We arrived in Vegas before the sun set and drove a little way down the Strip before checking in to our "hostel". Some of the hotels really pull out all of the stops and create a mini town, for example hotel New York New York has a mini Empire State Building, Chrysler Building, Brooklyn Bridge and Statue of Liberty whereas Paris had an Eiffel tower and an Arc de Triomphe. Straight away you instantly realise that the Americans don't do anything by half measures!
As it is our anniversary on Thursday (together for five years and married for five months) we decided to bypass pressies this year and treat ourselves to a room at The Bellagio. As someone who has worked far too hard in the hotel industry for two years I was in seventh heaven and when we eventually entered our room I threw down my bags and ran around squealing at all the features of this famous hotel. The bathroom was bigger than most of the hostel bedrooms we've stayed in and the window drapes were operated electronically.
We had a very quiet couple of days due to the exhausted states we were in having driven 1400 miles in six days, which really surpassed any of our road trips at home. So we took it very easy. Tuesday evening we had a couple of drinks in the casino bar before dinner. We ate in one of the hotel's restaurant, which was very reasonable considering the location. You could get a decent main meal for less than 20$ (minus tax and tip of course) which is what you would expect to pay in a restaurant of similar caliber at home. Afterwards we took our drinks outside and watched the fabulously famous Fountains of Bellagio, which is a show itself. What you can do with water, light and music is incredible and you could easily find a spot and spend a happy hour watching the shows, which are every 15 minutes in the evening and 30 minutes during the day. Afterwards we had a little explore and went next door into Caesars Palace. We were quite smug because it wasn't nearly as nice or grand as the Bellagio.
Before we retired for the night we had a walk through the huge casino. In Las Vegas smoking is allowed in the casino but no where else in the hotels. It doesn't make much sense to me as the casino was located in the centre of the building with no ventilation near by so all the smoke just spreads outwards. We watched people play blackjack and poker but as we were both quite tired we decided we would save the gambling until the next night.
The following day we spent catching up with our family on skype before hitting the pool for a couple of hours and soaking up the sun in preparation for Hawaii, which was now less than a week away. We had a very late dinner and then we entertained ourselves in the Casino for a couple of hours and we both plucked up the courage to spend some money, albeit on the Wheel of Fortune. I started off quite well making a 50% profit on my 20$ but then frittered it away. Dan got very lucky placing a bet on one of the higher numbers which came in so he walked away with an extra 15$ and we called it quits.
On Thursday morning we reluctantly checked out of our fabulous hotel room and put our belongings into the car. We decided to make the most of the hotel and spent a couple of hours by the pool again relaxing before commencing the final leg of our road trip. The sun disappeared behind nasty looking storm clouds so we got changed and sadly said goodbye to Las Vegas.
Dan drove to Los Angeles and had the misfortune to drive through the most horrendous storm we had both ever been caught in. The wind was so strong Dan felt like he had done ten rounds with Mike Tyson by the time the storm had passed just trying to keep the car on the road. The wipers were on full but couldn't shift the rain fast enough. We went as slowly as we deemed safe but we were in danger of being hit by idiots going excessively fast who might not have been able to see us because of the spray. It was terrifying but after about 20 minutes the worst of the weather had passed and we continued the drive to LA.
I can understand why people flock to Vegas now. Before I didn't know what the attraction was but now I've been I can see why a lot of people go. Vegas can cater for almost everybody. Obviously there is the gambling and nightlife scene for party goers but it is also a shopper's haven with all the big brand names, from designers to Levis and Abercrombie & Fitch. Sunworshippers can soak up the rays by the poolside as almost all the hotels have them and there is an awful lot to do, there are shows in the hotels every night, there are amusement parks, street entertainers and much more to keep you entertained and for those of you who like the outdoors the Arizona / Nevada desert is right outside your door begging to be explored.