From The Calm of Zion to The Madness of Vegas


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North America » United States » Nevada » Las Vegas
August 7th 2010
Published: August 23rd 2010
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Welcome sign at the start of The Strip
The free bus system in Zion largely worked very well, although I went in early in the morning to do the hike to Angels’ Landing and the shuttle bus I was on broke down. The bus limped along with an engineer following behind, before giving up at what was fortunately the right stop for me.

The views from Angels Landing were fantastic and well worth all the effort to get up there, including a rather precarious section along a narrow ridge of rocks that required holding onto various lengths of chain, which was definitely not for the faint-hearted.

Once I got back to the hotel we milked out a little bit more time in Zion before driving to Las Vegas.

After loving Zion so much, we hated Las Vegas almost with a passion. To say it had changed since I was last here (granted that was 20 years ago) does not even begin to describe it. We kind of knew what to expect, but it still came as quite a shock - from a quiet little hotel on the edge of Zion to all the noise and bustle of a full-on, over-the-top Las Vegas mega hotel. The one we had chosen accepted children, but was clearly not aimed at children and did not make any concessions to children. I guess that is to be expected given that the city is based on gambling and that is clearly not an occupation for children, but even so.

We tried out the casino for one evening, for as little time as was necessary for us to be able to feel that we had at least made some level of effort. I went armed with my 1¢ coin and none of the so called 1¢ machines would take it. It all seems to have gone cashless here now and the machines need to make multiple concurrent bets from some sort of card that you need to register for in advance. Any winnings are printed out in the form of a bar code on a slip of paper that you take to the cashier, so the days of machines churning out a pile of cash are lot gone. The machines did make a cash sound when they printed the slip, so of course all the old romance came flooding right back.

Not that that happened to me though. I tried out a Blackjack machine and lost on the first turn of the cards. I tried again and lost on the first turn of the cards again. I threw a hissy-fit and went to bed.

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