Vegas: Day 1
My body was still on Eastern time when it woke up this morning to an ungodly Vegas hour. But the construction workers were at it full force. And there were half a dozen alarms. Car alarms? Sirens? Fire alarms? Going off. I opened the curtains to see my view. The Monte Carlo has a pretty impressive pool area. You cannot see it all from this photo. But there is a hot tub. A large lounging pool. The lazy river you can see. And that large pool by the river? That is a wave pool. A wave pool. At my hotel. But as I watched. I noticed the palm trees swaying in the steady breeze. Then those palm trees bent. And bent. As the breeze changed to a gust. Note to self: wear jeans today.
Just beyond the pool was the construction of the city center. All those late nights are paying off and the construction looks about done. The monorail pad looks like something out of a Star Wars movie.
I woke up Michael. I had an errand for him to run. I sent him off to the half price ticket booth to see what we might do today. While sending small prayers to the gods of Vegas that Cirque tickets might be in our future. My chore was to figure out how we could meander the strip without walking too much. One of the guide books suggested using the bus. Specifically the Deuce. A double decker bus that runs up and down the strip. 24 hours a day. I got online to figure out where the stops are located. And it says "stops at virtually all the hotels on the strip." Cool. That says minimal walking to me!
My next chore was to go down and buy an excursion to Hoover Dam. And lament over the fact that the Grand Canyon tour was not in our budget. Or time restraints.
I went back to the room to wait for Michael and our cirque tickets. Only to discover that most cirque shows are dark on Wednesday nights. And that we were now the proud owners of tickets to see "The Price is Right." Well. If we can't win at slots. Maybe we can win the big showcase.
By now, it's getting to be late morning. And I am STARVING. My body says it is early afternoon. And I have not had breakfast. Or lunch. We decided that it was a good time to go to the buffet. Especially since we had buy one get one free coupons. And it was even cheaper because we went in a few minutes before lunch was being served. So we got the breakfast price. My husband now feels like he has won it big. We started out with a little breakfast. And then moved right into lunch. It was pretty good.
Then it was time to finally play some slots. This is all that gambling means to me. Pushing that button. And waiting to see what shows up on the pay line. I found a machine that actually paid if nothing was on the pay line. It was kinda like a do-over. So many times I was so close to the big pay off. Centimeters away. I just knew that the next roll would get me to that jackpot. And actually. When we finally walked out. I hadn't lost any money. I think I was up about ten or twenty dollars. Which was good because Michael had quickly lost all of his allotment.
And when I stood up to head out. There was a travesty. My backpack purse. It broke. The strap was no longer attached to the bottom. And I could not carry it like a backpack. I threw it over one shoulder and we headed across the street to catch the Deuce.
I am thinking that it is quite easy to spot the tourists on Las Vegas Boulevard. We are all standing around. Gaping. Spinning to see it all. And taking pictures of just about everything. Then again. All of us at this locale are probably tourists. I think the locals don't venture here unless they have to. We made a mental note to come back to the four story M&M store.We checked out New York, New York. I bet the girls would love to ride that roller coaster. And you can see the other hotels down the strip: NY,NY, The Excalibur, the Luxor is tucked behind, and finally Mandalay Bay. It looks like they are so close. But Mandalay Bay is really 47 miles down the road. Or something like that. Damn mirage
Oh. And look at what else we saw: It was just like being in Atlanta. And it might the only place in town that you can actually buy a coke. When you are craving a coke. And all they have to offer you is Pepsi.
Our bus arrived. We were armed with our exact change. And we found a seat. We needed to go to Bally's. Which is between the Paris and the Flamingo. And Bill's Gaming Hall is in there too. Somewhere. So we are riding along. And we pull up in front of the Paris. Michael suggests we get off here. But. I thought the bus would stop a smidge futher down the street. Right in front of Bally's. Because the website said they stop at all the hotels. (Yeah, yeah. It said "virtually." I chose to ignore that word. Unfortunately.) So we stay on. And we drive on. Right past Bally's. Past Bill's. And right to the edge of the Flamingo. A good 27 miles away from Bally's. Or something like that.
So we begin our trek. That I was trying to avoid. Down to the end of the street. Up to the overpass. Over the street. And towards Bally's. Except that I could not figure out how to enter. There is a huge sign to enter the resort. But it says "Bally's Monorail." And I didn't want to go to the monorail. I wanted to go to the Price Is Right theatre. So we walked more. And some more. To the main entrance. Where we quickly discovered that the monorail entrance was what we wanted. Ugh.
We went to get in line. And we got one of those cute price tag name tags. And had our picture taken in front of a green screen. Where they inserted the big wheel behind us. You'll just have to use your imagination here. Since I didn't buy it. But. I look sweaty. Windblown. Did I mention sweaty?
The show was hysterical. Who knew? Now. This is not the Drew Carey Price is Right. This is the low key version. Again. Who knew that low key exists in Vegas. But it was low key. And hysterical. The host was Todd Newton. Who I have seen on E! And the announcer was David Ruprecht. Who?? The guy that hosted "Supermarket Sweep." Who?? Nevermind.
What made the show was all the contestants. (There were 4 contestants called up for each round of bidding...so lots of people got to play. Unfortunately, our names were never called.) There was the woman who was visiting Vegas with her friend. Her friend being the man she has lived with for the past 18 years. Who still hasn't asked her to marry her. Then there was the woman who giggled. Constantly. So much giggling she couldn't even give her bid. And there was the woman who brought her purse up with her to bid. Because she didn't trust the people she came with to look after it. Nor could she recall their names. But she knew she had known them for years.
After the show we decided to go and check out Caesar's Palace. And do a little gambling. (The whole time I am thinking about Alan asking "So...did Caesar really live here?") We ambled through the casino. And ambled a little more. And the ambling turned into walking. And we ended up in the forum shops. Which are really cool. The floor is cobblestone. And the ceiling is like the sky. There are fountains. And if you keep going. There is even a fountain of gods. That talk. And while I sat down to listen to the story of Zeus. And Hermes. And Aphrodite. I noticed something.
Do you see it, too? Over in the corner. No, no, no. The other corner. It's a Brighton store! And it was calling my name. I found just the thing. A tiny purse. With a ginormous strap. You should have seen me in the store. Trying on all the teeny tiny purses. To see how much I could still fit inside of one. I am not sure how I made the transition from my ginormous giraffe bag to this tiny thing. But it was done. And we were on our way. Out of the hotel. Because I was sooo not going to amble. Or walk. Or trudge back to the casino.
We finally figured out how to get out of the shops. And I amused myself looking at the spiral escalator. Is that redneck that I was amused? Entranced? Enthralled? One cannot possibly be a redneck. AND own a Brighton purse. Right? Right? Hello?So we headed out of Caesar's to the Deuce stop. And back to the Monte Carlo. Where we played slots again. Had dinner. And went back up to our cologne soaked hall. On the thirteenth floor. So that we could crash at a decent hour. Because we had to be ready for the Dam bus at 8am.
So...what about you? Do you like the Price is Right? Wave Pools? Riding the bus? Brighton purses?