Welcome to the next post in the series Letters from America 1985 -1987 that I wrote home to my parents in the UK. My father kept them all in a folder and on his death they came back to me with a note to publish them.
Last week I shared our adventures on our arrival in Los Angeles for our first visit
We decided to spend another couple of days after the convention to do some exploring but of course it was on our dime..
24th May 1985
Dear M & D,
I really don’t think that I have woken up properly yet! Last night was showtime. We booked for dinner and a show here in the Hilton as it looked very spectacular. We were all seated by 6.30pm. (1,200 of us) and it felt a bit of a squeeze as we were crammed onto the end of a table for ten people, right out in the aisle. The most spectacular thing I felt was the occasional backhander from the waiters and they whizzed by and my neighbour’s elbow in my ribs. After about five minutes of maintaining an attitude of ‘Oh well, we are lucky to be here at all!!’ David did a wonderful Mollie move (if you will pardon the expression) . He upped and walked over to the Maitre D’, and within minutes we were esconced in a private booth, with an excellent view of the stage, all to ourselves. The power of a small piece of paper slipped into an open palm.
The majority of the people at the show were on a package tour and virtually eating off each other’s plates, which to be fair seemed to be part of the fun. However, after an excellent dinner, the show began and it had everything including elephants, horses, dancing, beautiful costumes and topless dancers. It really was very colourful and another experience to be stored away in the memory banks.
We finished up the evening in the casino lounge, listening to a very talented Japanese rock band, all girls and another late night or early morning as it was well after 2 a.m before we got to bed.
David is now officially off duty and so we have spent the day exploring the strip. We have now visited all the major casinos, and have been very strong willed, the temptation to throw a few more dimes into the slot machines is tough to ignore. Especially when you see hundreds of people with buckets of coins wandering around checking out the slot machines to see where the next jackpot might erupt. You do get free drinks while you are gambling even if you are only playing the nickle slots! If you lose $4 it is only the same as buying a Gin and Tonic so we feel we have not really lost anything.
We also moved to our motel today. What a contrast from our gaming suite, but I have to say the king size bed is actually more comfortable than the pull out sofa we had at the Hilton.
We went to the Hoover Dam and Lake Mead today. It is a holiday weekend and the place was crawling with people. We did however manage to get a good look at the dam, which is very impressive. The temperature was around 95 degrees and you have to keep plenty of fluids in the car, particularly since some of the roads cross the desert. We spent all day driving around Lake Mead and found a place that hired houseboats and they look amazing. We might think about coming back and booking one for a week later in the year.
Our overall impression of Las Vegas is that it is a wonderful escape from reality for two or three days. Neither of us is used to being in such a people packed environment and whilst fascinating to be part of, we are looking forward to going to Los Angeles tomorrow.
We arrived in L.A at about 11 in the morning and decided to drive down to Long Beach and visit Marine World where the famous dolphin flipper resides. It was certainly good value. We had a voucher giving us $3 off and so for $8 each we spent the whole day there. They have a steady stream of shows in the pools including shark, dolphin, killer whale and seals. You can also get up quite close to some of the tanks and I actually chatted to friendly killer whale (young one).
They also had a human diving team that did a spectacular display for nearly 30 minutes from a series of high boards. Must have taken some stamina and I expect there were some Olympic hopefuls amongst them.
The highlight was buying some fish and feeding a dolphin… so gentle
It must be very difficult to train them and whilst we appreciated the exhibitions, and even the soaking we got when the adult killer wales were in action, it was quite sad to see such beautiful creatures trapped in such small and unnatural enclosures.
We continued down the coast seeing as much as possible before checking in to our motel around 8.30pm. It was more of a luxury hotel and really comfortable and had a Chinese restaurant attached where we ate dinner.
On Monday we went to Disneyland. You really need two day to visit all the attractions. It is basically an amusement park and by midday all the rides have a queue a mile long. We went on half a dozen and frightened ourselves half to death.. A couple I was hoping I would be too short to be allowed on…. some were so scary they had a poster saying that those with heart conditions should not do the ride… if you didn’t have one before you screamed around the circuit.. you probably did afterwards!
We were very impressed by the stage productions and the creation of various worlds around the park including Fantasyland, Tomorrowland etc. Once you have paid your entrance all the attractions are free, but by the time you buy lunch, ice-creams and cold drinks it mounts up, especially if you are a family with several children. We were worn out by mid-afternoon and again so many people. However, the whole trip has added up to an unforgettable week.
We are now back home again and our own bed has never looked so inviting and I think we might be in a state of recovery for some time, bearing in mind the late nights and the traipsing about we have done. I hope that I have managed to get some of the atmosphere across, but it really needs to be seen to be believed!
David is off to Dallas tomorrow so will sign off for now.. we will probably talk on the phone before you get this.. love from us both Sally and David x
©Sally Cronin Images 2018
Thank you for dropping in today and I hope you will join me next week for another of our American adventures. Thanks Sally