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Jay Barrymore.Com

"You can hold your breath until you're blue in the face, but they'll go on doing it."--Marcus Aurelius
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Las Vegas-Laughlin
Hoover Dam
Red Rock Canyon

Las Vegas-Laughlin 

  
In this picture, I'm at the top of the Stratosphere tower.  The tower is so high you can feel the difference in air pressure against your eardrums in the elevator ride up.  

Here, I'm at Mandalay Bay on the 2nd floor above the casino near the tram station.  I usually try to dress up when going out at night in Las Vegas; blue jeans usually during the day.

 

Yes, I have a website already devoted to Las Vegas, NV., but Las Vegas has to have some mention since it is one of my favorite places in the world.  I wasn't smitten by Vegas until 2006 when it became an alternative destination for a Memorial Day week vacation (the original destination was San Francisco, but plans had to be changed and Vegas became a "fill-in").  Am I glad my daughter and I went to Vegas instead!  Las Vegas ignited something within me that has continued to grow for the past several years; in 2007, I took it to an artistic level by investing in a camera tripod and taking night photographs of the casinos--in most cases, I was very pleased with the results (all of them can be viewed on www.neonparadise.com).  Each subsequent trip I added more photos--until it became a mission to acquire some type of representation of almost every hotel on the Strip, and off.  Despite some of the resorts attempts to do away with "themes", I still find that each hotel has its own character and personality; I appreciate them all--and even regard them as old friends now--at least, I have a familiarity with most of them.

 

I've found the best way to become satisified in something is to make it "my own"; to become a Master of it.  I accomplished this to some degree with several things--among them, the study of the Bible, and the study of New Orleans.  I've read the Bible eleven times through using four different translations; by studing it so thoroughly, things were revealed from within it that nobody seems to notice; statements that are made explicitly right before eveyone's eyes, but are glossed-over by most people because they have a doctrinal agenda to keep to foster their beliefs.  I wanted the Bible to impart to me its stories (not the other way around)--and I wanted the same experience with New Orleans.  When you open up and become receptive to something, it becomes a part of you.  Having lived so close to the Big Easy (i.e in Morgan City) between 1996 and 2002, I had the opportunity to explore it a number of times; and reading Lyle Saxon's wonderful books about New Orleans history, culture and lore, provided a heightened awareness and appreciation for each trip I made--I could seek out and see for myself things Saxon wrote about! 

 

Las Vegas is a little harder to do that with, though--whereas New Orleans remains relatively the same over the years (barring any hurricanes that come along to knock things down), Vegas goes out of its way to knock things down!   Las Vegas seems to re-invent itself every decade:  In the late '80s, along came the Mirage and the days of the "old Strip" were doomed.  During the '90s, Vegas flaunted itself as a "family vaction" destination.  Now, a decade later, Vegas has discarded the family vacation for adult-oriented resorts and less themes!  Along with these changes come the physical ones:  the implosion of old hotels (icons or not!) to make way for the new and the fresh.  So, with the ever-constant changes that occur in Las Vegas, it's a little harder to keep on top of things--but, its fun nonetheless.  New Orleans and Las Vegas are both "anything goes" places--except one revels in its history ... is mired in it ... and the other recalls history with an asterisk and a footnote. 

 

For me, Las Vegas is about art.  I'm not much of a gambler; if I lose $10, I'm done (and if I win $50, I'm done!).  The draw for me about Vegas is the spectacle of it all!  The lights, the sound, the grandeur; the opulence, the decor, the presentation.   [But, if I was a serious gambler, I'd have to say that I would have an interest in roulette ... what an exciting game! ]  And, I love the heat.  I would prefer a very hot day as opposed to a cold one!  There's something exhilarating about walking into 105 degree heat from a cold casino! 

 

Art.  For me, life has become art--the "art of living".  I want to enjoy life as much as I can--and that's what I set out to do everyday!  And while I can enjoy myself in whatever location I may be in at the time, there's the knowledge that sometime during the year (maybe two or three times, if I'm lucky!) I'll find myself in Las Vegas, and that enjoyment will ratchet-up even tighter! 

 

By the way, my daughter and I made it to San Francisco in October,2006 (referring to the changed vacation plans above).  I love the Bay Area too ... and nearby Santa Cruz.  I figure if I'm fortunate enough to retire in Las Vegas, California will be at my doorstep and I can go visit San Francisco, Santa Cruz, or even Los Angeles or San Diego (or wherever) a lot more often than I do now.  And the real fun part would be in returning home ... to Las Vegas. .

 

                         
 In this photo, I am at the roulette table at the River Palms in Laughlin on August 12, 2010.  I was just starting to play and about two hours, there were quite a few players with me at the table.  I think betting on specific numbers is a sucker's bet--yes, if the number hits, you can win big--but as I watched most of the players at the table place bets on specific numbers, all that mostly happened was they lost.  I placed outside bets--red or black, odd or even; and I would place bets on blocks and rows of numbers; often I would just play the miniumum, but sometimes I would bet twice or three-times that--and I had a very good success rate (especially when I was playing a color along with a block and row--and the number that came up hit on all of them!).  Several times I played the snake bet (won only once).  I played roulette twice while I stayed at the River Palms--one stint that lasted one hour, and the other (pictured, above) where I played for two hours; came away a winner both times--but the main thing was that I had fun and enjoyed myself quite a bit; it was especially fun in the social context as the players would talk to each other and the croupier; and of course, the pretty waitress would bring free drinks from time to time.  Roulette--I think its my favorite gambling game!

My son Vernon (on the right) and his friend John, having a $5.00 all-you-can-eat breakfast at the Colorado Belle's Captain's Buffet.  March 23, 2012.  
 

 Reserve a Room in Las Vegas

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Celebrating New Years Eve 2012-2013 dressed up like a mob boss at the Flamingo.  In fact, a little later on, I ran into a young guy (about 30 years younger) dressed in black with a red tie, among a bevy of young women, in the middle of the Strip.  We congratulated each other on such a fine dress choice, and then became the center of a short photo op that lasted about a minute--with all the young ladies taking our pictures.

 
  

 

My daughter Robyn and I at Frankie Moreno's first show of the new year at the Stratosphere on January 2, 2013.

 
 

Book a Room in Laughlin

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This is me at the Riverside Resort Casino on January 4, 2013. 

 

 

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