’s a fake New York and a fake Paris. We watched a highly touted water show, but it, too, seemed fake when compared to our experience of watching Old Faithful’s real geyser spewing up and meeting with a lightning bolt coming down. However, there has also been the real – breakfast “off the strip” at a place full of locals, the miracle of Hoover Dam, dinner conversations that belie our thirty-plus years together. On our last night in town we had dinner at a restaurant overlooking the faux lake in front of our hotel. We had what we considered to be the best table in Las Vegas – outside, next to the railing with the lights of the city as a backdrop to the lake. Every thirty minutes the water show, even though faux, would entertain us. When the accompanying music was the song, Proud to be an American, the tears running down my cheeks were real. It was a wonderful trip and, while I don’t think I need to visit Vegas again anytime soon, we did have a great time. I guess it doesn’t matter whether the surroundings are faux or real – what matters is that I know I am real.

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