I left 52 degrees in Chicago in the afternoon. I arrived in Las Vegas to 97 degrees in the evening.
We flew Spirit Airlines out of O’Hare. It’s a no frills airlines. I don’t mind it. The ticket is cheap but then everything else is a charge. Picking a seat. Checking a bag. Or carrying on a bag. There will be a fee with any action. The thing I hadn’t anticipated was no TV screens for movies and no wi-fi. Not even for a charge. It was a nearly four hour flight. And I did it old school…reading my book.
When we arrived in Vegas, we had a couple speed bumps. In baggage claim, my suitcase was MIA. Every suitcase had popped up and spun around the carousel except mine. Everybody had left the area and started their adventure but me. The carousel came to a startling stop. And I realized the sweater I was wearing wasn’t going to get me through the desert weekend. As I was digging for my claim stub to give the Spirit representative, the carousel mysteriously started up again. My sole suitcase was spewed out of the luggage chute. And it came meandering towards my appreciative self.
Speed bump 2 happened when we arrived at the Bellagio. The beautiful, posh Bellagio with its Chihuly decorated lobby ceiling was in technological grid-lock. The computers were down. No one could check in to their room for thirty minutes. I scanned the place wondering if someone was pulling an Oceans 11. No Clooney or Pitt siting. It was just a computer error. The Bellagio comped us $50 in one of their cafes for the inconvenience. It was a classy move by the hotel. We toasted the beginning of our official excursion and took on trip aliases. I am going by Rosie Malone. And my travel companion will be known as Skye Masterson.
Hotels in Vegas are more like a small town than a lodging. Each campus has a plethora of stores, spas, bars, restaurants and casino areas. It’s a hike to just get out of your own hotel. (I’m easily getting over 100,000 steps for my weekly FitBit goal.) Some places like the Bellagio even have moving sidewalks to get you closer to the exit. Outdoor escalators take people to the pedestrian bridges that connect hotels to each other on The Strip. The main street in Vegas is a blinking, gawking, monstrosity. No one person would ever construct this hodge-podge cityscape. Each hotel area is trying to be bigger, better and more noticeable than their neighbor. We are staying at the swanky Bellagio. It’s known for its famous fountains: IMG_1996 . Every fifteen minutes, tourists are treated to a choreographed, musical water dance. It is super cool! People were lined up to see the show.
And speaking of people….there are people everywhere. Every nationality is represented. There are gaggles of gals having a girls-gone-wild weekend. And drunk young guys whooping it up trying to recreate a “Hangover” memory. Old ladies are perched at slot machines. Drinks are free …if you’re gambling. And you can smoke inside. We even saw some showgirls, an Elvis impersonator and Hello Kitty plushy posing for pictures on The Strip. Every place, indoors and outdoors, is a sea of people. Along with the neon lights, clanging slots, cigar smoke, and free alcohol, the experience is a sensory overload spectacle.
I gambled away my Thursday allotment in twenty minutes. Then I gambled away Skye’s money. A lady never tells but EGADS! We are playing slots and I being a novice didn’t realize there is a touch screen aspect to the slot machine. So, I not only lost an obscene amount of money, I did it stupidly. I might have won if I played correctly. On a happy note, Skye accidentally sat down to a $50 slot machine and hit it. Skye won $750. I like to pretend I lost some of that ‘borrowed‘ Vegas money.
And I’m learning the Vegas way. I’ve only been to Vegas once before. So, Skye is helping me to acclimate to the unfamiliar. I’m learning from a pro.
As Skye says…
When I couldn’t figure out the credit to cash conversion on the penny slots: “The math don’t come easy when you’re drinking.”
And when a server was complaining to me that I ordered drinks from the wrong server for this section: “I’m on vacation keep your HR problems to yourself.”
Viva Las Vegas!