It was my first time out of state, and I was heading off to Las Vegas, Nevada. The four-hour car ride from San Bernardino, California to Vegas proved to be garrulous and exciting. I enthusiastically asked my brother-in-law, Patrick, questions regarding Vegas and what I could do there. He simply replied with ambiguity, “You’ll see.” My brother laid in the back seat, while my mom, dad, and sister followed us closely as they too, were heading to Vegas. I’d check outside the car window for signs indicating the city of Vegas, and an exotic black pyramid with ostentatious lights immediately caught my eye. I instinctively asked, “What is that?” “It’s a hotel,” Patrick replied. From there, I knew that Vegas was going to be filled with excitement and everlasting experiences, but little did I know, that behind the curtains of glamour, there lingered a disturbing surprise.
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We were drawing closer to our hotel, Treasure Island, as we passed many other grandiose hotels such as: The Cosmopolitan, Bellagio, Cesar’s Palace, and The Mirage. Despite my exhaustion over the four-hour car ride, the sheer sizes of these hotels enhanced my heart rate, as I was thrilled to explore the exquisite “Monsters” of Vegas. In comparison to the other hotels, TI was fairly miniature, but as we drew closer, it intensely magnified in size. We checked into our room and slept for the night.
Several hours later, we woke to the intense heat of Las Vegas; it was 102.7 degrees. We walked out of TI and traveled along the Vegas Strip, in search for a desirable restaurant to suffice our hunger. We selected The Flamingo; nevertheless, Mom was occupied with the slot machines and lost 200 dollars. Consequently, we spent our breakfast depressed, unable to enjoy Vegas altogether. We then toured The Venetian, while Mom insisted to return to the hotel, claiming that she was tired, so we told her to meet us at The Mirage at eight thirty. I spent hours in The Venetian and decided to retreat to TI to rest. Surprisingly, Mom wasn’t there. Patrick called her several times and no answer; ultimately, he had to search for her in the casino. Still, she was nowhere to be found. An hour later, Mom arrived at The Mirage and said that she lost a grand and wanted to borrow some money. At this point we were angry that Mom deliberately deceived us into believing that she left to go rest; but instead, Mom departed us to gamble freely, having no one to hinder her.
I don’t blame Mom though, because I can understand, especially from my incident at Circus Circus, where I became mesmerized in trying to win a colossal bear. I could feel the adrenaline rushing through my vacant veins, filling me with an eager to win. This sensation kept me playing, dollar after dollar, although I knew that probability was against me. Nonetheless, the carnival game left me empty-handed. A feeling of forgiveness now replaced the anger that I held against Mom.
Despite the flamboyance of Vegas, I’ve learned that behind all the glitz and the glamour, the city of Vegas is full of trickery. Luxurious hotels provoke visitors to stay for multiple days to gamble their fortunes at majestic casinos, anticipating to crowd up wealth. Television sets from around the globe, advertise the water dance at Bellagio to subconsciously hypnotize millions to flock to Vegas and spend their money. The malevolent rhetoric behind Vegas is usually quickly dismissed and goes unnoticed, but even the freshly paved roads serve as a grand entrance to this splendid city of deception.
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