Wednesday, September 21, 2016

3 Days in the Debauchery Den

Yesterday, I went on a tour of the Hoover Dam. The tour guide on the bus gave us all sorts of nifty Vegas facts, including the following: Las Vegas Boulevard (aka the Strip) is the lowest point of the valley. 

No. Doubt. 

So, my first time in the Sodom and Gomorrah of the United States involved only mild debauchery, because I"m cheap and don't drink much...so I spent my money on important things (like...massage, and entertainment of the not-hooker variety).

1) I'm pretty sure after landing we taxied back from NV to LAX.

2) The cab driver warned me that EVERYONE gets lost walking up and down the strip, and here's helpful map websites, and everyone gets lost in the casinos so don't panic here's helpful map websites of the interiors. Honestly, she was pretty awesome for that 15 minutes I was in the car.

3) It's probably helpful that I spend occasional time in the local big casinos at home, because while it's just as noisy and people-ful, the place I stayed was not overwhelmingly more than any other casino.

4) Starbucks is 2x the price at home. Sigh.

5) I discovered Vegas is JUST LIKE Renaissance Festival after hours, only more hygienic. I was walking the resort complex at 9:15 in the morning on my first day and not 10 minutes after leaving my room was propositioned by a Brit who wanted one last American fling before he flew home.  He was pretty cute, and way too young for me, and bolder than I'd be used to had I not seen his type before. He amusingly went from charming to crude to absently wandering away. Turns out training with drunk dirty festies is excellent for deflecting "what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas" attitudes with humor.

6) Tour guide lady, Jeannie (who really was fucking AWESOME: hilarious and snarky) said the correct answer to "what did you do in Vegas" is "WALK." So true. I wandered and people watched for a good chunk of Monday before the temp hit 100, and found the following tourist categories (locals and workers are easily spotted by their total lack of concern for anything on the strip):


  • Dazed, overwhelmed, and terrified to be robbed. They shamble along the strip, tired and dehydrated, clutching their purses with a death grip and staring wide eyed at the spectacle that is the Vegas resort lineup. Often seen desperately trying to figure out just how far it REALLY is from the MGM to the Bellagio (and can we really walk there) on their phones. 
  • Drunk at 10am. Death grip is on the beer/wine/mixed drink in their hand, and they stumble more than shamble. 
  • The attentive. People watchers, comfortable taking in sights without looking constantly at maps. Not gripping purses or bags, but watching carefully and entertained by the variety. 
7) Met a charming couple from Pennsylvania on the strip. They were in their late 60's and thought I looked like their granddaughter a little, who is 10 years younger than me, so bonus. We were sharing a resting bench for a few minutes. They told me all about their bum son in law and teenagers in their neighborhood being too lazy to mow/shovel. It was thoroughly fun, and they did not steal my wallet. 

8) The tour bus driver's son had heart surgery at the Mayo clinic this year. Because I'm a listener. 

9) There is a gun range here where I can shoot sniper rifles, machine guns, and a GRENADE LAUNCHER. I'm coming back, just for that. 

10) A very slim and stacked goth Elvira look alike wandered through the casino last night. I wondered how much double stick tape she had keeping that dress on her boobs. Honestly, Elvira did it better, but it was a really decent attempt. 

11) GAME OF THRONES slot machine. 

12) Emeril's. YUM. 

13) NOT the Colicchio stakehouse. $250 for a fucking 8oz steak is just way the hell outside even a powerball budget for me, on principle alone. Ugh. 

14) Spa. It's the single really girly thing I do, particularly if on vacation and can justify the expense. I justified the expense. I'm sore, and it was an excellent afternoon. 

15) Hoover Dam. I looked over the edge. It's a great place to feel very small in the world, and while I admire the feat itself a little part of me is sad at the taming of a river so wild everyone said it was untameable. Then again, I enjoy that my parents in LA have water and that irrigation from the Colorado via the Dam's help provides a huge amount of food in this country. Also, because I'm a total nerd I DID walk from Nevada to Arizona and back again on the bridge. OF COURSE I took pictures. 

16) POOL. Because I'm a pasty scandahoovian, and after 2.5 days I'm peopled out, so sun and water and reading is the thing this afternoon. 

17) Tonight I'll dress up and see a show (there's a Cirque show in the hotel), and tomorrow I'm going home. 

I seriously cannot imagine how anyone could spend a whole week here - in three days I spent way more than normal. But, if the deal is right I'd also totally come back and take another tour with Jeannie, walk out on that terrifying Grand Canyon glass bottomed bridge, lose some money, fire a grenade launcher, hit up the Shelby experience, and walk until my feet cry. 

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