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Over 60 ... And Getting Younger: May 10, 2012

Viva Las Vegas

Did you realize that you have to be in perfect physical and mental health to travel on the airlines? From waiting in myriad lines at the airport to removing your belt and shoes, it can make you lose your patience and your inner vitality.

Once you get to your destination, things brighten up. Our final spot was Las Vegas, Nevada. We had been to McCarran Airport 40 years ago: then, it was a lazy little airspot in the desert with only one or two landing strips. It has now grown into a huge metropolitan complex with trains and buses taking you to your awaiting plane.

Another place that has changed a great deal is the Las Vegas strip. New hotels and casinos are springing up everywhere. Imagination has run wild as every theme has been used and overused. From pyramids to the Eiffel Tower, to the sandy beaches (with waves) of Mandalay Bay, or Circus Circus with its carnival atmosphere, and the MGM Lion guarding the MGM Grand for a Saturday evening boxing match (Mayweather vs. Cotto), to Steve Wynn’s new hotels with an array of flowers and plants guarding the casino entrance, to the gondolas on a canal at the Venetian.

You have your choice of shows between the gambling and fine dining. We saw four English boys performing The Beatles music on stage. “John Lennon” was so authentic that when I shook his hand after the performance, I would have sworn it was the real John. Jersey Boys was also available for viewing.

Vegas is called the “Valley of the Sun.” When you fly in over the Rocky Mountains, the view is desolate and barren. All of a sudden you are over a golden valley with outrageous hotels and more electric lights than you have ever seen except on 42nd Street and Broadway. Everyone is from somewhere else on the planet. The taxi drivers were from Armenia, Ethiopia, Somalia, Egypt and Bulgaria. They were all happy to be in Vegas and anxious to become U.S. citizens.

While it appeared to be lively and flourishing, there were signs of a weakened economy. Building has slowed down, and many projects are half-completed due to lack of funding.

Visitors have come to Las Vegas for a fun vacation from everywhere; it is truly a unique and wonderful sight. Lorraine and I had a great time: Viva Las Vegas!