Thursday, 16 May 2013

Day 10: Bakersfield to Las Vegas

A late start as by now I'm running out of lungs to cough up, the mixture I bought clearly not working, and I needed a few more hours sleep. One sleeping pill later and I got them.

Mel had packed everything, so I just managed to squeeze another diary onto the Internet and we loaded up the car. I wrapped the leftover meats from the platter last night to nibble in the car.

Heading out the town we went to see a Pharmacist about my now extremely bad cough, and she suggested some tablets which are working well now as I write this the next day.

Filling up with fuel, I ask the girl behind the counter how much a cup full of ice would be, and she replied "Full Price." Thinking she clearly didn't hear me, I stated I just wanted a cup, ice and no soda in it. "Doesn't matter, it will still be full price." Needless to say I decline, without thanks. They also wouldn't accept their own chains vouchers!

Fast forward 125 miles and we are in Barstow at an IHOP for breakfast. I ordered a scrambled sausage, bacon, cheese and egg dish with a lemonade with mango; Mel had a turkey sandwich and fries with a strawberry and orange fizz.

When my plate came the amount of cheese on it was incredulous, as well as what was in the scrambled dish, it was also sitting on a bed of grated cheese too! The waitress asked if we wanted anything else, and I joked extra cheese which she took completely seriously and headed off to get it. I called after her telling her I was joking. Blimey, it must be a regular occurrence.

I asked Mel to pass the salt, pepper and statin shakers then quickly set about separating the bed of cheese from the scramble before they all melted together and I'd need to get my travel health insurance documents from the case.

Fast forward another 80 or so miles down Interstate 15 North and we are in Baker at the Alien Jerky shop. You can easily get off at the first Baker junction, drive down the main road seeing the various stores, and get back on at the next junction. It's worth doing even if you don't stop. The world famous Mad Greek Cafe if here too, and is a 24/7 operation if you're missing kebabs.

As well as all the very interesting alien / groom lake / area 51 items and information on the walls they have a large selection of jerky to choose from as well as samples.

Rich had asked me to bring him some jerky back, as the UK stuff is often very soft and unauthentic, so being the good friend I am I selected one with medical properties.

I'll let him tell you how that goes.

Another blast down the interstate and a quick stop at a casino after Primm so Mel could relieve her latest slushy, which had rendered her tongue blue. It rendered something else green she discovered in the morning.

Whilst she did that I hit my first slot machine, an American Idol one. They use the technology the 3D Nintendo does to create a 3D effect that works very well. The sound system in the seats gives your back a massage too. My $20 disappeared very quickly though, at 50c a spin. You have to be careful with machines that claim to be 1c machines as they often force you to play multiple lines to ramp the actual bid up.

Which I had just been reminded of.

....and finally in Vegas.

Valet parking and bags taken to your room is always a joy. We managed to get a strip side corner spa suite this time, but the view is obscured by the Luxors own towers and the Excalibur, so it's pretty average for a Vegas view.

Entering the room it is very large with separate sleeping and living areas, two 46" Samsung TVs, decent air conditioning at last, dining table and chairs which I moved to the window, fridge and a beautiful Egyptian hieroglyphic painted wardrobe and safe.

One interesting feature is the carpet, it is textured like sand dunes and is very cool to walk on.

The spa, which is really just a sunken bath as it has no jets, sits in the window which is nice. Plenty of towels everywhere, and the bed is ok but then we were spoilt last night.

Downside: The Internet access is STILL via a cable, which is about as much use as an ashtray on a motorbike if you have an iPhone,iPad or MacBook air. 

So no diary updates for two days until we get to the Vdara.

Thinking the cat5 cable for the Internet was missing, with the possibility of me buying an adapter for the MacBook Air, I called and asked for a replacement.

When the technician turned up a few minutes later (they are very prompt here, as they were with our luggage) he fished behind the wardrobe and found it had fallen down. Slightly embarrassed I said I found the ethernet ports on the cable boxes behind the TVs and assumed they were missing.
"Oh, no sir. Those are for programming the cable boxes."

Really. Perhaps he shouldn't have told ME that. Especially now I've seen Walmart sell an adapter for $7.

Freshened up, changed, gambling budgets defined, singles for drink tips and ID for the players club all complete, we head to the desk to get our new loyalty cards and hit the slots.

We decided we would play together, as playing on your own can quickly make you zone out into a world of your own - indeed the machines are designed that way.

The first couple of machines ate our cash in pretty short order, but then we found a "Super Jackpot Party" machine, which is lots of fun and has been kind in the past. It was today too, over doubling our money at one point, but of course the house usually wins so between that and the food we took back to the room we were $40 down each today.

But we were just practicing. Heh.

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