Tuesday, June 7, 2011

The Return from Las Vegas!

I won this aquarium in a poker tournament;
 then lost it a minute later - it was full of poker sharks.
Ho-ly shiznit! Las Vegas was unreal and fortunately for all y’all, I was a good boy so I can share many a great tale! Just a quick recap for all my new readers; last Wednesday I departed for a 3 day journey to Adult Disneyland, with a $1,000 budget to spend and a tiny suitcase for all my shorts, t-shirts and various toiletries. Unfortunately I did have to bring my credit card, although I left it in my hotel room for all the times that I actually would have needed to use it – thank you to my fellow travelers for helping me out in those situations!  Admittedly, I had lowered my expectations for this trip and thought that I would be broke and pissed off after day one, but at the end of the trip, I couldn’t believe how much fun I had.

For me, Vegas can be summarized by one word: overkill. In my normal life, I would spend $1,000 over the course of about 8 weeks. That amount would cover all of my groceries, entertainment, transportation, clothing, basically my life. I say Sin City is overkill because I was able to spend that kind of money in merely 3 days – and that’s not including my flight! All that being said, though, I managed to stay on budget AND I actually came home with $66.66 cents (ooooooOOOHhhhh 666 - spooky) in change, so I did even better than I expected!

I jumped off of this bad-boy! AmaAAAzzing!
So what cool things did I get to do with $1,000 in Las Vegas? I spent $170 riding the highest rides in the world and jumping off the tallest freefall jump in North America at the Stratosphere! The jump included a video of me jumping off the tower on a hand-held camera which was put onto a DVD for me. The video is 2 minutes long, cost me $30 and it was worth every penny! I finally have bragging rights for life! Yesterday I watched the first episode of Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition (terrible show btw, but for some reason I have an obsession with weight loss TV) and the girl featured in the show bungee jumped off the equivalent of 40 stories or something lame like that. Meanwhile, I jumped 108 stories or 855 feet – so suck on that fatty! That was probably the most memorable experience of the entire trip! It was almost 2 weeks’ worth in living expenses sure, and Gail might not approve, but I could see her making contestants on her show do something like that – it just makes good TV. 

My next most favourite purchase in Las Vegas was a ticket to see Love, performed by Cirque du Soleil. It was magnificent. The show features music by the Beatles and the dancers and acrobats blew me away and made me feel incredibly out of shape! The costumes were incredible, the lighting was amazing, and the stage was changing for each scene leaving me wondering how on Earth they pull this show off 2 times every night! Later in my trip I actually got to meet one of the dancers from the Elvis Cirque show who shared some dance moves and was super friendly to me and my family which leaves me with a great impression of the people involved in the show. All in all, Cirque was one of my favourite parts for sure. I couldn’t believe all the creativity!

Drinking a beer with an ELEPHANT! Only in Vegas!
The rest of the money, well that went to meals, gambling, and booze! But I don’t think that really comes as a surprise to anyone who has been there in the past. All the food was so delicious, and the buffets carry more food and overweight tourists than you can ever imagine. In one buffet they had prime rib, sushi, crab legs, French desserts, veggies of every flavour, and so much more! It was so yummy and it was right in the 3-block-wide hotel. Just remember, no shoes, no service, right Dave? Then there’s the booze; the drinks range in price but they’re usually around what you would pay in a bar in your home town. Beers were about $5, but margaritas could cost you up to $15. I went to a night club where they sold bottles of José Cuervo for $15,000! You can see why it can get a little dangerous in Vegas. The rumours are true though, you can drink your drinks anywhere. I was walking through a kids’ toy store and cracked a beer right next to a stuffed animatronic elephant and it was awesome. Even, my brother was ordering burgers at a McDonalds while drinking a beer – it was pretty priceless.

Delicious Desserts - Yes I ate them all!!!
Now if you want to be el-cheapo like me, I would suggest that you head on down the strip to where they sell beers by the case for only $12 for a dozen. You save a ton of money and you get to carry the case around and drink from it anywhere – even in swanky restaurants! I’m not even kidding, one time we walked into a restaurant with drinks in our hands and sat down with them at the table and the waitress still asked us if we wanted a drink! Another way to get super cheap drinks is to gamble; at every casino I went to, the alcohol was free as long as you were gambling! Such a brilliant idea to sucker people out of their money! The water bottles for only $1 on the street seem like a good deal, but if you buy your own off the strip, they’re less than $10 for two dozen – oh well, everyone has to make a living somehow I suppose; which explains all the hooker escort billboards.

The other way that you can save is to try to buy tickets for a show the day of from the half price vendors. They are legit – ask Sheila from Long Island at Caesar’s Palace. If you want to save even more money, spend a day lying around the pool. It’s worth every minute of it and you get to enjoy the awesome scenery for free if you know what I’m talking about – wowsa! However, bar none, the ultimate way to keep on track with your budget is to only bring in cash what you plan to spend that day (aka, stick to your freaking budget). I carried nothing but cash everywhere and left what I didn’t plan on spending in the hotel safe. It was the smartest thing I did the entire trip. I think that I have learned the hard way that John + Alcohol = Bad Decisions. I would have left with even more money if I hadn’t decided to drop $100 on a roulette table my last day there!

Best trip ever! Whoo!
So there you have it, some great times in Las Vegas were had by all! Not only did I have an amazing time hanging out with my brothers and some of the funniest and kindest people I have hung out with in a while, I managed to stick to my guns and stay under budget! The memories I have are priceless and I don’t regret for one minute dipping into my savings and having a little fun for a change; which makes me wonder; have I learned anything from this experience?

Viva Las Vegas!

1 comment:

  1. I can't wait to see the DVD! You one crazy-assed mo-fo!!