Driving to Vegas from LA took around 5 hours. The scenery is awe inspiring. The drive took us through the Mojave desert – vast opens spaces, as far as the eye can see beyond the heat haze, with shrubs and cacti that seem to have been laid out in perfect symmetry.
When we did reach Vegas, it arrives in dribs and dabs from the Nevada border (Rob joined in with a “yahoo!”) onwards. We arrived in mid-afternoon, so the approaching city doesn’t look anywhere near as spectacular as it does at night.
We stayed in the Planet Hollywood hotel right on the strip. From what little research we did on where to stay the prices of almost all of the hotels are pretty cheap. We also had free parking (I think all of the parking in Vegas is free), which seemed like a bonus to us at the time. We had Paris outside our room window and a very good view of the Eiffel Tower. Inside the casino was pretty huge with several bars and restaurants. There were no windows, no clocks and it was OK for people to smoke. There were no exit signs, but plenty of signs pointing us to bars, restaurants or gambling areas.
I was mostly interested in the pool area for the first couple of days. My Miami tan had generally remained, but only to the line of my t-shirt. So, I figured a little top up was in order. Rob was milk bottle white and he had an idea to try and get a bit of a tan too. The pools were great, both were busy throughout the day and there were plenty of sunbeds to go round. There were a lot of sunbeds, but the reason there were so many to go round was the sheer magnitude of the heat was almost unbearable…either that or the gambling was too much of a pull. I say it was ALMOST unbearable because I still got out there for a couple for hours each day. My tan was topped up nicely. Rob ventured out in factor 50 for a few minutes. Just enough time for someone to shake his hand and offer him congratulations, most likely for his brave attempt at sunbathing.
So, while I lounged by the pool, Rob went off and explored Vegas. He saw the pyramid of the Luxor, the stratosphere, the monorail and all the huge and garish hotels. I saw spots before my eyes after grimacing my way through a short period in the sun.
We had planned, from the time we agreed that Rob would visit, to have a big Vegas night: Get our suits on and hit the tables along the strip. We pretty much did just that.
We watched the NBA over a few beers and took a couple of dirt Martinis back to the room while we put on our suits. Neither of us really enjoyed the Martinis, although Rob seemed to think that mixing his with Dr Pepper would improve it…it did, apparently. Suits on, we went to a swankier bar in the hotel before we ventured out onto the strip.
I understood that the streets would be lined with prostitutes (I’ve seen Leaving Las Vegas). But they weren’t. They were lined with Hispanic men and old women – it seemed like whole families – handing out cards that guaranteed women to you in 20 minutes following your phone call…didn’t seem very efficient. If you took your ho’s down there and printed cards stating 15 minutes, you’d make a fortune!
I’d better point out at ths point that I did not so much as accept a card from them! I think Rob would like me to point out that he didn’t either!
We didn’t wander far up the strip – the heat is still pretty much full on even at that time. In fact, we got as far as Paris. We each played numerous hands at various games and neither of us lost that much – no more than we were expecting.
We had a great time, even though much of it we were apart at different tables and we returned to our room at about 3am…early by Vegas standards, after downing a huge burger. If you also took a kebab van with you and your ho’s down to Vegas, you’d make a fortune!
We discovered that suits aren’t really the done thing in Vegas, but neither did we look out of place and it was worth doing for the hell of it!
We were so money!!