watch for the signs: the luxor trinity
November 9, 2011 by cash
My passion for pyramids, obsessive to the point of compulsion without quite reaching “disorder” status (yet) has been well documented here on TGOC (see here). As the countdown towards my birthday Cashtravaganza (which I’m calling, appropriately enough, “Return To The Pyramid”), continues, the excitement grows more intense by the hour.
Not only to be back in one of my favorite cities on earth, Las Vegas, nor to see one of my all time heroes, Morrissey, on the night before my birthday (almost as cool as seeing Depeche Mode, on my actual birthday in Vegas a few years back) but also to once again be staying at my favorite hotel in the city of sin, if not the world.
The Luxor pyramid.
My history with the Luxor is long and deliciously debauched. Not only was it the hotel that hosted me on my first “adult” trip to the city almost two decades ago, it’s also served as the backdrop to many of my naughtiest (re: best) trips since.
Thinking back to my earliest experiences there, I’ve recognized three impossibly important things I can’t believe I almost missed.
Before getting to those, a quote from wikipedia that can’t help but make me smile:
When it opened, the pyramid, which cost $375 million to build, was the tallest building on the strip and contained 2,526 rooms and a 100,000 sq ft (9,300 m2) casino. The resort was financed by “petty cash” earned from other Circus Circus Enterprises properties and did not include any outside financial investors.
Financed by “petty cash” you say? Cash Approved.
THE LUXOR TRINITY
I. My first time staying at the Luxor wasn’t the first time I saw it. In the early 90’s, on a camping trip to California with my BFF Adam, we stayed at an RV park at the Hacienda (later to be demolished and replaced by Mandalay Bay). That night, Adam and I stealthily snuck out of the RV, and headed to the strip. Walking, unbeknownst to us, across the building site where the most glorious pyramid built in the last 5,000 years would eventually rise from the desert floor.
II. On my first visit to the hotel, shortly after it opened, I experienced two attractions closed not long after. To wikipedia:
When the resort opened, it featured the Nile River Tour which was a river ride that carried guests to different parts of the pyramid and passed by pieces of ancient artwork on a river that encircled the casino. The casino also featured King Tut’s Tomb and Museum, a duplicate of King Tutankhamen’s tomb as found in the Valley of the Kings near Luxor, Egypt
The Nile ride was great, but the tomb was… beyond words. There before me, in the subterranean bowels of the towering pyramid was an exact, and I do mean exact recreation of the entire Tutankhamen tomb. Laid out exactly as Howard Carter had found it. Every glorious, glimmering artifact in place. Up to and including the sarcophagus itself (to this day, the most valuable antiquity ever recovered). These were replicas, but the effect was the same. Breath, taken. Pupils, exploding.
Here was a reminder. To Vegas. To me. To the world.
Of a young Pharaoh whose inspiring reign ended entirely too soon. Laid to rest in the most elaborately adorned, exquisitely hidden (his tomb is the only one in recorded history found completely undisturbed) obviously well planned grave by a people who loved him so dearly they insured his passage to the afterlife would be safe and prosperous.
Seeing this, with my own eyes was … important. Inspiring. Divine.
III. Let’s just say I don’t think it’s a coincidence that the beam of light that tops the Luxor? The brightest beam of light on planet earth? Is the only one that can be seen.. from outer space.
I love you, Luxor.
See you soon.