Our twin granddaughters live in Albuquerque. They’re 11 years old, just this side of puberty and corruptibility.
Over Christmas break we took them to Las Vegas to see “Love” at the Mirage—a Cirque du Soleil tsunami of kinetic exuberance splashed through a pulsating Beatles’ soundscape—from “Get Back” to “All You Need Is Love” plus 24 other songs. Ninety minutes of bliss.
We first experienced “Love” eight years ago. I was born again. Raptured. Taken away like Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds.
The moment the show ended, we said: We gotta bring Angie and Paula here someday.
We drove all day. We drove through blowing snow and freezing rain. We drove 575 miles, arriving just after sundown on the fourth day of Christmas.
VIVA LAS VEGAS, baby!
Nobody puts the MERRY in Christmas like Vegas. Sparkling lights, jingle jangle round the clock, and, of course, GAY APPAREL—drummers drumming, pipers piping, swans a-swimming, lords a-leaping, ladies dancing, shirtless Santa’s, spike-heeled angels, and, oh yeah, dreary souls wrapped in sleeping bags on sidewalks.
Joy to the world. Peace on earth. Goodwill to all.
A street corner preacher shouted through a bull horn. REPENT. YOU MUST BE BORN AGAIN.
It was a sermon no one would hear. No one came near. Why would we care? We’re walking on streets of gold, baby!
No one was saved.
Next morning we ate breakfast on the Strip. The girls spied a Coca-Cola retail store and rushed in. Ten thousand items blazoned with the company logo; likewise in the M&M’s, Hershey’s, and Reese’s stores. Their heads spun. Their eyes popped. Their wallets opened.
We strolled past Cartier, Dior, Gucci, Prada, Valentino, and more. The girls took it all in stride while I was wishing we’d all get born again. Born Amish. Quick! Before it’s too late.
I once had a crush on the Amish. Live simply that others may simply live. I wanted to. Still do. Sometimes.
We crossed a pedestrian bridge from one emporium to another. A bedraggled man played an accordion for tips. Yet another beggar.
Where do they all come from?
We bustled by.
Suddenly, Little P, the youngest of the twins and a fledging mandolin player, turned back. She pulled a dollar out of her wallet and laid it in the musician’s hat.
Yes, love is all you need.
And it’s way more than a show in Vegas.
Each week I will post one of Paula’s photographs as the featured image on the home page. This week it’s Sleeping Man, Albuquerque, NM.
Thanks, Randy. Once again you’ve unmasked the powers — this time the Las Vegas marketing moguls who want us to believe that what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas. Love cannot be confined!
Nice read. Would love to visit this resort someday (Mirage).
That’s a great story. I wonder if Paul ever plays Vegas. There’s still time.
There is love in all of us and it is nice to see the many ways it can be expressed.
Heartwarming story. Nice use of Beatles lyrics!
Vegas tries very hard to be family friendly, and partly succeeds. Our kids (many years ago) loved the spectacles and the general glitz and glamour.
Thanks, Rando, for finally giving us a good reason to go to Vegas!
Reminds me of the times we took our 2 oldest grandsons to the Casino in Charles Town and taught them how to bet on the horses. That did “stay in Shepherdstown” for a long while. But they decided we were pretty cool.
Amish geezing by the end of your screed, Randy? If you had been Amish, there wouldn’t have been any Beatles during your formative years. Try to imagine that reality. Good times with the grand-kids! Always a plus. Quite an Octopus’s Garden all of you guys discovered there.