Wednesday, March 18, 2009

SIN CITY

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Just stepped off the plane a few short hours ago, and boy do I have stuff to tell you!
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THE GOOD
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We stayed at the Luxor hotel, right on the Vegas Strip. Before we got there, everyone we knew mentioned this "$20 upgrade trick" where you stick a crisp $20 bill in between your drivers license and your credit card as you're checking in and then ask for a room upgrade. Apparently this tricks works quite well. We decided we were too chicken to try it, but we did ask if there were any 'complementary' upgrades available. She said there were, so we did get upgraded after all, for free. From queen to king and from shower to shower and bath.
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Not too shabby, right?
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The other hotels we visited on the strip were just as amazing, and some even more so than others. The Venetian hotel was my favorite, it had the canals running through it. These hotels just ooze Luxury. 
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Really, they ooze it.

   
This is our hotel, at night. Gorgeous, right? And the other one was JP's favorite, the Bellagio.

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We also took a bus tour to the Grand Canyon and Hoover Dam. That was probably the best money we spent on this trip. The scenery at the Grand Canyon was out of this world. If you ever go to Vegas, I highly recommend you stop by the Grand Canyon. 
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Grand Canyon was breathtaking, it really was.
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And of course, last but not least on my list of "GOOD" was the M&M shop that is located right on the strip. M&M candy. An entire shop dedicated to just M&M candy and M&M paraphernalia. The shop had 4 floors people!!
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I could have spent all day there, really I totally could have. They had clothes, and toys and stuffies and lunch boxes and watches and leather jackets and bedding ~~ practically anything that you can imagine, with the M&M logos all over it. How cool is THAT? 
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But the best part, was the wall with 22 different colours of M&M's. Yup, 22 colours of M&M's. Betcha you didn't even know M&M's had 22 colours. Neither did I. But there it stood, in all its glory. And we could sample some for free!  Yummy.
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I ended up buying one of those miniature gum ball machine dispensers, with M&M logos on it, that you can just twist the latch and M&M come out. It's like magic, you don't even need coins. I heart it. It's going on my desk at work tomorrow.
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Are you totally salivating all over your screen? I still am. How cool is this?!
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THE BAD

Of course I'm gonna bitch about things too, after all you want my real opinion not just some travel brochure bull shit right? Well let me tell you about the sleezy side of Vegas. 
One word. 
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Flickers.
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These are non english speaking men and women, whose whole job is to stand about 10 feet apart from the other flicker that you've just passed, and 'flick' pornography at you. I say pornography and it sounds harsh, but it is in fact that.
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They are aligned all throughout the Strip and they have what seems like hundreds of these cards on them. (they have an apron on and these are stuffed in there). At first, they look like playing cards, they're the same size, but when you actually take one, you see that there are naked women on them - with the nipples starred out so you can't actually claim they're naked.
At first I thought it was weird, but then as we walked 10 more steps and 10 more steps it became rude, and then annoying and then just too much. The thing that bugged me about these 'flickers' is their persistence. It didn't matter to them if you were man, woman or child, they didn't discriminate against anyone. 
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Everyone got flicked.
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Sometimes they walk a couple of steps towards you or behind you as you walk by, to make sure that they give you one of these cards. I seriously felt as annoyed as I did when I was running away from the kids selling chicklets in Mexico, but just less bad.
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What inevitably happens is that everyone throws their 'cards' away once they see what they are, and then the entire sidewalk has a light dusting of porn on it as you are walking by.
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Lovely.
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By the end of the day I felt a little dirty and in need of a shower.


THE UGLY

By far the ugliest most annoying thing I found about Vegas was the drunks. Now don't go sending me hatemail, I know what it's like to be drunk. 
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But as I haven't been drunk in a while, I guess it's not that funny when you're the only sober one there. 
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Here's what bugged me most about it. It wasn't only college kids (of which there were lots, since it was SPRING BREAK) but 40 somethings and 50 somethings that were falling all over themselves at every corner.
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It was especially moving to witness a mother and daughter bonding moment while they took turns holding each other's hair while the other one puked in the trash. And I must share the story of the pretty girl in the blue dress who was just too wasted to notice that one of her boobs had popped out of her dress, so she just kept walking anyway.
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I also wish I had taken at least one picture of the 4 brides we saw walking (at separate times) on the strip, barefoot with shoes in one hand and an open beer in another.  Now don't get me wrong, getting married in Vegas sounds beautiful, gorgeous setting and beautiful weather. 
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But when you've got a cigarette hanging out of your mouth while you're cursing at your new husband across the street, I think you've just lost the title of a 'blushing bride'. 
More like Bridezilla.
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Do you NEED enough alcohol to fill up an entire guitar?


And what is up with the slutty clothes that EVERY SINGLE FEMALE who worked there has to wear?
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 Seriously! 
Even the senior citizen who was working in the casino serving drinks had a tiny itty bitty blue half dress on with tassels sticking out. 
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Do we really need to see this shit?
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Between the whole Flickers scenario, and the boobies everywhere, and the 'costumes' the ladies wore, and the buses with the big "HOT BABES TO YOU" advertising and of course their sleazy motto "What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas", I found myself feeling more than a little dirty. 
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Maybe if I'd been drunk I wouldn't have noticed all that, but since I wasn't- I did notice it, and it left a yucky after taste in my mouth that even those 22 colours of M&Ms can't get out.
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All in all I'm glad I went and saw it for myself.  
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It is definitely a place like no other.
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10 comments:

Lisa said...

Okay! This makes me very happy to read. You may not win any other friends than me for calling out the depravity, but I'm super excited that we share those same "un"rose colored glasses. I didn't know they were sober glasses..Hmmmm. I was always worried they might be seen as, I don't know, moral glasses. FINALLY someone else who will acknowledge that from a sober advantage, Vegas has a very gross component to it. I have not found many others who share in this sentiment so we should form some sort of club. :) Then again, 22 colors of M&M's might be worth wading through the smut to get to.
Niagara Falls has a similar M&M Shop, but I won't even get into that. LOL

The good part- Well I agree with you there too. Visually speaking the buildings, hotels and interior design are amazing. But to see them you have to look through some pretty ugly exhibits of human nature flaunting itself and witness some people hitting rock bottom. Or maybe just seeing their bottom? :)

The photos you posted are stunning. Seriously Amazing! And I'm glad that despite the very toxic atmosphere you had fun. I'm glad it was sober fun. :) And for our sake, I'm glad these blogs are anonymous. :) I don't think we made any friends today.

Eileen said...

It's kind of funny reading the post and Lisa's comments. You both sound like a big ad for AA.

I also share the same views, so you are not alone (either of you). It's enlightening being the only sober person. I now don't 'hang' with people who drink a lot.

It does sound that the trip was good (on the whole), but one thing you didn't mention was gambling. Did either of you win anything?

Sayre said...

I wrote about the "Flickers" once - only I called them "Flippers". Absolutely awful.

I've been to Vegas several times for work-related conferences and being an East Coast girl, I was falling asleep by 5pm, so I missed a lot of "night life". I would get up early and walk (and the streets smelled like perm formula) as store owners hosed down their sidewalks. After years of going there when they were trying to be famiy friendly, my last trip when they'd reverted to the "Stays in Vegas" mentality really stuck in my craw. I have asked to not be sent back there again.

I'm not much of a drinker. I don't enjoy the sensation of my face sliding down my neck, which is what happens to me when I've had more than one.

I did have luck at the slots. I played them between 5am and 6am while waiting for the Starbucks to open. No other times though.

That girl said...

Lisa - Maybe that's what they are ... sober glasses, LOL!

Eileen - I know right? Without even meaning to I sound like a total sponsor for AA. We are not big gamblers, I think in total we gambled about 40 bucks and came out with 70 or something like that... nothing huge.

Sayre - I hate that Motto. There are a lot of people who talk about Vegas the way they remember it, back when it used to be more family friendly. I wish it were still like that, because frankly it has so much potential. But I guess families don't bring in as much money as bachelors.

tweetey30 said...

I havent been to Vegas since I was 15 years old with my parents. My grandfather lived out in Sandy Valley about 20 miles into the moutains and I went into town with them at least once a week. Of course I ruined all gambling they wanted to do because I wasnt old enough.. LOL.. But its a beautiful city esp at night with all the lights on.

Jazz said...

A leather M&M jacket. Just the thing to wear if you want to look tough and streetwise.

The bad and the ugly. That's why I never stay more than 36 hours in Vegas. Stop in for a Cirque du Soleil show and then off I drive into the desert where the real fun is. It's the perfect starting point for a road trip.

That girl said...

Tweets - I bet Vegas was way more fun 15 years ago...

Jazz - I almost peed my pants when I read your comment. That was my sentiments exactly when I saw the leather jacket!!

tweetey30 said...

To be honest with you I dont know because I didnt get to wonder around much. I had to sit by the doors while my grandfather and dad gambled and my mom had to sit with me. Then it was always night time when we went so I didnt get a chance to walk around town much.

JR said...

You just described why I never wanted to go to Vegas, all the white trash behavior that I grew up with and never want to experience again. That aside, I've been to the north rim of the Grand Canyon and you're right, it's spectacular! Now go take a shower! "VV"

Ann(ie) said...

I think you pegged Vegas very well!! And while I always have a blast when I go, I'm very ready to come home and take a LOOOOOOOONG shower!!!! The first time I was in Vegas I thought the fickers were handing us coupons....hehe....I thought they were just the nicest people....I kept smiling and saying 'oh, thank you!". My boyfriend at the time told me to take a look at what I was collecting. hehe. Yes, I'm a big dork.