Trip Report: Las Vegas, June 8-12 (Part 5)


My last day in Vegas and I’m a little bit sad. My vacation is not over, but the Vegas part is. Tonight my sister arrives and tomorrow we will begin a cross country road trip to North Carolina. That is part of the reason I had to be so stingy with my money.

Becky and Co. would be departing so I was on my own for most of Sunday. I went for another run on the Strip, but I didn’t get as far this time because I started a little bit too late and ran into traffic and other obstacles. After a shower, I walked to Paris to have breakfast at Sugar Factory. I know I could take the bus but I don’t mind the walk and after reading the reviews of this place, it sounds like I’m going to need as much exercise as possible to shore up my resolve.

Those reviews weren’t lying! It was around 815 by the time I got there. I got a nice table outdoors. After the server took my order, I passed the time people watching. It’s hysterical how many people are on the Walk of Shame at that hour. I saw a woman who must have been club hopping all night long. At 815, her stilettos were probably murder on her feet. She had taken them off and now limped on ginger toes back to her hotel. Her makeup was running. What probably was a nice hairdo was in ruins. I saw a guy who looked like he had been in a cat fight over at Siegfried and Roy’s. His shirt was shredded. He had that hangover look about him, like he had just woken up and had no idea what’d happened the previous night.

Also hysterical is the number of people who are still drunk at that hour. I saw a group of young men and for them, the party had just started. They were absolutely trashed but having a good time, chugging beers on the corner at 830 in the morning. They were like frat guys. You know the type that go, “Woo!!! Hooo!!” for every little thing. A group of housekeepers was getting off shift and running to catch the bus and the frat guys started cat-calling them. “Hello, ladies! Yeah!!” Not to make any pre-judgments on people, but the typical housekeeper in Vegas is an older Latina woman. I guess if that’s what they’re into.

My breakfast arrived soon after. I ordered the chocolate pancakes. Let me tell you that I am a chocolate fanatic but these pancakes tested my resolve. They were chocolate chip pancakes, drizzled in chocolate sauce, layered with some other kind of chocolate and served with warm chocolate syrup. I began eating and about 15 minutes later, all my teeth had cavities. It was so freakin’ sweet I was downing cups of water just trying to get that sugar taste out of my mouth. They give you three, I could only eat about one and a half. I sat there staring at that chocolate monstrosity like it’s my Rubicon. For whatever reason I’m determined the finish the whole plate, but it was time to admit defeat. The server comes by, “All done?” Yes, please, God, take it away. He starts laughing. “Nobody can ever finish these.”

I walked back to Riviera to check out. Yes, I made another hotel change. There was a thread on TA recently about changing hotels. I didn’t think it would be a problem, but three hotels in four days? Too much going on. I really could not stay at Riviera any longer and since my friends had gone there was really no need for me to be on the Strip anymore, so I went over to the Hilton. I walked between the two hotels (not that far) and checked in immediately.

But before I left Riviera, I met a naughty man in the elevator. I had on my backpack, this huge thing stuffed with my 18 inch laptop and other worldly goods, plus a small roller bag. There was a maintenance man in the elevator with a huge maintenance cart when it stopped on my floor. I started to take the next elevator but he said there would be enough room, so I backed into the elevator. Two seconds later, he shouts, “Oww!” I turned around thinking that I had hit him with my big dumb backpack.

“I’m sorry,” I said. “Did I hit you?”

“No, no. My glasses pinched the side of my face. I hate that,” he said. Then he waggled his grey bushy eyebrows at me and leered, “But if you wanted to hit me, trust me, I wouldn’t be saying ‘oww’.” He gave me this look that clearly indicated he was into something kinky. I wish I could have taken a picture of his face. He actually wagged his tongue and began panting at me. It was absolutely revolting but so hilarious. I tried not to laugh in his face. I just murmured something unintelligible and got out of the elevator as fast as I could.

The walk between Riviera and the Hilton was arduous and I realised that I should stop being so cheap. I could have taken a cab for about $7. Whatever. Even though it was only 1130, they let me check in right away. The room at the Hilton was so nice. Too bad this place isn’t on the Strip, but then it would probably be more expensive.

I passed the time waiting for my sister to arrive from Arizona by people watching in the casino downstairs. Let me tell you that I did not know that gang members went on vacation. Picture a hard core gang member with tattoos all over his face, head, neck and all down his arms. He looked like he was about to rob me, but then he had the two cutest little girls with him, his mother, a wife and two other guys that looked like hard core gang members. They were coming out of the Hilton and were on their way to NY, NY so they could ride the roller coaster. I was surprised, but I think it takes all kinds.

Once my sister arrived and got situated, we drove over to the Wynn and parked. My sister has a stripper friend (who is really handy in a pinch) she usually visits Vegas with, so her experiences are vastly different than mine. She has never been to any of the touristy stuff, so I thought I’d take her through a few things. We didn’t have much time so I decided on a buffet, Strip walk and the fountains.

Because Bellagio was so disappointing, I went with the buffet at Wynn. I really wanted to go to Wicked Spoon but it was too far for our purposes. Wynn was much better. I have eaten here before when I came in 2010 for NYE. My sister thoroughly enjoyed herself, so much to the point that she ate entirely too much. She began complaining of stomach issues before we could even get out of the Wynn hotel. I told her she should go and let nature take its course, but nature was a bit stalled.

I suggested that we walk slowly, maybe that might knock things loose a bit. We slowly strolled through Venetian and Palazzo. I wanted to ride the gondolas but my sister gets seasick, forget about the fact that it’s probably only an inch of water down there. We rested outside the Venetian to watch the volcano thing across the street at Mirage. I had never seen that before and I admit that I liked it. Yeah, it’s a cheesy tourist attraction but I like stuff like that.

Then we very slowly strolled to Bellagio to the fountains. By the time we got there my sister was critical. Halfway during the fountain show, she just took off. I tried to text her to find out where she was and she said, “Leave me alone!” Okay. I stayed where I was because I knew she couldn’t describe where she had gone and I didn’t want us to be lost from each other. An hour later (actually more than an hour later), she comes back looking battle weary. She said, “I don’t know which end was worse.”

Thanks for the imagery, sis. I don’t think she had any food poisoning because we ate pretty much the same things at the buffet and I didn’t have any issues at all. My sister had never been to a buffet like that before and she was truly packing it in, on top of all the soda and juice they pour down your throat. I advise everyone to practise restraint. We hung out at the fountains for a little while more so she could gather her strength and then we headed back.

Vegas at night one last time. Enter the drunks and weirdoes, the slappers and undercover prostitutes. We saw some fundamentalist Mormon people. I didn’t even think they would step foot in Vegas, and these poor people just looked shocked out of their minds. The mother had her hands over the daughter’s ears. I felt she should have covered her eyes because a bachelorette party was stumbling down the street. The lucky lady was wearing a bikini top that said “bride.” Actually, it said, “(BR) (DE).” The “I” was lost in her cleavage somewhere and I’m pretty sure that was a nipple. I saw Storm Troopers, Wonder Woman, Tupac (he’s not dead, you know), a whole bunch of Elvises (that would be a whole lotta shots if you guys were playing my game), and about a dozen brides in wedding dresses, ranging from haute couture to K-Mart blue light special (do they even do that anymore?).

It’s such an interesting city. Even though I am not into its main attractions of drinking and gambling, I always have a good time here. I think there is plenty to do if gambling is not your thing. Next time I’d like to explore the newer hotels and casinos, like Aria and Cosmopolitan. Maybe I might learn how to play blackjack. I don’t know. It’s like you never know in this place. I’ll definitely have more money so I can check out some of these fine dining options, and so I can shop. You don’t know how depressing it is not to be able to shop.

Lessons learned:

1. No more than two hotels in one trip, no matter how long you’re staying.

2. Hit up a liquor store and start your drinking in your room to save money if you’re budget conscious. You can always get a drink or two at the bar, but if you’re a heavy weight start early.

3. Don’t be offended or uptight about the weirdoes. They’re just having a good time. Smile and nod and walk away.

4. There is plenty of fun to be had if you’re not a gambler.

5. Be more assertive when it comes to the cabs or asking for upgrades.

6. Leave your troubles, rules and regulations at home.

7. Don’t eat too much at the buffet.

8. Don’t wear shoes you’ll have to stumble home in the next day.

9. Don’t let anybody write their phone number on your forehead.

10. Just go for it. You only live once. You can deal with the repercussions later.


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