Everyone else at the trade show had been to Las Vegas at least half a dozen times . Except me. Newly 21, I wanted to see everything – the Streetmosphere, Caesar’s Palace, the sign, the rollercoaster, the blackjack tables.
I spent three days in the Las Vegas Convention Center. It was fun but time was slipping away (as it always does) and I barely stepped foot on the Strip. I did not know when I would be in Vegas again and I wanted to make the most of it.
On the final day, my supervisor told me that I was allowed leave a bit early. “You just need to be back by 4,” she told me.
I had my backpack with a change of clothes and camera. I grabbed it and practically sprinted onto the monorail. I had three hours and Las Vegas at my disposal – What was first?
My stomach answered that and went off to Paris for a quick bite. The casino was decked out with realistic Parisian architecture and city details such as streetlights and cobblestones.
Walking through the casinos and the strip, I became more aware of how I was in Vegas alone. It kept running through my head. I didn’t have my parents. I didn’t have a group to stick with. I didn’t have to convince anyone to go to Margaritaville to could grab a souvenir. If I wanted a different angle of the Caesar’s Palace, I could get one.
Being alone in the city was liberating.
With an hour left, I checked how often the Bellagio fountains went off. Every half hour from 3-8 pm. I waited in the shade for it to start. A group of college kids from Arizona eventually joined me.
Talking stopped when Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” began to play. Quickly, I grabbed my camera to record it. Squirts of water danced with the music. I was so impressed! At the chorus, water burst high into the sky. People were singing and dancing along. I stopped filming halfway through only to enjoy the moment. “Billie Jean” ended and the crowd dispersed.
I then followed my steps back towards the center. I have a feeling that I would find myself in Vegas again some day.