Tuesday, April 12, 2005

Las Vegas Transportation I

FIL e-mailed PHD that a hotel shuttle would take us from Las Vegas airport to Palace Station Hotel and Casino. If only traveling was that easy. You land, you exit the terminal, someone opens the door of a car and you're whisked off to your destination.

In Vegas they're not in the business to show you a free ride. A heavy set female guard, called me Sweetie and pressed her body into mine while pointing at the far end of the hall. "That's where you take the escalator down."

After we crossed the spacious hall and descended one level, a limo driver holding up a sign with a foreign family name, told us to go upstairs. We took the first escalator in sight, which delivered us one floor higher than where we wanted to be. Another one took us down one floor. A helpful shuttle bus driver pointed at bus stop #22. "But we're looking for the Palace Station Shuttle," we said. The man shrugged, pointing at #22.

At the bus stop, a man with an airport badge informed us that bus #22 departed only once an hour. Next question, had the bus just left, or would it be there in a minute? If we just missed it, we could be waiting 59 minutes. He nodded, understood our predicament, but didn't have the answer. We were joined at the stop by another couple. The man discovered only quarters were accepted for the bus fare. Leaving his wife to guard their bags, he galloped back to the building. Looking at each other PHD and I decided to take a cab.

The cue at the taxi stop folded back on itself three times on the wide side walk. The result a six person wide line moving about in a steady fashion. Vegas entertainment starts right there. People from all over the globe come to Sin City to spend money, gamble away their family home, or their kids' college fund, or win it all back and more, or in our case, see a couple of shows and help celebrated PHD's dad's 70th birthday.

Traffic was heavy and our Russian cabby took advantage of the long stops at the traffic lights to practice his riffs. He kept his small size guitar on the floor board of the passenger seat beside him. Each time we stopped, he opened the window on his side, so he could stick the neck of the instrument outside. Without any aplomb, he played some delicate Jazz rifss, then inched into a Bossa Nova, while our gazes were fixed on the nearly live size photo of chorus girls' bare buttocks on the rear of the car in front of ours.

All Rights Reserved © 2005 Judith van Praag
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