By ◆ Juppie on Friday, February 19, 2010 @ 10:14 AM

There's a book called Takeoffs and Landings by Margaret Peterson Haddix. Have you read it? ...Well, anyways, on to the actual post. (I actually wrote up a post while I was on vacation, but I saved it to my dad's computer. I might post it later if I get the chance. I'll try not to repeat myself.)

I've just returned from a trip to Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. I have been to Las Vegas so many times I don't really have anything left to see there, but as the Grand Canyon is in a rather rural area, we can't fly directly there, so the second best thing to do was to stay at Las Vegas and then drive to get into the Grand Canyon. This is my first time visiting the Grand Canyon, but my parents have been there before, a pretty long time ago.

When I went to the airport, we had our boarding passes checked and went through security. There seems to be a chamber that I didn't see before. One person walks in, puts their arms up, and something spins around them. Then the person gets out. I wonder if this is the machine I heard about that blows air on you to check for explosives. My family didn't have to go through that, though. We just walked through the metal detector.

I kept expecting to need to take out my passport, but I was never asked for it. (I didn't even need to show an ID, since I'm a minor and they don't expect me to be stealing someone's identity.) I guess I've gotten used to flying overseas. So it's a little funny for me to be having a flight that is only an hour or two. Maybe I should travel more within the USA. There are lots of places I haven't seen, like Yellowstone National Park. And I've barely been to the east coast (I've only been to the airport in New York, basically. But my mom did live in New York in the past). I'd like to go to North Carolina so I can visit a friend that lives there, but unfortunately it's inconvenient. I haven't got relatives there. Sometimes I've wished my grandparents would move from Shanghai to North Carolina. But they're old, and they'd rather stay someplace familiar where they actually know the language, so it's really not going to happen.

This time, in Las Vegas, we stayed at Bellagio. It is absolutely my favorite hotel in the world. If there weren't people smoking in the casino, I'd say it would be perfect. I'm pretty sure I've already spoken of Bellagio in the fast. But I'll rant about it again, because it is really such a charming hotel. (It's got its cons, too, but more on that later.)

The fountains are what I love the most. There are shows every thirty minutes until the evening, when the fountains go on every fifteen minutes. Music plays, and the fountains move to the beat. I've never been anywhere else with such nice fountains. Sometimes the water gets shot up really high, as high as the top of the hotel (and that's at least 30 stories!). I don't get tired of watching it. The music's been changed since the last time I went there. (You still hear repeats, though. I suppose they don't arrange that many different performances. I mean, I heard the Elvis song Viva Las Vegas twice. The fountain show's not all that interesting for that one, though.)

Other things have changed too. The free shows for the hotels Mirage, Treasure Island, and Rio are different now. Mirage has this fake volcano you can see at nighttime. It is more exciting than it used to be (though I can tell that it's just water with color shown on it, not lava). I'm not so sure I like the change in the Treasure Island show, called Sirens of TI, or Rio's Show in the Sky, though. It seems that they wear less clothes, act more suggestive, and do more singing than they used to. I would advert my eyes occasionally. I think you should not take your young children to see those shows. I liked them better years back. (Now they're trying to attract young people to Vegas - and I'm not talking about children, either) They still throw free necklaces at the Show in the Sky, though, which I was glad about. I think I got all the colors of necklaces.

The last time I visited Vegas was back in 2008, at Thanksgiving time, I believe. Las Vegas seems quite different even though it really wasn't that long ago. There are buildings I don't recognize, like Aria and Mandarin Oriental, and shops that I didn't see last time. Expensive shops were opened, which I suppose I should have expected. I wonder if they get enough business, though. The luxury items may be nice, but there are outfits that I can't imagine myself wearing or can't think of a time where I would need them. And I already have a bag which works just fine when I'm going on a trip, not to mention that I don't really like to carry bags, so I don't have any need to buy a handbag either. What is the use of these shops, then? To make people feel good? (I heard that men often solve their midlife crisis by buying a sports car...) But anyways, I guess I really can't expect things not to change, no matter how much I'd like that.

Back to the title of this post. I almost forgot to write about it, I've gone on and on too long. When I leave for vacation, I feel relaxed. I've just left behind my worries of daily life and I still have the whole trip ahead of me, plenty of opportunities to eat good food, take good photos, and try out the shampoo of the hotels I stay at. But after a while, sometimes I get to thinking, "Oh no, when I get home, I have this to do!" or "What if this happened while I was away?" and so on. And my worries of everyday life come back to me, and I lose that nice, carefree vacation feeling. I guess I really prefer taking off to landing. When I'm landing, I'm really tired from the trip and I'm very impatient to get home. I'd like to go on a vacation and not have to worry anymore about what I need to do once I return.

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