Friday, February 11, 2005

Vegas continued ...

I’ll continue on the Vegas track seeing as there’s a few that sound like they’d be happy to hear more. Just to give you quick background here. My girlfriend and I went overseas to meet up with several people we’d been talking with online...all met over a backgammon board. A group of 7 of us met in Vegas. 6 of us stayed for the 4 days, one lovely man flew in from Phoenix the same day we arrived from New Zealand, and had to fly back out the following day due to work commitments.

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I think I finally got the timing right for my body. We went down to old Vegas to have a look around. It’s just like on the tv!! At least three long blocks of casinos on both sides and a canopy of something that looks like mesh waaay above it all. All along the middle of these blocks are kiosks selling various wares of t-shirts and handbags and jewellery etc. There was just so much to look at and buy and I felt like I needed several pairs of eyes to see everything. Penny was slightly (ok, majorly) hungover from the night before and I was still feeling rather jetlagged, so we went and sat down on the Oxygen kiosk. Got some ‘lovely’ pics of us with hoses up our noses.

I remember being so tired, I would’ve been ecstatic at the sight of a mattress on the ground in front of me, lay down and gone to sleep. I was determined however, to be awake for the light show. It was very patriotic, even I felt close to tears. The main lights of all the casinos were turned off to highlight the light show on the canopy, the sound system was echoing down the street, it was very overwhelming. Not sure if I was feeling emotional due to the effect of it all or the pure fact that I, ME of all people, was dazzled by actually standing on a Vegas street and seeing all this. I was awe-struck. My children would’ve loved it.

We went in and out a couple of casinos on the way, and each time we entered one they’d put strings of sparkly beads around our necks. Can you imagine that? They’re giving us presents just for stepping in the door. These people in elaborate costumes (cowboys, dancing girls etc) standing at the doorways with large smiles and armloads of beads…“Come here, we’ll give you a gaudy necklace, long as you spend zillions on our tables and slot machines” Pat, was on a winning streak. In fact, I licked her arm and made the effort to rub my body all over her, to see if I could get some of her luck. My god, the woman was amazing. Saying that, she paid for dinner that night (possibly to alleviate the guilt at our disgruntled looks and to stop us calling her names).

My best mate actually went down the strip late one night, completely off her face with the free alcohol from the casino...she climbed up on the large concrete horses outside the Excalibur, climbed over the fence and went paddling in the fountain and god knows what else...she was in hot pink pjamas. I went to bed around 1am...had a good 7 hours sleep...waking up just in time to see her come staggering in the door at 8am. I had a quick conversation with her before I heard the sound of snoring rising from the opposite bed and realised I’d just wasted my breath.

I tried so hard to stay awake to get the chance to join in the horse riding, fountain swimming and deep conversations with the statues outside the Excalibar, but I’m afraid, as the time wore on, my body started screaming at me “OMG, what do you think you’re doing??!” and it pretty much shut down at that point. There didn’t appear to be any kind of legal medication I could take that would keep me awake 24/7 to experience everything...boo.

It seemed that Christine and I were the sensible ones...I wasn't so sure that was a good thing...I missed out on all sorts of things going on..But...besides having jetlag I never once had a hangover...so hey, I could live with that. I felt like I was doing something wrong by not joining in on all the fesitivities (did I mention the free drinks?? Any casino you’re at, if you’re playing at a machine or table, or even just leaning up against one, you get free cocktails...try the strawberry margueritas, they’re to die for). I will also say that I was probably one of the only people in our group that seemed to be able to cope with the bright light of sunshine during those days. Vegas was also another place I wanted to walk around naked, it was so damn hot!

I strongly believe that the amount of alcohol we consumed between would have possibly been enough to open a liquor store in New Zealand.

Oh one more thing…and yes I know this has become a HUGE post.

Did you know you can’t hail a taxi in Vegas? Now I've seen this done on tv, so I knew all the right ways to throw my arm out and yell "Oi Taxi!" Penny and I were both hanging off the side of the curb outside the Bellargio (that's apparently where Oceans 11 was filmed, bit of trivia for you) trying our luck. Penny even tried pulling up the leg of my pants to see if that worked while we were yelling (that's probably the reason they didn't stop). Anyway, no luck whatsoever.

The following day, my best mate and I went back to Old Vegas...after shopping and me picking up an 18 pack of some special beer you can't get in Vancouver for Penny's husband...I tried my luck again at hanging off the curb and hailing down a cab. The cabbie that shot passed actually yelled back at me "can't pick you up here Lady!" blah.

More walking to find the nearest taxi stand (my beer carrying arm felt like it was now scraping along the ground). And lo and behold, we get the cabbie that yelled back at me. He was actually rather lovely. And the fact of the matter is....noone is allowed to hail cabs in Vegas. In fact, it's illegal for the taxi drivers to pick up anyone trying to flag them down. You can only be picked up at the designated taxi stands...mainly outside the hotels. All these taxi stands are under video surveillance, which is certainly a good security measure for the patrons of Vegas. This is to stop cabbies picking up little old ladies that may have just struck gold at the casino and run off with their money I guess. And ok, if I'd actually won a decent sum of money, I really wouldn't have wanted someone, who I expected to deliver me safely to my hotel, to knock me on the head and take off with it. (This is where my earlier vision of paranoia would come in handy I suppose).

H&B: I never really won anything substantial, and as you can probably guess by now, if I did, I spent it on tipping cocktail waitresses. lol

It certainly was a fun few days and being that close to the Grand Canyon..there was no way in hell I was going to miss out on seeing that. Being in Nevada one moment and then the state of Arizona the next...now, that was also very cool.

I’ll also admit that I now love watching CSI Las Vegas (got the t-shirt, yeah!), cos I can sit here at home and yell “I’ve been there!”….”I’ve seen that!”

ok, will try for a quick short post next time to make up for this.

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