We are all familiar with Las Vegas, right, that city out in Nevada, USA, with all the elaborate hotels and casinos and also a rather naughty reputation. Unlike most people, I am not a fan of Las Vegas. That’s right. I am not. Because of the naughtiness. As you may very well be aware of by now based on past posts, the Duck is not a fan of the naughty, and so I am not a fan of a city revolving around it. Nevertheless, back when I was still a duckling, either before the place was quite as naughty as it is now, or maybe I was just not aware of the naughty in my tender ducklinghood, I went there with my parents. My dad had a business trip there, and we all decided to go, excited for a fun vacation in a very unique city (currently lacking in as much of the naughty). And I still have a lot of fond memories of this trip, and I remember it as one of the best vacations I have even gone on.
Seriously, being able to avoid the naughty as my little duckling self, Las Vegas was such a fun place. Oh, my gosh. The hotels were so fancy, and there was that awesome mall, and we got to eat at this major buffet a few times, yum, crab legs, legs of crab. Gah, it was so fun! Where do I even begin? Oh, my goodness! Well, for one thing, we stayed at the Mirage, and it had…a rainforest inside. It had a frickin’ rainforest…inside! Not a full-scale rainforest, of course, (soon, once enough of the real rainforests are cut down, I suppose it will be considered full-scale…) because that would be silly, but a miniature one, but having never seen a forest of any size within a building before and with the very real possibility that I never will again, (unless the Earth gets so polluted, we must build domes over ourselves and our waning resources, if trees even exist by then, why am I being such a downer right now?), it was one of the most awesome things in existence. Next to kittens. But, that’s how great it was. That it could even compete with the awesome factor of kittens.
As this was a business trip, poor dad was usually off on business, which left my mom and I to spend our time exploring the non-naughty of Vegas ourselves, including me forcing her to walk through the miniature indoor forest as many times as I could make her. This particular hotel also had an aquarium (they claimed to have sharks, but no matter how much we searched, we found none, until we realized the itty bitty sharks in that one tank were likely the advertised sharks), and they even had a small zoo. And let’s not forget the volcano that erupts outside every night….
And then, as if that wasn’t enough, we’d walk on over to Treasure Island, another awesome hotel, which would have a show outside with a pirate ship that would actually sink (the show was called “Battle of Buccaneer Bay”, I believe). Oh, the many times we watched that one, filled with awe and wonder at how they managed to sink a pirate ship, and yet it could still be used again for subsequent shows, and I pointed out the rocks that were supposed to be in the shapes of skulls that mom didn’t notice at first. Inside, they also had this arcade that had these two talking skeleton pirates in jail cells on either side of the entryway, and so this was, of course, another place the Duck had to visit every time I got the chance. I also won a bunch of stuffed animals there. Go me!
We also visited the Luxor with my dad, you know, the big pyramid one, and we looked inside, curious as to see what such a strangely shaped hotel looked like on the inside, though I wanted out as soon as my dad said that when he stayed here once in the past, they liked to test the smoke alarms quite often, and I was having no part in such noisy endeavors, even if it was in the name of safety. Uh-uh. No. There was also a medieval-themed hotel called Excalibur we walked through just for fun, which included suits of armor (armor of knights and, of course, the lesser known days…), and they apparently had a show with a dragon, but we didn’t stick around to see it, despite my urgent need to see this dragon and my dismay at having been taunted with dragon, but not being able to see dragon.
Then, of course, let’s not forget Caesar’s Palace, the most awesome mall in the history of duck-kind. The ceiling was painted like the sky, which was pretty neat, and I also remember this Planet Hollywood store which had this statue in the window that looked like the Terminator after he got rather messed up, which my mom promptly told me not to look at. There was also this one area where they’d have this other show called the “Fall of Atlantis”, which included animatronic people, including a son and daughter fighting over the throne of Atlantis. And there was fire and stuff. It was awesome! Seriously. Here, look, here’s a video.
Video from Youtube user: DaDailyBread
Sorry if the camera angle is not always the best, but you can still see how very awesome it is, especially considering it’s a friggin’ show in a mall! How often do you see that? Never, that’s how often! And that’s not often at all! Ahem, the awesome then continued once we got to the multi-leveled toy store, FAO Schwarz, complete with a huge Trojan horse, also filled with too much awesome to properly describe. But, I remember they had a couple of dinosaurs, one being a big T-Rex foot that wanted to stomp you, and this dark area with a raptor that would also try to scare the crap out of you, which it didn’t. Yes, it scared me, but not to that degree. They also had another area with “Star Wars” stuff, like Darth Vader and those weird Bith aliens playing their weird, little Bith instruments (you know the ones I mean, right?; I think they made an appearance in a cantina in episode 4…)
I had such a great time that week in Las Vegas many years ago, and yet, as I read about the places I visited and the shows I watched back then, it saddens me to see that much of it is gone. Many of the shows have been cancelled, the toy store has closed, and many things I enjoyed seeing as a duckling were replaced with attractions geared much more towards adults than anything. Back then, I thought Las Vegas was one of the greatest places in the world because of all the fun I had there. But now it is not at all the place I remembered as a duckling. As is more well-known of this particular city, Las Vegas is about adults only, not ducklings, and it’s a shame to have such a place that I enjoyed so much when I was young, doing the innocent kinds of things that anyone, young or old, could enjoy, transformed into the City of Sin it is known as today. I’m just lucky I got to see it before it changed so much, and now all I have left of that week are the memories of things that no longer exist. (And there’s always Youtube….)