My first impression of Nevada was something along the lines of “…whoa. We’re still on Earth? You’re sure about that?”

Look at a map of the world and you’ll see the mountains are odd, sort of scraggly things, dark at the top, with all these creases in the sides. You pretty much assume that’s the artist being artistic, but it’s not. They really look like that.

How bizarre is a desert? It looks like Mars. Most of it is varying shades of brown, but there is some sort of pasty white in places, and a startling scarlet in other. There’s also water in spots, with pale tan sand lining the edges, and that is a sort of pale blue, but green is rather nonexistent.

The first green I saw was on a golf course. A miniature golf course. How strange.

Our hotel, Excalibur, is a giant white castle with blue and red cones topping the towers. Cheesy? Very, but it was next to a pyramid and a miniature New York City, so that’s all right. It seemed like that was all of Las Vegas, a big show for the rest of the world. Ads are plastered everywhere, mostly in the forms of large television screen on buildings and stands by the street or giant posters plastered everywhere.

We stopped by the hotel only so Dad could run in and check us in at the front desk, then it was off to a baseball game.

I am no expert at baseball, but even I know that 12-2 is a pretty depressing loss. The Tucson Sidewinders (of the Arizona Diamondbacks) creamed the Las Vegas 51s (of the Las Angeles Dodgers). See, even in baseball Las Vegas has a gimmick. The 51s are named for Area 51, the fictional government hideout that allegedly hides proof of alien life. The 51s’s mascot eerily resembles Jar Jar Binks.

The highlight of the game for me? A blue raspberry and grape shave ice and watching the Sidewinder’s third base coach make ridiculous signs to his players.

After the game were fireworks. They were cute, with a variety of effects and colors and some decent music accompanying them. They played the different military hymns and the soldiers in the stands stood up for their one, which was sweet.

The drive back to the hotel was amazing. There’s a reason all the pictures you see of Vegas are taken at night. The city transforms into a colorful maze of lights. Everything, even Walgreens, has a flashing, changing sign that turns night into day.

By the time we got back to the hotel, it was 10:00. In home time? One in the morning…

Time for sleep! Good night!

-Iona-