Day 2 in Vegas, we wake reasonably fresh, actually, if I remember, I was a bit seedy, but once I looked outside, saw the sun was shining, fuck being hungover, WE'RE IN VEGAS!
We rally down stairs and get the car, no real plan, but Dad and I are keen to explore Vegas, the real Vegas, out in the burbs. Probably sounds like a weird thing to do to a lot of people, but we were interested in maybe finding some hidden treasures off the beaten path.
We did stumble onto a cool retro shop, a real step back in time, we were constantly picking stuff up and saying to each other 'remember this, we had one of these'. It was a real trip. They had a tie rack loaded with old Looney Tunes ties, remember when they were big in the 90's? I had a few of em, I think my housemate still has a few.. what the hell were we thinking?
We cruised up to Fremont street to check it out, we didn't stop, we just wanted to know where it was, we'd be coming back later at night when it's lit up like a xmas tree. We continued on to the Premium Outlets Mall to have a poke around, none of us were really looking for anything in particular, just poking around. It's a good place for shopping if you're heading over there, it's north of the strip and you'll find most big brands on offer and bloody good prices.
One of the things I said I would do when I was in Vegas, was hoot some guns. I don't give a fuck what anyone says, and I know there will be people saying it's stupid and blah blah blah.. I don't have any plans to buy a gun, go hunting or any of that, this was purely an opportunity to do something that I probably would never get to do here. So if you're one of those 'you're a dickhead for doing that' people.. piss off.
Dad was up for it, Aaron had no inclination to take part, so me and the old man filled out the form, they asked what we wanted to shoot and how many rounds. The Gun Store was where we went, and I highly recommend the place.
Dad went with one gun, the 44 Magnum. Dirty Harry. 5 rounds to squeeze off into a target. Now, if you've never held of these guns, they've got a bit of weight to em. I let dad go first, his aim was off. To be fair, he's 67 and he needs new glasses, ok that's a nice way of saying I was MUCH better at it than him. You reading this Lance, I rule, you suck. HA!
I also decided to have a go at the Tommy Gun, ya know, like you see in the gangster movies from the 40's? Now when ya talk about weight in a gun, holy cow, this bastard was HEAVY. "Only squeeze off a few rounds at a time, coz the barrel gets real hot, expands, and jams up, so take it easy" Said my instructor.
Bap bap bap bap.. 'wow.. this thing is hard to control' bap bap bap bap "see how it kicks up from left to right?" Says old mate gunny mc gunguns. 'yeah, no shit'. I adjust for the lift in the gun as it fires, and blast off a bunch more rounds. "wow, that's full on" I say as old mate brings in the target. Once I got my aim in, I nailed it. I'm not just saying that, old mate said it too. Lance, you reading that? I rule, you suck. Yay me. I should really take pics of the targets but that would just be boasting, but yes I kept them. What? I'm allowed to be good at something. Shut up.
Remember how I said we wanted to discover stuff earlier? Well that's what happened after visiting The Gun Store.
"Pinball Hall Of Fame... we should stop there" I say as we drive by it, not thinking the other guys would be interested. "yeah why not" said dad, that was enough for me and around the block we go and pull into the car park.
I really didn't know what to expect, maybe a small museum type arrangement, few old pinball machines, I couldn't have been more wrong. I reckon there was at least 120 pinball machines in this joint. From the 20's right up to modern machines, and nearly every one of them playable for 50c. BRILLIANT.
We wandered around for a bit, reading the various paper placards pointing out the history of the machine, marvelling at the artwork and simplicity of older machines by today's standard, then we started playing. This is a place you have to check out if you're into this kinda thing.
Dinner was an easy fix, a taqueria around the corner from the pinball joint, dollar tacos and the bloke that ran it was a champion, he had that many hot sauces I was beside myself. For those that know me, you know I love a condiment, especially hot sauces. "I make my own as well if you wanna try that?" Fuckin oath I do mate, fuckin oath I do.
"holy shit!" exclaimed Dad as he tried it. Now, dad likes his hot stuff too, but that was pushing it he reckons, tasty, but fuckin hot.
"wowee" I say as I take my first bite. That's a bloody hot sauce.. and super tasty. Dad, you're a pussy.
The second US presidential debate was on the telly in the corner, not many people in the shop, so we buy some more tacos and beers and slide up to the seats near the the TV to watch.
"There's no one here, I'll turn it up"
Now, I don't know much about US politics other than what we're drip fed back here in Oz, but we got an education real quick. Fuck Romney is a douche bag.
Thanking our awesome host (the joint was just off East Tropicana Ave on South Maryland Parkway) we make tracks for the hotel.. we have to have a good look at some drinks.
Tonight was gunna be all about Fremont Street. The real old school Las Vegas, north of the strip. If you're going to Vegas, make sure you have a night up there. It's bloody awesome.
We arrive and immediately go in search for a drink.. "I'll go get some beers" says Aaron, "You guys wait here". No problem, he ducks into a Casino and dad and I take it all in, the lights, the people watching, one thing we notice is that everyone is trying to make a buck. People everywhere with an angle, dressed as Austin Powers and other movie characters, there's families with kids everywhere so they get pics with them, pay the 'performer' a nominal fee and everyone's happy.
Dad and I notice some girls dressed as traditional Vegas show girls "c'mon Lance, we're in Vegas, you're getting a pic" I call the girls over, and I take his pic with the lovelies. "righto son, your turn".. shoulda seen that coming.. couple of snaps and we're done. we chat with them for a few minutes, they ask us about Australia until some people come over for pics, I decline and suggest they get pics with the girls.. oh how we laughed.
"Where is that stupid fanta pants?" I ask.. "I'm bloody thirsty, stay here, I'll see if I can find him.".
I walk into this Casino and see the bar, stuff it, I'll buy beers and we'll just double up. Then I see him at a bar and as I approach he's getting served, we grab the beers and retreat out of there, Aaron's not happy, apparently they'd just been ignoring him for whatever reason, doesn't matter, we have beers now.
We wander around Fremont st taking it all in, it's pretty cool, time for a refill, we duck into a souvenir shop that has an extremely well stoked fridge. Dad goes for his Budweiser, Aaron and I decide to go for Mikes Hard Lemonade in jumbo cans, probably around 440ml, I think mine was a punch flavoured one. Lolly water. Dangerous stuff at 7%. Delicious. I want one now.
At night is when Fremont is at it's best, bands playing, people performing, the overhead light show on the hour is awesome. We hung out there till we were well pickled, grabbed a cab and headed back to our hotel late. But we're not done. No way.
Dad says he's done, fair enough, he's got a chopper flight over the Grand Canyon tomorrow, Aaron and I are going out.
Dressed half decent we make our way to the Marquee Club at the Cosmo hotel.. only to be told "sorry guys, we're closed on Tuesdays" BASTARDS!
We toy with the idea of going to Coyote Ugly at New York New York, reminiscing of our time there in 2004, it was bloody brilliant, then we opt against it, Aaron and I decide to keep that memory as it was, just in case it doesn't live up to the last time.
"lets just have a drink at that bar in the middle" I say, pointing to one oft he bars in the middle of New York New York Casino. This proved to be where we would sit for many many hours. We spoke with other punters, laughed, and had a bloody great night.. except for one thing. Aaron was slowly heating up to explode due to one pommy guy.
Now I didn't have much of a problem with him, I was pissed, I didn't care that he kept talking, but Aaron was cooking.. ha ha, shit even thinking about it now make me laugh. Aaron was talking to a girl (her name escapes me) and his back was to this bloke, and he was trying to get into their conversation, and that can be fuckin annoying, I hate people like that, but this guy was alone, trying to make friends, just doing it wrong.
Aaron turned around and let him know, in no uncertain terms, that he was trying to talk to someone, and he was making it difficult.
Ok, Aaron let him have it.. I was laughing.. the guy left. Tail between his legs. It might read bad, but you really had to be there to see what this guy was doing, annoying as all hell, I was just letting it slide coz I was on holidays.
We continue to drink into the night with the company of some great people, the barman was loving us and pouring them long and steady..
This is where I have to end this instalment.. you don't need to know everything. Lets just say we had a good time that night in Vegas.