We returned safely back to Vancouver from Las Vegas one week ago, which was a day later than we were supposed to.
SURPRISE! Two little Canadian lesbians didn’t get the best service over in America. We were jerked around a little bit our first night and a lot on our last night, but everything in between was pure bliss, Vegas style.
The neon flashing lights could be seen from 20,000 feet in the air, like one giant arcade, twinkling, pulsating, enticing us from the sky.
Bubblegum pink, pumpkin orange, canary yellow blazing from every hotel, casino, strip-joint, billboard, and high-rise. The first thing we noticed on the ground were all the massive billboards. Seriously, every other job in Vegas must be in marketing or advertising because I’ve never seen so many ads in my life. Promoting this show, and this artist, and this product, everywhere. There are billboards on wheels, literally, trucks that drive around the city with the sole purpose of promotion. They have no box or trunk, just giant screens with dancing products and sleazy slogans.
The Vegas strip is definitely just as flashy and glamorous as I imagined, but our first mistake was staying at the Stratosphere. For our first time in Vegas we wanted to be somewhere right on the Strip, but we didn’t realize just how far down the Stratosphere is on the strip. It is at the very very end. The upside: we walked A LOT everyday.
If you want to be right in the thick of things I recommend trying out the Flamingo, or Caesar’s, or the Venetian, which are all beautiful inside (especially the Venetian!) and way more central.
We arrived in Vegas late Saturday evening and took the hotel shuttle from the airport. Unfortunately, the stratosphere was very last stop and the bus made what felt like a million other stops along the way. It took forever to get there! No wonder why the girls sitting in front of us on the plane had opted out of the shuttle bus and went for the cab route. We had booked our hotel room online as part of a package deal with flights included, and we had paid extra for a ‘premiere’ room at the Strat. Our only requests were that we have a non-smoking room with a king bed.
Alas, when we arrived, Stratosphere employee, Robert, told us the only rooms available were standard rooms in the smoking section with two queen beds. Really?
Luckily, we had brought along a print out of our itinerary which showed we had paid extra for a ‘premiere’ room, so we wouldn’t settle for a standard one.
Robert told us it was a mistake on the booking website because it should just say premiere view, not premiere room. All we were paying extra for was a view, so okay, whatever. But we assured him we wanted a room with just one bed. He looked confused at this, because, huh, two women, want to sleep together? butttttt-
He said he would see what he could find.
He left us to go into the back room, and came back five minutes later to tell us:
“The only rooms available with just one king bed are located in our newly renovated suites which will cost you an upgrade of $200 per night.”
I suggested to my girlfriend, perhaps we could push the beds together and have one giant bed. That could be fun!
Robert protested this idea. Nope, can’t do that. Not allowed.
You may think it is silly that we were so adamant that we only have one bed, but the thing is two beds take up a lot of unnecessary space, and if we were a straight couple requesting a room with one bed I’m sure we wouldn’t come across such resistance. So naturally, it pissed me right off, and I told him I’d like to speak to his manager.
Once again, Robert left us to go into the back. When he returned he wasn’t accompanied by anyone, but instead told us, his manager had found a room available for us in the non-smoking section with a king bed.
We went up to our room to find that our ‘premiere view’ was overlooking a giant parking lot, and all night long we’d hear vehicle’s starting up, peeling away, beeping, honking, and screeching car alarms. Oh well, we wouldn’t be in the hotel room that much anyway, we thought, it’s VEGAS!
Our first night we just hung out in the Strat casino, played some Black Jack, and ate a salad and some scrumptious boneless chicken wings at the Roxy, which is the cutest little diner EVER, probably my favourite part of the Stratosphere. Check it out, their menus are printed like Newspapers!
This captured my heart, obviously. And from one server to another, the service fucking rocked! Our server was cheerful, funny, charming, gave us recommendations, quality checked us, checked on us lots, but not too much that it was annoying, seriously, perfection. Actually, I was impressed with the service at all the restaurants we went to, but hey, Americans know how to tip. So servers really work it there, not like in Australia!
The next day we woke up early and got 5$ breakfast burritos at the little breakfast joint across the street. They were delicious. Then we set off in the hot hot sun to explore the strip. We made our way to Circus Circus, Riviera, the Venetian, the Flamingo, Planet Hollywood etc. And at each place, we gambled a little, and drank a lot. We also stopped at a liquor store along the way and were delighted by the prices. But we soon realized, you don’t even have to go to liquor store, cause they sell liquor everywhere! Connivence stores, gas stations, drug stores, grocery stores, and it is all hella CHEAP! A 40 of vodka is 15 bucks! And the selection is crazy. There are so many more brands and flavours of everything. Coconut this, grape that, cherry rum, pineapple vodka, mango fusion, I got thirsty just looking.
But then we made the greatest discovery of our entire trip. Single Cans of premixed Long Island Iced Tea, 15% alcohol, and Pina Coladas 10% alcohol, both only $3.40 and both taste like Heaven.
I know! right?
So those are pretty much what we drank the whole time in Vegas, other than the free drinks at the casinos, and a couple of margaritas and daiquiris from the Margarita Bar.
Needless to say, our trip was a blur. A beautiful, warm, tingly blur.
We ran around Vegas, sipping, shopping, and playing games, mostly Black Jack and Poker on the Multi-Game and Game King machines, my favourites!
We discovered the BEST Chinese food restaurant on the Strip: P.F. Chang’s Chinese Bistro of Planet Hollywood where she shared lettuce wraps and a coconut vegetarian stir fry that was more than enough for both of us for our lunch and our dinner too!
Our second full day in Vegas was my girlfriend Lyndie’s 32nd birthday, so I took her out somewhere a little nicer for breaky. And again, we were astounded at the GIGANTIC portions. We ordered two breakfasts but afterwards decided for the rest of the trip we should just share one plate per meal because we could barely get through half our plates. I also made the mistake of ordering coffee and baileys without asking the price. Each shot of baileys was 12$ so I ended up spending $30 just on our coffees, whoops! 100% mark up, very clever, or is it 1200% because in the stores you could buy a whole bottle for 12. Meh, I suck at math, but either way we got jipped!
But the breakfast was decent. And the decor was fun.
One of the strangest things in Vegas is all the promoters trying to give you ‘free’ stuff. Free shows, free drink tickets, half price drink and dinner coupons, visa gift cards, and ‘cash money’ if you’ll just sign right here, and here, oh, and here too. After what happened to us in Fiji last year, I definitely had my guard up. Wasn’t going with anyone anywhere or accepting any gifts from anyone. But man oh man, they sure tried.
But just so you know, NOTHING IS FREE! There’s always a catch.
Next time I go to Vegas I want to go to more shows. There are just so many, and we were too busy running around exploring the strip and Faremont Street. We did go to one show though, Cirque du Soleil: Zarkana which was INCREDIBLE. All of the acts were so beautiful and breathtaking and kept us on the edge of our seats. I HIGHLY recommend it. My two favourite acts were the elegant twin aerialists and the mesmerizing sand artist.
Here are a couple pics I got of the sand artwork-in process-
It was amazing how fast they came to life, and then changed into something else.
The acrobatics were phenomenal, and the costumes and sets dazzling and wildly creative.
After the show we wandered back from the Aria, all the way a long the strip, looking for a decent place to eat. We were both a little hangry as we hadn’t eaten anything since lunch and were getting frustrated at the limited options because everything we looked at was hella expensive or Mexican, and don’t get me wrong, I love Mexican food but that wasn’t what we were in the mood for. There are soooo many Mexican restaurants in Vegas! Finally we came across the cutest little strip of restaurants and shops and art right behind the Flamingo.
We even came back the next day just to take pictures of all the wicked art:
The restaurant we decided on didn’t look like anything special from the outside; the menu on the wall seemed okay, but quite limited. But we were AMAZED when we got inside. What was shown on the menu out front was only a tiny portion of the whole menu. There were soooo many options, and better yet, we came on a Monday night which meant half price appys and happy hour drink prices all night long. We had two appetizers and two martinis for under $30. Seriously, if you ever go to Vegas make sure you go to the Yard House. Two appetizers was more than enough for both of us, and the food was exquisite: asian influence, but pretty much had anything and everything you could want on the menu. Pasta, pizza, steak, ribs, sushi, sashimi, squid, rice dishes, noodle dishes, delicious everything. We liked it so much we came back for lunch on our last day.
The best part about our last day in Las Vegas is that we both won money on the Big Wheel. We had tried it briefly the day before at the Riveria and one of the guys playing had said he had one $900 on it last week, but I figured I’d lose too much money on it if I kept playing. But on our last day, I thought what the hell, go big or go home, right?! Well, I didn’t go that big, I was only betting a dollar on each number, sometimes two dollars, which is how i won $100 at Caesar’s palace. You bet on seven different options and then spin the wheel and if it lands on what you predicted, you win! I bet on the joker which pays out one to fifty, and if you always bet on 1 as well, you almost always get your money back. Try it, you’ll see what I mean. We tried our luck on the big wheel at the Flamingo and Lyndsie won $100 too.
When we arrived at the airport at 6 O’Clock we were buzzed and happy to have had such an epic day. We were chatting with everyone, telling everyone in line about our adventures in Vegas, and getting high fives along the way. One of the West Jet employees took a disliking to us right off the bat.
He warned me if I didn’t get Lyndsie ‘sobered up’ by the time our flight was leaving we wouldn’t be able to board the plane. Okay, not a problem. We still had three hours. I bought us a burger, fries, a milkshake, some bugles, some chips, a cliff bar, some reese’s peanut butter cups, and a lot of water. Then our plane was even delayed an hour. So, we hadn’t had any alcohol since leaving the casino at 5PM, so by the time we boarded the plane we were totally fine. But, Mr. douchebag had already spoke to the flight attendant about us. We got on the plane without a problem, but then the flight attendants came over to us and asked us if we had been drinking.
Not since we left the casino FIVE hours ago!
She asked us if we had been drinking in the airport.
She accused us of lying to her, and said we had to get off the aircraft immediately. When we got off the other West Jet attendants said they had already held our bags aside for us, ‘just in case’ and we could go pick them up downstairs because we were not allowed to fly tonight.
They were never going to let us fly. They didn’t even put our luggage on the plane, yet they put us on there, only to take us off again! SOO ANNOYING!
Honestly, I wish they would of just told us before we wasted 5 hours waiting for our plane. We could have been galavanting around Vegas some more, maybe even winning more money. Fortunately we were able to spend our winnings from the day to get a cheap room at the Quad for the night and take a flight out the following day.
I’ve spoken with a few people about it, and they think it sounds quite outrageous. My boss says he and his wife always have a few drinks in the airport, there are pubs in there for Christ’s sake! And many of my friends and colleagues say they’ve boarded many planes and flown while ‘tipsy’ which hasn’t been a problem.
If we were a straight couple, or even just two dudes, we would have been allowed to fly. For sure.
But whatever, we got to stay in Vegas an extra night, so I’m over it.
Can’t wait to go back!!