So it’s been a wee while since the last blog (Mums – the hints have not gone unnoticed!), but we’ve been in Vegas and that place doesn’t leave much time for anything else. Vegas is as mad and exciting as everybody says, and is totally unlike anywhere either of us have ever been before. The closest comparison I can draw is a cross between Wellington during the Rugby 7s (when they were still cool) and a full-moon party in Thailand when all the pastey, cashed-up Brits descend on the islands. It is hedonistic and absolutely mental, but I guess that’s the point.
I think the key lesson I learned in Vegas was, that in order to really enjoy yourself, you have to pretty much abandon any idea you have of how “normal” adults behave and check your judgy pants at the door. People seem to come to Vegas for the sole reason of leaving normal life behind and doing things that you just can’t do at home. It took me the first day to stop looking round thinking “you people are animals”, and really get into the swing of things. Campbell, on the other hand, embraced Vegas from the moment we hit the Nevada state line. I have actually never seen him so excited (think, five year old child jacked up on red food colouring), which is both awesome and slightly worrying given we only got married six months ago. Fair to say that he had no trouble throwing himself into the thick of things!
Our four days in Vegas turned out to be some of the best of our trip so far. We ate, drank, smoked, gambled, shopped, golfed, sunbathed, made it along to a show, and just had a bloody good time. We also had a day apart from one another and we both agreed that was absolutely awesome! Campbell hit the golf course and then joined a poker game with his new golfing buddies (Jack and Mike) and although performing poorly on the golf course, managed to fleece the group out of a couple of hundy (minus golf fines and drinks to ensure he didn’t rark up the locals too much). I had a wander around the shops and played with handbags I couldn’t afford and then spent some quality time around the pool.
In amongst all of that we also set aside a day to visit the Grand Canyon, which was a highlight of a totally different type. The Grand Canyon is flat-out amazing. Yes, it might just be a hole in the ground (thanks for that observation, JR :)), but it is also so grand and beautiful that it really does take your breath away. We joined a guided tour that gave us four hours to wander around a section of the Canyon’s perimeter and it was time well spent. We arrived during a snow shower and it was beautiful and sunny by the time we wrapped up. Again, it’s one of those things that pictures don’t do justice, but here’s some anyway.
Here’s a few other key learnings from Vegas:
- Do not drink at the same rate at which you lose money. You will end up drunk. You will also end up eating a wedge of camembert with a plastic spoon for dinner, which you will justify to yourself on the basis that your room doesn’t have a fridge and you don’t believe in waste.
- Games that involve food and animals (two of my great loves) will bring you the best luck. We had bumper sessions on “Chihuahua Fiesta “and “More Chillies”.
- People here drive fast, like seriously haul-arse, drive it like you stole it, fast. There is nothing more terrifying than a massive pick-up tailgating you. The lights and grill on a pick-up truck do not make one of those smiley “Thomas the Tank” faces – they make very aggressive, angry faces.
Today, we hit the road and currently find ourselves in Oakhurst. I drove us here today and actually managed quite well. There were a few hairy moments while I got used to sitting on the wrong side of the car and Campbell ended up almost sitting in the lap of the truck driver in the next door lane, but we made it in the end. We’re now thirty minutes from Yosemite National Park, which we’ll venture into tomorrow. It will be a massive change of pace as we camp out in the bush for a couple of nights, but we’re both looking forward to a bit of a detox and going offline.