Ken and I went to Vegas last fall, and I had no idea I would love it so much. I had been to Reno and Tahoe, and there are places around here to gamble, but there's no place like Vegas! I love the neon, the sheer glitz of it, the sounds of the chips and the slot machines...it's a good thing I don't live out there, because I could definitely get into trouble.
We stayed off the Strip, and after a little exploring, we realized that we loved old Vegas the best. Yeah, it's gotten all touristed-up with the Fremont Street Experience, but the old casinos are still there. Our favorite was the Golden Gate.
It's the home of the cheapo Vegas shrimp cocktail--scrumptious! And I found out pretty quickly that slot machines are boring. Blackjack is lots more fun, and the Golden Gate and other downtown casinos have $3 tables all night. We sat and played for hours a couple of nights, and while as some wise person once said, "The only way to make money at a casino is to own one," we didn't lose our shirts. (You gotta have a plan, anyway. Figure on how much you're willing to spend and stick to it.)
One of my favorite moments happened at the Golden Gate. As we were sitting at the Blackjack table, there was a brief lull in the sounds of the casino. Loud and clear, we heard a guy say to a girl, "So...are you married?" It was just SO Vegas!
Although I'm dismayed at the rapid destruction of old casinos and construction of new ones--I love the whole concept of old Vegas, especially in the '50's and '60's, when it was at its zenith of Cool--the city has at least tried to preserve a few things. In the downtown Fremont Street area, they have saved several old neon signs. My favorite was this one:
It's the original lamp from Aladdin's! I think it was built in the fifties, and this very lamp was on it. Sadly, Aladdin's will be demolished (if it hasn't already been) to make way for the new Planet Hollywood Casino. I guess that's why the Strip isn't that much fun to me. Yeah, it's neat,with plenty of glitz, but I hate to see the old classics get torn down. I'm pleased that Vegas made an attempt to save the old downtown, and while it may not be the same as it once was, at least it's still there.