My last destination with the group was Las Vegas. Sleeping on the floor for two nights or camping as its called had taken its toil, so I slept on the bus the whole way to our mid morning stop at Seligman for Route 66. I didn’t know much about Route 66 before and I can’t say visiting this place improved my knowledge further. I took some obligatory photos with the sign but other than that there was just a load of shops set in the past selling paraphernalia. One plus was a yummy burger and chocolate milkshake.
We arrived in Vegas at about 2 pm, our lodgings were off the main strip in a quite a basic motel. Our rep had put us on the guest list for the Bellagio and in true Harada fashion I was prepared and had a dress. However, some of the group didn’t have suitable attire so we hit the shops. This was in fact the only shopping I did during the vacation. We get so little sun in the UK I was trying to make the most of it by always being outside.
My favourite thing that evening was watching the Bellagio fountains dance to singing in the rain, I couldn’t help but smile and be wowed. The Bellagio club called the Bank reminded me very much of something you see in an r n b video. Lots of vip sections, everything black and glittery and women dancing about on platforms. The good thing was girls got drinks vouchers, which was quite common as in Vegas boys have to pay for everything.
The following morning was another early start and time to say goodbye to my roomie and head to the Hoover dam. I’d organised my tour through grayline coaches and chose the Hoover dam express and the deluxe option only including the addition of a visit to a chocolate factory not something I fancied wasting 3 h on. The tour started in the power plant. It is astounding to think that the turbines and internal cranes that were put in, in the 1930s are still going strong today, especially when an iPhone with all its apparent modern technology just about lasts 2 years (if you’re lucky). I hadn’t even thought about how they made the concrete set so quick, but they had designed a system whereby cold water ran through the centre of the blocks therefore allowing them to complete the project 1 year ahead of schedule. It also generates enough energy to power Las Vegas, although they receive a limited output of 25% with the rest going to LA and other cities. After the power plant I walked over the dam, it’s quite wide as it has a road. It used to be a traffic nightmare but they have since built a bridge so it’s no longer a major highway. It’s a good job I’m not afraid of heights as its a long way down when you look down the smooth side of the dam.
Upon my return to Vegas I checked into my room at the Luxor. It was great to have a bit of luxury and my room looked right out onto the Mandalay bay. I spent my afternoon walking North down the strip visiting the hotels. The thing I disliked about Vegas is that it takes so long to walk anywhere, to cross roads you have to go up and over and sometimes through hotels. My favourite hotels were the most popular ones like Caesars palace, the Venetian and the Bellagio but I’m not sure if pay the £300 for a Friday night stay. At 8 pm I did the Slotzilla high line on Fremont street. I started off at a height of 144 ft and zipped for 1 minute along the roof. I got to wear an attractive blue suit and carry a laptop bag. Your legs are strapped together and you fly in a lying position with your bag clipped on above you. It was great fun especially as it was Friday night so it was busy down below and djs were playing. The low wire was half the distance and height plus you were sat, it looked far too lame.
Getting back to the main strip was a bit of a nightmare as it was gay pride so the road were blocked with floats of men with tops off gyrating, gay Mike would of been in heaven. I spent most of my evening watching the fountains, every 15 minutes they come on to different songs and I just felt happy there. To be honest I found it difficult to know where to eat dinner, restaurants are all hidden away in the hotels and all I fancied was Chinese chicken wings (it’s all I fancy eating still) in the end I ate in the Chinese at the Bellagio and had the most divine lychee martini. One thing I was impressed by was earlier in the day the Bellagio centre forum was empty and loads of flowers were being wheeled in, by 11 pm it had been transformed into a autumn garden wonderland with creatures and bridges.
Perhaps one draw back of being on my own was I didn’t have a go at playing at the tables. I was just a bit too nervous as I’ve no idea what to do and it doesn’t feel like something you can just rock up to the table and ask about. I did play on the slots machine, but it was nothing like when phoebe plays in friends. Thinking about it, I’m not a risk taker by nature.
For my last day in Vegas I decided to stay and enjoy my hotel so I had a rare holiday treat and slept in until 10 am. The Luxor has the bodies exhibition which I’ve always wanted to visit so I popped along, it was really good but it was quite dark and looking at dead bodies isn’t exactly cheery so afterwards I felt the need to get outside. I spent my afternoon sunbathing round the swimming pool with a 32 oz peach mojito. It was gigantic in true American style. Perhaps it was influence of the alcohol but when checking in I decided to upgrade to first class. It’s something I’ve always wanted to do and felt very Blair Waldorf. I had a lovely gigantic white leather chair, free drinks and food and entertainment. It was lovely lying out on a plane, when I’ve made it, I’ll fly first all the time 🙂
Did I enjoy Vegas? I’m not convinced. I’ve always wanted to go to, as I don’t think there is anything else like it and people rave about it. I guess following on from the Grand Canyon meant it had a lot live up to. I did enjoy everything I got up to there just perhaps i’d of enjoyed it more if I had gone with my close friends.
Photos can be found here