Dozing polar bear, Indianapolis Zoo

Thursday, February 07, 2008

Just because I find the defining principle of a place revolting doesn't mean I don't want to spend time there

Well, Rose and Kris basically wrote my last post about Vegas for me in the comments to this post. Kris touched on one thing that kept getting to me while I was there -- the excruciating loveliness of the surrounding setting. I'd go back to Vegas for the mountains alone. I spent lots of time gazing beyond the city to the snow-dusted mountains, dying to explore them.

Rose mentions something else -- the better hotels have a distinctly better atmosphere, both literally and figuratively. It's worth mentioning that there was a shakeup in personnel in Mr. T's company that led to us staying in one of the, ahem, less "luxurious" hotels. The difference in indoor air quality was one of the first things I noticed upon exploring other hotels.

Finally, as much as I dislike some of the faux outrageousness of the Las Vegas "scene," I left feeling that I hadn't even scratched the surface of the things available to do that I do find worthwhile. It was a quick trip, so we didn't see a show. There are scores of restaurants I still want to try. I didn't even get to see the shark reef at Mandalay Bay and there are two other aquariums at the Mirage and at Caesar's. And as Rose mentioned before I went, there are circuses and midways and a fair amount of things to do with kids. And even more to do without them.

So, yeah, I'll go back. I will be grossed out by certain aspects of the place, but next time I won't be obligated, as on a first trip, to do the Full Immersion Experience. And I won't. And at that point, it becomes like most cities -- you just separate the wheat from the chaff.

I'll say this. Anyone who is seriously interested in the concept of place should visit at least once. Las Vegas has a strong character. The process of observing it and analyzing it is even more fun than the things that are supposed to make Vegas fun.

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