Trip Start Jun 01, 2006
124Trip End Ongoing
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"Vegas, baby, Vegas"
"Come on! Look, girls, look, don't you always double down on eleven?"
"That was like the Jedi mind shit"
As far as destinations for a stag weekend go, you probably can't get much more ambitious. Sure, you could scale a mountain, or integrate with the last, secret civilisation of.... wherever, but if it is simple debauched hedonism you're after then, as Mr L Jackson once so famously said, accept no substitute.
Thirteen of us made the trip, coming from London, Nottingham, Hong Kong, Missouri, Sydney, Melbourne and one or two other suitably international destinations.
I flew to Chicago, and on the way in the Windy City lived up to its name - we were just coming into land when a sudden side gust of wind tilted the left wing towards the ground causing the pilot to bank up sharply, kick the engines back in and, as the more expressive of the passengers began to scream, spin around for another go.
Then of course was the much feared and anticipated American immigration. As predicted, it replaced Australia and Russia in my list of 'Most Difficult Countries to Enter' - but I did get in eventually, so I suppose there's no accounting for taste.
Vegas itself was hot. Proper, stinking, cooking hot. I had travelled in my suit to get around the problem of carrying it, and regretted it within seconds. Standing in the taxi rank outside the airport was not dissimilar to cooking oneself on a medium heat until the juices run clear
I hooked up with Eddie at the MGM Grand, who had arrived early and had been unable to check in as the reservation was in my name. He had busied himself in the meantime by losing money in the casino, which was obviously what it was there for so all was well. The two of us freshened up and tried to get enthusiastic about drinking - we were part of the advance party, for the stag do proper didn't start until the next day, Saturday, and we had both spent the last thirty odd hours travelling.
We met briefly with Ashleigh, Matt, Steve and Ben ,who had all been in the US for a while and were alarmingly fresh and free from jet lag. Then after a bit of pre stag drinking and gambling retired to bed at a respectable hour.
The next day Vinny arrived from Missouri, having spent a couple of weeks in the company of our favourite American, Adam the American. Rather than check him in we just piled him into our rather spacious twin room with a view to sorting out accommodation when my brother arrived. This never actually happened though, as there was one extra person and not enough beds, so Vinny and I took one for the team and volunteered to share a bed
The rest of the stag arrived two hours late, having been foolishly optimistic about the immigration procedure. Dave, my brother and the groom, was accompanied by Oli, Lee, Mike Count, Alex and Gareth, making us a lucky 13.
Three days later, it was time to go home. The night before had become fragmented along the way, with everyone slipping off into the night at their own time. Vinny had lasted until a respectable five AM, but tiredness had beaten him. I came stumbling back into my room at 9AM, two and a half hours before my flight. Vinny, bless him, had set his alarm in time to wake me up - not necessary as it turned out but greatly appreciated nonetheless.
My flight back to Chicago was a bit of a concern. Standing in the check in queue, swaying back and forth, I had to resist the urge to throw up and the slightly more reckless urge to go up to the customs officers and say "You see this guy? He's... the guy!" in a variety of drunken manners. As it turned out I got onto the flight, closed my eyes, and woke up with a bump when we landed four hours later.
Then it was a simple case of being strip searched and then boarding my flight home..
The more astute of the Travelpod Several may notice a certain missing portion above, and, well, they would be right. Some things don't need to be documented, and I am sure the photos will speak for themselves. Those of us who were there will remember, and sometimes that's all you need.
Quote of Las Vegas:
"So tell me.... Are you on Facebook?"
- Eddie... Talking to a Stripper.
I would like to thank Vinny, Eddie, and Gareth for supplying some of the photos used herein. Oh, and Eddie and Gareth - mind if I steal your photos? No? Great stuff....