Nothing speaks to decadence and excess like the Mandalay Bay; this hotel is a freak of nature. It has its own private beach and an “ocean” that takes a million and a half gallons of water to fill. Moreover, despite the fact that it’s in the middle of the desert, the hotel has created its own sandy beach, for the thousands who come to sun bathe. In all, there are three pools, a machine that creates a wave at two-minute intervals, a lazy river pool with a waterfall, and a so-called European-style pool where women can go topless. But this is the point: like the Tower of Babel, Las Vegas is there to prove to God that we Americans can do what he couldn’t do.