3: Max and Grace’s excellent USA adventure: Las Vegas: 4 days

OK, this will be brief, and not for the kiddies.

2 days before we arrived in Vegas, the worst gun massacre in recent history in the USA occurred.

This is in the state of Nevada, where it’s legal to own a machine gun for personal use. Get your head around that.

So, we were staying at The Luxor (which stank of stale cigarette smoke), and it was right next door to The Mandalay Bay, where the dude had blown out a window with one of his many handguns to spray one of his many machine guns over a crowd of innocent people, who couldn’t get away.

I could go on. Except to say, that of the random people we’ve chatted to since arriving in the States, from the barber who cut my hair in San Diego, to the rental car manager in Anaheim, and the elderly couple waiting at a bus stop in Chicago, they were angry about the inertia around gun control. Especially when we said on 1 occasion we experienced a gun massacre, and our then conservative government organised a gun buy back and amnesty. Really angry and bewildered that it was possible, and it could happen.

Alternatively, a highlight for the kids was seeing a dude abseil past our 17th floor window, giving them a wash.

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Yes, that’s a ‘castle’ in the background.

I was ready to take a few piccies as we wandered down The Boulevard, but it seemed nothing had changed after the massacre. Dudes were still on the hustle, and showgirls were hustling for photos with tourists, for a price.

We found a place for lunch, which seemed like haven from the tawdriness of what was happening on the sidewalk outside.

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So, it was time to move on from Vegas: next stop, an Amtrak from LA to Chicago – the Southwest Chief. 2 days and 2 nights of rocking and rolling bliss.

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