Vegas 2008 is all about our 35th wedding anniversary.
This morning as I write this entry, I'm sitting on the couch in our room at the MGM-Signature watching the sun come up over the Spring Mountains and the Sierra Nevada. Vegas isn't a morning town, as you can well imagine. But my wife and I enjoy the mornings, this one especially...35 years ago today we were married in Barrie, Ontario, never once imagining that 35 years later we would be planning a gondola ride and dinner at the Venetian later in the day, a visit to the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, or coffee and cake at the Wynn Las Vegas.
The last two days have been spent mainly in the upper and middle strip of Las Vegas Boulevard, doing so much walking that our feet require tender loving care and sun screen for my balding head. We've eaten at the Rain Forest Cafe, had cheesecake dessert at...you guessed it, The Cheesecake Factory in the Forum Shops at Caesar's, played the slots, watched the fountain show at the Bellagio with Celine Dion's theme from the Titanic, My Heart Will Go On, enjoyed pizza along the boardwalk in New York, New York, purchased T-shirts for our sons at the House of Blues in Mandalay Bay, and bought a straw hat to protect that balding head of mine at Urban Outfitters. Did I mention winning the slots at Planet Hollywood while waiting for shops to open along Miracle Mile?
It's been about 18 months since I was last here attending a conference. In that time, construction along the strip has continued unabated. In fact, as we peer northward we can see the Trump tower already in place, six skyscrapers are rising up beside the Bellagio in what is euphemistically called the City Centre, and condos/time shares are everywhere. In fact, for the occasional tourist, one of the most aggravating parts of walking the strips these days - apart from the hucksters peddling "sexy babes that will come to your room" - are the other hucksters peddling free food, free cash, free shows, etc. just to take a tour or listen to a sales presentation about purchasing a time share. Apart from that, Vegas is pretty much the same place as it was 18 months ago...only bigger, flashier, and younger.
We have two full days left in our mini vacation celebrating 35 years of married life together. Thus far, it's met all my expectations and more. It's been exactly what we wanted and needed. In fact, Vegas with my wife is so much better than Vegas during a convention. Yesterday, while taking the automated walkway from the MGM-Signature towers to the MGM, some young men, obviously enjoying the midday cocktails, and travelling in the opposite direction along the walkway, yelled over to me and said, "You should marry her again!" My sentiments exactly.