Betting and Shopping

Trip Start Oct 22, 2005
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Tuesday, February 6, 2007

Let's just say it's Viva Las Vegas time!  Outside the busy bus from Los Angeles all we could see was desert, desert and more desert.  Why would anyone build a city out in this hot desolate place?  Anyway as night set in we could see a glow on the horizon; the famed lights of Vegas.  Lucky us managed to get a seat next to a lovely lady that kept giving everyone unsolicited advice.  She just went on and on and on about absolutely any subject "Well what'cha gonna wanna do is (insert anything you can think of here)".  She advised us that since we were "students" Vegas might be very expensive for us and we should call her friend Sherie for some accommodation.  After a quick conversation where we didn't say much apart from "uh-huh" and "mmm" Carlie and Megan faked sleeping and Rick was engrossed in his book.  She then focused her attention on another poor victim.
 
Arriving at the Greyhound bus terminal we wandered around the corner and were greeted by thousands of bright, little lights.  We were in the old Downtown district of Vegas and figured why not stay here, then get the bus up to The Strip when we need to.  Checking in to The Plaza Casino we got a great rate and headed up to our room. The view was great with The Strip in the distance.  After dumping our bags we raced down to Fremont Street, just across the road.  Rick was saying something about a light show when all of a sudden the lights went out, speakers blared and the Fremont Street Experience kicked in.  It was the biggest screen we've ever seen, stretching most of Fremont Street (you'll have to check out the photos to see what we mean).  Now being in Vegas Megan got the gambling itch and headed for a place called the Mermaid Casino.  Entering we all got beads around our necks and Carlie was surprised that they gave free drinks!  Not just free coke, but free anything as long as you were on a machine.  After losing a few dollars Megan bought home the bacon and won a massive $15 USD!  Hey it wasn't much but it paid for our dinner at the San Francisco Diner across the road.
 
Staying out until the wee hours we decided to catch up on sleep and relished our queen sized beds.  The girls had read about a place called the Premium Outlet Mall so off we all went to do some shopping the next day.  After about two hours, Rick's interest was starting to wean (to be honest most guys don't relish the idea of shopping all day for clothes) so by the third hour he was getting bored.  The girls loved it!  They were in retail heaven, buying all sorts of things.  They were pretty surprised to see Australian surf brands available cheaper than we can buy them back home.  Go figure on that one.  Finally Rick's shopping ordeal came to an end.  He had made a major deposit in the Love Bank, something he'll make a withdrawal on later, maybe taking the girls to something they don't want to do later on.
 
After a bit of a break to rest our legs and let the girls try on their new clothes, we jumped on the bus, the Deuce, that runs up and down The Strip. The casinos on the strip are amazing.  They are absolutely huge, there are heaps of them and lights, lights, lights everywhere.  The power bill in this place must be ridiculous.  We went into the huge pyramid that is Luxor, the castle of Excalibur, the Mirage, Venetian, New York New York, Paris and the famed Bellagio with it's wonderful water fountain show out front.  The highlight of the night for the girls - finding another shop they loved called Urban Outfitters.
 
With another day up our sleeves before we moved on we headed back into town, this time checking out the many wedding chapels along the way into town.  Being in Vegas why not get married here?  We looked at the prices; did we want a helicopter, Elvis to sing, a rented crowd?  It was up to us.  Well we didn't go ahead with it instead saving the money for something else instead.  Carlie had read the Bodies Expo was in town, the one we'd already gone to in London.  As it has no plans to come to Australia off she went to check it out.  During this time we headed out to the airport to try and book a hire car for our trip out to the Grand Canyon.  Well after the very very long walk we found out you can't book cars at the airport for the following day, only get them right then and there.  All the places pointed us to their 1800 phone numbers.  What a waste of time!  We ended up booking one later on that night.  While downtown we went to see the M&M's show "I Lost My M in Vegas" and wandered along the Strip once again.  To be honest we like the Downtown district a lot more as it seemed to have more character and you could walk between casinos instead of getting lost inside them as on the Strip.  Back downtown we drank, lost some money on the machines (Carlie did a big win of around $60 USD on one machine which was good) and collected the tacky beads they give out at the entrance to the casinos.  After a while we headed back to the room with some free packs of cards we'd got from the casinos and played our own game of poker.
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