Maja and I hadn't seen each other since Vancouver, and not really there, but we organised to meet up in Las Vegas. I arrived by bus from San Fran and thought it would be a good idea to walk the mile and a half to the hotel. It was not. Las Vegas is in the desert. As such it is very, very hot. I prefer dry heat but I don't recommend walking in it with a pack on your back and a trundler bag for any extended period!
|Coming from NZ I'm a bit spoiled when it comes to scenery, but "desert wasteland" as a friend described it is new, so I've been mildly interested in all the stunning rainforests but was nose-to-glass on the bus trip to Vegas!|
I got to the hotel, met Maja and checked in. We stayed at the Stratosphere and the first thing we did was head to the pool. Later that night we went out to explore the strip a little and went up wandering through some of the casinos - there really isn't anything like Vegas! We wound up at a club called The Act in the Palazzo hotel. The club gets its name from the somewhat raunchy performances that go on every half hour or so.
|"Do you see the size of this?!"|
|We also got serenaded - everything is themed in Vegas!|
|The namesake of our hotel|
|Of course there are a couple of these along the strip|
|What it is is a gun club on the strip. What we thought it was was a strip club that sold guns. We were very impressed until we worked it out.|
|These adult magazines are just outside the Hilton but you could find them all over the strip.|
While there we saw some lyra, a reversible doll, some flappers from the 20s, and an ode to the Lion King.
We eventually got home about 5 in the morning and fell into bed, sleeping far too late and missing a pool party at Encore's Beach Club.
We went out for a pancake breakfast then came home to nap. Look how tough we are!
Once we committed to being awake we took an elevator up to Lounge 107, which is pretty much what it sounds like - a restaurant/bar 107 stories up!
|Actually the view from our room (18 floors up)|
|Margaritas in the sky!|
|Looking down - also, the cutest couple in Vegas. The floor of the restaurant slowly rotates so you get 360 degree views while you eat. Just be careful while using the restrooms or you'll lose your seat!|
|Oh, and this was possible too from the rides 2 floors up!|
If you got up to the viewing deck on level 109 you could find some thrill rides - the type that involve you being 109 stories up with nothing between you and the drop except your seat... Maja and I weren't game this time!
|Maja's take on Marilyn|
|Dress-wrangling is hard!|
|The guy in pink (centre) was hilarious! At first he did not like where he found himself at all. Then he started getting into it and by the end was scream-laughing!|
|The cast. Claire is the one in purple.|
|The lights of Vegas|
|Colourful drinks - I seem to recall that they were berry mojitos.|
|The Riviera dancing girls|
|Capitalism at its finest "Kick me in the nuts for $20". We asked them why and it turns out they really needed to make rent this month and were taking turns being 'the guy'.|
|Our hotel again. More bright lights.|
|Just outside Caesars - this statue had been prettied up for the Electric Daisy Carnival|
|I have no idea who these guys were but getting photos with people on the street appears to be a Vegas tradition.|
We received some marriage proposals-for-green cards but had to turn them down. Apparently we have limits, even in Vegas!
|Our beautiful 'husbands'.|
A friend of ours, J, had recommended an Italian restaurant Battistas, so that's where we went! Turned out to be a great decision. The food was delicious and far more than we could eat, the bottomless wine was palatable which is better than we'd expected and the staff were friendly.
We also stumbled across Treasure Island's nightly pirate show on the way.
|Sinking ship and abandoning crew|
|This is a show involving a Volcano at... I think the Mirage. I forget which. We didn't stay to watch as we wanted to get to our dinner!|
|Anyone seen the hangover?|
|I repeat - everything in Vegas is themed. This was outside Caesars from memory.|
|Guess which casino this tower belongs to??|
|We finally got to dinner!|
|We were very excited!|
After our feast we followed another recommendation, this time a local girl that Maja had met at Disney, who thought that Chateau in Paris was an underrated club.
|More buskers on the walk|
|That's right - Paris!|
|Our new friends!|
Vegas being the friendly place it is we met some British boys who were in Vegas for a friend's birthday and danced the night away with them.
The next day was our last full day so we sucked it up and made it to a pool party. This meant being presentable and in a taxi by 1.30pm. Don't judge until you know what time we got to bed!
The party was at Venus pool in Caesar's Palace. It was a topless party so we technically weren't allowed photos but I snuck a couple!
We bumped into our British friends and Maja made a new one called Louis who took us out for tea! We went to a Mexican place that had amazing guacamole. I was beginning to get sick but hadn't realised it yet so unfortunately didn't manage to eat much more than the guac. Especially sad as both M and L gave the food great reviews!
|Maja taking out some Game of Thrones frustration.|
Then it was on to check out PURE - a nightclub in Caesar's. We stayed there a little while but I didn't like it particularly so I text a new friend who works at Chateau and all of us headed back over there. This was much better decision and I made a new friend, R. He was in town for his brother's stag do and we danced the night away, popping down to Drais later on - an after hours club also in Paris.
|This is PURE. Unfortunately I was very lazy with my camera that night.|
While relaxing there M suddenly mentioned tattoos - both of us had considered getting them and Vegas seemed the place but we hadn't gotten around to it. Now seemed like the perfect time and we found an artist right inside our hotel!
(She has all the photos of me still, so you only get to see her ordeal!) Though she put up a photo of both our tattoos on her instagram)
|The tidied up version of the tattoo M designed herself!|
|As you can see Maja is incredibly tough and poses with peace signs during tattoos! (I may have not put up the less smiley ones, they're not unbearable but it is still someone intentionally scarring you...)|
What a fitting end to our time in Las Vegas! We each headed out that evening, Maja to fly back to Orlando and me to begin what turned out to be the journey from hell with Greyhound, getting me to Houston 48 hours after I left, following late buses, missed connections and broken aircon.