Thursday, April 24, 2008

bringing down the house ...

I'd never really thought Vegas would be my sort of place.

Checking out flights from Denver to California I discovered that rather than flying direct it was cheaper to stop over in Vegas, stay in a 4-star hotel for 3 nights and hire a convertible sports car for 2 days.

So of course that's what we did.

Nothing I saw in the first 24 hours altered my preconceptions, and on the second afternoon I found myself having to escape to the hotel pool to avoid the pulsating neon and crowds of loud margharita swilling tourists wandering the strip.

The first evening we'd restricted ourselves to a few dollars in the 1 cent slot machines (at one stage reaching the dizzying heights of a $5 profit), but no trip to Sin City would be complete without at least trying our hand at some slightly more serious gambling.

Our budget is by no means "hardcore backpacker", but neither is it endless. After blowing $50 in just 20 minutes playing roulette we thought we figured we wouldn't be spending much of our time playing the $10 minimum bet table games.

Since reading Bringing Down the House earlier in the trip (watch out for the film, it's a great story) I'd been keen to at least try playing blackjack, so we decided to commit just another $40 to a few quick hands - our main objective being to spin things out long enough to land a free round of drinks.

So we were quite suprised when 3 hours later we were still playing and had managed to increase our stake five-fold to $200 - and almost as good we'd had at least a dozen free drinks each.

Compared to the MIT students in the book we might only have brought down the equivalent of a small garden shed, but despite my expectations we had a great time here.

I found another 4 beers here from the aptly named Sin City Brewing Company, taking the current total to 144 as we enter the last week of the trip.