New York. Los Angeles. Las Vegas.
Three iconic cities loomed large in our imaginations growing up on the prairies in Canada. As adults we have to visit them. We take our children to LA, visit Disneyland, Universal Studios, and Rodeo Drive, where my nine-year old daughter buys herself an outfit with her own money while I debate a $50 purchase of Georgio perfume which is all the rage at the time.
New York will have to wait. But Las Vegas is a “must see” at least once in a person’s life time even if we’re not gamblers. A weekend package seems an ideal 40th birthday present for my husband. We’ll leave the kids with grandma, fly out after work on Friday and be back Sunday evening. And bonus—it’s February. We’ll hit a bit of warm air out there in the desert.
“We’ll be there soon, I think,” says my husband checking his watch.
“Hum.” I crane my neck to peer out the window. “What’s that?”
“Where?” He leans across me to look. “You mean that glow on the horizon?”
“Yeah. Looks like some sort of dome, doesn’t it?”
We check periodically over the next half hour. The glow is always there. A reflection of moonlight? Not likely. An early, early, early sunrise? Now, that’s really stretching it.
“Oh, my God,” I say as the pilot begins the descent. “That must be Vegas.” For the next few minutes, I keep my face glued to the window and watch the buildings and streets of Vegas emerge within the dome of light.
“There’s gotta be a gazillion light bulbs out there,” I say as we touch down.
“There’s gotta be a gazillion light bulbs I say,” as we walk out of the airport into the bright lights that could be the noonday sun, except I know it’s after midnight.
“There’s gotta be a gazillion light bulbs out there,” I say as I shade my eyes when we descend from the bus in front of our hotel on The Strip.
We check in, find our room, and flip the switch. The ubiquitous hotel bedside lamps with their twenty watt bulbs sputter to life. I spot something white on the bed. It’s a postcard. I pick it up and read:
Please help us conserve energy.
Turn off the lights when you leave the room.