Monday, December 31, 2007

New Year in Las Vegas

After breakfast we napped a while, then I caught up on writing my blog while Brett went out in search of a shirt to wear tonight. He didn’t manage to bring back a shirt, but did pick up a couple of tickets to the Cirque du Soleil show, Zumanity. We did the roller-coaster outside New YorkNew York before lunch (surprisingly it was less thrilling than the previous night’s ride at the Sahara!) – then did some more napping in the late afternoon to make sure we were up for reaching midnight then got up and headed back along to New York – New York for the show.

Las Vegas Boulevard is closed to traffic for New Year’s Eve and crowds were already beginning to gather along its length and at the massive eight-lane intersections. Revelry had started early in the afternoon as people started drinking. There were hawkers all along The Strip offering silly hats, air-horns, sparkly necklaces, etc. and Budweiser had set up trailers at intervals along the roadside which appeared to be nothing more than big beer kegs. They were serving into what looked like two- or three-pint plastic mugs with handles that looked a bit like the measuring jugs back home and pretty much everyone under the age of thirty seemed to be carrying one. For all the drinking going on though, everything was good-natured.

The show Zumanity is a somewhat naughty, somewhat erotic cabaret stage-show of humour, song, gymnastics and dance; all very enjoyable, and it provided us with free feather-boas which later proved a big hit on The Strip.

The crowd had thickened by the time we’d finished the show and had a quick bite to eat. It wasn’t oppressive though and throughout remained very well-behaved, if a little loud at times – but that was all part of the celebration. At (roughly) a minute before midnight all of the big display screens outside the major casinos put up the same countdown – which were amusingly out of synch with each other – and we joined in the chant as midnight approached and the fireworks began.

Having seen New Year’s Eve firework shows in London and Edinburgh, I have to say I was rather disappointed with Las Vegas. We were worried to begin with that, being stuck at the end of The Strip, we might not get the full effect. In the end though we needn’t have worried as the display was identical from the top of each of the hotels participating. There wasn’t any choreography or synchronisation to music, it was just the sequential letting-off of a vast number of fireworks; really nothing I couldn’t have organised myself with the right budget down at Fireworks R Us! Still it was an impressive sound and light show and rounded-off the evening nicely.

The fireworks were done before a quarter-past the hour and the crowd began to disperse. I tried calling home, suspecting my parents would already be up by 8am GMT, but the network couldn’t connect the call – predictably, I suppose. Back at the hotel we were straight to bed as we had an early start planned for our last day.

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