Are you still with me?! Shortly after I posted my last blog, we arrived at the Hoover Dam. It was $10.00 to park our car, but we didn’t need to pay for anything more. There were tours available, but we chose to just explore on our own. I could feel the energy produced from the dam throughout my whole body. It was an incredible display of the power of science and engineering. It was quite touristy, but what do you expect? Gina took about 15 minutes to herself to find a quiet spot to meditate as the energy she felt from the dam was something she wanted to embrace. When I found her later, she was still in the midst of her meditation. I snapped a few photographs ever so quietly as to not disturb her. She expressed how fresh and rejuvenated she felt after taking that time to meditate. If that is something you are interested in, don’t be embarrassed to try it at the dam! Gina found a quiet spot with very minimal foot traffic, and no one bothered her. P.S. Just remember…when you visit the dam, you’re ON TOP of the dam!
Oh, yeah! You know what’s next. It’s Vegas! As we rolled into town, Gina booked us all last minute rooms for quite a decent price about two blocks off of the strip. We checked in at the Wild Wild West Days Inn Hotel/Casino on West Tropicana Avenue at about 2:30 P.M. We all put our feet up for about 20 minutes or so and then got all danced up to walk the strip. It took us under 5 minutes to hit the main drag, and my immediate impression of Vegas was pure amazement. I typically don’t get very excited about hanging out in a city (I’d rather be out in nature), but Las Vegas stole my heart for the night. We chose to eat at a restaurant right on the end of the strip next to the huge Hershey Chocolate store (really, what in Las Vegas isn’t huge?). Oh, and don’t fret; we came back to the Hershey store later! The restaurant we ate at was called Nine Fine Irishmen. We made it just before happy hour ended (seriously, like 7 minutes to spare), and half of us quickly ordered a few honorary Jameson whiskey shots. I ordered the Horseradish Crusted Mahi Mahi, and it wasn’t half bad. Everyone else seemed to enjoy their food, but if the restaurant was that price anywhere but on the Vegas strip, then I probably would not have an itching desire to return. However, everything in Vegas is four times the price it should be, so I really don’t have any valid complaints.
By the time we finished eating, the sun was saying its final farewells, and the lights of Las Vegas were approaching full bloom. My eyes were very excited by all of the stimulation. Again, I typically choose more introverted activities, but, at that time, I was ramped up for Vegas. We walked the entire strip and visited the Bellagio and Caesar’s Palace.
Gina and I both threw $20.00 each in some gambling machines, and, surprise-surprise, lost it all. Juice tried her hand at a black jack table for her first time gambling. EVER. She won her first hand, hitting 21 exactly. We were all pretty pumped up because we believed we had a beginner’s luck baller in our midst! The dealer threw out the second round. Juice hit. And she hit. And she hit. AND THEN! She lost. Well, that’s Vegas for ya! We continued our walk down the strip until we made it back to our starting point. We sauntered into the MGM to throw some more money away. I put a few bucks in a Quick Hit machine at MGM, and Gina threw a few in a Wheel of Fortune machine. Thankfully, our machines were really hitting! She and I both were up on our luck and excited to be alive. That was until we realized we were merely winning back the money we already blew…hmm. In the end, we pretty much broke even. Well, shoot, that’s still winning to us!
As the rest of the group walked back to the hotel, Gina and I decided we needed to satisfy our sweet tooth. We popped into the Hershey store as they boasted to have THE BEST milkshake. Well, it sure looked pretty! The chocolate was drizzled in perfect layers with spiraling whipped cream and a little Hershey’s kiss on top. Unfortunately, the flavor of the shake was average at best. Gina got some brittle (an astronomical price for it), and she wasn’t very impressed by her snack either. Boo. We then hailed a cab back to our hotel. As soon as I hit the pillow, I zonked out, only to wake up within minutes because I dreamt that I stepped off of the Grand Canyon! YIKES. The rest of the night was pretty restful for myself as I took advantage of some much needed sleep! Gina, however, didn’t sleep very well because it was quite noisy being so close to the highway. The Wild Wild West Days Inn isn’t the perfect place for a light sleeper. Gina and I had breakfast at Denny’s, and then we blew a few more bucks in the hotel casino before returning to our room.
All in all, we left Vegas poorer… but not as poor as anticipated! So…Woohoo! We spent well under our gambling budget yet still had a great time. I will absolutely be back to Las Vegas! Next time, I’d love to catch a show, maybe Cirque Du Solei! We are now on the road again, westbound to Los Angeles, California! I can’t wait to get the Pacific Ocean! This will officially be the furthest west I have ever been! Are you still with me?
*I recommend booking a hotel right on the strip of Las Vegas for the full experience. Though I believe every hotel has its own casino, don’t limit yourself. Keep any cash or valuables in your front pocket (we feel we nearly got pick-pocketed while walking). Most importantly, keep a gambling budget for yourself, and know when to quit! Finally, yes… There are many homeless people, but don’t be a dick. Most homeless people are just that…HOMELESS! If you have any left overs that you don’t wish to carry around or take back to your room, box it up and find someone who may really be struggling to find their next meal. Gina did just that, and the young man was so grateful. He packed up his sign and left immediately. This led me to believe he truly needed a meal and was not just scamming people for money! Be kind to your fellow human being.