Given that this is Dave’s fourth visit to Las Vegas, I assumed he’d have done everything and would be bored and hate it. This impression wasn’t changed when on the drive in he kept saying things like “I hate Vegas because <whatever>”. Luckily, I was excited enough for both of us. That’s right, I’ve never been to Vegas, you may now judge me and my sheltered existence.
Our first full day, we got a bit lost looking for breakfast and ended up wandering down the Strip aimlessly instead in the relentless sunshine. Let it be said, David does not cope well without his breakfast. It was like dragging round a tantruming child; he wasn’t even excited to see the Michael Kors shop! This was obviously not the man I’ve come to know and love, that man would be super excited for anything even slightly connected to Project Runway, so we headed into a random place for a burger and that fixed it. For the record, after subsequent investigations, Michael Kors designs ugly handbags.
We continued our slow amble down the strip with the vague plan of visiting the Stratosphere hotel which used to have a rollercoaster on top but now just has a couple of other small rides. Sadly, both being glasses-wearers and Dave having no contacts, there was no point us actually going on any of them. So I’m not really sure why we kept on walking that way when it became clear that we were out of the popular parts and into the seedy underbelly of Vegas. We passed various struggling shops and a huge hotel that was closed and selling off its contents, it was very sad and depressing, but still we kept walking.
Eventually all the walking paid off when we hit two small wedding chapels, the second specialising in Elvis weddings. This was too good a trolling opportunity to waste, and we managed to give half of our Facebook friends a heart attack with an uncaptioned selfie before confirming that no, of course we weren’t getting married.
We did make it to the Stratosphere in the end, then realised we were there for no reason at all. To make the whole trip seem less pointless I wandered off to the loos, my new goal being to pee in every Vegas hotel. Classy, I know. We’d checked out the monorail map earlier before leaving our hotel and knew there was supposed to be a station at this hotel, but upon further investigation it seems the station is actually 10 minutes away back through some of the seedier parts of town. Worth it though, there’s no way we could have walked back in that heat.
We took the monorail from end to end, and finally achieved our as yet unmet goal of visiting a Hooters as we sat at a bar in the Hooters hotel & casino, surrounded by perky bum cheeks and distracting breasts. Nice root beer, too, and the alarmed Facebook reactions were rolling in to keep us amused.
We investigated some of the other hotels, the Luxor that I’ve heard so much complaining about, the one that looks like a castle, though I was unable to pee in every one. I did manage it in Caesar’s Palace and the Bellagio, though, my family must be so proud of me.
It turns out that despite all of those previous visits, Dave has somehow never actually gambled here, so obviously that was our plan for the night. I enjoy gambling, won’t lie, but I enjoy gambling with very very low inconsequential amounts of money so it’s ok. At first we couldn’t figure out how the slot machines worked, they don’t take coins here any more and they also don’t have any interesting tactics like holding or whatever, the sort of stuff you’d see on any pub fruit machine at home. Instead you basically just press the same button over and over again, but it’s more fun than it sounds.
After we’d managed to figure out how to insert a dollar bill, and how to work the most basic of the machines, we decided it would be fun to take a dollar each and see who had the most at the end of the night. This is where things got a little weird. First Dave picked a random machine, had a couple of goes, and ended up with $1.17. We were rich! He cashed out and we looked for a simple looking game to ease me in, except the machine I chose somehow took my dollar, and immediately gave me $8.53 in credit. No idea how, but we cashed out and ran. I was totally winning!
We settled down at two similar side-by-side machines and got into the meat of the competition. My machine paid out probably around once every 4 or 5 games, and my credit was slowly creeping up to over $12. Dave in the meantime had lost his dollar, plus another two dollars, and was on to his fourth. Sigh.
I was on a roll, and on the penny machines $12 is a fortune, so the lady who offers free drinks to the high rollers soon came over and we scored two free vodka & cokes. If we count the price of those in our profit for the night, we did pretty well!
Eventually he got bored of watching me win and insisted we change machines. The lucky streak I’d been enjoying floundered upon contact with my new game, “Fiesta Chihuahua”, and I was soon down to $10.98. No way was I going below ten dollars, so I downed my free drink (it was mostly vodka, presumably to make sure I would in fact go below ten dollars) and watched his increasingly frustrated attempts to make the latest dollar last. It wasn’t looking good, but at the last second he scored a big win of $5, taking his credit to $5.02. We’d gambled $6 in total and come away with $16. Not a bad return on investment.
Buoyed by our success we went for a wander to see the Bellagio fountains in action, then bed. We actually stayed out past 10pm, which is a record on this trip so far! Tomorrow we take our $10 profit and turn it into more, I’m sure. Nothing can possibly go wrong with that plan.