I will not post everything that happened here in this entry, partly to leave some mystery and partly in hopes that you’ll imagine I am more exciting than I actually am.
Let’s start at the beginning of this three-day-ish weekend trip, shall we?
On Thursday night, I was notified that my flight got delayed by 45 minutes. When I got to the airport, my flight was un-delayed for 10 minutes. And then the flight itself arrived 15 minutes ahead of schedule, so early in fact that we had to wait until for the airport to prepare a terminal. But who cares about flights, right? It’s Vegas!
Well I got to Vegas and it took nearly half an hour to catch a shuttle and then my hotel, the Downtown Grand was the very last stop on the shuttle. So the day was pretty much gone.
So…Friday. Downtown Grand.
Downtown Vegas in the morning is as empty as…um…a…I haven’t thought this through. Anyway, I went with my friends, Kevin, Ron and Misti (they’re camera-shy but I’ll try to sneak some photos along the way).
Oh and please forgive if some photos are out of focus. I didn’t want to slow my friends down too much so I took most of these while walking at a brisk pace. And also, I’m a terrible photographer.
Oh look, here’s a Love Locks-ish thing:
And then here is a meerkat art piece created out of junk metal on the side of what looks like a school bus? Very Burning Man.
Then we hopped on our Big Bus Tour, the first of many. They kept talking about that big phallic thing in the background. Evidently it costs $15 to climb up it. And more money to slide down it. And more money if you want to ride it round and round.
I can’t remember what’s happening here. Is she throwing gang signs?
This is the “World’s Largest Gift Shop.” We entered it and after 5 minutes minutes, we were like, ehhh.
(Also, that’s Ron in the foreground.)
Then we walked through the Wynn Hotel. They had an art exhibit. I hadn’t seen these before but I knew only one artist could be responsible for these kitschy giant glass-metal sculptures—Jeff Koons.
For the low-brow of you, he’s the artist that was mentioned in the Lady Gaga song. I first became familiar with his work when I saw his exhibit at the Château de Versailles in 2008:
Then we explored the Venetian. I have yet to ride one of these Gondola rides. I would like to, but I don’t want to force the gondolier to row and sing to a party of one.
Then we went to the Madame Tussaud’s. When I was a kid, I used to be so scared of wax figures. I’d imagine they come alive and…I don’t know, I didn’t really think it through.
Here’s Jessica Biels’s husband.
Here’s Daniel Craig and Lindsay Lohan, both in their better days.
Here is the power couple, Angiebrad:
Here’s…um, a model from “The Price is Right”?
Stop harassing the wax figures, Ron.
Show them some respect. And love. Like this:
Here’s One Direction. Very kind of them to put Louis front and center.
Here is me passed out in Bradley Cooper’s living room. I should’ve known better than to accept a drink from someone sharing the same initials as Bill Cosby.
Aw, Tim McGraw, one of my country music heroes:
And Celine, my pop music hero. Looks like she’s getting ready to do one of her famous one-handed claps:
Here’s Misti portraying a New Yorker being inconvenienced:
And then there are Siegfried and Roy and the tiger that—uh, was very nice and gentle and they all lived happily ever after.
We had lunch at Senor Frog’s, where the prices make about as much as sense as their name. I mean, $20 for a burger? Well, I guess they had to pay for these decorations:
Oh Celine! Someday I’ll have enough money to see you!
Interestingly enough, they have an Ellis Island Hotel and Casino about 2 miles away from this.
Leo the Lion, the lion from the MGM Grand where…yawn…
Then we hopped on another Big Bus and got to see the famous royalty-free Las Vegas sign:
“Royalty-free”? See these facts I’m just spouting? I learned them all from our fantastic, funny, knowledgeable tour guide. He was the one who told us all about First Friday (more to come later). Too bad I forgot to take a picture of him.
Here’s the start of Wedding Chapel Lane, on Las Vegas Boulevard. The bus was moving too fast for me to take pictures of such important historical places such as the place where Carmen Electra and Dennis Rodman got married.
Even though this was the traffic. OK, fine, I’m just a terrible photographer.
At night we went to First Friday, an event that takes place on the, well, first Friday of every month where they close down Fremont Street downtown so that only 21+ people can enter. They had live musical performances:
And lots of people participating in Las Vegas’s most popular activity—loitering:
At 10 p.m., the casinos nearby all turned off their lights and a big musical show was shown on the big screen:
We then dropped by the Golden Nugget to see their pool. I was told that there are some sharks in those tanks above. If that’s true, I’m not sure how I feel about them keeping those animals in captivity.
Then we walked around more downtown:
This was the first hotel owned/run by the mob:
Then there was Container Park. Some girl pulled me in to dance with her and I did dance a bit until I realized I wasn’t drunk enough not to realize I dance terribly.
There was this scary demon-like praying mantis thing that shot fire along to the rhythms of popular songs:
I don’t know why, but I’m just fascinated by this shoe spinning round and round:
Here’s the famous Heart Attack Grill, where the servers wear medical outfits, and the customers don hospital gowns and a heavy layer of shame.
Then it was back to where we started: