What an amazing city! I am mourning its loss. And I am really grumpy about it – it is 3am! Despite forcing myself to stay awake for most of Sunday (we landed at 6.30am) I have awoken at an ungodly hour, desperately needing sleep and unable to actually get any! So, instead I thought I would get up. Possibly not the most sensible, but it means I might be able to get a full night’s kip tonight.
I’ve never really had Jet Lag before, I don’t remember anything like this when we went to Thailand. Steve however is sleeping soundly. Good. He has to go to work in a few hours. I on the other hand might do a big shop before he even wakes up. Our fridge is tragic. It contains only two cans of Tyskie and several condiments. The freezer looks not much better!
It has been the most amazing two weeks, I can’t even begin to describe – possibly because the vocabulary section of my brain doesn’t appear to function at this hour of a Monday morning. The place is utter madness, in so many ways. Often I felt like Alice as she spiralled down the rabbit hole or tumbled through the looking glass. Nothing seems to make any sense but is so wonderfully right all in the same breath. Big, Bold and Brash do not even begin the list of adjectives that barely come close to scratching the true surface of the bright light city.
I hardly know what to tell you first, I am still so utterly overwhelmed by it all. The number of times tears lurked and lumps jumped to my throat, just through the magnificent magnitude of everything. The Wynn Hotel was incredible – I don’t think I will ever stay somewhere so lush and beautiful again. Our 53rd floor room looked down upon the casino’s massive pool complex and private country club (complete with man made rivers, lakes and huge waterfall). It was like no other room I have stayed in – there was a bath tub the size of a small town (complete with its own waterfall effect tap system) and a TV aside the twin marble sinks. I was so spoiled – one evening I even kicked back in the deepest bubbles and watched top gun whilst eating peanut M&M’s! I was just short of glass of wine, but lets be honest, room service prices are just not worth it!
But as impressive as the Wynn is to stay in, it is by no means the most fun. The Sahara taught me the brilliance of $1 blackjack, roulette and breakfast beer! Circus Circus had incredibly talented circus acts to thrill and entertain; Stratosphere terrified with its extreme altitude adrenaline rides (I chickened out entirely), its amazing views of the city, slot machines that liked to give me money and the best diner ever! (official!); Treasure Island with its oh so cheesy night time dramatics of The Sirens of TI and its rather yummy breakfast buffet; Mirage’s incredible erupting volcano and beautiful dolphin and white tiger sanctuary (brilliant value for money); The grand façade and incredible detail of the Venetian with its gondola rides, fancy shops (including the brilliant David and Goliath) and everything I love about Venice in a handy condensed size (similar can be said of the huge expanse that is Ceasar’s palace); Bellagio not only has its dancing fountains but an incredible walk through the casino to the giant garden filled with moving butterflies, battling ants, hot air balloons, flowers galore and beastly bumblebees; New York New York, not only has a stunning external design, but a decent food court in the style of its stereotypical streets (good pizza!); Excalibur is a little run down looking, but still great for a photo op; MGN has its lion habitat and David Copperfield (cheesiest man ever – highly coiffed and gives Dale Wintona Tango challenge! But incredibly talented); Luxor – basically if you’ve seen the outside, you’ve seen enough; and Mandalay Bay has the -5 Ice Bar which got me a little tiddly from just one cocktail, and has a fairly impressive shark reef. That is such a whistle stop tour I know, but I have experienced so much, I don’t know how to write about it all! It could fill a novel!
We also went Downtown to the original centre of the Vegas extravaganza – the old heart of the Rat Pack and Elvis etc, but I wouldn’t go during the day. We made the mistake of venturing during hours of sunlight and it was like going into Blackpool on a miserable Sunday afternoon. Its felt grubby and cheap and quite unpleasant. However, once the sun sets it changes entirely. A huge cover arches over the main Freemont Street and from around 9pm onwards it is filled to brimming with people and entertainment. Live bands play, street performers do their thing and mind blowing light shows dance around over head. I couldn’t believe the difference – so worth the bus trip over, but only suitable for this nocturnal venture.
There were of course the obligatory trips and shows! We travelled by pink 4×4 jeep to the Valley of Fire; flew by helicopter to sip champagne in the Grand Canyon; had our minds almost literally blown by Cirque du Soleil shows La Reve and Ka; had our breath taken and funny bones tickled by David Copperfield’s very American show and had my spine shivered by the Venetian’s Phantom of the Opera (still incredible despite having seen it before).
All in all, a whirlwind of a fortnight that it is going to take some time to recover from and may potentially never be competed with. I am such a lucky girl and have returned utterly ruined!