Sunday, April 22, 2007

Things I Learned in Vegas

People are absolutely shocked when I say that I had never been to Las Vegas before this trip. It is a rite of passage, it seems, for 20- and 30-somethings in the Bay Area. I can proudly say that I have now been initiated.

Each hotel/casino is an incredible masterpiece in itself; many having been built or remodeled to outdo the others. The opulence and excess is simply inconceivable unless you see it for yourself. Each hotel has its own attraction, whether it be a mall, a lion exhibit, a dolphin rescue, a horticulture display, an aquarium or an exotic car museum. The sheer amount of things to do and see is mind-boggling.

There is always construction in Vegas. Old hotels are levelled, new ones are built, all to bring in - and keep - the crowds. That tactic is working beautifully. Every time that Danny has gone, there has been a plethora of new things to see and do. And the amount just keeps on increasing.

Here are some things I learned from our trip.

  • If you are an unmarried couple, expect multiple people to ask if you are going to Vegas to get married. By the number of brides we saw throughout the weekend, it is a popular destination for nuptials.
  • At every entrance, and every middle area of every casino, people will ask you "Where are you guys from ? Will you be here tomorrow ?" ..and then try to sell you show tickets or some other garbage. Avoid them, or put up your hand and say no thank you before they can open their mouths. I actually started shooting them dirty looks and turning my back because they pissed me off so much.
  • There is not enough time in four days to see even half of what is there. Even if you spend the entirety of every day walking around, and half every night clubbing, there is still much more to be seen and experienced.
  • All that walking and dancing wreaks havoc on even the toughest feet. Next time, I need to bring my hiking shoes.
  • Walking and dancing for 2 days on a blistered foot really freakin' hurts.
  • Never, ever set foot in Harrah's if you have asthma. The smoke, combined with the crappy ventilation system, is enough to render one gasping for air, barely able to escape to the escalator.
  • Those frozen margaritas are gooooooood.. and a godsend for the hot Vegas days. Just don't drink them too quickly. They pack quite a punch.
  • There are exotic cars everywhere, including in the casinos, in exhibits, and on the street. Wonderful to those who like the eye candy.
  • The only human eye candy are drunk people visiting from out of town. Some of the locals are downright scary looking, including the lady at the restaurant with the one-foot-high spiky bleached blonde mullet and telltale wrinkly smoker's face.
  • When walking behind two drunk people holding up a third drunk person, leave at least 10 feet of space to avoid being fallen on.
  • Show up at the Rumjungle before 10:30, and you save the $25/person cover charge.
  • Sometimes, you put a few dollars in the slot machine, and nothing comes out. And sometimes, as Danny found out, you put in a few dollars and get $100 out. Makes that $60/person steak dinner a lot more palatable.
  • You can't bring snow globe souvenirs in your carry-on. They contain liquid, and damnit, they could blow up the plane ! (Note: It wasn't me that tried to do this, it was a fellow traveler. Sucks to be him.)
  • When there is a 2.5 hour flight delay getting home, having a laptop, free airport Wi-Fi, and live Major League Baseball games streaming over the Internet are an absolute lifesaver.
  • Whenever you return from Vegas, take the next day off to recover. Your aching, tired body will thank you profusely.


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