Saturday, 12 May 2012

The Lights of Vegas

We arrived early in Las Vegas, quite sleepy from our 3am start, but then had to sit around for 2 hours and wait for the free shuttle to our hotel, Sam’s Town, as it turns out they don’t run very frequently and we were too cheap to fork out $25 for a taxi… Thankfully the hotel turned out to be great (especially compared to Mexican hotels!) and we were looking forward to enjoying our comparative luxury, but we only had 40 minutes till the last shuttle bus ran to the strip so instead we hurriedly showered and excitedly headed out to see Vegas. 

Our real first priority was food, as the ‘food’ on the plane had been a bag of pretzels and airport food, as per usual, was way overpriced.  As soon we got off the shuttle bus we set about checking out the various buffet prices as we figured that in our current state of hunger we could do some damage to a buffet and we’d heard that it’s one of the things to do while in Vegas (probably one of the few things you can freely talk about afterwards….)

Our search was noticed by a time share tout who quickly offered us a ‘deal’ - $75 for food and $100 for gambling if we’d go and listen to their presentation.  We took a bit of convincing, but in the end decided that since we knew we’d never sign up for a time share we should be pretty safe.  Nevertheless, we were still hesitant signing up, always wondering where the hidden catch would be.  Since the presentation wasn’t till the next day it still hadn’t solve our dinner problems so after signing we continued on our search.

We settled on Circus Circus’ $15 buffet and received a few glances as we ate like we hadn’t eaten for a long time, which was technically pretty true since our last decent feed had been our seafood lunch back on Isla Mujeres.  It was nice to have a variety of food again after 3 months of South American / Mexican cuisine, and the unlimited coffee also served its purpose of fuelling us up for our night ahead.  We left with bursting bellies and caffeine filled veins and headed out into the cold to see what Vegas was all about.

Dancing fountains at the Bellagio
The strip did not disappoint.  Amazing at night and filled with so much action and noise – it’s true it doesn’t sleep (this is one ‘night club’ where ear plugs would be insufficient!) We checked out the major places, the Bellagio, Paris, Treasure Island etc watch the fountains dance (the music used to be our wedding song, but they have unfortunately changed the theme song now).  We bet a bit on the pokies and enjoyed the free drinks, but by 1am our caffeine was wearing thin and our long day rapidly catching us up so we caught the public bus back to our hotel.  On the way in we discovered they had $1 roulette so we played for another hour or so and then broke even so decided it really was time for bed.

Treasure Island show
The next day was our dreaded time-share presentation so we dragged ourselves up at 9am to get there.  Since the shuttle bus from Sam’s Town were so infrequent we bought a 24 hour bus pass on the public bus (a good way to hear the locals stories, whether you want to or not…)  From the casino we were driven with other dubious looking people  to a nearby convention centre where we promptly made the most of the free coffee while signing in.  We were quickly whisked away for a private meeting with ‘Salesman Jim’ who kindly allowed us to eat our meagre free lunch before launching into his sell.  And he was good.  He really, really, really tried and following the 30 minute group presentation which he led, and then more one-on-one convincing he finally realised we weren’t going for it.  He launched a few unhanded insults our way (something like ‘I have hippy friends like you who don’t know how to plan for the future) and gave up and sent in his manager over to try.  Of course he had no luck either and 10 minutes later we were heading back to the strip with $175 in our pockets to help us enjoy our last night in Vegas.  We were quite happy with the whole outcome!

Our seafood feast
So the way the gambling money worked was the $100 was given in coupons for the pokies, and any money you won you could cash out as cash and keep.  With our first $25 we won $50, so we were off to a good start! The free drinks in the arvo seem to be more frequent than at night and as dinner time came we were in need of food so we choose the ‘Oyster Bar’ and enjoyed what was one of the best sea food feasts we’ve had, not something we expected from Vegas!  All for free thanks to Salesman Jim….

The Luxor
We set out to explore the rest of the strip, right down to the Luxor, which was impressively huge. We spent the rest of the night gambling the last of our free money away, so great when it’s not your money in the machine and you’re getting free drinks for spending it!   Once it was all gone we headed back to our hotel where the $1 roulette table had become a $5 table so we didn’t last long.  Then on the way back to our room Dave, as only Dave can do, did a $1 bet and came up $12 richer.  We decided it was a good note to finish on and crawled into bed for a really good 4 hours of sleep.  Damn that 7.30am alarm, except it meant one thing  - we were off to see Linda and Denny and meet Lilly for the first time!!

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