Las Vegas Strip

Adult Disneyland.

I asked my friend, who I went Nevada with, what his first impression of Las Vegas was, and he described something like: “Las Vegas is exactly like Disneyland. The only difference is it’s for adults who like gambling, drinking, and naked lady shows.”

Vegas is a big, explicitly capitalist haven, where you have both the freedom to drink alcohol in the streets, next to booming top 40 music, blasting out of street speakers, and the freedom to lose your shirt at one of the many casinos.

We unironically loved it.

One night, and we never drink, we got drunk off mixed drinks, which are ubiquitous, as you are always within 2 feet of a bar anywhere you might walk. My friend made fun of me because I kept accidentally ordering drinks with rum in them. He called me a pirate.

We went to the slot machines first, which are 90% of the machines, in the casinos we went to, at least.

I inserted a dollar into the slot machine, pressed a button, and immediately lost it.

I looked at my friend.

“Do it again,” he said.

I inserted another dollar into the machine. I pressed the button.

And immediately lost it and received nothing.

“Um,” I said to my friend, “I think this sucks?”

So the rest of the trip I played poker, badly, on the electronic poker machines, probably built in 1979, in a lab. These machines were typically banished to the back of the casino.

As I was at a circular bar, in the middle of a higher end casino, I sipped my rum drink, and placed my bet. The poker thing happened automatically, and then my friend exclaimed, “You won! This is the most you’ve won yet!”

It was $11.

“That’s it,” I replied, “I’m gonna stop there.”

We took our drinks and walked outside, leaving the casino.

“What time is it?” I asked my friend. He looked at his phone. “It’s 5am.”

“It’s 5am?” We were wide awake. Drunk, but wide awake. Also a little nauseous.

We walked to a cheap diner, which we couldn’t find for like an hour, and then after that we walked back to our hotel.

Red Rock Canyon National Conservation Area

Red rocks? Big deal.

Anywhere you go, especially on a trail or the beach, there’s always two things: human garbage and single stacks of rocks, placed there by humans.

On this trail there was a lot of single stacks of rocks. This story is about the rocks, and less about the garbage.

About 20 minutes from Las Vegas is Red Rock Canyon, exhibiting layers of different colored rock, from burnt orange to rich red. It’s full of trails and 13 miles of road going through the canyon.

Anyway, who cares.

Signing off,

Shannon O’Brien