Once Is Never Enough
If you fancy a few days away, with warm weather and a mix of chilled activities, party options, good food, drinks a plenty and a fabulous atmosphere, where is your favourite place? How about somewhere in the UK? No, the weather is far too unpredictable and only truly warm on a few days each year. How about Europe? There are some good places to visit, but there are the language and culture differences to contend with, plus the weather is pleasant rather than consistently warm. How about Cancun, Mexico? Getting warmer and this is certainly a location that ticks most of the boxes. However, there is a standout winner and that has to be Las Vegas, Nevada, USA! It is a crazy, vibrant, 24/7 city that has so much more to offer than dropping coins into a slot machine all day (you can do this in Cleethorpes if that’s all you want).
Can you really go for just a few days? Yes, absolutely! It is not that far away if you are a seasoned traveller and don’t mind long-haul flights, plus as it’s the city than never sleeps, you don’t need to worry about time zone changing or jet lag. What about the cost? Well, if you hunt around and are flexible on dates, the flight prices can be very affordable and, whether you choose to stay in a hotel on the ‘Strip’ or pick something further afield, you can always find something that fits your budget.
This was our fourth trip to ‘Sin City’ since we first went in 2012. We wanted to see Calvin Harris, but once again we failed, mainly because his set was about 8 hours after we arrived and tiredness kicked in. We will get to see him play in Vegas one day!
We were staying at The Venetian on this occasion and I have to say it was my favourite hotel so far. It had everything and more. The room, or should I say suite, was superb and the facilities were amazing; great food and drink options, great shopping, great casino, great pool and sunbathing areas. Our daytime was spent relaxing around the pool at both our hotel and its next door sister hotel, The Palazzo. On most evenings we ventured out and about, soaking up the atmosphere and enjoying great food and even better beer and cocktails. Our favourite place on this trip was definitely Yard House in the LINQ (www.yardhouse.com), as we ate and drank there on three occasions; great steaks and a huge variety of craft, local and imported beers. I think there were 140 beers on the menu, broken down by category…amazing.
The best day was another legendary session of eating, drinking and gambling. We headed over to the Fremont Street Experience via taxi, had a bite to eat and a couple of beers at Pizza Rock and then wandered down to Banger Brewing for more craft beers. We got chatting with couple of old guys and had a very sociable early evening. Our first gambling spree was at the Craps table in the Golden Nugget casino. A very drunk young lady was alongside us having a blast whilst fending off her friend, dressed in a stereotypical hen outfit, who was more intent on convincing her to head back to the car for the long drive home. At this point it was around 1am and the dice rolling drunk was not wanting to go anywhere else in a hurry. We grabbed a taxi back to The Venetian and the hit the poker room. Two cash tables were in full flow, but with only one spare seat on each, we had to split up and play separately. My table was quite chatty, with mostly locals or Americans visiting Vegas. Amanda’s table was deadly serious and very quiet, which does not suit Amanda in the slightest. Poker tables can be very quiet and solitary places, but when the banter starts flying (usually after a big hand) they can be great fun. As a spot opened up on my table, Amanda asked if she could switch. The answer was a firm ‘no’ for some unknown reason and shortly after Amanda pushed all-in and unfortunately came up short on the hand. Just before this, a young Canadian had joined my table and we soon locked horns in a heads-up battle. All the chips went in with me holding the lock hand after flopping a straight, with no chance of a better straight, flush or better hand being available. That was the end of UK-Canadian relationships and he left the table whilst I was stacking all of his chips. After grabbing a couple of beers, I had my most loyal supporter back, sat behind me watching the action. The cards dried up and things became stale at the table, so I cashed in around $300 in chips and we headed off to find breakfast, our suite and some well needed sleep…it was somewhere around 11am!
Vegas is a great place to visit once, but if you are like us, you will return and enjoy the vast array of things it offers time and time again. We are already planning the next visit to ‘Sin City’ for November 2018, with Amanda’s brothers. It will also mark our 6th wedding anniversary in the City where we got married.