The Final Countdown

Trip Start Jul 05, 2010
Trip End Sep 30, 2010

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Flag of United States  , Nevada
Wednesday, October 6, 2010

So to recap (more for my own ailing memory than anything else), we were road tripping from San Francisco to Las Vegas, stopping off in Death Valley in between, with the ambitious intention of taking it on to the Grand Canyon (considering this would have involved traversing two states...VERY ambitious!)

The harsh reality was somewhat different, with our road trip adventure starting with tearing a hole in the roof less than 10 minutes after renting it, sweating the bit out in one of the world's hottest deserts with no air conditioning....and perhaps most importantly...running out of beer in Death Valley!  Thankfully, this was America where no inhospitable landscape is without a steak grill, internet cafe and swimming pool...I shit you not...

After spending the evening in this desert oasis we returned to our RV, only to remember that we were in the middle of Death Valley and our RV had somehow managed to retain the sweltering heat from the day (despite Dave's best attempts at ventilating it).   All making for an uncomfortable nights sleep, and a fairly unpleasant smelling mobile abode...

Next morning was another early start, although we escaped a stoning from the locals this time! With the days objectives being to complete our last 119 miles into Vegas, to find a local mechanic who could reroof it for cheap and most importantly get Mark showered!

We arrived into Vegas fairly uneventfully (which for us is an achievement in itself) and spent the night in an RV park outside the main city, whilst we tried to figure out what to do about the gaping hole in the roof!
At this stage Matthew's fragile grasp on sanity was beginning to slip away, and led to him coining the timeless phrase, "Every facet of my life is falling apart, but I do have some rum left".  We therefore spent our 1st evening outside Vegas, in a run down RV park, getting drunk beside the pool with only a group of wizened over 80's for company....the rum was pretty good though!
(The background to Matthew's 'facets' is rather extensive and unfortunately can't be covered in a family blog [adult content], please refer to 'Memoirs of M. Williams:A Serial Monogamist')

D-DAY- Trip to the RV mechanic, with the hope of getting the RV repaired so we could return it without the rental company noticing. Quotes were as follows:

Roof patch up (which he explained would still look crap) - $3,000
Roof replacement  - $5,000
Dave's Life Insurance Policy- $50,000
Hammer- $5

Understandably, this was fairly shocking news, and after short discussion we opted for 'offing' Dave for life insurance...nah, joking of course, the lifetime of slagging we're now entitled to is priceless, and for everything else there's Matthew's dads Mastercard!

Anyho, I feel this story has been dragged out long enough, lets just say there was an awkward phone call to Matthew's father (thanks again Mr. Williams!) in the early hours of the morning and that our bank accounts were somewhat lighter before we finally arrived in let the fun begin!

Now, I have to admit this is very exciting, not just because Vegas is world renowned for it's vibrant and wild party atmosphere but because I'm almost finished this cursed blog!! And the good news is, due to the vast quantity of alcohol consumed it should be a fairly short entry.

Fortunately, Dave's Aunt and Uncle very kindly offered to pay for our stay in Vegas, putting us up in the beautiful and luxurious Wynn hotel.  The generosity that Barry and Alex provided during our stay was absolutely phenomenal and it's difficult for me to put into words how they made the last few days of our elective so exceptional!

Vegas itself was surreal, where nothing shocked, from a replica version of Venice, the dancing fountains of the Bellagio to the pirate ship battle of Treasure Island. We spent our time gambling (unsuccessfully admittedly), wining and fine dining, enjoying a luxury that we'd never experienced before, all courtesy of our generous hosts.  Until finally it was time to pack our battered rucksacks one more time and board the last flight of our adventure.

And now I'm home, sitting on the sofa in tiny Ballyclare reflecting back on the trip of a lifetime, narcissistically preparing to thank my devoted readers, counting the ever increasing hole in the bank account and preparing for finals...or attempting to.

I would however, like to say a soppy big thanks to my girlfriend for putting up with me and letting me off the leash for this lads extravaganza.  Also to the boys for letting me poke fun at them, with a little artistic license of course, whilst remaining relatively stick free myself!  And finally to my family, for not moving house in my absence and to Alex and Barry for their incredible generosity during our final days in Vegas!

Over and out,


The End

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