Experienced travellers and jet-setters alike will tell you that everyone should visit Vegas at least once in their life. It’s well documented that Sin City has plenty to offer anyone looking for anything from family fun, to sex, drugs, and rock and roll. Recently, I had the pleasure of spending 4 days in the City of Lights for a bachelor party, and frankly, I’m lucky I made it out alive.
Travelling with 6 (male) adults, our itinerary didn’t include many “family friendly” activities. We did, however, try to make the trip as cost effective as possible by making a few sacrifices to our preferred accommodations. We hired a travel agent to help save a buck. They presented several alluring packages, but when the smoke cleared, we decided to stay at the legendary Circus Circus.
I have a love-hate relationship with flying. I hate flying but I love where I am when I land, most of the time. I feel like that’s the case for most people.
Touching down in Vegas was a little rough, the plane slammed onto the runway and skidded for a split second before the pilot got us under control. Unclutching my barf bag, I could finally relax. “Welcome to Las Vegas” the sign read as we exited McCarran Airport and piled into a cab.
As we pulled up to our hotel, I was immediately disappointed. The place looked outdated and worn out. We entered through the rear and stopped at the end of a long line of miserable travellers waiting to check-in. A ghastly smell circled around us to the tune of the slot machines ringing from the casino. The smell is like nothing I’ve ever experienced before. It is disgustingly new; like cigarettes and baby poo bottled into a potent mixture, one which I wish to never smell again. We check-in, get our keys and head up to the room to get pretty before we hit the strip.
Stepping into our hotel room was like travelling through time. The decor can only be described as mom’s basement, circa 1970. Although everything was very dated, it was livable. The bathroom had been renovated and wasn’t as disgusting as anticipated. So that was a nice surprise. Scrub-a-dub-dub I’m out of the tub and into my brand new Vegas clothes. I always feel weirdly obligated to buy new clothes for trips, the rest of my life is spent wearing sweats and potato sacks.
Waiting on the rest of the crew, a few friends and I crack open our first bevies of the trip. We chit-chat about the flight and our Vegas bucket lists, the anticipation and excitement rising. Then the toilet breaks. The front desk tells us that a Toilet Engineer has been sent up to fix it. I’ve never heard of a Toilet Engineer before and we chuckle at what that could mean, perhaps she meant “plumber”? Time ticks by and before we know it’s been 2 hours of drinking and carrying-on in our dingy Vegas hotel room but still no Toilet Engineer. Finally, he knocks on the door. I peep through the looker, and see what I would consider a maintenance guy. Maybe that’s a Canadian thing. He replaces the toilet and we head out to show Vegas who’s boss.
Our plan is to see the town. We call an Uber and ask him to drop us off in front of Caesars Palace. The difference in quality between the two hotels is immediately evident and we can’t help but laugh about it. We walk and walk and walk some more. The size of the hotel and casino is absolutely staggering and I want to see every inch.
On several occasions we are approached by strange men offering cheap rides and various cover charge discounts at local bars and strip clubs. Eventually, we get sick and tired of walking and give into a limo driver offering to take us to Saphire Gentleman’s Club. Entrance at this club is only permitted to those who surrender their knives, firearms, and any other concealed weapons at the front desk. It’s an unsettling feeling watching the people you were just standing in line with unclip their hand guns and casually hand them over to the desk attendant like it’s a coat check, must be a Canadian thing, (check out my Blue Mountain post to see how I feel about coat check. https://thedyblebible.com/2019/03/11/the-blue-mountains-pure-gems/
Time has no meaning in Vegas. After I said my prayers and finished sipping my water, we walked out of the club into mid-morning sunshine. “What time is it?” I ask. “It’s 10:30 am,” a voice mumbles. “Is that Ontario time? Or Vegas time?” I reply. “No clue,” he responds candidly as we both laugh at our current condition. Luckily for us, our hotel is in sight and we manage to stumble back on foot.
The familiar smell of cigarettes and baby poo assure me that we are in the right place. As I navigate the lobby there happens to be a homeless man sleeping on a bench. Nearby, a woman has abandoned her scooter and is crawling across the floor on her hands and knees towards a pile of luggage. I’m in no condition to help her and honestly, I needed more help than she did.
I finally arrive at my room only to discover that I’ve lost my room key. I turn around and make the 5 minute trek back to the front desk, I’m ready to die at this point. The Hotel staff were very accommodating and replaced my key right away, no questions asked, (in hindsight, that was a bit concerning). I thanked them and head back up to my room. At some point between the front desk and my room I managed to lose the key again. I’m crushed. Sleeping in the hallway quickly becomes an enticing option. “What the hell do I do now?” I ask myself. “Go back and get another key!?” I’m not sure I’ll make it. But I do, I slug my useless ass down to the desk AGAIN, and arrive just in time to line up behind a fresh load of guests. 45 minutes later I get my key, sleep is within reach.
After 2 hours of shut-eye I’m up and ready for a new day. The squad looks like we feel, maybe worse. The plan is to rent a couple cars and head out to the Hoover Dam. I’m thinking Ford Focus, we’re on a budget, but our friend goes rogue. He leaves to rent a car and returns in a Mercedes AMG C 63s convertible. He pops his head out of the window and yells “it’s Vegas baby!” We decide the strip would be best seen with the roof down and head out for a cruise.
The other guys grow green with envy. Before I know it, a BMW M4 and a Nissan GTR show up like we own them. Needless to say we make it to the dam in record time. The dam is impressive, pictures simply don’t do it justice. The desert has a weird silence to it, the lack of echo is creepy and impossible to ignore. We snap a few pics and head back to our race cars. The drive from Vegas to the dam was one of my favourite parts of the trip, I almost wish we slowed down to enjoy the view.
Old Vegas is in our crosshairs for night number 2, or day 2…or afternoon 3? I don’t know. Time is meaningless at this point. I was worried that after checking out hotels and casinos like New York, New York, The Bellagio, MGM, Old Vegas would just feel lame. Of course, I was wrong. Old Vegas is everything you think about when you think Vegas. Lights and music, people dancing in the street and living life. Tourists fly over our heads screaming on the Fremont Street zip line. After a quick stop at the Golden Nugget, we head to a bar called “Hogs and Heifers.” We had an absolute blast on Fremont Street. A must-do while visiting the City of Sins.
Originally, our intention was to show Vegas who’s boss. But by the end of it, we felt like we just went 12 rounds with Tyson and the city took it and grinned. We gave it everything we had, but the relentless onslaught of spending and partying was too much. After day 2 (or 3) I was ready to go home. I tapped out! The only boss in the desert is Vegas.