Good grief, my first night in the van where I didn't freeze and I slept right through. Iwas as warm as toast, so immediately I was in a good mood. We pulled into a garage and had our usual cold water-basin wash and a cup of coffee. We then walked into the heart of Vegas (in 70° of blistering heat), to check out where to go in the evening. We found the Mirage hotel and went right in. What a place! Free drinks and snacks if you play the slot machines, and the waitresses??!!
We paid 3$ to have a tour of the dolphins and the white Siberian tigers, with a great guide called Lenny.
We found out that the dolphins came from Florida, the palm trees were individually flown in at $2000 a piece. The volcano that erupts at the front of the hotel costs between $1500-2000 everytime it goes off. The complex cost $15 million so who knows what the hotel itself cost.
Had an incredibly cheap lunch (full brekkie $1.99). We took a slow stroll back along 'the strip' to pick up our photos we'd dropped off ealrier in the day. Not only are they very small but at $80, oh dear! Never mind; it was great looking back through them.
We got back to the van and after half an hour, we were changed and walking back into town, when we decided to have some grub. we strolled into Dunes (a very flash casino), like we owned the place. we had 12oz steaks each for $4.99 (about £2.50); what a laugh! The drinks bill was separate so we left it on the table and didn't pay $10. (note; yes, that's right, we "stole" £5 from a multi-billion dollar casino. Don't worry, it's on my personal My Name Is Earl style list).
Took some photos of Caesars' Palace and then went into the casino at the bottom of Mirage hotel. what an incredible sight. We got a drink a played the slot machines. Small stuff, admittedly, but we hadto have a gamble in Las Vegas.
The card tables were $25 - $5000, so we stayed well away and I didn't even understand craps (note; still don't). Then this incredible reggae group started up. It was like something out of Cocktail. The queue to get in to the Lagoon saloon was quite long so I waited in line while the other two went outside to get a piccy of the volcano.
A girl started talking to me in the line, then these two blonde girls start chatting too, so before long I don' t know who I'm supposed to be talking to (note; cringe).
Finally, the three of us got in and sat down just as the band came back on. It was so cool, sitting in a casino in Vegas, spending money, drinking cocktails. All the while, this rather lovely Oriental girl kept smiling at me so I decided to get up and dance. I was about to walk over, when this blonde American girl got in my way (note; why did I specify "American girl? I was in America, for crying out loud, what was I expecting??). She started talking and we got dancing. George and Kim left for the van and I sat talking with Lainey.
An hour of talking later, I waved adios to the Mirage and Lainey and Anna - her sister - dropped me off back at the van. I got address and said au revoir. straight into the van and straight to sleep. what a great night, one of the best.
Oh yeah, I nearly knocked a tray out of a waitresses hand, testing George's sight. Funn-nee!
(note; hmmm, yes, I'm sure it was hilarious. On the Lainey front - we stayed penpals for several years before she visited the UK, touring with her drama group, specialising in drama for the deaf. We met up a couple of times while she was here, and thanks to her own commitment and passion for what she was doing, I embarked on a one year college course in British Sign Language, passing my Level 1 course (with flying colours). I still occasionally use BSL now, all these years later, and I still think of her whenever I do).