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Day Two and Three – Florida Vegas and San Fran 2016

Where has the last few days gone? Where has all my money gone? Where has every last bit of energy I ever had gone? I’ll tell you where, Las bloody Vegas.

I’m sure many of you have been to Sin City, and I don’t need to go into describing what this place is like, but everything you have heard is true. It’s massive, it takes about an hour to leave your hotel (if you get a move on), you can gamble at every opportunity – they’ve even got slot machines on buses and in taxis, and it’s as cheap or as expensive as you like. “Oh there he goes again, on about money the tight fisted twot”. Well you won’t have to listen to it much longer cause I’ve got non f**ing left!

Back to the blog, and as mentioned in yesterday’s instalment, we were up before the sun went down. It was an early start and was the hottest day so far at a whopping 90*. The view out of our room stretches for miles right over to the mountains that surround this place. And yet, everything here is within easy reach, you’ve just got to have a plan. We decided to meet up with Andy and Gareth Hogan-Hughes for breakfast. I used to work with Andy, and as coincidence dictated they’d booked their trip at the same time as us…same place, same plane, same day, and as both Andy and Gaz have been here before, they have a bit of prior knowledge of this place. We went Mexican for breakfast….

Breakfast here can be a $50 buffet, or can be a McMuffin, so we went middle of the road, and decided on the $5 dollar Mexican option, which included your choice of eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes and tortilla pancakes. Also included was unlimited coffee and 99c bloody Mary’s. Eight in the morning and I’m drinking bloody alcohol. “I’m on me holidays”. That old chestnut. Anyway……the food. Very nice, tasty, and reasonable.

“Does anyone else’s tortilla wraps taste chewy?” She asked. I looked over. Now, the plate of food comes with two tortilla wraps, that are on the side of the plate and wrapped in a piece of grease proof baking paper. Half of Nikki’s paper was gone and she held the other half in her hand, frantically chewing on her newly discovered favourite snack. Yep, she’d eaten the paper. Not only that, but she’d seasoned it and covered it in ketchup.

On with the day, and it was a moochy day for the most part, walking around a few shops, relaxing and waiting for my friend and fellow retiree Paul to fly in, with his lovely girlfriend Laura. Hang on, that sounds a bit shit. I’ll change that. Paul, and his long term partner, Mother to Eva, and organiser of a trip a year in the planning, Laura. And on the subject of explanations, Andy and Gaz are married. (If you’re reading this in Stoke, this is for you: “Onner being whatsit right, but two blokes an that….married? Wharreetisright, basically, some of my best mates are whatsit, so dunner start me”).

Back to Paul and Laura, who are, basically, married, but not. If he proposes one more time (fifteen times at the last count) he gets a set of steak knives, and I for one can’t wait. Paul and Laura have also been party to a surprise arranged by friends of theirs, Dave and Sarah, where Sarah has arranged this trip for Daves 50th birthday. So, and I hope you’re keeping up, that’s now 8 of us on this intimate trip. There’s surprises in every camp, with trips arranged that people don’t know about, secret wedding ceremonies, meals and cocktails, upgrades, and cocktails. I for one have no idea what’s going on anymore….

We went up the Stratosphere, which is the tallest observation tower in Las Vegas, and for some reason people pay to throw themselves off there. Worlds gone mad……think I’ll start selling tortillas made from old copies of the News of the World, I’m sure there’ll be someone who’ll buy them…..

From there onto a zipwire at Las Vegas’ old town, known as Freemont Street. This is as fascinating and as tacky as you can imagine. It’s also quite brilliant. Imagine a street promenade like Blackpool on acid, with shops and bars all under the canopy of a massive display screen showing triply videos. To my left is a man dressed as Iron Man, having his photo taken with girls on hen trips, and to my right is a naked man playing a guitar, with a sign on the floor that says, “Rock out with my cock out”. His tips cup is quite full….

Not as full, however, as the vagrant begging for his next meal, with a sign exclaiming that he is homeless, and has not eaten since March. Let’s call him Doug. There are people all over the place tugging at your wallet strings asking for money. They may be street musicians, or just an Elvis look a like, but there’s a few homeless and hungry cherubs too. For the tourist with dollar bills in his pocket, anxious to give money away, Your choice is astounding. Doug however, had a plan. His sign was not making him stick out from the crowd. He was homeless and hungry…so what? If I give you a dollar I can’t play on that fruit machine with a chance to win $40 million. Doug changed his policy. Given two minutes and a marker pen, Doug changed his sign to simply read, “Fuck you”. To say it was his Alan Sugar moment was an understatement. Within seconds his cup was full, and he had a queue of people wanting photos with him. Everyone was happy. Everyone except Batman. Batman saw that Doug was taking business from his Gotham based enterprise, and called security. Yes, Batman called security. Security duly arrived, and ushered Doug to the side, where, together with Deadpool, Fat Batgirl and Elvis, they discussed the obscene publication being displayed by Doug. After a short discussion, Batman gave Doug a fist bump, and Doug moved on. All this excitement moved my bladder, and so I had to go for a pee. I chose the casino used by U2 in that video, and unfortunately, I got lost. Yep, went for a pee, didn’t leave crumbs, and lost my way. I had to ask security for the way out. “‘Scuse Me mate, I’m lost, can you tell me where the exit is to Freemont Street?”. “Sure buddy…..you see that guy with a sign round his neck that says Fuck You….”

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