The Road Home
Leaving my Utah sanctuary, I once again found myself on the road and in the desert, but this time I was heading back west from whince I came. The day was hot and the view desolate except for the occassional mountain or dry riverbed. My first stop was just across the Arizona border back into Nevada where the largest structure, was of course, a casino. I stopped in, not so much for the gambling but rather, because the sign outside touted a Starbucks within. Purchasing a frosty, ice blended concoction, I wandered around the casio for awhile and amused myself by dropping a few coins in several slot machines. No big winnings here, just killing time before I found myself back on the road. Next stop...Las Vegas. I know, we've been here before, but let's face it...there's not many other cities out there in the desert, especially off the interstate. So pulling into Sin City once again, this time I chose the New York, New York hotel and Casino for my diversion. Checking in and finding my room, I also noted that I had a great view of the MGM across the street. The bed was comfortable, and the furnishing tailored to, what else, New York.
That evening, I dressed for dinner and made my way down to the casino...again, not for the gambling but this time, for a magnificent dinner at Il Fornaio which was located just opposite the gaming area. What a wonderful place. The atmosphere, that of a quiet Italian bistro, I ate al fresco just near the stream, which runs around the restaurant. My waitress was hospitable and charming. She was very accomodating when I asked for her preference concerning my selection and accompaning wine choice. A most exquisite meal of hand made pastas and warm fresh baked breads. She suggested, and I accepted, the choice for dessert, carmel apple crepes lightly dusted with powdered sugar. My meal now over, I relaxed a bit and watched the people as they passed, occassionally stopping to plunck a dollar or two into the slots, most of which were forever parted from one anothers company.
Journeying outside, the night was still very warm and the people on the sidewalks as thick as my carmeled dessert. I ventured down the strip to once again view the sights and take in the hustle and bustle. Stopping to enter the Monte Carlo, I was at first astounded to find so many more machines than any other casino I had been in so far. But as I paused to survey the sight, I was perhaps in the wrong place at the wrong time, for a show was just finishing and I found myself in the midst of a stream of humanity, evidently all looking for the casinos restroom facilities. Eventually, the flow of the "tide" swept me to one side wherein, I made my exit towards the doors and back outside. Crossing the street, I set my course for the giant golden lion, the MGM. Inside, amongst the whirling of the slots, the calls of the craps and spins of the roulette tables, was an act performing live on the stage. The "Tower Of Power" group, once quite famous in the 1970's, was singing and dancing just below the "jumbotron" on which they also appeared. The music was good, lively and familiar but by the looks of most gamers, not as interesting as it was to me. Now back on the strip, I headed towards my hotel and thoughts of that comfortable bed played in my head.
After a wonderful nights sleep I awoke to a marvelous breakfast and strong coffee that would insure my total vigilant state for the rest of my travels that day. Wandering around just a bit and playing a few more games, I found myself playing near a young couple. As the woman dropped yet another quarter, the bells and whistles went off. The man turned to me in delight saying that "this was their honeymoon and that she had only put about $10.00 in the machine when it won" And it did. Over $1000.00 eventually tallied on the lighted dials and they were on their cell phone calling family and friends with squeals of delight. I was quite happy for them and wished them congratulations as I moved to leave. What a wonderful story they would have to tell in later years, of their good fortune on this, the beginning of a life together. Checking out I asked the valet to bring the car around and as I stepped outside, the intense heat was stiffling. At 115F, it was nearly unbearable and this was only the late morning hours. Quickly I climbed into my vehicle where the valet was smart enough to have started the air conditioning for me. My appreciation did not go unnoticed as I gladly tipped him and bid him farewell. On the road and ever westbound, I aimed my galloping horsepower towards my home. A long drive, I had ample time to reflect upon my adventures this year. Places I had seen, people I had met and things I had learned. How very interesting and diverse was this journey over the past several weeks. My mind was greatly satisfied with every delightful aspect I encountered. And now, with every minute that ticked by, I was that much closer to...home. My home. My garden. When I arrived, I walked my garden at sunset and I knew that no matter where I travelled and no matter how much fun I had, that all points eventually lead home. The place I love to always end each and every day.
Type of the wise who soar but never roam, True to the kindred points of heaven and home.-William Wordsworth