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The long awaited Bachelor Party Trip Report

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by yossarian1982, Apr 5, 2015.

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  1. yossarian1982

    yossarian1982 Tourist

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2015
    Messages:
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    Trips to Las Vegas:
    1

    My Trip Report

    Vegas Trip Report 24 Apr- 02 May 2014

    Game of Casinos:
    A tale of drinking and gambling


    This was my first trip to Las Vegas and it was fitting that it should be for my Stag (Batchelor) Party. There were 7 (the 7 Amigos) who made it out, but owing to work commitments, the duration for which participants stayed varied considerably. Only two of our number stayed for the full 7 days. Which leads me to the team: (pseudonyms have been used to protect identities!).

    I have now included our professions so as to get a flavour of the kind of people you are dealing with!

    Myself: Ned Stark ( a submariner)
    My oldest brother: Jon Snow ( a Telecoms engineer)
    My middle brother: Little finger ( a Gamekeeper)
    My best friend: Jaime Lannister ( A lawyer)
    His brother/my old school friend: Sandor Clegane (An accountant {of the living on a sun-kissed island living the life of Brierly* variety}).
    The Rage: Tyrion Lannister ( a chemist {of sorts})
    The university Friend: Reek ( a Water Salesman {when you have finished the account it will become apparent why this is an apt job for him}).

    Myself: Ned Stark
    My oldest brother: Jon Snow
    My middle brother: Little finger
    My best friend: Jaime Lannister
    His brother/my old school friend: Sandor Clegane
    The Rage: Tyrion Lannister
    The university Friend: Reek

    Day -1

    Owing to the ineptitude of the Logistics Officer on-board my submarine I was forced to go into work on my first scheduled day off. This was an annoying set-back which meant I was unable to travel to Bristol from Plymouth on the night of the 22nd to give myself a nice relaxing day of pre-Vegas preps. As it was I got stuck in Traffic on the 23rd and arrived in Bristol in the early evening. I hastily began washing essential items of clothing and packing my bags while I awaited Little finger’s arrival. He arrived at about 2330 and being that we intended to set off for Heathrow at 0500 we decided ‘it wasn’t worth going to bed’ and stayed up drinking tea, watching ‘impractical jokers’ and finally the essential viewing of ‘The Hangover’, probably my 6th or 7th time of watching. My plan was to be so tired that I would sleep on the plane – a sound plan, I am not sure what Littlefinger’s plan was however, as he later stated he is never able to sleep on aircraft.

    Day 0

    We set off in Littlefinger’s hire car and had an uneventful trip to the airport, leaving nothing to chance, we arrived in extremely good time and I tasted my first ever experience of not rushing to check in, in blind panic because I had cut it too fine (I have previously missed a flight due to playing ‘airport chicken’ – but that is another story). We had a good breakfast at ‘Giraffe’ – pretty much my favourite place to get breakfast in the UK, and met up with Jon Snow who proceeded to inform us that he had upgraded himself to ‘World Traveller Plus’ for an extra 20% leg-room. It was nice of him to let us know! Littlefinger and I used the old trick of getting an aisle seat plus a window seat which paid off when no one decided to be the ‘meat’ in our sandwich. This meant we had a pretty comfortable flight, I slept about 5 hours, Littlefinger didn’t sleep at all which meant he arrived having already been awake for about 36 hours!!

    Day 1

    I should point out that I have always dreamed of arriving in Vegas by car, specifically in a convertible, preferably driving in the sun during the day and arriving at nightfall. To this end we had booked flights to LA (which worked out slightly cheaper on the dates we had selected) and I had booked a Mustang convertible. Now, one of the ‘helpful’ chaps on here who likes to pick holes in everything people say, indicated that I would be lucky to actually get a mustang and that often there is an ‘or similar’ clause in the contract. This panicked me a little so I emailed Alamo and insisted that only a Mustang would cut the Mustard. They were a non-committal, so a further email was dispatched to ensure they understood how much value I placed upon this! As it turned out they had a whole line of mustangs from which we could choose. They didn’t have a red one unfortunately so we picked a black one (an automatic to my dismay). Jon Snow and Littlefinger started to complain when they saw how little leg room was in the back, and seeing as Littlefinger had been intending to have a good sleep (apparently he can sleep well in cars, just not aircraft) I felt a bit guilty. Jon Snow had been hoping for a big GMC SUV, however he had been very poor in communicating during the lengthy planning phase which had been occurring over email over the previous 2 months so he only had himself to blame!

    We thought it best to get a sat nav, and after a small argument over whether we should pre pay fuel or not (I hate doing this), we set off with me at the wheel, Jon Snow as navigator and Littlefinger in the back unable to sleep or hear what we were saying (obviously we had the top down). As we drove through LA 2 things became apparent:

    1) Large sections of LA are horrible (with apparently absolutely no beautiful people)

    2) For some reason people are not used to seeing Ford Mustang Convertibles (or at least not 3 pasty white Englishmen with the top down) - we got a lot of strange looks and waves.

    I hadn’t really had much of a look at our route and had not brought any kind of map with me. The only thing I was aware of was that we needed to head broadly East before heading North onto the 15. We had the satnav, which seemed a reasonably good one, so we didn’t see too much need to worry. We were on our way in the hire car by 1400 which I thought was good going being that we had landed at about 1230. I made some comment about this which of course turned out to be the kiss of death.

    This next bit is a bit embarrassing. We headed through LA, for some considerable time, stopping and starting at the almost endless sets of traffic lights (seriously, would it kill the US government to build a few roundabouts?). Eventually we got onto the 15…..for about 30 seconds before the satnav forced us off it. Now as the driver I had a split second to decide if the satnav was wrong or not, unfortunately literally seconds before I needed to take this decision we heard on the radio a message about avoiding the 15 at all costs – unfortunately this led me to assume the satnav knew something we didn’t and I took its advice and got off the Freeway. This led us back onto the crappy stop start skanky roads that were pretty much paralleling the Freeway, but moving oh so slowly.
    After about an hour of this, much debate and much problem solving (resetting the satnav, turning on google earth briefly on the iPhone etc.) we eventually decided the satnav was talking B*** ***t and we just got ourselves back on the Freeway. Traffic was relatively slow but the carpool lane was moving quite well. The 15 seemed like a much much better bet. Sometime later Jon Snow realised that someone had set the Satnav to avoid Freeways and Carpool lanes!!!! I think we would still be circling Vegas now if we hadn’t given up on the satnav when we did!

    It’s hard to estimate how much time this error cost us, but at worst I would say 2 hours. Once on the Freeway we made good time, Littlefinger wanted to stop at one of the malls on way because he had orders from home to buy some Uggboots, but we were keen to make up lost time so we pressed on. Jon Snow revealed his plan to frequently visit Starbucks so we stopped off briefly to appease this fetish. Personally, I found this a little bit baffling as we have Starbucks all over the UK and they aren’t all that much different. I would have rather tried something different. Having stopped off a bit and lost all that time we arrived in Vegas at about 2030. It was nice to arrive in darkness as I had hoped and it was indeed amazing to see the lights in the distance. Annoyingly the Mustang didn’t have any USB connections or anything from the 21st century like that (it only had a CD player –WTF?), so we had been listening to American radio all the way which I have to say I was quite disappointed with- it’s not exactly Heart FM. All the effort I had put into a road trip playlist on my iPhone was therefore wasted. We had just put the top up as it was getting cold, so I asked Jon Snow to select a good road trip track to play on loudspeaker as we drove into Vegas and up the Strip. Bizarrely, he chose the KLF (justified and ancient) - not my choice and not particularly appropriate, but there you go! I was hoping for ‘a horse with no name’ which I have fallen in love with since seeing it played by Walt during the opening scenes of an episode of ‘breaking bad’.

    After ‘satnav-gate’ we hadn’t been bothering to use it; however it was a very simple task to locate the Venetian, which we did without any trouble! We found the car park quickly, however in order to not have to drive around the houses I needed to do a quick U-turn at a road which quite clearly said ‘no U-turns’. Traffic was quite light and it had been a long trip so I decided to just do it anyway. I got quite a few sounding of the horns and Littlefinger and Jon Snow were enjoying lambasting me for my recklessness. It saved us a nice lot of time and hassle so all was good. We opted for self-parking and made our way to the main entrance.

    Having recently started my 4th decade on Earth (actually putting it like that makes me sound even older than I am – I am in my early 30s!), I am of the opinion that it is quite hard to still get that feeling you have when something is so new and out of the ordinary that you feel you might as well be on another planet. I am so glad to say that this is how I felt upon entering the Venetian (and Las Vegas in general). I had been expecting Las Vegas to be a let-down (it surely couldn’t live up to expectation could it?) but so far it was incredible!

    Checking into our double queen suite was relatively straight forward, I love getting good deals so was a little disappointed to not get any kind of upgrade. The room was as expected- I was expecting great things and it didn’t disappoint. What was extremely annoying however, was how much effort was required to get to the room through the labyrinth of corridors and lifts. It required a trip featuring 2 sets of lifts to get to the room. I cannot overstate how annoying this became; I would definitely pay quite a lot of money to avoid this. At this point Littlefinger had been awake for approaching 48 hours, however he showed no signs of flagging and suggested we head down for a drink. Like the Vegas Virgins that we were, we didn’t really know how Vegas worked, we struggled a bit with finding somewhere decent to have a drink and in the end opted for the ‘Rock of Ages’ bar pretty much on the casino floor. There was some weird camp entertainer performing which was odd in itself being that the bar was tiny. We had a few beers at about 8 dollars a beer and erroneously assumed that this would be the general cost of alcohol throughout the trip. We had a couple of rounds, I felt a bit like a rabbit in headlights, I didn’t really enjoy the drinks in the Rock of Ages and was apprehensive that this trip might not turn out to be as good as I was expecting. Don’t worry – I was very wrong!

    We headed out to explore, heading south down the strip towards the Bellagio. Despite being the most sleep deprived, Littlefinger was the most eager to explore and was intent that we reccy a nightclub or too. I was pretty tired, and my memory is a little hazy as to exactly what we did and where we went. I seem to recall we went to the Bellagio first and ended up at the Bank. I think we paid about 20 dollars to get in and got a free drink. I used my blagging skills to get 2 free drinks instead, and moving onto cocktails I think I got good value for money. My brothers were sticking to the beer. I don’t remember a great deal about the club, I think it was quite a nice one, with some attractive dancers. It wasn’t particularly big or busy and after a while we decided to try somewhere else. I think we headed for Planet Hollywood as I had read that it is quite a hip and happening place and popular with the younger crowds. If memory serves me we went into one of the clubs, which I think was Koi – they tried to charge us 30 dollars, but I haggled them down to 20, again with a free drink. I was starting to seriously flag at this point and after sitting down for a bit I started to repeatedly fall asleep. At about 2.30am, Jon Snow suggested we head back due to my inability to keep awake. I was quite drunk and tired and was cross with myself for falling asleep and bringing the night to premature closure, however with hindsight we had got quite a lot done, caught our bearings, walked right up the main part of the strip and seen at least 3 clubs (I am almost certain we went to a 3rd I just can’t remember!). We walked back to the Venetian which woke me up somewhat, when we got to the main entrance I suggested I have a wander ( to be honest I was eager to have my first gamble of the trip), however Littlefinger and Jon Snow both said we would all go and have another drink at the Rock Star bar. (Ironic as none of us had liked it that much – we still didn’t know where else to go in the Venetian!). We had a drink there, reflected on the first day and we all went to bed. Myself and Jon Snow in Queen beds and Littlefinger on the sofa bed.

    Day 2

    I woke up at 6am with the other two still asleep. I was quite pleased at this, as I was desperate to gamble something, but didn’t want to push it on the other two. I slipped down to the casino, signed up for the terrible Venetian Grazie card (which didn’t seem to offer anything) and let rip on the slots. I settled down on the Sex and the City Slot machine – I thought this would be a comical way to start off my Vegas career. I kept picking Samantha for the features for no particular reason other than red is my favourite colour. During my basic training I was in a Division with a guy from the Bahamas, he was a former gang member who had turned his life around, but of course was still quite a macho kind of guy, however I remember him once telling me about how great he thought the Sex and the City film was – I think this memory was probably what inspired me to play it. This machine and a couple of others kept me entertained for the next couple of hours without really losing or making much money, before I got a text from Jon Snow asking where the hell I was. I made the epic and annoying trek back to my room, got ready and we all we went across the road so that Jon Snow could get his daily fix of Starbucks and we had a brief exploration of the Mall. Littlefinger was delighted by the Abercrombie and Fitch store, which was significantly cheaper than in the UK, Jon Snow was pleased to find an Oakley’s store to give him the opportunity to add to the 6 pairs he already owns. We each bought something from Starbucks, at this point we just didn’t know where to start looking for food (the food hall above us would have been a good bet but we didn’t really know what was up there so we decided to try the IHOP for breakfast which I had always wanted to visit. We decided to walk as this would complete our exploration of both North and South strip. We got some good photos outside the wedding chapels and Littlefinger persuaded a woman to pose with him as a ‘just married’ couple. The IHOP was pretty busy, I am guessing it always is, and we had to wait in a queue to be seated. I ordered the chicken fajita omelette and blueberry pancakes, man was it a lot of food. I was a bit surprised the orange juice wasn’t freshly squeezed, but rather Tropicana, - has America gone that way now, or is it just because this was Vegas? The food was good but I barely had space to finish the pancakes.

    We resisted the temptation of going up the Stratosphere at this point (I can’t remember our reasoning) and headed back towards the Venetian. We had all been a bit fatigued on the walk to the IHOP, but having eaten so much food; we were all feeling better and were glad for the chance to walk it off. Jon Snow decided this was a good time to do the first of his 3 ‘runs’. He had set himself the task of performing 3 x 10-15km runs during our trip and assured us it would not impact upon his energy levels or drinking ability. Littlefinger suggested we do a reconnaissance trip of the Wynn in order to check out the pool party, so we left Jon Snow to go and do his run and stopped by the Encore on our way back. We had had nothing but beautiful sun since we arrived, it was almost the perfect temperature, and this was reflected in the long queues to get into the Encore Beach Party. The Female to Male ratio was about 10-1 judging by the queue and let’s face it, no one likes a sausage fest (apart from the Germans). We asked around and no one seemed to be able to give a precise answer to how much the entry fee would be for another day. We did gather that Wynn guests get priority which was good for us as we would be moving there the next day.

    We had a good look round the casino in the Encore and were struck by how much better laid out it was than the chaos of the Venetian, how much more beautiful and helpful the
    waitresses were, and how much nicer it looked. I have to say I was damn well chuffed that we would be moving here. With hindsight, the Venetian was a big let-down (although amazing in its own right). Without Jon Snow about, who was not a gambler we took the opportunity to have a bit of a gamble, Littlefinger loves roulette and gleefully bee-lined to the tables, while I stayed on the slots. This was my first time on Willy Wonka, which has become a firm favourite of mine. The accompanying music (with BOSE speakers!) and film clips really make it an entertaining game. I cashed out my small win and switched to the Wizard of Oz, I was joined shortly on the adjoining game by a nice lady from Colorado who turned out be a school teacher. It was starting to strike me how friendly almost everyone is in Vegas, she taught me a bit about the game and made good level of fuss when I hit the feature. A cocktail waitress arrived and asked me what I wanted to drink, I asked my new friend what cocktails were good here (I had so much to learn!) and she said ‘oh, um, Malibu and pineapple is good’ - this isn’t really what I had in mind when I said ‘cocktail’ but to be honest it is an old favourite of mine (my metro-sexuality is going to become a running theme here), so I ordered one. My new friend departed and left me to play a bit more. When my drink arrived it was 2 not 1 and for some reason she had a 3rd which she asked me if I wanted. Now to those of you who are Vegas veterans that probably doesn’t sound that odd, but having spent a bit of time in the Venetian –where getting a drink was like drawing blood from a stone, this was a brilliant result having pretty much just arrived. Suddenly it dawned on me; we were not going to have to buy rounds of beers at 8 dollars a beer every time anymore! I walked over to find Littlefinger over at the roulette holding my 3 glasses of Malibu and pineapple. He was pretty surprised. We were going to like the Encore!

    We must have gambled for some time because by the time we got back to the Venetian Jon Snow had already finished his 12k run, showered and changed. I should add that he had also sent me a text earlier because he was lost and couldn’t remember our room number! He is a pretty switched on guy so it is testament to how ridiculous the layout of the Venetian is – I think we all got tragically lost in that building at some point. Jon Snow went down to get a beer, while Littlefinger and I had quick shower and put some more sensible clothing on. (I am one of those people who don’t like to wear very casual clothes absolutely all the time in Vegas, I think it is nice to dress up a bit in the evenings). We were all in shirts and smart trousers or decent jeans and I wore my waistcoat, prompting Jon Snow to question if I was off to a snooker tournament. Now that we had all had time to explore we were finally able to go to for a beer in the Venetian that did not involve going to the bloody Rock of Ages bar. We found a nice bar towards the shopping forum, there was a cigar stand opposite which I had a look at but was put off by the lack of real Cuban Cigars (stupid trade embargo – can’t we just all be friends?). We had a few pints here, although we couldn’t understand why we were refused table service by the third round despite tipping well – perhaps they were annoyed we didn’t open a tab? We were still definitely novices.

    It was probably early evening by now and I had been expecting the arrival of Reek for some time. He had landed in the early afternoon and I had received a text to say he was picking up his hire car several hours ago (I had tried to dissuade him from getting a hire car – which he blatantly wouldn’t need, but he couldn’t cancel it!). My instructions that he couldn’t miss the Venetian having given him a description of the massive landmarks it was near to did not help poor old Reek much and it seemed to take him about 3 hours to actually find it. I had booked all the hotels for this section of the Bachelor Party, however the previous day I been communicating with Reek when he stated that he would be leaving on Friday and arriving on Saturday- I pointed out that this was almost impossible unless he was flying Eastwards around the globe rather than the traditional route! Basically the gimp hadn’t realised the time difference would mean he would land on Friday – even though it states it pretty clearing in local time on the flight details! I had shed blood, sweat and tears to get us good deals on hotels rooms so I couldn’t be bothered to sort out anything else for him. He didn’t seem like he was inclined to sort one out himself so in the end we decided he could crash in ours. Littlefinger offered to sleep on the floor out of politeness and Reek quickly and somewhat unexpectedly accepted the offer, – this didn’t bode well! I am pretty sure it is not a socially accepted code in many places to not bother to sort out your accommodation, screw up your own itinerary and then screw over the people who bail you out by stealing their bed.

    I met Reek and helped carry his bags to the room, obviously this took forever as the Venetian is bigger than Bigfoots d**k. After that ordeal it was time for another beer, which we bolted down before deciding to head out to the legendary Caesar’s Palace. And so it was we went from one labyrinth to another. Littlefinger had been pushing for us to stay at Caesar’s but I was relieved when he immediately said he wasn’t a fan. Jon Snow said he liked it; however he hadn’t seen the Promised Land that is the Wynn, so he wasn’t tainted by the knowledge of that paradise. (I should add here that I am not being paid by the Wynn – I just love it). We paid for another round of drinks; I branched out to some kind of slush fuelled cocktail while the others remained on beer. Reek had decided on wearing the same orange t-shirt that he arrived in, which was some cause for concern, but I said nothing. This brief stint was the only time I would visit Caesars this week and I feel that during my next trip I should spend a little more time there. We were continuing our theme of not really eating anything (apart from the IHOP) and after a couple of rounds we relocated to a bar which just happened to be near to a load of scantily clad croupiers. It just happened to be. Littlefinger started playing video poker at the bar and when he bought a round was only charged for 3 of the drinks because he was playing. I think the penny might have dropped with Jon Snow at this point, who was not a gambler and I suspect didn’t really see the attraction. We finished our drinks there and headed towards Cosmo/Aria as we had heard good things about these trendy venues. The queues of suitably beautiful people who were on their way to the Marquee nightclub convinced us that this was the happening place to be, at 30 dollar entry fee, this seemed a good deal ( I am sure we could have got the tickets cheaper elsewhere, but frankly that seemed a good price to us under the circumstances). The queue was massive so Littlefinger asked how far 50 dollars would get us up the queue; the answer was pretty much at the door, the only snag however was that this doorman pointed out that Reek would need a shirt. This was quite frustrating, seriously who goes out in the skanky t-shirt they have just travelled in, clearly some people evolve when they leave university and some stay exactly the same! Littlefinger offered to go and buy Reek a shirt ( I had visions of the scene in the inbetweeners series when Simon buys some piss soaked shoes from a tramp because the club won’t allow him in with trainers, my apologies to American readers who won’t know what ‘the inbetweeners’ is). Reek was also moaning about how he didn’t want to spend 30 dollars on a club ‘just for a couple of hours’. Again this didn’t bode well; the guy had just skanked a bed in our room, and was already moaning about ‘costs’. I can assure you readers that things just get worse on this front…….

    Sadly we walk away from our fellow beautiful people who are all looking over the moon to be going to Marquee. I think at this point we remember we have only had one meal since arriving, and Reek has decided he is hungry enough to actually spend some money. We find a random pizza place at the top of Cosmo and 3 of us buy food, Littlefinger is so incensed by not getting in to Marquee that he cannot force himself to eat. Shortly after this we are recognised as the hip quartet that we are and are offered fast track into Haze at Aria. To be honest it sounds like a marketing ploy rather than a real fastrack/discount, but at 20 dollars with a free drink and an apparent acceptance of our scruffy friend we decide to go for it. As we get to the door, the bouncer does indeed spot our orange topped be-t-shirted gimp of a friend and denies him entry. Fortunately Littlefinger is a skilled manipulator and talks our way in. The club inside is pretty full and pretty banging. There are dancers with neon lipstick, and as the night progresses there are some decent entertainers. My favourite was ‘Cryo Man’ who basically looked like ‘Dynamo’ from running man (if you haven’t seen that he had bright lights strapped all over him so he glowed in the dark). He did a really good routine looking menacing and firing off smoke canisters. There was also an acrobat type dancer who was ok. Most of us hit the dance floor to bust some shapes which was pretty good, until we were rudely interrupted by some celebrity we had no idea was playing. Some guy called Mario who I had never heard of, although his songs were quite familiar. It suddenly made sense why the crowd was so RnB orientated. He was clearly a big hit with the ladies, and being I am not really a massive fan of RnB I felt myself questioning my sexuality by remaining on the dance floor. Jon Snow was getting fatigued so we beat a retreat back to the Venetian to keep our powder dry for the days ahead. Once we got back it was a repeat of the night before with me suggesting ‘we have a wander’, Jon Snow went straight to be bed leaving the rest of us to do a bit more gamblinking (a cross between gambling and drinking). I don’t remember too well what happened, but I think I stuck to the slots while littlefinger started roulette in earnest. I found it quite nerve racking watching him as the swings in roulette can be quite brutal so I beat a retreat to bed leaving Littlefinger and Reek to bond. (Well you can only hope…).

    Day 3

    We were due to check out at 11am today, and I was hoping to make the most of that time in bed, however Littlefinger has other ideas, and with his partner in crime Reek, he wakes myself and Jon Snow at about 8am. Apparently there had been some kind of discussion about waking up early to achieve some kind of unknown aim, but I had missed that memo. I am moody at best in the mornings, and this was a rude awakening. I can’t remember exactly with what haste we stirred, but we got our stuff packed in good time and made the mammoth journey to stash our gear in the car. I really wasn’t sorry to have to not make that ridiculous double elevator journey again. The room was nice, and the Venetian had a nice décor, but I won’t be staying there again.

    To my shame, we still hadn’t really mustered much adventure with regards to finding food, and to make things easier we just decided to go back to the IHOP. I would put this down to only my second regret of the trip so far, following not getting to see how good Marquee actually was! We had learned our lesson with regards to just how big the portions were and I ordered a Philly steak roll and some coffee. We were all agreed the coffee was good, and despite it not being a Starbucks I think it perked us all up nicely. Reek ordered some kind of cooked breakfast and produced a moment of comedy gold when he was asked how he liked his eggs. I am not sure why it was quite so funny but he just says ‘ urrrrrrrrrh…..fried’. I think it was the way he said it and the waitress’s reaction. He is pretty special.

    There was nice Maserati outside, which one of the waiters reckoned was worth 6 figures and prompted a debate about American cars. I mused on the possibility of importing a Ford Mustang convertible as they are quite cheap and would have a massive curiosity value in the UK as you just don’t see them. However the build quality is quite shoddy and to be honest they drive like an absolute pig. I think I would rather just shell out more and buy a Boxster. We pretty much proved that the extra back seats are worthless

    We had some time to kill before we could check into the promised land that is the Wynn, and being that we had 2 mustangs outside now (Reek had completely independently ordered the same car- which gives you some indication of the power of Hollywood films to inspire), we decided to achieve one of our cultural goals and drive to the Hoover Dam. I won’t go into the details of the trip too much as it won’t be particularly interesting, but it was good fun to open up the mustangs on the open road, and we took the opportunity to film them in motion for the archives. On the way back Reek and Littlefinger in Reek’s car seemed keen to take the lead, overtaking at speed and then in short order seemed to panic that we they had missed the turning for a pre-agreed stop at a Starbucks and headed towards some ridiculous shanty town. They quite meekly pulled over and admitted they didn’t know what they were doing! We headed back on the road and stopped at the correct Starbucks. I had a Frappuccino as I was rapidly casting away any pretence at being healthy. We took the opportunity to take a few more photos of the mustangs and watched an American guy lambast his girlfriend (a petite blond looking girl) through her car window over some issue regarding coffee. It seems coffee is no laughing matter in these parts.
    We continued en route back towards the Strip with Reek once against racing ahead. It was quite amusing to watch him approach our turning in completely the wrong lane and clearly oblivious. We flashed out lights about a million times before he finally noticed….just in time. It was now just past 1500 and was now time to check into the Wynn Encore! Exciting times!

    I was disappointed once again to get absolutely no upgrades, in fact I had to pay a 50 dollar fee to transfer my room bookings into one coherent booking. I had a tower suite with free breakfast at the Wynn proper which I transferred to just a panoramic at the Encore and lost the breakfast in the process. It was a little frustrating, but then I had booked all these rooms separately at great prices so I guess we were still up on the deal. Littlefinger and Jon Snow tried to tell me to calm down, but it’s like I have OCD with regards to getting a good deal!

    Pleasingly it was a really short trip to the rooms, and the hotel just looks gorgeous and inviting. It sound snobby, but the price and the fact it isn’t a tourist attraction keeps all the riff-raff out and it’s just full of nice people! As we got in the lift we realised we needed to decide who was in what room (I had booked 2 x 2 panoramic rooms). I thought Littlefinger and Reek had been getting on quite well (this was possibly a mistake!) and Jon Snow was due to leave early so I thought it would be good if I shared with Jon Snow. This was probably a little hard on Littlefinger (so it would turn out!!!!) however it was 2 previous quotes that sealed his fate: (pre-trip) “it’s good to share with strangers as it forces you to make friends quicker” and (Reek’s first night) “Reek seems a nice lad”.
    Well… what was done was done, and the consolation for them is they got a higher room (they were on 55, we were on 32) so they had a slightly better view and their room was quite a bit quieter, we could hear the beach party through our walls quite loudly! I reasoned that I would barely even notice the noise, and to be fair I didn’t. My fiancée would have gone mental though! We had once got a room in Cape Town at the Pepperclub hotel and we were adjacent to the lift which constantly played ‘Eple’ by Röyksopp. Now I quite like this song, but it was even starting to annoy me, every time the lift doors opened we could hear it pumping into our room. My fiancée complained and we got upgraded to a massive suite. God bless her low tolerance!

    The rooms were absolutely amazing, with the view out of this world. It was just my kind of place. I had discovered from my time in the Venetian (which was also a very nice room), that you really do not spend any time in your room (we definitely weren’t bucking the trend on that one), but it is nice all the same to be able to wake up to such an astounding view, on such a comfy bed, in such luxurious surroundings. When booking the rooms I hadn’t put too much consideration into the view but having had a fairly boring one overlooking the pool at the Venetian, the view we had at the Wynn looking up the strip just made so much difference. I love the colour and architecture of the Wynn towers too, so it was nice to be able to see our sister hotel. We had a good view of the Encore Beach Pool which looked pumping, and I Little finger and I speculated on how much the poolside ‘rooms’ would be (Of course they turned out to be VIP areas for the pool party rather than rooms).

    My memory is a little hazy as to what we did next, but I suspect this was when Jon Snow went on the second of his 3 runs. We left him to get on with that and went down to the Casino to do some serious drinking while playing on the slots. I had already signed up for my red card, I convinced Littlefinger to do the same as we quickly realised the rewards here were far better than at the Venetian. The wheel spin at 500 points seemed particularly tempting. As did the buffet at 350 and café society at 750 ( Don’t quote me on these but these were about right). At 1 dollar per point it represents outstanding value, particularly as you can consume a fortune in drink while earning it). Littlefinger seemed to have a lot of early success and started to make big inroads in his points quite quickly. Mine were racking up a lot more slowly while I kept the stakes to the absolute minimum and failed to hit any big wins. Reek seemed extremely reluctant to gamble, he seemed content to stick a couple of dollars in a machine every half hour or so, have a couple of spins and then cash out a couple of dollars. This was of course fair enough, I certainly wouldn’t force anyone to gamble in Vegas, but it started to get a bit annoying as he drank round after round of drinks and seemed to leave it to us to tip every time – you’d have thought if he wasn’t going to gamble, at least he could generously tip every once and a while! It made me feel a bit guilty that he wasn’t going to be comfortable spending time gambling, but then he was getting free drink, and this was Vegas…! A couple of the guys due to arrive today are quite big gamblers so that wasn’t going to help the situation. I just hoped the gamblers and non-gamblers could split off if need be. My memory isn’t great of what happened exactly this day, but I think Jon Snow probably came down to join us after his run and it was at this point that he joined the brave new world of playing slots. I am not sure quite what convinced him to try; maybe it was the plentiful supply of lovely cocktails that convinced him it was a no brainer. You could slowly lose money over time, but more than make up for it with the drinks. I think it was a rather rubbish monopoly machine that got him going, in any event it was good to see as I no longer had to feel guilty that he wasn’t enjoying himself. At some point in the afternoon I got a text from Jaime Lannister than he and Tyrion had landed. He was on his way to pick up his hire car (a rather boring Volvo that he had been given instead of his hoped for GMC beast). From my experience with Reek, I didn’t anticipate he would be arriving swiftly and sure enough it was several hours before I heard that he had checked in (moving his room across to the Encore from the Wynn for convenience, he had managed to do this without a fee which I was slightly annoyed at, since I had been charged 50 dollars, but then my transfer was a bit more complicated). His brother Sandor Clegane had arrived from the Cayman Islands at a similar time, and being a Vegas veteran had arranged for Tyrion to be comped at New York, New York for 2 nights, and then the Cosmopolitan for the remaining days. Tyrion is a famous tight-a** and it was only the promise of a free hotel which convinced him to come. Obviously all this took a load of time and it must have been early evening by the time we were all finally assembled at the Encore. We had a few more drinks while playing the slots for a while and then decided to head over to the Strip Burger for a meal (the first proper meal any of us had had apart from breakfast at the IHOP!).

    This was a great meal and a great start to the trip now that we were at full strength. The large round table was ideal for everyone to get to know each other and for some good banter to flow. I had some kind of Mexican burger which was great and nacho chips. I didn’t really get the point of these, I’d have much rather have had just had normal nachos. The waitress was a good sport, deflecting some of the witty banter of Tyrion and Littlefinger with good grace. Reek regaled everyone with his stories of his time in the Territorial Army (National Guard in US parlance), highlights included the time he was leading a section attack, pulled the pin from his smoke grenade and threw the pin, keeping the grenade which grew hot in his hands forcing him to drop it and promptly engulfing his section in suffocating smoke. Another highlight can’t really be talked about on this public forum but gave everyone a good measure of the man they were dealing with! Other stories included the time he allowed his rifle to be run over by a tank in Iraq, the time he got stuck trying to get out of an APC that was being evacuated (again in Iraq) because it was filling with smoke. I am not sure where it was, but on one exercise he dropped his rifle in a lake which had to be recovered by military divers. I think this conversation alerted everyone to the fact that Reek was a man to keep our eye on and established himself far above Tyrion in the potential ‘social hand-grenade’ category.

    We took a walk up the Strip after our meal; I think we headed towards New York, New York, stopping at Treasure Island on the way. This was the first place I found ‘The Walking Dead’ slot machine, which I had read about and was hoping to play. I assumed it wouldn’t be a particularly loose machine as I always assume the bigger the license the lower the pay-out. I was pleasantly surprised to get a decent win out of it once I got the feature and walked away slightly up. Tyrion – the notorious miser, is something of an on-off gambler and in recent years hasn’t been known to play much. However it was interesting to see him relentlessly pursue the feature on ‘Godzilla’, which he achieved after some considerable time and about 70 dollars! The feature was almost worth it and provided some good entertainment.

    I think Jaime and Sandor sat down to play some blackjack and took an early hit on that. I was finding the relatively high minimums off-putting and was content to just play slots and consume lots of free drinks. Littlefinger and Jon Snow seemed pretty content to follow this route and reek continued his theme of hovering around drinking free alcohol and failing to tip. I was feeling bad for him, perhaps he was just expecting this trip to be a massive bar crawl, but I am not sure how he was intending to pay for that, it was costing us far less to get drunk while playing slots than it would have been to go to a bar, and of course for him it was completely free. It must have been about 2300 when Jaime declared he was jet-lagged and needed to sleep. Sandor followed suit. I guess that is how normal people do things, but it was quite at odds with the sleep deprived start we had made a few days earlier. Maybe the fact that we were Vegas virgins played its part (though I doubt it – I can see myself pulling an all-nighter on arrival next time, having flown direct instead of the road trip).
    I think some of us walked back to New York, New York with Tyrion and we might have had a wander round there for a bit before Tyrion hit the hay. In any event the remaining four of us headed back to the Encore on foot.

    Being well adapted Vegas time, we were in no mood for an early night and carried on drinking in the Encore, making use of the slots to ensure we weren’t paying for them. I think it was at this point that I realised I wasn’t being very adventurous with my Malibu and pineapple and branched out to White Russians, which incidentally were amazing. I started a bit of a trend, with Littlefinger in particular ordering a steady stream of them. Now back to our friend Reek, most of you may know someone who has no inbuilt switch which causes them to know when they need to stop drinking. Reek is one of these people, and when faced with free drinks is a liability at best. I knew him from my university days, when tightness and drunkenness were virtues, and marked you out as one of the crowd, rather than a problem. I had never ever had to deal with the consequences of his drunkenness; rather I had been entertained by the stories that were generated by his antics. This was the Wynn hotel, a 5, some would say 6 star hotel, and being America and not the UK, no one seemed to be drunk. It was at this point that Reek started to order neat whiskeys, he is not a big man, in fact some would say he is extremely thin and these drinks were quickly taking their toll. The first I got wind of it was when Littlefinger said to me “Ned, have you seen Reek, he’s F*****, he keeps talking absolute s***”, sure enough when Reek came over next while I was having a few spins and sipping on my White Russian he started talking absolute nonsense to me. It was embarrassing to be honest; it just wasn’t the time or the place to be that drunk. I was starting to wonder what we were going to do with him, when he announced he was going to the toilet and told us not to move. I had a feeling we might not see him again, but he is a grown man and we were inside our own hotel so I didn’t really see any problem with him wandering off the 50 feet or so distance it would be to the toilet. Sure enough 45 minutes later he hadn’t come back. Littlefinger raised some concern and asked if he was alright, however I knew this was fairly standard practice for him and said he’d be ok. I mean, we were inside our hotel – the Encore is not a hard place to navigate and our rooms were another 50ft away via the elevator.

    Jon Snow hit the sack at about 2am, leaving me to watch Littlefinger play some roulette while I enjoyed a steady stream of White Russians. I found watching my brother play roulette quite a nerve racking experience, I absolutely hate betting on the numbers, which is his favourite thing to do. The croupier told us there are only 2 types of roulette players, those that play inside and those that play outside. That was certainly true of us, although I find even playing outside nerve racking with roulette, at least playing Blackjack you can kid yourself that the house edge is tiny, but with roulette it’s like a slap in the face and a reminder every time ‘0’ comes up, or worse still if you are playing American and ‘00’ comes up! I couldn’t take it after a while, and left him to it, retiring to bed (which I was quite looking forward to – the Queen bed in the Wynn is so comfy). When I got to my room, the music from the Encore Beach Party was still blasting its way into the room, I was a little surprised it was still going on, however I am rarely troubled by loud noises, being that I spend most of my life sleeping right next to heavy machinery and noisy ventilation. I slipped into a sound and deep sleep……..only to be woken 4 hours later by the phone ringing…..WTF…

    Jon Snow answered the phone and promptly passed it to me, it was Littlefinger down at reception needing me to verify he was a guest at the hotel. It seems to me curious that I was the only person that reception took the details of owing to the fact that that both rooms were booked in my name. There was simply no record of the other 3 even staying at the hotel, I must say I have rarely come across this and am used to hotels always wanting to check in each guest in turn. In any case I verified Littlefinger and being that I was half asleep and grumpy, I silently cursed him and went to back to sleep. To my mind that was 2 days in a row that I had been rudely awoken by Littlefinger. Unfortunately for Littlefinger, I was quite wrong in the direction that I was attributing blame.

    I was not a witness to the events that had transpired over night, but it is my understanding, as far as we can piece together, that the following happened:

    Reek’s disappearance remains somewhat unexplained, he thinks that he got lost or possibly fell asleep somewhere and was unable to find us. This is somewhat hard to understand, being that we remained in the small casino area of the Encore for a good 2 hours after his initial disappearance. At 4am (some 3 and half hours after he went missing) Reek attempted to go back to his room, but was unable to do so because he had lost his room key. He was too drunk/incoherent to properly explain the situation to reception and could not remember his room number. It seems that he somehow convinced a member of security to open up what he thought was his room, but was required to prove who he was. He attempted to open the safe and failed. This appears to have cast doubt in the mind of security and they removed him from the room and escorted him back down to reception. We are not sure if the room he gained access to was even his actual room! It appears that at this point the Encore staff lost patience with Reek and called the police, who arrested him and took him to the station, which is apparently in the vicinity of the Stratosphere (this information was provided by Reek so it might be woefully inaccurate!). On arrival at the station the desk clerk (or whatever the American equivalent is) asked Reek what he had done. Reek explained that his offense was losing his key and was told that this isn’t a crime and they turned him loose! He had to walk back to the Encore which no doubt must have sobered him up a little.

    On arrival back at the Encore Reek managed to gain the clarity of mind to phone Littlefinger (quite why he was unable to do this before I am not sure – maybe Littlefinger wasn’t back in the room previously). Littlefinger reports that Reek sounded highly agitated, and got half-dressed and quickly went down to reception. I am not sure Littlefinger appreciated that the Encore would still be quite busy, even in the early hours and reported that he felt a bit of a gimp rocking up at reception in such a state. To his utter confusion Reek was not at reception, he looked around for him for some time and after a good half an hour decided to head back up to the room in case he rang again. To his utter shock Reek had someway found his way to room and gained access. I remain unclear as to how this happened. Apparently Reek had only just arrived and explained that he was not happy and had ‘been having a nightmare’. To Littlefinger’s horror, Reek declared he needed a drink and made his way towards the minibar (which my credit card was supporting I should add), Littlefinger knew full well how expensive that would be, and showing enormous patience and understanding he suggested they head down to the bar to get him a drink to calm him down. I feel a little bit guilty that Littlefinger looked after Reek so well, whereas I had almost washed my hands of him. Different philosophies I suppose….

    They settled down for a beer at the bar and got chatting to some multimillionaire from Essex, England. I say they got chatting, rather Littlefinger did, and apparently Reek was still talking utter rubbish! Apparently this guy had a VIP section at the Encore Beach party at a rate of 10,000 dollars a day and invited Littlefinger to come along (planting the seed that would ultimately get us to go there). Unbelievably they stayed there until about 6am, with Littlefinger already massively sleep-deprived. As Reek was becoming obnoxiously drunk again, he started to talk more and more rubbish and become more and more embarrassing. Littlefinger was invited to go to breakfast and decided he might as well accept the offer. As they set off on their way, Littlefinger was slightly horrified that the drunken Reek was following them. His saintly patience had finally worn thin and he couldn’t help but say “look Reek, just f*** off!”
    That sounds quite harsh, but those of you who have had to look after a problem drunk will understand just how exasperating it can become, he wouldn’t have remembered it anyway. Despite gaining entry into the room earlier, apparently Reek was still not in possession of his room key so Littlefinger gave him his and went off to have breakfast.

    After breakfast, Littlefinger was unable to gain access to his room, with Reek not answering the door or the phone. It was at this point that he had to ring me to get verify he was a guest and get a replacement card. On arrival at his room, Reek wasn’t there! Littlefinger gave up and went to sleep. I think my rather cold stance that helping a problem drunk was a pointless and self-defeating task was proven to be correct. All Littlefinger’s efforts had led to nothing! Littlefinger was awoken several hours later by Reek who had lost the key Littlefinger had given him. You couldn’t make it up.

    Day 4

    I woke up mid-morning, oblivious to the carnage that Reek had wreaked during the night. (there’s a nice little play on words for you) Jon Snow decided he was going to start the day with a run and was debating what to do for nutrition beforehand. He was quite surprised when I handed him a protein bar that I happened to have in my bag, he seemed quite pleased with that. I had a text from the 3 newly arrived amigos who had gone to the outlet mall South to do some shopping on the order of their wives. (it seems that once you are married you have to justify every trip, which is fair enough I suppose!). I met up with Littlefinger and Reek and I was regaled with the amazing story of last night. The funny side of it was tempered somewhat with the worry of what Reek had done to our reputation at the hotel, we had become the classic ‘Brits abroad’ who bring their unique and often embarrassing style of alcoholism to civilised societies and cause havoc and destruction. I massively liked the Encore, the thought of being on some kind of blacklist was not a nice one. Furthermore, while we had been at the Venetian, I was sure that I had seen some written warning on the key card that a replacement was an extortionate amount of money (50 dollars?), I was convinced the Wynn would have some similar policy, and it was unclear quite how many key cards Reek had lost the previous night!

    In a state of utter embarrassment we queued up to a further replacement key. Having been in the queue for 5-10 minutes Littlefinger and I were discussing permutations as to how much it might cost etc. when all of a sudden Reek produces an extra key card out of his wallet. It was almost like he had been oblivious to the previous discussions of the last 10 minutes – he had known the key card was in there and that we were back to our full complement of 2 cards for that room and yet he had said nothing as we queued up. It was baffling. In a state of utter WTF, we left the queue, whatever charges would be applied, would be applied, I was in no state to go and argue about it, it was just embarrassing. (As it turned out it soon became apparent that they hand out key cards like they are going out of fashion. I left the Encore at the end of the trip with about 6 in my wallet, you don’t even seem to need to hand them in. I suppose being that they are printed with your name on them they are valueless). It is quite refreshing to be in a hotel that is so liberal with key cards (and essential if you have a Reek type character with you).

    Now that Reek had set the tone for the day, I suggested that we drive to the Mall outlet to meet the others and get a late breakfast/lunch (some people might call this brunch).
    Littlefinger decided to wait for Jon Snow to get back from his run, and decided to go and sit by the pool instead. I suspect he was probably a little fatigued having slept about 10 hours in 5 days. (I am in the military, where sleep deprivation is a way of life and I am still not quite sure how he did it).
    I set off with Reek in the Mustang (I thought it would be safer if I drove) – meaning that his 40 mile round trip to the hoover dam the previous was to be the only driving he did in his hire car the whole week - £170 well spent!!!!
    We stopped off on the way at the ‘Welcome to fabulous Las Vegas’ sign. We had completely missed it on our way in so it was good to stop off. I had been warned that it was ‘a bit small and disappointing’ so I wasn’t expecting much, but it was certainly good to get a few photos. There was a small queue and I felt a bit phony and un-spontaneous to do so for a posed photo but it’s nice to have it for the archive. I asked Reek to take a couple and for the final ones I laid down on the floor like David Brent from ‘the Office’ in one of his classically egotistical poses – it would have been a good ‘in-joke’ for my fiancée but Reek forgot to make sure the sign was in it so instead I just have an out of context picture of me lying down looking camp. Brilliant, thanks for that Reek!
    I snapped off a few shots of Reek looking shifty and we set back off on our way. We met up with the 3 newcomers and between us we told the tale of Reek and his brush with the law. It produced much merriment and led to Jaime remarking (while Reek was out of earshot) “the Wynn is wasted on an animal like that!”. A fair comment I would say.

    We had lunch at Panda Express, which is a complete new one for me. I absolutely loved it, I can’t believe it hasn’t been exported across the pond, I would have thought it would do well here! I love the fact that you can ask to taste any of the options before buying. You just don’t get that sort of thing very often in the UK. I pretty much had a starter just trying all the different tasters at the various panda express clones. I have to admit, that by day 4 I thought I would have experienced a great deal of fine dining, and yet so far I had only managed the IHOP x2, Strip Burger and Panda Express!
    Jaime had quite a few bags full of shopping, including a load of Fisher Price toys. I imagine they must be significantly cheaper in the US, as it seemed like a big job to carry that all the way back to the UK. I am sure it must have been purely as part of some ‘wife appeasement policy’, rather than any real desire to save money. I noted the price of Ugg boots in a couple of different stores so I could let Littlefinger know and made a vain attempt to shop, I was going to buy some Converse as I didn’t have any decent casual shoes with me and I hear they are a lot cheaper, but I found shopping extremely painful with Reek in tow, who showed no interest in buying anything for himself or his loved ones back home and simply followed me everywhere I went making stupid comments. I soon gave up, and we headed back to the Encore in our respective cars.

    I couldn’t really see the point in Valet parking at the Encore, being how amazingly close the self-park was to the main hotel entrance, so I stuck the Mustang in my favourite spot next to Reek’s white one and we headed in. As coincidence would have it we bumped into the other 3 coming in through the Valet entrance. Jaime was incredulous as to how we had beaten them back having left 10 minutes after them. I kept my theory that it was because he drives like an old lady, to myself. Littlefinger had had a good stint sat by the pool drinking Pina Colada, and was pleased that he had asked the waitress if she could get him a little bit of sun-cream and after saying she would ‘see what she could do’ she came back with a brand new unopened expensive looking bottle of it, leaving him the entire bottle for free (We later saw it in the Encore shop for $39, Littlefinger was beside himself with glee at this). It’s just good service across the board at the Wynn (apart from when you are checking in!).
    Jon Snow had had another good run, he said he got a few puzzling looks, and had to plan his route quite carefully to avoid waiting at crossings (we don’t have jaywalking laws in the UK).

    Littlefinger said he didn’t need to eat having had a big breakfast, and I presume Jon Snow went to Starbucks for some food (standard!). The rest of us had eaten at the Outlet Mall so the consensus was to do some gamblinking in the Encore. Littlefinger had soon activated enough points to have his spin on the wheel. There are some good prizes on offer, but his landed on the worst one ($10 free slot credit) – clearly it wasn’t a ‘random’ wheel! However he had already got 2 free buffet passes in the process at 350 points which is a really good perk. An hour or two later Littlefinger qualified for the daily ‘millionaire spin’ at 750 points for which he was allowed 2 spins on a different wheel. He got $50 and $10 free slot credit, not great but not too bad either (I think it lands on $10 nine times out of ten). I saw a woman win $5000 a few days later, the whole casino floor went wild and she was celebrating like a loon. It just goes to show the big wins do happen…

    We spent a bit of time on the casino floor, I was drinking mojitos and again started a mini-craze for these, I have to admit that they weren’t quite as out of this world as most of the cocktails at the Wynn are, I think it was just a barman having an off-day, because the ones I had on later days were much better.

    Littlefinger proposed that we go to the Encore beach party as it was Sunday and this was the last day it was on until next weekend. I have to admit I was a little reluctant, mostly because I didn’t have any decent swim shorts and everyone on their way to it seemed to be a muscular bronzed Adonis or sun-kissed catwalk model . I was going to stand out like Casper at a ninja convention. It’s fair to say submariners don’t get a great deal of sunlight at the best of times.
    Littlefinger was pretty keen, and it was clear that despite normally happy to go with the flow, this was something he was not keen to miss out on. Jon Snow didn’t have shorts but said he would buy a pair so he was in. Reek was definitely in. Jaime declared himself out, citing lack of swim shorts (he has a rich track history of highly suspect excuses – having missed my 22nd birthday owing to ‘clearly out of date prawns’ – we later proved this to be a total lie!), Sandor voted with his brother and Tyrion declared himself out because his work didn’t know he was in Las Vegas and he didn’t want a tell-tale suntan!!!!! ( he was texting his work every evening to say he was still ill – they must have been receiving them at like 4am UK time!!!).
    I cast aside my nagging doubts and general reluctance and agreed to go, as a bonus Littlefinger had a spare pair of shorts which were actually quite trendy and a good fit so that sorted that one out for me. Jon Snow bought a pair from the Encore shop at a reasonable price and so we headed up to get changed. We headed straight over, the queue was pretty small as it was getting late in the day now (must have been some time past 1400), so we didn’t need to join the special queue for Encore guests or anything like that. Littlefinger kept forgetting that you need ID everywhere you go in America, and Reek, being oblivious to everything, didn’t have his ID either. This necessitated a bit of sweet talking to get us in. It was only 30 dollars each which I thought was a bit of a bargain. Unbelievably, Reek had only brought 20 dollars with him (we had discussed the fact it was expensive to get in at length before going off to change), so Littlefinger paid for him, and indeed the rest of us. We went inside and I was literally blown away with the scene before me. I had never seen anything like it , it was just how I imagined an exclusive A-lister beach party in LA to be, everyone was tanned, toned and beautiful. Finally I felt like I belonged somewhere………I am kidding of course, I initially felt quite out of place, I am pasty white guy who is out of shape and never does any weights! Everyone was in trunks and swimwear so I felt even more self-conscious because not only were we pale, but we were in the minority of people wearing t-shirts. The music was absolutely pumping, the layout of the pool absolutely awesome, there was even a dance floor area with scantily clad people busting shapes. Now I just love dance music (at a party – I don’t listen to it in much in everyday life), and you could leave me for hours dancing away to good music and I would be quite happily entertained. This place was just heaven for me. The temperature of the sun was just perfect, the water lovely and warm, and plenty of places in the shade for those that needed it.

    We headed straight to the bar so that we could acclimatize to this incredible place. Littlefinger made a big theatrical point of being amazed by Jon Snow handing him 100 dollars to buy the first round. I am sure he was expecting change, however he was in for a nasty shock. To my horror Littlefinger quite clearly wanted to get the party started and ordered 4 beers and 8 Jägermeister. The bill came to $172!!!!!!! I wouldn’t describe us (well 3 of us) as skinflints but that is quite a big drinks bill (especially when you consider that the drinks are practically free no less than a 2 minute walk away!!!). So it was with deep irony that Littlefinger pointed out that the first big round Jon Snow had bought, had in fact not even covered half the bill! Reek showed no emotion at the cost of the round, and at no time did he at the time, or afterwards offer to pay any money back to Littlefinger. Unbelievable. I quickly decided that we looked out of place in our t-shirts so dumped my top and my shoes on some nearby foliage. I instinctively knew that there was no chance of crime in a place like this so it was nice to not have to worry about it.

    The call of the music was too much to resist, and after a brief spell of chatting and drinking I got in the Pool to do some dancing. Definitely the first time I have ever danced in a swimming pool. I am not entirely sure that anyone else was actually doing it, but my enthusiasm seemed to be infectious and the pool soon became a quasi-dance floor. My brother Littlefinger performed his best man duties well and ensured a constant supply of beer was delivered to me, either by himself or by Reek. Reek was not keen to shed the reputation he was building for himself for general incompetence and while wading out to me with 2 beers, for some bizarre reason began to swim underwater while holding the beers above himself, he misjudged it and allowed chlorinated (and let’s face it, almost certainly p*** filled water) to enter our beers. I snatched mine from him just in time to prevent him from rendering it completely undrinkable. It just summed his contribution to the trip up, my brother was forking out a fortune for us to drink and Reek was not only lapping it up like a giant leech, but was also doing his best to waste it!

    I could have stayed in the pool dancing for hours, I was in my element, but I thought I had better get out and speak to the others. Reek was dancing alongside me in his own unique way wherever I went. I have to say that although the party was full of beautiful people, they weren’t really making the most of it. We found a podium adjacent to the pool and I started dancing like a maniac in it. I was starting to attract quite a crowd of people in utter amazement at the pasty Englishman going ballistic. Jon Snow said that I wasn’t allowed to leave the podium until a female had joined me in there, the result of which was to get me in a lot of trouble back home. Thanks Facebook! After about 2 minutes I was joined by an American who clearly wanted experience dancing with the strange pale freak from England! It was all very innocent, and to be honest I just wanted to stay in the podium, which I did probably for a good hour or so! Littlefinger took a lot of photos and videos which also got some of us in loads of trouble back home. Things can look so out of context on Facebook!

    We got through quite a few rounds of Budweiser which was really contributing to the sense of occasion. It was also brilliant to be getting some sun on my skin, we don’t get much in the UK at this time of year, and I get even less under the sea! Because we had arrived at the pool party relatively late the sun was beginning to set and the party was starting to wind down. With numbers starting to thin down I took the opportunity to swim out to and climb onto the central podium. A prime piece of real estate if ever there was. I spent a glorious few minutes up there, exporting my unique brand of frantic dancing to the masses, before I was asked to move on by one of the Wynn Staff (do you call them bouncers or lifeguards at a pool party?). Apparently they are for women only, which I was silently outraged at, but then reflecting later I could kind of see the reasons for their policy. It was just a shame they could not make an exception for a minor celebrity such as myself.

    Having walked in so meekly several hours earlier, I would never have guessed we would be leaving as the life and soul of the party. We were extremely reluctant to have to leave and were pretty much the last men standing. We got chatting with one of the bouncer/lifeguards (I shall call them “lifecers”) who seemed like a really nice guy, he must have done us some kind of favour because Littlefinger tipped him 10 dollars saying “have a drink on us”. I don’t think this phrase translated well in whatever part of the US he was from because it seemed to confuse him and he replied “shall I come with you now for the drink?”. Littlefinger gave him a fairly blunt reply in his typical cheeky chappy kind of way, explaining that he was supposed to buy himself a drink with the money later, we were not expecting him to come out and party with us! With great reluctance we trudged out of what had been the most amazing of parties. I thought I had left my best clubbing days behind me, but I had been wrong.

    We headed back up the rooms to shower and change and then headed down to the casino floor to meet up with Jaime, Sandor and Tyrion. I am not entirely sure what they had been up to, but I suspect it involved slot machines and blackjack.

    We decided the plan was to head out for food at “Dicks Last Resort” – for those of you who haven’t heard of it (I hadn’t) it is basically a restaurant where the waiters and waitresses are really rude to you! I had read about similar places and always thought it was a cool idea so I was quite excited to be going. While typing this, I couldn’t for the life of me remember which hotel it is situated in, but having googled it, I can confirm it is in the Excalibur! I don’t think this is a reflection that this Casino wasn’t memorable, it’s just a reflection of how fast paced Vegas can be – it all just melds into one. It is one of the reasons it is good to write this TR, because in a years’ time my memory of it all is going to be massively distorted!
    We got a couple of taxis and arrived at the fairy-tale castle that is the Excalibur, my memory having been jogged I do remember admiring the effort that had gone into its construction, however the fact the I needed my memory jogging at all, in order to remember that I had been there is probably an indication that there is nothing here that makes it stand out over and above all the hundreds of exotic sites in Vegas. It seems to me to be a massive waste of effort and resources to spend so much time and money building the place, only for me to think ‘oh look a massive replica fairy-tale castle’ and then promptly forget I had ever been there! Having said that, if it were situated anywhere else on Earth it would probably be much more worthy of note.

    We headed straight for Dicks (that’s possibly the first time in my life I have made that statement!) and I was delighted with how rude the guy checking our reservation was. One of us (probably Reek, but I can’t remember) was lagging behind, Sandor said “hi, reservation for 7?” and the guy replied with utter disgust “seven? I only see six”. It was just the way he said it as if we were utter scumbags that was so brilliant. We were led to our table by a waitress who had an air of being mischievous, rather than nasty and I immediately liked her. She started out by forcing an extremely cheap looking ‘tablecloth’ into Tyrion’s hands and then tossing sets of basic cutlery vaguely towards the middle of the table causing a suitably loud crashing sound each time. We were then tossed out menus and insulted a little bit in during the process. Unfortunately we weren’t particularly drunk or lairy and I think she quite liked us, so if anything, I don’t think we were mistreated enough. I think I ordered a steak, but the food was merely reasonably good, rather than outstanding so it didn’t really stick in my mind. I was the first to be given a conical white hat (no not that kind). It was forced on my head quite violently from behind, and I was completely un-expecting it. A photo of the offending hat hasn’t materialised yet, and I can’t quite remember what it said, but I think it made some reference to my lack of sexual prowess with regards to my fiancée or something like that, I guess as the stag, that was fairly standard but I had been hoping for something a bit more personal and biting! Littlefinger had been giving her a bit of banter so he got one a bit later saying “I wish my **** was as big as my ego”. Apart from this things were getting a bit tame, so Tyrion started doing his best to wind her up. A couple of chauvinistic comments and good retorts earned him a hat, I won’t say what his said as it may not pass censorship! It was an enjoyable meal, and the novelty of it more than made up for the fact that the food wasn’t anything particularly special. We left the waitress a massive tip as she had been good fun (if a little too lenient) and we started heading out. Tyrion and myself went over to thank her and as she turned to go, Tyrion seized the opportunity to give her a firm patt on the bum! Given the tone of the restaurant and our banter during the meal, this went down very well and she turned round with the most brilliant expression of mock outrage, while smiling as if to say “touché”. I think Tyrion felt that that act had allowed us to leave Dicks as the victors.

    We headed over to ‘Coyote Ugly’, I had not heard of its existence, but as you can imagine, it is a bar themed on the film of the same name. I have never seen this film, though I think I now have a flavour of what it’s about as this bar did have quite a unique atmosphere. It was absolutely rammed full of people, it was quite hard to move about. The music was typically atmospheric and there was definitely a Texan feel to it, though I am not sure that was necessarily the case with the movie. There were two girls on the stage at the front throwing freebies into the crowd, pouring spirits down peoples necks and doing some reasonably ‘sexy’ dancing, they were dressing in similar kind of Southern clothing as Jessica Simpsons character in ‘the Dukes of Hazzard’. I did not notice for some time, but there was also a cowgirl dancing on the bar at the back. A couple of rounds of beers were bought (again Reek was yet to buy one, but was happy to keep on taking) and I resisted the temptation to climb up on any bars or podiums. After some time, Littlefinger who had been talking to some members of a hen (bachelorette) party started beckoning me over. I waded through the crowd to find out what he wanted and apparently as a Stag (bachelor), I was desperately needed by their Hen to help her complete one of her challenges (she had a whole list of weird stuff). Obviously it’s not in my nature, and not very British to say no in such a situation so I agreed to help on the proviso that it was nothing too dodgy. As it turned out I was required to buy a cocktail called a B*** J** and she had to drink it from between my legs.
    To be honest I thought this was quite a stupid challenge and all that particularly funny, however I may just have been being grumpy for the fact I was the one who had to pay the 15 dollars for a drink from a complete stranger! I suppose it was good entertainment for the Hen Party to see their friend do stupid stunt after stupid stunt and be getting free drink in the process. It is just a shame that my own wingmen, instead of coming up with entertaining stunts for me, were just seeing me out of pocket and wasting my time. Thanks Littlefinger!
    It had definitely been good to see this bar and soak up its atmosphere, but it really hadn’t endeared itself enough to our hearts to warrant us staying any longer so we beat a retreat.

    Whether by design or by accident (I think it was Sandor’s idea) we headed over to the Irish bar within the Excalibur, just a short walk away and found it to be mostly full of Irish people. This never fails to surprises me, you would think they would want to try a different kind of bar. There was an Irish band playing on the stage at the back of the bar, it wasn’t particularly busy. In typical fashion, Littlefinger was first to volunteer to get a round in and headed to the bar where he started chatting to a pleasant American-Irish lady in her early thirties and her mum, a plump woman with glasses in her fifties. I am not sure if I was tired or drunk or both, but my memory of this bar is crystal clear in parts, but also extremely fuzzy in others. I will therefore just try and stick to what I am sure of. Everyone was happy to drink Guinness, which made the round buying quite simple. Littlefinger had made friends with these people at the bar by the time the drinks were handed out and I think there was some good banter being exchanged. We were quite happy camped here for god knows how many rounds, which is probably why my memory of it isn’t as good as most of the trip, this was probably our heaviest day of drinking (apart from Reek for, whom heavy is useless term). The band was doing a bit of audience interaction, which they probably regretted after we had turned up because we started to complain they were not Irish enough when they didn’t seem to be able to play many Irish songs. I think they were about as Irish as Mel Gibson is Scottish. When we finally got them to play one they knew, none of us knew the words, although we knew the tune so we all loudly sang just making up whatever we could think of and this seemed to go down a storm, with all the other patrons joining in with us. I have rarely seen a bar all singing absolute nonsense, but it worked quite well. As time wore on, the alcohol was taking its toll on most of us, Littlefinger having still not properly slept since he the day before our flight (the moron!) was starting to look like a cast-member of ‘the Walking Dead’, completely uncharacteristically, but also medically understandably, he declared he could take it no more and was the first to call it a night. Tryion was trying his hand (or rather his feet) at a bit of line-dancing and was soon joined by Reek who were having a whale of a time dancing away on bespoke dance floor we had created, their energy was getting quite a lot of people involved. At this point, Jaime was talking quite sensibly to the older of the two American-Irish women (to be honest I should probably just call her American, because she wasn’t particularly Irish, despite her claims!) and Sandor decided to offer me 10 dollars to slap her a**. There were 4 factors that shaped my response to ridiculous offer 1) I was the Stag 2) I hate to refuse a challenge 3) the comedy to harm ratio was in positive figures. 4) I had consumed a lot of drink. I therefore didn’t really have a choice and accepted the challenge. I was reasonably subtle about it, sidling up to join them and offer a few sensible injections into their sensible conversation……when completely out of the blue I delivered a prompt but gentle pat of her ample derriere. Now I have to say without exaggeration ladies and gentlemen, but the extent to which she went mental quite surprised me! “that is inappropriate! I am 55 years old. I am old enough to be your mother!”. I managed to maintain a poker face while she vented off, I may have been unable to conceal a slight smirk, but she calmed down pretty quickly and we resumed talking. I put the 10 dollars from Sandor in my wallet. We carried on talking for a bit, and after the butt-patting gate had become a bit of a memory, and realising I wasn’t actually all that drunk, just tired and fatigued, I started to apologise to her ‘Err, yeah sorry about patting you’re a*, it was completely inappropriate and I am not sure why I did it’ (well that was a lie, it was for the 10 dollars). She immediately started going on about how it was absolutely fine, she over-reacted and actually it was a perfectly acceptable thing to do because I had meant it as a joke. Now, I was quite confused by just how much she had changed her mind on this, she was making it sound as if I was the victim, for having had to suffer her over-reaction. It was causing so much confusion in my mind that I couldn’t resist but ask ‘what so if I did it again you wouldn’t even mind?’. She said absolutely not. Without even thinking, I did it again and she went absolutely mental all over again. She was even more cross that the first time. I have absolutely no idea why, because she just said I could do it. Maybe it was something to do with the fact that this time I gave it a little squeeze in the process. If only she had said that a squeeze would be the new red line.
    She calmed down again pretty quickly and I moved myself away from winding her up and went to talk to Jon Snow. He told me to look over at the bar, it was Reek and he had just bought himself a pint of Guinness, which was apparently the second time in the night that he had done that. This was new low, he had been free loading every day, and now wasn’t even going to buy a round. Jon Snow said I needed to talk to him, and I agreed I would.

    Shortly afterwards, Sandor was clearly in a mischievous mood and bet Reek a dollar to squeeze the bum of the same aforesaid Irish woman, Reek was oblivious to what had previously happened on two occasions with this woman and her a**, and it would have almost certainly have precipitated pandemonium by carrying out this challenge. Fortunately he did not succeed, however it was not through lack of courage, or a strong sense of morality that stopped him, oh no…as you might guess it was through utter incompetence that he did not succeed. He took the dollar that Sandor pro-offered him up front and headed over to the vicinity of his victim with some pace, clearly not bothering with any kind of subtle approach, he went straight to his target and gave her derriere a firm clasping. Sadly, he picked the wrong target and had squeezed the bum of the daughter. Far from reacting badly, it seemed to precipitate a reasonably long conversation and is one of the more unconventional ice-breakers that I have seen recently. The rest of us marvelled at how he consistently managed to get the simplest of tasks so badly wrong, and it was some time later before he finally re-joined us and Sandor was able to demand his dollar back for getting the wrong target. Reek is a fairly stubborn and obstinate drunk (as the necessity of getting the police to remove him from the Wynn is apparent evidence of) and he flatly refused to hand over the dollar. Sandor decided therefore that he would extract the value back out of him by using his intelligence advantage (this was not going to be hard) and gave Reek an ultimatum, he could either kiss the a** of the elder Irishwoman or hand back the dollar. It is quite comical to think that he had the willpower to flatly refuse to return what he no doubt considered his hard earned dollar, and yet faced with a totally unreasonable and unfair deal to settle the matter, he jumped at the chance. He was in effect having to do a far more dangerous and morally corrupt challenge just to keep the dollar he was already in possession of. (lets bear in mind that I was offered 10 dollars for a challenge 10 times easier). The vast majority of us were too inebriated to have noticed that the older Irish woman’s husband had been standing very close the entire time in a separate small group. I believe Jaime was aware of this as he had been having some of the more normal and civilised conversations with our Irish-American cousins. I believe therefore that he was watching as Reek went over to his wife, who had her back turned, and in a fairly shifty manner bent down to plant the kiss on her ample posterior. It was at this point that utter pandemonium broke lose, the husband went absolutely ballistic, and the wife passed through three stages of : ignorance, confusion, realisation and then anger in rapid succession. Reek had a master plan to diffuse the situation however, and repeatedly informed them that he had not been trying to kiss the man’s wife’s a**, but had instead been merely trying to sniff it!!! As is that made it any better! If anything this only served to make him more angry and enflamed the situation. We all immediately decided to side with the angry man and very vocally told Reek that what he had done was unacceptable, this helped to calm things down significantly as the common consensus that Reek was a morally depraved animal seemed to bring the matter so some kind of natural conclusion. They were so incensed however that they all left the bar immediately. It was pretty late in the night so they were probably almost done anyway. At this point I really couldn’t drink anymore and the majority of the 20 pints that Reek had ordered were untouched and unwanted. We decided we had extracted all the enjoyment out of the Irish bar and headed out onto the casino floor directly outside. Sandor and Jaime were clearly anxious to get as far away from Reek as possible and headed straight over to a BJ table. Myself and Jon Snow found an Avatar slot machine and had a bit of a play. Apparently in the meantime, Reek was picking up all the pints of Guinness and plonking them in the middle of the BJ table. Amazingly the croupier did not object and it was not until there were about 14 of them on there that one of the pit bosses came over and told him he couldn’t leave them there. I imagine this must have been deeply embarrassing for Sandor and particularly Jaime, who had very little patience with the man at the best of times. Eventually he came over to myself and Jon Snow and quietly asked me if my brothers were annoyed with him for some reason. Prompted in such a way, I explained to him that the abuse of the round system was upsetting everyone, particularly after my brother having spent a few hundred dollars at the pool party, for which he had contributed nothing (he hadn’t even reimbursed him for the entrance fee). He didn’t really say much and just wandered off, presumably too drunk to properly process what he had been told. It was the last we would see of him that night as he just vanished. I did wonder if he had gone off in a sulk, but actually it is probably more likely that he just got lost again and couldn’t find his way back to use. When I asked him the next day where he had gone, he said he didn’t know and that he didn’t get back until 6.30am. I asked what he had been doing and he just said he was trying to get home and just kept getting lost!!! (It’s like one straight road- with the Stratosphere as a massive head mark to aim towards). He said he eventually gave up and got a taxi, which is in itself remarkable. I do still wonder what really happened to him on his way home.
    Jon Snow and I were left as the last men standing, neither of us smoke but Jon snow had a pack of menthol cigarettes which he dabbles in on special occasions, so we both puffed away like a pair of badly cloned James Bonds. We didn’t stay for too long and walked back to the Wynn. I believe we both decided it was a good day for an early night and we both probably tucked up in bed by 1am.

    Day 5

    I woke up early, slightly dehydrated with that feeling that I would not be able to get back to sleep even if I wanted. I had a text on my phone from my fiancée who was clearly quite furious about the fact I had made one of the pool party pictures my profile picture on Facebook. We had previously cleared up the misunderstanding that had occurred from a picture posted by Littlefinger in which I was dancing in the podium with a girl at the Encore Beach Pool party, but it seemed I had taken things too far. I gave her a ring in the toilet and after a lengthy chat I had managed to calm the situation after apologising profusely. Obviously I changed my profile picture back to something less provocative as soon as I could. It was about 8am, and I disturbed Jon Snow as I started to get ready, he seemed pretty keen on getting some sleep as he was due to depart that day and it was going to be a lengthy trip (via flight to LA). I said I would try and pick him up a Starbucks and headed out. It would be the last time I would ever see him…………………………………..in Vegas.
    I headed down to the casino floor and texted everybody. I got no reply from Littlefinger and Reek (I imagined Littlefinger was still in a mild coma from his sleep exhaustion). Jaime and Sandor were up and about and so we met up and headed over to New York New York to move Tyrion from his comped room there to Cosmo. We drove in Jaime’s SUV and met Tyrion in the lobby. Ironically we visited the Starbucks, for the first time not at Jon Snows request. Most of the group were getting bagels, whereas I purchased some weird ‘protein boost’ meal. It had fruit in it so I am not sure this was a great description, but it had some healthy food in it which I thought was no bad thing. We had a game of craps at one of the automated craps machine, which was my first ever introduction to the game ( I had been meaning to try it for years as everyone says it is quite a social game). Sure enough there was a jovial atmosphere during the game, particularly as we were all winning consistently. I didn’t fully understand the rules yet, but even as a novice I could appreciate the massive amount of time that went by without us getting a ‘7’ was unusual. I was betting conservatively, however Jaime and Sandor has some very big wins during this win streak and walked away quite a lot up. It was a fun first ever craps session for me and walked away having turned my initial investment of 20 dollars into 100. These automated machines were great, even ‘push the button….go on push the button’ that Japanese sounding voice kept saying over and over again was encouraging rather than annoying (which is blatantly should have been). We left NY NY and drove over to Cosmo, we checked Tyrion in with ease and headed up to what turned out to be an amazing room. For me personally it didn’t quite have the magic of the Wynn, but it had an awesome balcony with an absolutely fantastic view. It looked down on the Bellagio fountains, from the side rather than head on (as those of you who understand the geography of the strip will know).
    He had a little kitchen area with a microwave and sink etc. The bath was in the room, which I thought was a cool touch as I rather like baths. Were it not for the presence of Reek on this trip, Tyrion would most certainly have been the prime ‘tight-a***’ and seeing as Sandor had got him these awesome comp deals we decided to be a bit childish and screw around with his room. I started running a bath, while Sandor and Jaime started messing about with his minibar ( moving stuff about and potentially triggering the weight activated charges to his room tab). We trashed his room a bit, but he wasn’t really biting and took it all quite good-naturedly so we stopped the mayhem and headed over to the buffet, which we had heard was particularly good.
    I had heard from Littlefinger and Reek, and they were now on their way to join us for food. I got a text from Jon Snow telling me that he had been for his final run and wouldn’t have a chance to come and say goodbye, so now we were down to 6. I was feeling a little bit off-colour (probably from the relentless diet of cocktails and the fact that body had forgotten how to process food after so many days of not eating) , which was a shame as the food was truly amazing. There was a good offer for unlimited drinks for something like $12 but I wasn’t feeling up to it so I stuck to the free soft drinks. Sandor ordered a Root Beer, and having not ever tried one (as far as I can remember) I joined him, it was absolutely lovely. Littlefinger and Reek arrived about 10 minutes into our meal and went off to get food. We decided to wind Reek up by telling him, once he had returned from getting his first plate-load, that you are only allowed one trip and that he should sneakily go back to load up his plate. Sure enough he fell for it, and as soon as we told him he went off to add more. It was quite funny, that with all the amazing and exotic food on offer, he had had a sausage and some bacon on his plate – pretty much a standard English breakfast and the most boring and mundane thing you could possibly order. When he returned from loading up his plate, it didn’t actually look much different and he had just sprinkled a bit of rice on top! He barely touched his food, and when quizzed on this he said he wasn’t feeling well. When I spoke to Littlefinger later on, he revealed that he had had to pay for Reeks Buffet. It was just getting ridiculous, why was a grown man leeching so much money off someone he had only just met! It was insult to injury again that he didn’t really eat any food. I don’t think Littlefinger and Reek were feeling too great so they both headed back in their car to the Encore, I think Littlefinger wanted to do a bit of sunbathing by the pool and Reek just wasn’t feeling too good. We played some more craps at the Cosmo, again playing another identical automated machine. It was another productive session with all of us winning. Again Jaime and Sandor won a few hundred dollars, while I made a more conservative single hundred. Even Tyrion, a fairly light gambler, won quite well. I was back on the cocktails as standard while we were playing and after that we decided to head off for new pastures. Jaime left his car at Cosmo and we started walking along the strip in the general direction of the Wynn. We stopped at the Bellagio to try and get a seat in the café with the amazing views of the fountains (I forget what it is called) but sure enough we were told it was booked out. Jaime seemed bemused by this, but he must of temporarily forgotten what small fry we were in Vegas. We watched the fountain show in the normal touristy place instead and it was suitably impressive. We next stopped at the Casino Royale, a truly skanky and rundown looking casino, which cunning concealed that the inside was also run-down and skanky. It was just what we were looking for, as the high-rolling Jaime and Sandor were looking desperately for a Blackjack table with a smaller minimum. We can afford a $25 dollar table, but somehow it sucks the fun out of things, as a small swing to the house can blow quite a devastating chunk out of planned budgets. They found a $5 table, and the three of them sat down to play for a bit. I am quite glad I didn’t join them, as they reported some bizarre rules, such as not being allowed to touch you cards at certain times and some other really odd and strict measures. We never really got to the bottom of why it was like that, but it seemed to suck a lot of the fun out of it, forever being scolded by the harsh croupier. The drinks were about a dollar a beer in this place, I ordered a few cocktails which tasted pretty good all things considered. We didn’t stay for too long and carried on back to the Encore.

    We met up with Littlefinger and Reek and decided to try some real craps. This was quite an odd experience and was nowhere near as chilled out as the automated machine. It probably didn’t help that none of us were winning. I found it quite frustrating that you weren’t allowed to place your own bets and instead had to instruct the croupier each time and pass him your chips. I quite liked to place lots of small random bets on the automated machine, but it just seemed too much like hard work here. We all lost a small about and walked away because it just wasn’t that much fun.

    We hung around drinking for a while and then once everyone had got changed into suitable evening attire, we got into a taxi and headed to the Stratosphere. Being that there were 6 of us, we still required 2 taxis, Reek, Littlefinger and I arrived in one (obviously Reek didn’t pay for the taxi fare in our one). We had made the mistake of failing to properly allocate those with ‘Vegas knowledge’ equally distributed between the two taxi’s, which coupled with the fact that no one in the other taxi had their phones on and working, meant that having been dropped at a different entrance, it took us quite a long time to find them. Eventually we found them and headed up, they have attendants manning the lifts, which are impressively fast to such an extent that your ears generally seem to pop as the pressure changes so quickly. We got split up again, we should have just waited to all go in one empty lift, as in true style we lost the other group and ended up walking round and round the bar at the top in true Benny Hill style. There were two levels and it took quite a while to finally find them (which is embarrassing as there really isn’t that much square feet of floor space). Reek managed to get properly lost somehow, although no one appeared particularly concerned. We found an adequately sized table and ordered some of the delicious looking cocktails. It was a novelty to actually have to pay for them for once! The other guys were winding me up that they had booked me the skydive off the top. They said that is why they had been so hard to find, which was quite a convincing story and I was absolutely terrified at the thought. I had been drinking most of the day, and the thought of hurling myself off the top of this thing was not a nice one. I am naturally scared of heights, and having spent most of my life facing this fear head on, I was nevertheless not especially keen to hurl myself off a giant landmark while mildly drunk. It turned out they were winding me up, but not before I had exposed my cowardliness, repeating over and over again “I’m not doing it!”, with genuine fear in my voice and that tone which indicates that negotiation is not going to be possible.
    If they had actually booked it for me, my plan was to insist that Reek go in my stead, but having asked him if he would one day do it (slyly testing the water of my potential plan) he replied that he would have done it if he was younger but not anymore. This didn’t sound like the dare-devil that I always remembered him to be in his university days. I had a memory of him during an army ski trip hurtling down the slopes at break-neck speed, rarely slowing down or turning. At the time I had put this down to bravery, but now I realise that he was probably just too stupid to slow down or simply unaware of the danger that he was putting himself in. He did some pretty classic stuff on that ski trip like getting stuck on ski-lift and skiing in a tuxedo, while enjoying the après ski in the bars, I also convinced him to hand out the queen of hearts with his phone number and cabin number written on it to attractive women as a bit of a joke. The first thing he did was give it to a young woman who was standing with her mum. I seem to remember her mum going mental, though we managed to calm her down and she eventually saw the funny side. It’s funny how history repeats, who would have thought that a decade later a similar incident would happen at an Irish bar in Las Vegas!

    I think I made a bad choice with my cocktail, as I seem to remember drinking it was quite hard work. Some of them were indeed lovely though, and I would recommend heading up there for a cocktail. The view is brilliant and it is good to watch the skydivers plummet off the top (you literally just see a body fall down the window – it is possible I was just witnessing the local mass murderer dumping a load of bodies. They should so re-boot Dexter set in Vegas). Again I can only state that I am not making this up, but when the bill arrived, Reek was no-where to be seen. We all chuckled about this (it had happened so often that people were just finding it funny rather than annoying), paid up once Reek had turned up we headed to the lift. We decided not to tell him about it yet, but rather tell him at the bottom that he hadn’t paid. In the lift on the way down, an American guy was asking the young female lift attendant about his ears popping. She replied something along the lines that different people use different ways to combat it. So Littlefinger quipped “what do you do, do you swallow?”. She started to reply and then stopped mid-sentence and say “wait, is that meant to be dirty!?”, the whole lift burst into laughter and she was a great sport about it. At the bottom we asked Reek if he had paid for his drink, he swore, either genuinely forgetting, or equally likely having conveniently forgotten and moved back towards the lift as if to go back up and pay. Sandor just said, ‘it’s ok Reek’, and he seemed happy to leave it at that. He didn’t offer to pay us back then or at a later opportunity. We had a wander round the casino and I found a plants vs zombies slot machine which I was quite excited about. I was determined to see the feature and fortunately didn’t have to wait too long. I have to say it was a bit disappointing and pretty much revolved around betting which side would win 4 or 5 times. In the words of Shania Twain, ‘it didn’t impress me much’.

    We got in some taxis and headed towards Fremantle Street in order to sample the delights of the world famous Heart Attack Grill. It was good to get off the strip and remind ourselves that there was a world outside, even if this world outside was itself, a weird mish-mash of neon lights, casinos and bizarre constructions. Freemantle Street appeared no way near as dangerous or insidious as legend would have had me believe. I was expecting Mos Eisely, but instead I found Sesame Street. Maybe we just caught it on a good night, or maybe we just gave out such an aura of being bad-a**** that trouble avoided us (this is unlikely). We did see some guy in hand-cuffs getting berated by a police officer, but when we got closer it transpired he was just standing in an odd way (no hand-cuffs) and was in fact just chatting in a friendly manner with the cop. It just goes to show that you often see what you are expecting to see, rather than what is actually happening. Incidentally this was about the first cop I had seen the whole time I had been in Vegas, which was contrary to the police state that some people on Trip Advisor had told me to expect. (Admittedly Reek had seen quite a few by this point!).

    We pretty much headed straight into the Heart Attack Grill, and were immediately dressed in the surgical gowns which patrons are famously required to wear. We had a few group photos taken, somehow two of the waitresses took a couple of ‘selfies’ with Littlefinger’s phone, for which he later got in a lot of trouble with Mrs Littlefinger. Facebook is a terrible thing.
    The plan was to order me an ‘octuple bypass burger’ as the Stag, paid for by the donation of a friend who had wanted to come, but just didn’t like me quite enough to make the effort to spend a fortune to celebrate the end of my single life with me. A trip like this, really does separate the great friends from the chaff! We had quite a lengthy discussion on this topic about how he was paying for the burger and the really weird thing is that after we had pretty much just stopped talking about it, Reek suddenly chips in “Ned shouldn’t pay for his burger, we should all chip in”. I struggle to adequately explain his behaviour, but it is well in keeping with his persona throughout the trip that the one time he should offer any form of generosity, is a) when that generosity is shared out 5 ways and b) when that generosity has been explained to be unnecessarily immediately prior to it being offered!

    Tyrion ordered a ridiculously calorie laden milkshare, the rest of us got beers. Most people ordered a burger of some sort, with the exception of myself, limiting themselves to “ONLY” a double. I was pretty annoyed when Jaime ordered me a side order of fries, it seemed to me the deal had been for me to try and eat the burger, adding fries was just ridiculous and wasting food is immoral. Just think of the starving kids. Tyrion’s milkshake was the first to arrive and it was absolutely disgusting in terms of what they had put in it. It had a large chunk of butter floating on the top and was proudly advertised as being something like 1000 calories. It didn’t taste awful, but the whole concept of it just made me feel ill. You could almost feel it clogging your arteries, and I only had a sip. For those of you who don’t know, if you weigh over 350lbs you eat for free…forever. There was a fat guy getting weighed in to try and claim his free meal and sure enough he was like 380lbs. There was much celebration, only in America….

    Our food arrived and sure enough, mine was an absolute monster. It must have been almost 2 feet high and leaned precariously despite the sturdy wooden rod penetrating it’s spine. It was a bit of a challenge to know how to eat it, I opted to keep it on the skewer and eat round it at the top. This was going to a) take some time and b) be impossible. The chips were pretty horrible, I tasted one just to see and left the rest. The burgers were incredibly greasy. The only good thing is there were massive tomatoes and plenty of lettuce and onion but obviously this only made the challenge even more unattainable. I quizzed the waitress about how many people actually finish the burger (I quickly realised that I wasn’t just going to fail, but I was going to fail by a MASSIVE margin). She was saying the people that finish it are quite often quite thin people and that the last person was a petite young woman. Apparently, people with more fat on them have less space for their stomach to expand, well that’s what I was told anyway.

    The good thing for me was that my failure was being eclipsed by Reek, who was seemingly unable to eat almost any of his single burger. Tyrion was suggesting that I had done well by eating the top two burgers of the 8, which I personally think is a little generous. I was completely bloated by just those two, and seeing that I was not going to be anywhere near finishing I gave up rather than make myself ill all night for no reason. Meanwhile Reek was looking like he was going to projectile vomit so Jaime unceremoniously got up from sitting opposite him and moved to the other end of the table. Reek made quite a few hurried trips to the toilets (which incidentally featured Obama and Bush on the urinals, presumably as ‘targets’). We paid the bill, which featured ‘Obama’s cut’, rather than tax and 3 of us had to suffer being spanked as punishment for not finishing our food. Tyrion seemed genuinely keen to be spanked, I think because the waitresses were ‘sexily clad’ in nurses outfits, however the rest of us were fairly nervous of the whole process. As the stag I was up first and little did I know but Jaime had asked her to make sure it was an especially hard spanking. I was not expecting it to hurt so much and it was absolute agony, she really launched herself into it, it was almost impressive how such a small lady could find quite so much power. It gave me the tiniest taste of how evil it must be to receive the lash, because the second strike was like the 1st magnified threefold. I moved away in agony, blaspheming and said ‘no more’. I would have expected the waitress to be guilty, or in the very least to accept my basic human right to not have massive amounts of pain inflicted by a stranger but she started negotiating with me, she basically managed to haggle me down to accepting one more, and being that in this small space of time I felt like such a victim that I had come down with a classic case of Stockholm syndrome and now felt compelled to please my tormentor (ironic really – you would have thought it would have been Reek that this would have happened to). I ceded to allowing her to inflict enormous pain on me one more time so that I could then be free and amazingly she didn’t hold back, if anything she somehow put more power in than ever before. It was the first time I wished I had a big fat ass ( I am assuming fat would shield the pain?). I never got to see the video of the spanking (they have a camera in front of your face, so that they can upload it to their website. I suspect that the pain etched on my contorted face was so severe and so genuine that even this dubious enterprise deemed it inappropriate!
    My captor (err, I mean the waitress) gave me a hug which was customary, although in my case I think it was a genuine apology-hug for the mauling I had received!
    Reek was up next and in true comedy fashion, he received one spank (which the others report was clearly and visibly significantly softer than the one I had received- Jaime says she almost did a run up for me!), he recoiled like he had been shot and absolutely insisted he receive no more. He has about 0% body fat, so our theory is that she had struck his bone! Tyrion was up next and started off the spanking by asking her if he could take his pants off. I am not sure if she realised the true extent of the implications of this request, as a lot of you will know, pants don’t mean trousers in England. She denied his request, although clearly seeing the funny side and Tyrion seemed to quite enjoy himself, again the power she put into each stroke was significantly less than I had been subjected to. There had been one guy who kept going up to get spanked and seemed to love it, the waitress explained that they get quite a few guys who seem to have a fetish for it and can’t get enough of it. She just seemed to shrug about it, rather than express any frustration.
    I am glad we went as it was quite a memorable experience but I would caution against going here if you are after anything but a novelty experience. The food is below par, and being that the gimmick is to ensure it contains as many calories as possible (the octuple bypass burger has 20,000), the food is suitably ‘gopping’ the grease was literally trickling down the burgers, making the bun a soggy greasy mess. The chips were very poor quality. One of the things that really gave me a negative vibe about the place was that there was something not quite right about the waitresses. They seemed friendly, but there was something jaded about their ‘performance’ which indicated to me that they weren’t happy about something. My inkling is that they weren’t happy about the morality of their job or the philosophy of the owner, because on the surface their job seemed a fairly easy one, and none of the customers that I saw seemed particularly unpleasant. I think there is a whole seedier side to this place than is immediately apparent, particularly when you read about the apparent pride the owner has about the people who have died eating there! You would have thought that they are paid quite well because the place is world famous and the tips can’t be bad. On that note, we left a suitably large tip (I can’t remember if this is the case, but let’s assume Reek didn’t put anything in) and headed out onto Freemantle Street. The light show covering the street which I had heard so much about was fairly disappointing, though I imagine in its day it was probably impressive. Maybe. We stopped off to watch some guy do some street painting with some spray cans. The particular one he was doing at the time was actually pretty amazing and I bought one. Later on, I saw an identical stand so it is obviously a little franchise rather than one guys individual genius. The result is great though, and it is quite obvious what it is, there are no tricks. I was a little worried it might not survive the trip back to the UK, or that the paint might degrade, but it got back to the fine and is still is pristine condition.

    We had a look in a few of the casinos, Sandor and Jaime as ever searching for decent low limit BJ. Nothing really held our attention for long and we found nothing to entice us to stay for the night. Reek had recently announced that he was still feeling ill ( the reason he had had like one bite of his burger) and was going to call it a night, but when he realised we would be leaving shortly he changed his mind ( no doubt keen to save himself a taxi fare!).
    Having seen the famous Freemantle Street, we headed back to the Wynn for more Gamblinking.

    It felt weird to have a hotel room to myself now that Jon Snow had departed, Littlefinger had declined my offer for him to escape Reek and move into my room, probably to save himself the hassle, especially as Reek was due to leave in the morning. I enjoyed a relatively early night and an undisturbed sleep which was just what the doctor ordered.

    Day 6

    I woke up fairly refreshed and met Reek and Littlefinger by the pool. Reek was all packed ready to depart, and now had an hour or so to kill so we got some drinks in, Reek and I had coffee and Littlefinger had his customary pool side Pina Colada ( these were lovely and I am not sure why I didn’t have one myself at some point by the pool). The bill came and Littlefinger paid, I handed him some money which he refused and Reek as usual said nothing. Littlefinger and I sunbathed, and we chatted about random stuff, reminiscing about the week’s events. Reek went off to do load his stuff into his car and came back 20 minutes later with the immortal words ‘I’ve just got myself a final coffee’ – THIS IS UTTERLY UNBELIEVABLE. I don’t normally like to write in caps, but it is just so unbelievable that he would neither buy my brother a drink back or at least offer him one. His final act was to buy only himself a drink!
    We said goodbye and that was him gone, still owing me a fortune for the hotel rooms. To be honest it was something of a relief to see him go. He just hadn’t tried to integrate himself, and hadn’t really embraced Vegas at all. Everyone had tried to be nice to him, despite the speed with which they lost patience with him. I spent a load of time burning to a crisp before getting a text from Sandor, Jaime and Tyrion to say that they had finished their latest bout of shopping at Macys and were now at Circus Circus. Littlefinger wanted some more chill out/sleep time so I headed over to Circus Circus alone and on foot. It was a low budget place, but not ridiculously so, I had a couple of cocktails and we played a bit of BJ before we had the idea that they would buy me a $30 yard of cocktail in the distinctive pink that is synonymous with the place. It is refillable for free, but with the amount of shots he put in it, there wasn’t going to be a need for that. I opted for the Pina Colada, although obviously it tasted nothing like the quality cocktail at the Wynn. It was also full of slushy ice, so not everyone’s cup of tea. It was quite tasty though, just very very strong. Littlefinger joined us after a while and after spending an uneventful time drinking we headed out to Jaime’s car, which he had valet parked. As we went outside there was a black guy with loads of bling who immediately clocked my pink yard of Pina colada and was banging on about how cool it was. Being that it wasn’t cool, that I was quite drunk, dehydrated and not really paying too much attention to my surroundings I immediately in my mind dismissed him as a madman or a vagrant ( the fact he was wearing bling probably should have registered). Jaime was just about to hand him the valet ticket, thinking him to be the valet man, but just before he was able to do so the guy revealed he was a famous rapper who was related to Snoop Dogg. I was very sceptical, in fact we all were, but the streams of photos he showed of us indicated he was indeed famous. There was a definite whiff of ganja in the air and it was in this spirit that he invited us all to some massive party in LA the next week. He showed us a picture of ‘his woman’ who was called ‘juicy’ prompting Littlefinger to ask why she was called that, which was pretty funny. He really seemed to really like this gang of pasty/burnt Englishmen, with one of them holding a massive camp yard of pink Pina colada. It is not really what I imagined would get me ingratiated into the rapping world. I thought I might have to pop a capp in some mo-fo’s ass first (see I can speak the lingo!). The Guy was called 4-Tay in case you are wondering, not massively famous, you will agree but still a funny little meeting outside Circus Circus. We hadn’t really noticed the massive minders that were standing by his huge SUV, so I am not sure quite how close we came to a beating. I am not sure he would have been too happy to be handed a valet ticket. Littlefinger and I later debated whether we should cancel our flights and attend his LA party, but on reflection it probably wasn’t worth ending my marriage over it.

    We headed off in Jaime’s car, now that Reek had gone we now only needed one car/taxi which was brilliant. Being that we hadn’t lost his financial contribution (because there never had been one) this made everything a lot cheaper. We dumped the car at the Encore and they unloaded all their shopping. Sandor had saved a fortune at Macys through the actions of a kind shop clerk ( we don’t have kind shop Clerks in England – which is why I draw attention to this). Basically they were having a 33% sale the next day on almost all the items he was buying, so she told him about this and said she would reserve it for him to pick it up the next day, all bagged up ready and saving him a few hundred dollars. I had a similar thing happen to me at the American NEX in Bahrain, I was buying a MacBook pro, was just opening my wallet to pay and the guy directed me to go and get a free scratch card (which had a minimal ‘win’ of 5% off any purchase). When you are dealing with big sums that is quite a saving. I think the top prize was like 30% off. I seem to remember I got something like 10%. It really stuck me how helpful and nice staff are in America, I think part of it must stem from the tipping culture, which doesn’t really exist in England.

    We arrived at the Encore with me still clutching my half-finished yard of Pina Colada. I had been quite determined to finish it, however Littlefinger had cautioned me not to write myself off. It was damn good advice and it reminded me it’s not worth ruining a day for the sake of a stupid challenge, I was already pretty ravaged from a week of drinking and the worst thing of all was that I was very sunburnt and was thus massively dehydrated. If I hadn’t stopped drinking when I did, I would have been in a very bad way. As it was, I got a mild headache and switched to nothing but water for the next 4 hours or so. It was quite funny how much of a stir my pink yard caused at the Encore. It was almost like I had brought back some mysterious object from another planet. If you walk down the strip you see loads of people with them, clearly the clientele of the Wynn don’t get out much and stick to the uber posh places. It was like I was a minor celebrity again. Was definitely a good ice breaker and I had some great banter with people, particularly in lifts

    We all showered and changed, I stowed my half-finished yard of Pina colada in my hotel room and Littlefinger and I went to the Red Card desk to claim two sets of two free buffet passes from the points we had accumulated. Obviously the budding mathematicians’ among you will have calculated that there was a delta between the number of free passes and our aggregate group number. Rather than adopt a fair system in which we all paid a portion of the 5th buffet ticket, Sandor and Jaime were quite insistent that Tyrion pay for it, being as he had had free hotels for the entire duration of his stay. Now that Reek had departed, he had now assumed the mantle as the ‘tightest’ of our group and it was clearly only being done to try to annoy him. I must say that he did seem a little bit annoyed and muttered something about all the ‘taxes’ he had had to pay on his hotels (he was quibbling about the resort free etc!!). I think he was a little confused as to how it all worked and thought these costs were some kind of ‘con’ to offset his hotel being free. I later explained to him that these fees are applicable whether the hotel is free or not, and that had he been paying full price he would almost certainly have had to pay them in some form anyway, so he was still very much getting his luxury hotel room almost completely free.

    The food was delicious, although yet again I was not feeling totally 100% and probably was not able to appreciate it as much as if I had not been constantly poisoning my body with endless streams of cocktails, particularly those saturated with dirty rum. I drank about 6 glasses of water in a desperate bid to steady the sinking ship which was my brain. At least I was actually able to eat the delicious food that was available, unlike Reek who hadn’t really eaten anything the entire time he was in Vegas from what I could tell. We all made numerous trips to the buffet, during one trip I was looking at all the exotic ice creams and there was one a Thai woman who just ordered ‘Thai tea’ ice cream, I had never seen this before so asked her what it tasted like and so she began feeding it to me which was a bit weird. In case you are wondering it tasted like Thai tea.

    Having thoroughly enjoyed our meal and got our free money’s worth we left the buffet and went for a wander through the Encore into the Wynn as we hadn’t really spent much time exploring the whole place. We decided to head over to Cosmo as this was where Tyrion would need to end up, and we had heard that the cocktails were quite special there. On arrival we played some more automated Craps, seeing as it was apparent that the casino gods were not going to let any of lose on this automated game during the duration of our trip. Sure enough the winning streak on it continued, however this was not enough incentive for Littlefinger to learn the game, who merely invested 20 dollars going halves with me and leaving me to play it. When I was 80 dollars in profit I decided that it was time to protect Littlefinger’s investment and cashed it out. Handing him 60 dollars. I think he will forevermore be 40 dollars up on that game as I am not sure he will ever play it again.

    We moved on after this to the lower bar and ordered up some cocktails, I don’t remember what I ordered too well and although it was nice, it wasn’t anything I hadn’t experienced before. Before long a lady came along selling cigars, and despite not having any Cohibas, we decided to get a round in, which Jaime paid for. I had been hoping to have the odd cigar in Vegas, but these really weren’t very nice. I will definitely bring some Cohibas next time. While we were sat puffing away and sipping from our cocktails, Tyrion had clearly been observing Littlefinger and attempted his own brand of charm asking the waitress to pose with me for a photo, he did it in a rather awkward way with a few excruciatingly long pauses which I am sure gave her the strong impression that he was a serial killer in his spare time. (Again, I can’t help but think Dexter in Vegas should be the next box-set hit). As is the way in America, customer service is King, and rather than knee him in the nuts before dousing his face in his own cocktail as would have happened in England, she happily agreed to pose with me. Always good to have another out of context photo that could find its way onto Facebook.

    We extinguished our rather low quality cigars and headed up to the next level of bar. It was here that we found a whole section of the car cordoned off for one of the millions of business conferences that seemed to be going on in the Cosmo. This hotel is clearly the ‘trendy’ place to be for young execs and is another fine reason not to stay there in favour of the Wynn (In its defence though, the Cosmo is a very nice establishment). We challenged Tyrion to wade into the cordoned off area and chat to the conference attendees for as long as possible for he was rumbled and thrown out. I think we offered him something like a 5 dollars a minute. It was going to be quite a hard challenge as they were all in suits and he was in a particularly garish t-shirt. On the other hand though, a suitably inventive cover story like he was one of the partners, or that he was from the Vancouver branch might have bought him some time. He didn’t seem to have much enthusiasm for the task and it was for that reason I suspect that he chose such a poor strategy and started chatting to a guy just outside the cordoned off area on his way in. Being outside and in a ridiculous outfit, combined with what I can only imagine was some kind of terrible opening banter, he was almost immediately rumbled and asked to leave. I hate to say it, but I think that even Reek might have done a better job. Getting a drink at the bar was hard work with pretty much every Insurance broker in Nevada crowded round it, and kept ourselves entertained by watching a rather ‘handsy’ middle-aged be-suited gimp desperately attempting to pull an attractive woman sat at the bar. It is my observation that women in America have a higher tolerance for sleazy men, as evidenced by the bizarre ritual of the ‘grind’ that seems to occur on the dance floor whereby men just walk up to a stranger and grind against their bum – I never once saw a woman go ballistic, knee them in the balls and pour their own drink down their face, as would happen in England.
    I have to say I didn’t really enjoy this bar all that much, no one wants to watch Accountants Investment bankers socialise, so we drunk up and beat a retreat back to the casino floor for a free cocktail and some table games. Jaime got us to all sit down and play ‘Casino War’ which in my opinion is an utterly terrible game. I think we attracted a bit of a crowd as people were just surprised to see anyone play it. For those of you who have not heard of it (I hadn’t), the premise of the game is that you and the dealer are dealt one card and the highest wins. (at one time as small children we have all probably played this stupid game). To make matters worse if you tie (this is where the house edge comes in) you have to ‘go to War’ – you can either surrender and lose or put in a sum equivalent to your original stake and each draw another card. If you win you only get paid winnings on the original bet. Thus you could end up losing twice your original stake but only ever at best win the same amount as your original stake. I know most games have a house edge, but this is such an ‘in-your-face’ and obvious house advantage that it is just depressing every time you ‘go to war’. I seemed to go to war almost every other hand, but amazingly I always saved the situation with the second drawer. I played until I was 100 dollars up, which didn’t take long as the game is so fast and cashed in and walked away, never to return. It wasn’t long before the others joined me.
     
  2. bta15

    bta15 Tourist

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    That BS with the multiple elevators is why I stay at palazzo now instead of venetian when I need a larger room.
     
  3. Mnracer

    Mnracer Tourist

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    Wow - that took a while to read! I'll admit I normally enjoy trip reports with pictures....but you did a good job describing things in detail. I laughed many times - hope you had a fun and safe conclusion to your trip. Thanks for sharing your adventure.
     
  4. hedgehog

    hedgehog Low-Roller

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    :snore:
     
    Last edited: Apr 5, 2015
  5. parti_73

    parti_73 Low-Roller

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    all that and no ending.... sounds like you had a decent time
     
  6. Riders

    Riders High-Roller

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    I think I am going to steal the term "gamblinking" ... that definitely sums up some (or most) of my trips.

    and I am still laughing at the comment of " I was going to stand out like Casper at a ninja convention" .. that was classic.

    It was a long read but I did enjoy .. hope you finish.
     
  7. Sissyboy_Deuce

    Sissyboy_Deuce Tourist

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    Thanks so much for posting. Sounds like a great trip with a great bunch of guys!
     
  8. pebbles

    pebbles VIP Whale

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    Thanks for a good laugh. I enjoyed your report very much.
     
    First trip of 2017.
  9. JB in MN

    JB in MN Low-Roller

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    Brilliant! Loved the report, thanks for taking the time to write it.
     
  10. Porkchop

    Porkchop Low-Roller

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    Amazing writeup. :cool:

    I love that phrase "busting shapes", which you used a few times. Gonna have to remember that one. :p
     
  11. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Reek is a "joy" to travel with.....bet none of you will do that again! After our first dual elevator stay in the Venezia Tower at Venetian and forgetting to note our room number on arrival, we started to photograph our room number. That is the worst place to be staying and not know your room. Congrats on your upcoming nuptuals!
     
  12. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    FANTASTIC idea, Bre. I am going to photograph your room number as well, in case I get too drunk to find mine.
     
  13. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    LMAO......and that Sir is why you are the king!!
     
  14. Simpatt

    Simpatt Low-Roller

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    Hey mate, great report, is there more to come? Love the "That don't impress me much" moment ;) Sounds like you had an epic time :)
     
  15. Royal Flusher

    Royal Flusher Savvy Gambler

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    :beer: :beer:
     
  16. Hobofrank

    Hobofrank Prime Minister of Idiocracy

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    wow I'm spent, just reading this TR, great job

    btw 2 things?

    it's Fremont Street, LOL
    and change Reek's call sign to The C**t
     
  17. macwjp

    macwjp Low-Roller

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    Location:
    Prince Edward Island, Canada
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3
    Nice job on the report, very detailed. I think you might find your spanking on this link
     
  18. DNA

    DNA Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
    Messages:
    185
    Location:
    Michigan
    Great report!! Had me laughing quite a few times. Took me a while to realize a lift was an elevator. Haha.
     
  19. Rubos

    Rubos Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Jul 5, 2014
    Messages:
    182
    Location:
    London, England
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    3
    Enjoyed the report - best of luck with the marriage!

    We all have a mate like Reek, a loose cannon on deck

    Looking forward to the last instalment!
     
  20. UncleBen

    UncleBen Low-Roller

    Joined:
    May 6, 2011
    Messages:
    176
    Location:
    Ipswich, UK
    Trips to Las Vegas:
    5
    I must admit I'm not sure how long I could have put up with 'Reek' for.
    I think by day 2 I might have insisted on a kitty, with your brother taking charge of it.
     
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