To Vegas and beyond! For me traveling to Vegas is what I would imagine space travel to be like, at least in the movies. I felt like I had landed in a scene of Guardians of The Galaxy and I was almost certain we had traveled to Mars rather than the desert. On a daily basis Vegas harbors a vast array of all sorts of characters. Granted, there are a lot of places that I have not seen in this world but I cannot imagine any destination is going to house such a weird and diverse crowd.
I’m sure to some, strippers standing on the corner wearing nothing more than a g-string and pasties would be far-out enough, but for me I found some of my fellow travelers to be even more peculiar. A man whose entire face was covered in piercings for example-I actually stopped and contemplated what would bring someone to such a decision. A tall skinny young woman walking around in black leather lingerie that crossed over her abdomen to barely cover both her breasts and then crossed her body again to cover her private pieces wearing a collar and leash to match that lead to the hand of a man dressed in long black pants and a long sleeve black shirt with long black curly hair and glasses, of course people are allowed to participate in any manner of behavior they wish in private but who on earth would be brave enough to let their freaky side wander the streets of Las Vegas? Then again, it’s Vegas where just about anything goes.
There is an abundance of people walking in a hunched manner with a fast pace mumbling utter nonsense, although that could have been the same guy walking in circles around me. At night the streets come alive with people dressed in costumes; Spiderman, Minions, Bumble-Bee, Optimus-Prime, Hello Kitty, Band members of Kiss, Michael Jackson, Ninja Turtles and Olaf and Anna, just to name a few. All of which become suddenly camera-shy when you don’t first offer them money for their picture. The walkways are lined with people who put on their most pathetic faces, holding signs that say various things including, “will work for marijuana” “looking for love” “$1 for water” “need money” “anything helps”.
In Vegas, everyone is a performer. I even questioned the authenticity of the French accent of our server at The Eiffel Tower Restaurant at The Paris. The cab drivers exude charm and pleasantries in hopes of getting a bigger tip from you. The cocktail waitresses in the casinos are almost as old as my grandmother but they walk around in a tiny bustier and fish net stockings, covered in makeup with boobs as fake as Sasquatch. Bartenders and sales clerks shower you with compliments; again simply to get more money out of you.
Vegas architects are genius’, designing walkways that lead you from one hotel to the next to keep foot traffic off the street and back into the money sucking machine, herding you like cattle. I’ve been to Vegas more than once and I have to say I was disappointed at how much it has changed. It use to be a great place to travel for a long weekend because it was affordable, but now they will gouge you for every last dime you have.
A simple cocktail will cost you about $16 on average unless you are sitting at the slot machines for hours on end. And let’s be honest how much did that “free” beer cost you? How much money did you lose to the machine in relation to just sitting by the pool paying for your drinks? If you did the math I would say the money coming out of your pocket is nearly the same for either scenario.
Resort fees totaled about $90 for four days but I’m not sure what you get for that money. Some of the hotels allow the general public to use the pools without paying an entry fee even though individuals staying at the hotel already paid the “resort fee”. The Flamingo has an adults only pool and they check everyone’s ID but hotel guests wait in the same line as the general public so I personally saw no perk to paying the resort fee.
The hotel will charge you an additional fee if you’d like a coffee pot in your room or a refrigerator. They charge you for lockers if you want to store your belongings at the pool. They charge about $700 for cabana rentals at the pool, they do have loungers available for no additional cost as well as towels but you are not allowed to hold chairs by leaving your things on them and again the general public is allowed the same access to both chairs and towels as hotel guests without paying for either. You can pay abhorrent amounts of money for your drinks and they charge you extra for the cup.
The list of hidden fees goes on and on. The last vacation I took was a Carnival Cruise to the Western Caribbean and in comparison I have to say I didn’t leave the ship feeling like I had been cheated at all. They were upfront about every last penny an individual would be charged. They told you there would be a charge for automatic gratuity. They didn’t charge you extra for every little thing and I came home with money in my pocket, unlike Vegas.
If you have the money to blow there is a lot of fun to be had in Las Vegas. And don’t get me wrong, I had a great time but make sure you pay close attention to what you get for your money when you’re booking a hotel because they will take advantage of you if you’re not careful.
We stayed at The Flamingo Hotel and Casino and it is one of the older hotels so the elevators are a total joke, they have a lot of glitches and I personally was a little nervous every time I stepped onto one. The rooms were nice, the floors weren’t carpeted which I preferred and they had these huge floor-to-ceiling windows that let in great light. The beds were as comfortable as a dream. They currently are remodeling so the bathrooms in some of the rooms are still in need of repairs but overall I thought the hotel was nice. The Flamingo also has a $25 all you can eat breakfast buffet, I know that seems like a lot but they offer an “endless supply” of Bloody Mary’s and Mimosas. The location of The Flamingo is ideal.
It is in the middle of the strip but a huge perk was that it was connected to the Linq Promenade which is privately owned by the hotel so there are no solicitors or people loitering. The shopping there is kind of cool with all these quirky little boutiques and a handful of bars and restaurants. At the end of the street sits The High Roller which at 550ft is the tallest ferris-wheel in the world. I’d recommend it, the view is incredible. We went during the day and I would imagine it’s stunning at night but it will cost you more.
Caesar’s Palace is across the street from The Flamingo and we did a little “shopping” in The Forum Shops. Unless you plan on dropping thousands of dollars on a new Louis Vuitton The Forum Shops are in a league of their own. The building is full of beautiful sculptures and designers, designers, designers. It is a little intimidating to be surrounded by such glamour.
At the Aria we saw Zarkana by Cirque Du Soleil which takes place in an abandoned theater where a band of bizarre and quirky characters bring the circus back to life. It is chaotic, fantastical, breathtaking, impressive and magical and I loved every minute of it. If you are in Vegas go see it.
Las Vegas is a great place to soak up some culture. I have already told you how diverse it is but there is entertainment for people of all ages. I think that getting to Vegas is cheap but once you get there you are going to need a good chunk of change. I am sure there are plenty of ways to save money if you’re smart about it. But personally, I didn’t want to do the research.
Vegas is crowded, it’s overpriced, it’s hot, it stinks and no one in their right mind would want to travel there. It is the city in which total weirdos flock to for a good time, which quite honestly is why we were there. Distraction is supplied in abundance. The liquor will never run out. The food is delectable, in most places, choose wisely. The pools are refreshing but not relaxing, party central. The music is loud. The lights are stunning. There is no way that any type of anyone from anywhere in the world could possibly be out of place in Vegas. After all in Las Vegas, Nevada….anything goes.