Continuing on our road trip Carisa and I left San Diego and headed for Joshua Tree national park. The idea was to do a hike in the park – I had one all picked out and everything, but a slow start and nasty traffic put that idea to rest. We barely made it for the sunset – there was just one lone van parked at the lookout, which we hoped didn’t belong to a crazed rapist just waiting and hoping for two unsuspecting females to come by.
We made it back out alive and spent the night in a lovely floral motel room, where we proceeded to find out a bit more about what was going on that weekend in Vegas. It just so happened that there was a lot going on! With a bit of serendipitous Facebooking and the contact of a promoter, all of a sudden we had a whole lot planned!
The next day was one of the biggest of my life! We were up at 6 to drive the 3.5 hours to Vegas, through the desolate terrain of the Mojave desert. Its not a place where you’d like to get stuck, or run out of fuel, which almost happened to us! We didn’t even think to look at the fuel gauge until it was precariously low. That’s when we started to hope and pray that the next dot on the map had a gas station.
Finally we arrived in Las Vegas and checked into the Flamingo then rushed upstairs and into our bikinis and back out the door to a giant pool/dance party. We weren’t sure if we were going to make it in seeing as the promoter we were in touch with said his list closed at 1pm, and we were lined up for an hour in the blazing sun at that time, but we finally made it to the front of the line and with just the name of some guy we’d never met we were ushered in for free.
We immediately felt very overdressed in our clothes, as there was nothing but skimpy bikinis and very perky bums all around.
A liquid lunch of slushie pina coladas helped us feel at ease and we had a fantastic time partying away for several hours.
We kicked on again that night to see another famous DJ (Avicii) and again, just knowing the right name got us in without paying the $70 cover. We couldn’t drink any more by this stage but we still had a fairly huge night, getting back to the hotel by about 4am. Such a massive day made the rest of the weekend understandably quiet, but I was OK with that.
We still wandered the strip, saw the Bellagio fountains which are spectacular, rode the rollercoaster at New York New York, and ate huge portions of great food. One thing that did strike me was how good the service was in Vegas. I mean, everywhere in the States has been great since they live for tips, but in Vegas everything ran like a well-oiled machine.
On our final day in town I took a trip out to the Grand Canyon while Carisa took care of last minute wedding preparations. I was lucky it worked out seeing as the very next day was the start of the Government shut-down (if anyone can explain that to me I would be most appreciative. Seems so stupid!). The Grand Canyon was amazing, awe-inspiring, jaw droppingly huge.
The two hours I had at the rim just staring into it were not enough. I want to hike down in there and appreciate it properly. I would have loved to do a very expensive but by all accounts totally worth it helicopter ride through the canyon, but being the laisse-faire traveller that I am, I was unable to get a spot at the last minute. Still, I was glad I got to experience it in some small way.
Overall, I liked Vegas a lot more than I thought I would. I was expecting it to be just one of those places that I had to tick off, that had to be seen to be believed. I thought it would be too gaudy and ridiculous but I ended up having a fantastic time, and how could you not? It’s an adult playground! And we barely even gambled. We put a quick $20 on roulette on our way out to the airport. Everything on black, we lost it pretty quickly. Well, that’s one thing that we just ticked off!
Accommodation note: We stayed at the Flamingo, which is in the middle of the strip. I’m glad we stayed there – the location was fantastic. It also had a really great new pool complex that we didn’t really get time to appreciate. Maybe next time!