This past weekend (June 5-8) I went to Las Vegas with my dad and sister. I had never really had any interest in visiting Vegas. To me, Vegas is a fantasy land; people go there to escape their lives for a while. I had already spent a year living in fantasy while I was in Japan and had no intention of returning to another one. But, my sister suggested we go and I had no other idea of where we can go that’s central to all three and would have stuff to do. I was nervous about going because I don’t like being around big crowds of people and I especially don’t like it when those people are very drunk. I apparently forgot that I would most likely be drunk myself the entire time.
When we decided that Vegas was the place to go, I started looking into things to do. Other than shows, gambling, hookers and blow, I didn’t really know what there was to do. I didn’t see myself being happy with gambling all day long, even while drunk. Over the years I have learned that drunk Steffy is even more frugal than sober Steffy and I knew she would be looking out for me. I started looking up things to do because I have nothing better to do with my time. I looked at shows but they all were expensive and as neat as it would be so see a Cirque du Soleil in Vegas, it just seemed like too much money for something that I probably wouldn’t remember because alcohol. So, I went deeper into the interwebs and came up with tours. I like tours. They make my happy but these tours were all really expensive and incredibly long. The tours that looked most interesting were the Grand Canyon and the Hoover Dam but I really had no interest in going on a 8-12 hour tour. And neither did my sister or dad. So, with those tours out, I went even further into the webz. What I came out with was what I thought a joke. I saw that there were many shooting ranges that had packages for all different guns. They even had children’s packages! So, to be silly, I suggested this to Jenny and dad and to my surprise, they jumped on it. So, after going back and forth on the different packages they offered (dad said absolutely not to the Femme Fatale) we decided on the World War packages which had a 1911, a Tommy gun and an AK-47. My only thought after buying the package was What. The Fuck.
Now on to what I remember of the weekend.
We stayed at the Paris. It was what I expected from a hotel in Vegas. It was nice with a small layer of crud and smelled of smoke, stale alcohol and despair. But it made for pretty pictures on the outside.
I arrived a couple hours before my dad and decided to wait at the airport instead of heading to the hotel since we wouldn’t be able to check in anyways. After we met up and got the the hotel, we decided to have a drink at a little bar in the hotel that he would end up going to a few times that weekend. While enjoying the first of many Manhattans, I saw a sports coverage of horses and remembered that the Belmont race was the next day and that American Pharoah was going for the triple crown. This is something that hasn’t happened since 1978 and while I didn’t think he wold win, I was something fun to watch. We decided to put $60 ($20 each) on him to win. For me, $20 was a reasonable amount to throw in the garbage because I assumed he would lose.
After we bought the tickes and checked out the slots a bit it was time to meet Jenny. After our many hugs and excited squeals we dropped our luggage off and went to have a drink while we decided on what to have for dinner. We decided on the Gordon Ramsay restaurant that was in out hotel. We were all apprehensive about the quality of food being worth the price, as we assumed we would be mostly paying for the name. Were we ever wrong! The food was so good, probably the best food I have ever had, and I have had some very good food.
After dinner we dropped our leftovers at our room (they were huge portions because ‘Murica) and went to play some slots.
Saturday we woke up Pretty early (around 7:30 or 8). I woke up at 5:30 because I was still on Michigan time. This continued to be a trend throughout the entire weekend for me. Stupid Michigan. Around 8:30 dad called us from his room and we went down for breakfast at this little cafe in the casino. I got a small fruit plate that wasn’t small at all. I had to take it home and add it to our little fridge already full of leftovers.
We decided to walk around the other casinos to see what they’re like to kill some time before the big race at 3:50. As it turns out, time moves rather slowly in Vegas. I don’t know if it’s near a black hole or what but we would wander around and look at lots and it felt like we were doing a lot but only 30 minutes had passed. It was strange.
We checked out Caesars, Bally’s and the Bellagio.
Dad wanted to go to the Bellagio for the seafood buffet for dinner that night so because I am me, I wanted to go find where we were going so I could get back there later that night. We also went into the botanical garden in the Bellagio. It was really neat seeing all their displays made from flowers.
These jellyfish were on the ceiling in the lobby and were all made from glass
She was just too creepy to not take a picture of.
So, after we wandered around for what felt like 5 hours but was really only 2, I decided I wanted to go to M&M’s world because I had always wanted to see all those M&M’s sorted into their colours. So sexy. Anyway, I found where it was and it didn’t look too far away so we started making our way over. GPS said it was a 19 minute walk and we figured we could do that. Well, 19 minutes in 95 degree heat really feels like 40 minutes and we gave up after about 10 because it felt as though we hadn’t gotten anywhere. We decided to have lunch instead. The place we went to was booked solid due to some sort of sport event but the hostess suggested we go to Bubba’s. Bubba’s turned out to be Bubba Gump’s shrimp. Yes from the movie and yes it was all shrimp.
It was really good shrimp and they had drinks in specialty glasses you can take as a souvenir. Normally I don’t like those kinds of things because they are usually silly and a waste of money but not these ones. If you got the Tennessee Tea, it came in a mason jar gobbet. Of course I had to get it!
It’s kinda hard to see but it says Bubba Gump’s on it.
After lunch it was close to the time for the race so we made our way back and managed to get a table where the sports betting takes place. It was lucky we did because it filled up really really fast! I guess everyone was there to watch American Pharoah win the triple crown.
When we sat down, the screens were full of all the other sports going on.
But pretty soon, all the screens turned to the Belmont race and the place got busy and loud.
Once the race started people were everywhere! American Pharoah took the lead but not by very much and it was all very exciting!. He was running his heart out and staying just a tiny bit ahead until the last turn. After the last turn he shot out from the pack and everyone went wild. He ended up winning by at least a length and I just sat there in disbelief. Watching a horse win the triple crown happens once, maybe twice in a generation and we were a part of it! Plus, we won some money! Woo!
We ended up winning $45 on our $60. Not a bad return! And of course Jenny, with her financial wizardry, calculated our return if we did that every day for a year. Silly.
After the excitement of the race, It was time for dinner. I was excited about the seafood buffet because fish in the Midwest is gross. I ended up having a lot of king crab legs and some sushi. I also had one Yorkshire pudding but I don’t think Americans know how they are supposed to be because it was rock hard and not eggy or fluffy or soft at all inside. It was almost like it had been cooked, then deep fried after. I was disappointed but not surprised.
I also had grits and mac&cheese because a small part of me has become very very American.
We went to see the fountain a couple times outside the Bellagio. It was a lot more cool than I was expecting. I don’t really know what I was expecting though… In order to see the video, you’ll have to click on the youtube links because I couldn’t convert them to a video format that wordpress likes.
Sunday dawned bright and clear. A perfect day to shoot some guns (yes the shooting range was inside…) We went to Machine Gun Vegas http://shoot.machinegunsvegas.com/
These are what we shot minus the add-on because it looked too scary.
I was extremely nervous about shooting guns. I guess the small part of me that’s very very American is balanced out by a small part of me that is very very Canadian. The nerves were present while we were waiting to go in and they were kicked into high gear when we went to the range and there were two other guys there shooting a fucking shotgun. Even with ear protection those things are so loud I can’t even. Every time he took a shot I jumped. Not just a little flinch but a full jump where a couple times my feet were off the ground. I thought that only happened in cartoons. I guess cartoons and Steffy. Sigh.
I definitely didn’t want to go first and luckily I didn’t have to because dad and Jenny were both all for it. First was the 1911, then the Tommy and last was the AK-47. We took turns shooting the hand gun (1911) and the Tommy and then after he took out the AK-47.
So, I was shaking like a leaf this whole time and the poor guide could see the fear in my eyes. Part of my shaking was from the AC blasting but most was fear. He was really good about it and didn’t tease me or acknowledge it at all, which I greatly appreciated. What surprised me most wasn’t the kick back as I had been expecting that. It was how hard it was to actually aim AND pull the trigger. Yes part of my trouble aiming was shaking but I did a pretty good job getting all my bullets on the target. I even managed to hit my target in the junk.
Pulling the trigger was a lot harder than expected. you had to really yank on it. I liked that because I didn’t feel like I could accidentally pull the trigger. I had to actually try.
Here is a nice shot of aaaalllllll the guns in their case.
Again, you’ll have to go to the youtube link if you want to see it.
After the guns, I definitely needed a drink so we headed to a Mexican style place on the strip. I think I had taquitos…
We had planned on spending the rest of the afternoon at the pool so that’s where we ended up for…most of the day? I’m not really sure. The mixture of adrenaline I still had and alcohol made that day very hazy. We ended up renting a cabana and sharing it with a work friend of Jenny’s who just happened to be staying at the same hotel as us. When we were finished at the pool, we went to dinner where Jenny ordered smothered fries, which were really poutine. The waitress was so surprised that we knew what poutine was and we just said “We’re Canadian.”
It was a very fun trip, guns included. It was wonderful seeing my sister and dad again. Not sure if I would go to Vegas again any time soon but I did enjoy myself so who knows.