How do I even begin to describe the mind-trip that is Vegas? The constant jangle and din of a million slot machines in strange harmony? The vertiginous 40-degree heat of the sidewalks being relieved by blasts of smoky ice-cold air from shiny casino floors? The promise of fortune, glamour and beautiful women bathing in champagne? Yep, that pretty much sums it up.
Alistair and I aren’t gamblers. I enjoy Texas Hold ‘Em, but that’s not really a casino game. Still, we found plenty to do in Vegas. You have to put aside any aspirations of class and embrace the nouveau riche vulgarity head-on or it will annoy the hell out of you.
Trust-fund kids with oil-rich daddies in Texas will spend $50 on a Gordon Ramsay starter and then blow their monthly allowance on one roll of the craps dice. You will not get into nightclubs if you are wearing anything but “dress shoes” (as sneaker-wearing Alistair unfortunately found out).
Apart from that obvious stuff, there is fantastic shopping in Vegas (the outlet malls are especially dangerous for credit cards) and the &Ms “Museum” is great fun too. The hotel rooms are generously proportioned and luxurious, although we struggled to sleep most nights, our senses heightened from the constant stimuli.
Still, it’s a helluva lot of fun watching the fountains at the Bellagio (choreographed by a professional, I kid you not) and simply marvelling at the sheer ostentation and gaudiness of this man-made bachelor party oasis, which we saw plenty of at The Bank nightclub on our final night. And as the hour reached 3am and the girls started stumbling around in their stratospheric heels, we were happy we had experienced it, but we we were also pretty happy to be leaving Las Vegas.