Viva Las Vegas

Trip Start Apr 17, 2006
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Trip End Apr 16, 2007


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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Saturday, May 20, 2006

Hello dedicated visitors!!?? We're back again! We sadly left San Fran on the 13TH.
We were not too disheartened though, as we were 'VIVA LAS VEGAS' bound... The city of dreams and the prospect of mucho wealth!?!? Well the latter probably not being that true for Dan. Without having to plan a daring escape operation, Dan had the feeling that his gambling would be limited! Let's see how he and we got on....
We arrived on our short, one hour flight. Again we grabbed yet another of the cheap internal flights. Coming from 70F temperatures, we stepped out of the airport into the surprising oven like temperature! It doesn't sink in at first that we'd arrived in the middle of the Nevada desert! But just to make it interesting, we discovered that freak temperatures for May had arrived! We checked into the first of our hotels, the Sahara. It's one of the first & oldest of the Vegas casinos/hotels, dating back to the Beatles, Elvis and Mob era. Yes.... We are doing hotels again. We got the 28th floor of the Sahara for just 30 on Expedia (a bargain every time). So for a touch more on the price as a hostel, we get to be on the famous Vegas hotel strip!
Inevitably, Lou was quick to drop the bags, to make a speedy rendezvous with the hotel pool. Dan thought that it would be a much better idea to make sure the gambling facilities were still there, having only passed past them 5 minutes prior, whilst getting to our room. Well needless to say we were sunbathing within 5 minutes!! 'Curses' we hear him cry! But as minutes passed, Dan's twitching was enough to suggest that something was being plotted!!! So after some pouting & negotiation, a tough agreement was struck! The wallet and all cards were to be surrendered and a sole $20 note was issued for the gamble ... Predictably the Gambler of the year was back before Lou's 1st beer had been consumed. Then came the 'What happened was....' Line! Just some teething problems it seemed.
The rest of the day was sunbathing and drinking. This backpacking lark is getting tough!! Just going back to the weather for a minute... We've both been to some hot places, but this had to be close to the hottest. It's not that it's humid, but the intensity of the heat is the big factor. Even the daytime is fairly easy to manage, with not much clothing on and a pool to use. But the night hardly saw a drop in temperature. So walking around at night in 100f heat is not always a good night out. Constant water is needed day and night! To top this off you get the traffic and crowded pavements added! It makes it sheer heaven to step into the casinos, for the air-con alone. I guess to the locals, we seemed lame, for the fact it gets to 130-140f, during the day, in July and August!! Luckily though, some were saying how hot it was for May!!
We found some more bargain hotels rooms for the days to come. We checked into the Excalibur hotel and casino. If you haven't seen the hotel on the pictures, then it was built in the theme of an ancient fantasy castle and the King Arthur era. Interior decor is all knights on horses, Dragons, fantasy creatures etc... A fun place and happily it was not that child filled when we were there!!
Just a tip for anyone going to Vegas... It's busy anyway from mid-May onward. But try and visit from Sunday-Weds. By doing so, will drop the price of hotels at LEAST by half & will keep the crowds lower. It's expensive for most things on the main strip, but it's the main area to be. A great way to drink/get drunk for cheap, is by finding the slots that are fairly close to a bar! By doing this, you will get hostesses coming around, offering complimentary drinks!! The good part is the fact you only have to be playing on the 1cent slots! So it makes playing a few dollars, well worth while for the normally expensive drinks that you get in return. It made Lou's year, big time!! That along with the fact that the first few cents that Lou played, she won $45. Lou squealed like a simpleton. Good start! We love Vegas. Words can't describe what it's like here, unless you've visited yourself. The hotels and casinos are an experience alone. They are spectacular inside and out, not to mention the size of the buildings and number of rooms they boast! There's Circus Circus, which has a theme park inside! There is 'Paris' that boasts a huge replica of the Eiffel tower and that archway in Paris (that I don't know how to spell) outside! There's New York New York, with all the room towers in the form of the Manhattan skyline (Empire state etc). We could honestly go on for hours about the amazing buildings and ideas that people have created here. It seems somewhat cheesy in a way, but it makes Vegas what it is. It's been great checking out Creasers palace, MGM Grand, Luxor (Egyptian pyramid). Some of the hotels are very posh, like the Bellagio, which has a big fountain and light show out front, in the evening.
Aside from gambling your life away and just checking the hotels, the entertainment possibilities are endless. Celine Dion has performed in Creasers for 2 years. Cher, Bryan Adams and Madonna are due. Mama Mia, Phantom and Hairspray musicals are in town. You can see the Chippendales, top magicians, comedians, hypnotists and Circus's etc. If you're still bored, then you can go on a Grand Canyon or Hoover Damn tour. Or if you're sheer lazy, then most hotels have wicked lagoon style pools to relax by and acres of casino to see at night.
So what did we do??... The next 2 or 3 days, we based ourselves in the Excalibur. We were supposed to sample other hotels. But the prospect of moving around in the heat, with our packs, stopped us moving around from day to day. We sunbathed the first 3-4 days! At night we checked out most of the main hotels and casinos on the strip. In hindsight we were fairly lame to begin with, but we got tired early, mostly from the heat and the long walks down the strip. Oh and we forgot to mention that on our 1st night we got blind drunk talking to another couple at the bar. Lou was asleep at a quite respectable 2am.Whereas Dan went back downstairs to get some water. Which incidentally took just 2 and a half hour's to obtain!?!? Back upstairs at 4.30am, the $290 won was only shortly celebrated, by the fact that it took $260 to win it! Still a profit though!!!
Sadly the fun ended earlier than anticipated!! Wednesday morning... Dan was struck down with what can only be described as ........ 'THE CHRONIC SH*TS', accompanied with a few rounds of sickness. The day and night were spent in the room, with a short visit downstairs. We made a brave change of hotels to the Flamingo (up the road) the next day, but Dan was much better, if not a lot lighter! The next night (Thursday) was going to be the night where we made a night of it and went to places we didn't get see. It was pretty much our last night, as we were spending Friday night (because of the cost of the strip on the weekend and our flight out on Saturday) at an airport motel . So we were going to visit some of the best places we saved for last. This would have been good aside from the fact that Lou came down with more or less the same thing I got!! Although she got the sickness instead! We got as far as a few metres of the famous 'Freemont Street and we were back home shortly after, for another night of little sleep and sickness. It was desperate and nearly messy taxi ride!!
We sadly spent our Friday in Vegas at an airport Motel. The food was scarce, but we rested well. We are flying to LA today (sat) and will be leaving for our next Continent Tomorrow. Raratonga will be a peaceful relief! It's been fun in North America, if not hectic and eccentric!! We never did get to do the Grand Canyon! But we think we've done enough for now! Just so you all know, the internet access may not be great for the next month through Cook Islands and Fiji, so the travel blog's maybe be few and far between. Wish us luck for our next leg. Bye all......
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