Sunday, July 16, 2006

On the road

We left Loreto Bay at 7:15 a.m. and Robert drove us all the way past San Diego to Temecula where we spent the night. Next morning, we headed north to Las Vegas. I hadn't seen Las Vegas since I was twelve and my parents took us to Circus Circus (why, I don't remember.) Much has changed. I can't say Vegas appeals to me--it just made for a convenient stop. I was expecting more glamour, but saw instead lots of "ugly Americans"--obese, tattooed, badly-dressed tourists waddling along the strip. I would have liked to see the ABBA-inspired, "Mamma Mia" production, but it doesn't play on Fridays. Every other show was sold out. The highlight: watching the magnificent fountain show from the balcony of a lounge at the Bellagio Resort. Hundreds of illuminated and pressurized jet water cannons erupting in time to "Singing in the Rain" made for great theater. It reminded me of synchronized swimming. Every cannon shot off in perfect precision to the music. The pressure behind each cannon had to be enormous to send the water hundreds of feet into the air. If I ever returned to Vegas it would be to see that spectacle again, otherwise, Vegas isn't for me. I didn't even gamble. I know I'd lose and I hate more than anything to lose in games of chance. I take it too personally, as if the fates are against me. I'd rather not know if they are. Vegas got enough of our money. It finds a way to charge for every little thing. We said no thanks to the ten dollar per person fee just to look at Ferraris for sale displayed in the Wynn hotel. Robert said the clerk told him admission is free if you show proof of already owning a Farrari. Oh, of course.

I complained too much and turned my nose (or held my nose) too much in Las Vegas. On the road I became a much kinder person as the landscape transformed from the dry desert to mountain plateaus of Utah and then the green meadows of Colorado. We stopped in Grand Junction for the evening and discovered its historic downtown with its abundance of public artwork (an ongoing sculpture invitational like I would have loved to see in my town back home) and ate at a place called, The Winery. Tomorrow, we may explore a bit, visiting what's called, the Monuments, and then some local wineries.

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