Vegas: Featuring Albert the balloon hat
January 1, 1970
by Megan Mchamilton
As we flew over the dazzling city in the dessert our eyes glistened with excitement as we crammed our faces so hard against the window our noses turned up like little piggies. I’ve always been a sucker for pretty light displays, and Vegas does it like no where else. You get so happy to be there and it most definitely does not disappoint. From the casinos to the shows to the shopping. It is AMAZING!
We started our Vegas journey by arriving at our chosen hotel ‘The Monte Carlo Resort’ and it really was great value for money. With four girls travelling, sharing two MAHOOSIVE double beds with our private bathroom and view over the city, it was definitely a steal. Rumour has it that the hotel rooms are not as expensive as you think because they know they will make up the extra dollar when you throw on your fancy pants and head down to the casino. Either way, it was a big step up for us after staying in smelly overcrowded dorm rooms for the most part of our American adventure.
The strip itself is way larger than I envisaged. I thought you could just strut up and down the street, popping into casinos as you flow along with everything quite close together. This is not the case, it is made up of huge sidewalks and big bridges to get from one side to the other. The shear scale of the place was a lot bigger than any of us had thought. Looking on the map ‘The Monte Carlo Resort’ is towards the end of the strip and so we assumed close to the ‘Welcome to Las Vegas’ sign. We decided to walk…five cigarette breaks, one heart attack and a bit of jaywalking later we made it! Take my advice…get a taxi!
Thou shalt skydive
From a personal view, one of the most amazing things to do in Vegas is skydive. Due to limited funds as travellers do, we had to choose between a skydive and seeing the Grand Canyon. We picked the obvious…lets throw ourselves out of a plane, with the intention we will be back to see the Grand Canyon and all its beauty another time.
And what a choice we made. Looking out over the dessert landscape, wind blowing in your hair and then, suddenly, your falling…rapidly towards the ground, heart racing and underwear checking to make sure you haven’t had an accident! But it is ok, the parachute opens and your gliding through panoramic views in all its serenity.
Note: If you do decide to skydive, do not scream and shout when free falling as this results in the accumulation of saliva that is not just all over you but your poor instructor gets the splash-back too!
One of the best parts of this experience is that afterwards you always have that great story to tell
“So this one time, I jumped out of a plane in Vegas…”
How good does that sound? Definitely a must!
The abundance of shows
From music to comedians to dance, it is unbelievable the amount of entertainment on offer.
Even if you are just strolling down the street there are free shows happening all over the place that you can stop by and be amazed. The water fountain show outside the Bellagio is out of this world.
On our trip we decided that a comedian show was the way forward. Like the last minute ladies we are and booking on the night, a lot of shows were sold out or way out of our price range. Vegas is a place to be spontaneous, but in the case of shows and such, I am guessing it is a good idea to research before you go and make sure you have enough money.
We ended up getting tickets that led us to ‘Tropicana’ which when walking into, reminded me of what I imagine to be a 1970s gansters heaven would look like. Very white and very retro, living in a “gangsters paradise” one may say. We seemed to be the only ones attending the show under 50 (I was 23 at the time) but this just made for a fun experience. We were given seats at the front and proved to be the butt of all the comedians jokes for being the youngest, but we gave back as much as we got.
Afterwards we ended up back in our hotel getting reeled in by the offer of $20 entry into the hotel club for all you can drink. Do not think this is a good idea as we ended up in a tiny, box of room with loud music and after two drinks felt a bit ‘woozy’. We were definitely happier on the casino floor taking in all the atmosphere that Vegas is known for…gambling.
One night when playing on the one dollar machines (big spender, I know) I decided a bathroom break was in order and on my way in I noticed a woman getting changed. When I came of the toilet I was quick to realise she was a lady of the night and then as I washed my hands we made eye contact and started talking. After hearing her life story, she decided she wanted to do my hair and make up, and boy did she, I went in the bathroom looking a bit worse for wear and came out looking fabulous! Hair curled, eye liner on, the girls couldn’t believe it. Thanks Cindy (if that is your real name) you will always have a special place in my heart.
Weird and the wonderful
It is a place where you get drawn in by everything and all sorts of wonderful things happen. For example, your walking down the street and your friend near on faints because she thinks she has just seen the actual real life Johnny Depp when it is just a look-a-like dressed as Jack Sparrow. Or on the other hand, a man puts a balloon hat on your head of two dogs ‘doing the deed’, so you pop one of them to make the ultimate dog headwear. You name it Albert and insist on wearing it in all of the casinos as a good luck charm (even in fancy restaurants).
It is not a case of “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas”…it is “What happens in Vegas stays with You Forever!” So many happy memories. What a great time.