"I can go the distance," said Herc.

"I can go the distance," said Herc.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

What Can Poor Mormon College Students Do In Vegas?

So I've completely failed on my summer resolution to write a post every week. And learn a song on the guitar every week. And read a book every week. However, I have been reading. And, I practice my guitar a lot. Sorry, dear blog. You are neglected like always.

Here's some pictures my random trip to Vegas last week!

It started out, as everything should, at WinCo. This is Doug, Tim and Mason's garden gnome. They've got quite the collection of pictures 
of him tagging along to all their adventures. Isn't he cute?
After six hours of driving, a stop in St George, and enduring an annoying Del Sol employee who wouldn't stop hitting on Amber, we made it to Arizona! ...And two more hours to go. Sigh.
First view of Vegas. I've only ever driven by it in the daytime, so this was a very striking view. We crested the hill and suddenly- bam! Out of a barren desert sprang the colorful lights of Sin City. And Sin City it is...
Above is three of the silly folks who made the journey with us. Amber, Tim, and Mason. We stopped at the Ethel M. Chocolate Factory and Cactus Garden first. The cacti were... cool. Alien-like. The chocolate factory was not as exciting as I'd hoped. I suppose I was picturing more Willie Wonka. Instead of giant vats with open tops revealing gallons of bubbling chocolate, we only got to see the workers pressing dipped granola bars into trays. Still, it was neat, and the gift shop was delectable.
The only slot machine Erika got to play. She is just shy of 21.
Giant pineapple! Okay, it was just a palm tree. But you see the resemblance, right?
The Vegas temple is situated on the farthest end of the city possible, with the Angel Moroni facing east- and away from the city.
After much driving around, we finally found the Welcome to Las Vegas sign. Here we came upon the first of many people who offer "free" services to tourists, and then demand a tip afterwards. It should have been our lesson that nothing comes for free, but we didn't learn it until we were outside the Hard Rock Cafe- where we splurged and had dinner. Of course, we didn't order alcohol. Two of us were under 21 and besides that we are for the most part good Mormon kids. It was rather amusing when the waitress stopped in the middle of asking us what we wanted to drink and just said, "Water, water, water, water, water?" -pointing at each of us. We nodded. "Ok, kids," she said. Everyone there called us "kids" for the rest of the night. It's all cool.
Mason was so excited to see two Autobots from Transformers hanging out on the sidewalk. We also saw Michael Jackson working a street corner, Dora the Explorer, Elmo, the Count, loads of showgirls, and other famous figures I didn't recognize. (But no Elvis. I was very disappointed.) Well, Mason was excited because he was wearing his Transformers T-shirt. So of course he wanted a picture with them. It wasn't until after that they kind of held onto him before he forked over a dollar. They were like, "That's all you got?" -but they finally let him go. I was worried we were going to have to run from Autobots. Never upset Bumblebee. 
Oh, and a piece of advice. Don't look at the ground and don't take any free flyers or newspapers. It's not what you want to see.
(cough, cough) We had fun trying to convince Tim's mom that he and Amber got married in Vegas. They even posted they were married on Facebook the next morning. Sadly, she didn't believe it.
OK, I am posting this because of a tweet I sent out. Doesn't Trump Tower look like a giant legal pad to you?
So Vegas is really opulent. I mean, really. The casinos themselves are works of art. There's the New York skyline jammed together as one building, a smaller version of the Eiffel Tower, the Statue of Liberty, Caesar's Palace decked out in full Roman complete with a mini Colosseum.... etc. Well, we headed inside Caesar's Palace to look around... and ended up on the 67th floor. You could tell the suites were way nice because there were only half as many doors as our little hotel in Henderson, signifying that these rooms were twice as large. There were all these Classical murals and paintings, too. The picture above is of Erika's reflection in the window looking out at the city. (And the ghost of the Blue Lady still haunts the 67th floor to this day... mwa, ha.) 
I'll confess something here. I have a thing for stealing from hotels. It's like souvenir collecting. There was a maid's cart in the hallway at Caesar's Palace, and I couldn't help casually walking by it... I can't wait try my new soap. It looks like waaaay better quality than the soap at our hotel. Just sayin'.

And then we scurried back to the elevator. It was then that I decided I do not like riding in small boxes attached to cables to very great heights. The thought of what the drop would be like was disturbing. I almost suggested we find the stairs. I was also feeling a little anxious because of the, um, box now in my back pocket. Was security on its way to catch us? What do they really do to you in Vegas? I've seen the movie 21- I know how ruthless those security guys are.
And then the car stopped on floor 50-something and a young man in a suit got on. He was rather quiet. Tim tried making small talk with him as the car slowly headed down:
Tim: "You here for the weekend?"
Man: "No I've been here two weeks."
Tim: "Oh. How is it?"
Man: "Great, the poker tables have been treating me well."
Tim: "Oh, well, that's good."
Man: "Yeah, but I've got to dress up for tonight, being Friday and all."
And then the elevator stalled on floor 53. We stared at the doors, waiting for them to open. They weren't. The guy cursed (and promptly apologized cause he probably thought we were high schoolers messing around) and said it must be a wheelchair. I don't remember his excuse, just that he was talking big to try and look important. It was obviously a show. He didn't know what he was doing at all.
The doors opened... and no one was there. Creepy.
We finally made it down, and the guy went the wrong way to the tables. A security guard was kind enough to point him in the right direction. 2 weeks, huh? It's a shame you haven't figured out where everything is yet.
The Bellagio fountain is amazing! They play music and a choreographed water and light show every fifteen minutes from 8 p.m. to midnight. There was a spare goblet sitting in the edge of the railing, so I thought it would be
 fun to shoot pictures through it. I love how everything is just a little distorted in the glass. 
We cruised down the strip to Circus Circus in Amber's car, blasting Ke$ha. Somehow the song "Blow" became the theme song of the trip. Everyone was randomly saying "Throw some glitter make it rain" and "Go insane, go insane" at various points.
Overall, a fun trip. No, we did not get wasted, or gamble all our money away (Though I confess to playing the slot machine. Losing money like that completely cured me of any future desire to gamble. What a waste! I want my $2 back.). None of us got married, though we tried to convince people otherwise. We didn't go to any shows because we are poor college students and watching overly make-upped women parade around while taking their clothes off held no allure. 
I do want to go back and see Phantom someday, though I think I will fly. 

What can poor Mormon college students do in Vegas? Sight see. Visit the gorgeous temple. Explore the casinos and see where you can go before they'll kick you out, eat at Hard Rock Cafe, explore M&M world, watch the fountain at the Bellagio, see the acts at Circus Circus, try not upset Autobots when they demand money, and try to convince people that you got married by Elvis. Believe me, it will be a fun trip. Not rewarding in the same way as others who go to Vegas, but still a good, hangover-free time.