What Happened in Vegas

Picture I took from some bridge over the strip.  Fun Fact: the Las Vegas strip actually lies outside of the city limits of Las Vegas.

Picture I took from some bridge over the strip. Fun Fact: the Las Vegas strip actually lies outside of the city limits of Las Vegas.

Well, I’m back from the city of sin. I actually returned on Thursday, but with the time change, I had spent 8 hours traveling. I attempted to write a post that day, but all I was capable of typing was ughfjg ughfj mehmafaehf.

On Friday, I had to return to my apartment, which was probably even more exciting than going to Vegas. After spending a whole summer at my parents’ house, it was nice getting back to my own space.

Then, the weekend happened, which was a blissful combination of reuniting with people I haven’t seen in a long time, sleeping in my own bed, and panicking over not being at all ready for classes to start.

Classes started on Monday. It turned out I actually was ready for the classes themselves, but I was not ready for being awake and sober for such long periods at a time. (Don’t judge.) I had a little bit of time to write during the week, but all I was apparently capable of typing then was jjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjjj.

But, alas, I finally managed to get enough water, caffeine, and optimism in me to write today. So, now that I’m done spewing excuses at you, let’s talk Vegas.

Before going to Vegas, I was having a lot of anxiety about being in a city that thrives on gambling, partying, making bad decisions, and bright lights. Being a fellow that enjoys dark, quiet places, this frightened me. However, I managed to survive and, dare I say it, kind of enjoy the place. Here is what I learned about Vegas:

  1. If you sit around at the slots long enough, someone will bring you free drinks. You have to pull the handle occasionally just for pretense, but most of the time I got away with staring at the screen and pointing, pretending I was planning a strategy. There are waitresses that walk around taking drink orders. You can probably count on catching one about once per hour, but if you don’t want to wait that long, you can just as easily find one, follow her around, and then sit at the section she’s taking orders at. You still have to tip her, but a dollar is the expected amount, and that’s a pretty damn good deal, and the drinks are not watered down at all. The only downside is that you have to stay at that slot machine until she brings you your drink, which might take a while, so you can end up losing some money on the slots while waiting (I’m sure they plan it this way). This is why you should
  2. Stick with the penny or nickel slots. Unless you’re a poker master or wealthy person that hates buying things and donating to charity, you’re not going to win much. The slots are tweaked so that the chances of you winning anything higher than breaking even are extremely low. It is true that if you do happen to win big on the higher slots, you really win big. However, at a dollar per crank, or even just 50 cents per crank, your money runs out fast. With the smaller slots, I could play for two and a half hours and only be down about a buck fifty (if I’m having really lousy luck, which was every day except the first).
  3. You can wear whatever you want, but the nicer you dress, the more likely you are to get invitations from bouncers for “boobies in your face.” Now, this could be a good thing or a bad thing, depending on your taste and the mood you’re in. I’ve noticed that you also get a lot of invitations to nightclubs and bars and other similar establishments. Be warned, though. When they offer an open bar, it usually means you have to pay a $30 cover, so plan how much you have to drink to break even, and go from there. On the flip side, dressing casual or even like a bum warrants disproving looks from no one, but you don’t get fun offers. Regardless of what you’re wearing or what you get offered, be wary of the wristband. If they want to put a wristband on you, RUN FOR THE HILLS.
  4. The air is very warm and very, very, very dry. It feels fantastic, but you absolutely must drink water and wear sunglasses. If you ignore all my other tips, do not at all ignore this one. If you laugh it off thinking, “Nah, I’m tough” or “Psh, alcohol has water in it,” your eyeballs will dry out. Your. Eyeballs. Will. Dry. Out. Nothing compares to the pain of feeling your eyeballs receding into their sockets as your vision withers away. And it’s pretty embarrassing to have a cleaning person walk in on you in the bathroom trying to pour water from the faucet into your eyes because you really think you might be going blind.
  5. No matter how comfy your shoes are, they’re not comfy enough. The strip doesn’t look very long, but it is. Google maps claimed that from my hotel to the edge of the strip was about 3.1 miles. That’s 6.2 miles to get there and back again, not counting all the walking around in casinos. There comes a point in the night where you have drink yourself into a stupor just to distract from the burning pain in your soles.
  6. Food is expensive. If you find cheap food anywhere, take it, whether you’re hungry or not. It will be a while before you find another cheap place. I can’t tell you how many surprise checks I got for close to a hundred dollars. And that’s only including one drink per person. It did taste delicious, though.
  7. Everyone blends in. No matter what you’re doing, wearing, or saying, as long as you’re not obnoxiously being a jerk (you can be a jerk or be obnoxious, just not both at the same time) no one will think twice about it. If you enjoy sitting in the corner quietly fishing olives out of martinis (like me), no problem. If you fancy doing an elaborate, choreographed dance in bright yellow spandex in front of the Flamingo, go for it. You might even get tips.
  8. No matter who you are, you can have fun. No matter what kind of person you are or what you’re into, there is something to do. There is so much to do, as long as you don’t mind spending a little bit of money. Even if you don’t have money, just walking around seeing the sights takes up entire days. There are museums, amusement parks, exotic dance classes, and lots and lots of shopping, among other things, all right on the strip.

So that concludes my list. I might have been able to put more on here, but my train of thought is being interrupted by someone clipping their toenails right behind me in the library. Oh college, how I missed you… The moral of this post (because all my posts tend to have morals because I’m wise like that) is that experiences are what you make of them. Vegas, like every other city, is different for every person. Do what you want and have fun doing it.

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