Viva Las Vegas
Trip Start Jun 15, 2007
74Trip End Jun 27, 2008
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Where I stayed
This luxurious palace (by backpacker standards) was surprisingly cheap; this we quickly came to realise is because they want you to stay in their hotel and spend all your money gambling at their tables. They also use other tricks to keep you there. The hotels are like large towns and the only windows to the outside world are located in your hotel room and the exit signs are small and confusingly placed. So after checking in to our room it took us a full two hours to figure out how to get out through the maze of slot machines, flashing lights and tables, not to mention the hordes of people meandering between slot machines. You can see why people don't leave the building .....it's too much like hard work! We would have left a trail of breadcrumbs but they would more than likely have been eaten.
Now for the veteran gamblers, the hotel provides all you could need under one roof, from free drinks while you are gambling, every conceivable gambling machine and game, to all you can eat buffets, this place is unreal. The people here are a different breed. Now I apologise in advance to any Americans reading, but this is the truth.....these lifeless people are huge, due to the endless amounts of food that they shovel in to their mouths, coupled with hours of sitting still and allowing the calories consumed to set up camp mainly in the bottom region (thus providing a more comfortable seat whilst gambling) while the colour drains from their zombie like faces as a result of weeks of being subjected to artificial lighting and air conditioning (mixed with liberal amounts of oxygen to keep you awake and of course gambling for longer). One particular evening we sat down to our evening meal to hear an over sized family on the next table ordering their meals. "I'll have a steak sandwich with fries, a cheese burger and the rack of ribs....oh and a diet coke" !!!! That was just for one person, not the table, but I suppose it was OK as she did order a diet coke.
As very poor backpackers we decided to walk the strip and take in the free delights that Vegas has to offer. This is best done at night as it is cooler and the ambiance created by thousands of bright lights and fireworks is much more appealing. Firstly we came across the pirate ship outside Treasure Island. This was fun to watch, if you like scantily clad busty women and half naked muscular blokes then this is the show for you. If you are a child however, then its fun on a different level, due to the big moving pirate ship that also sinks and the thought that these men are actually real pirates! Next stop was the Bellagio. This was Nic's favourite. Romantic fountains danced and exploded to classical music like nothing else, rendering onlookers breathless, however this was probably not the thought of one little duckling that was separated from its family when the fountains began. The poor panic stricken duckling managed to escape the fountains as if it had just been launched from a cannon. Finally we found a rest area for our tired and weary feet, where we could continue to watch the fountains every ten minutes whilst sipping on G&T's at $7 a glass!!!! A lot of money is needed to have a real knees up here but we think it is worth it just the once.
Vegas is home to many weird and wonderful things.... and we thought to mark coming towards the end of a fabulous honeymoon we would renew our wedding vows. But not just in any fashion, this would be done in style, real Vegas style......by the one and only......king of rock and roll........Elvis Presley ladies and gentlemen!
This has got to have been the single most funniest experience of our lives, its like a roller coaster, you want it to stop but it just keeps going and you have no control. He began by walking Nic down the aisle whilst playing a guitar and singing 'can't help falling in love...' he even changed the lyrics to include our names. The ceremony swiftly moved on to renewing our vows with quite ordinary verses whilst Elvis paused occasionally with animated features for photographs before continuing. As both Pat and Nic had no idea what to expect, look akin to startled yet excited rabbits. Vows renewed (first set) Elvis jumps to a special set of vows which has Pat promising never to leave Nic at heartbreak hotel and Nic promising never to let Pat have a pair of blue suede shoes! The music cranks up, Nic and Pat try to control their laughter and this time armed with a microphone Elvis bursts into 'Viva Las Vegas' as he spins us round and dances us back up the aisle to then turn us round at the top and have us leg swinging back down in a New York New York style......Thank you very much. A few photos later and we were back on the pavement outside where we had started only 15 minutes earlier, the fastest wedding ever!!!