Well, I am certainly not in Kansas anymore! Since my last online entry we have arrived in Las Vegas (or ‘Lahs Vegas’ as the Americans seem to pronounce it)! The approach to Vegas in the plane was spectacular – the desert around it was not at all what I was expecting. In my mind I had visions of flat yellow landscapes, when in reality the view below was of dry, red mountains. I guessed it made sense from photographs I have seen of the Grand Canyon though. The first individual building we saw from the air was the Stratisphere; the tall pole-like structure, upon which a restaurant over-looking the city and a terrifying ride were positioned.
It was at this point in the flight that the captain made an announcement – our new Prince (just as I predicted: I bet he’s called James… we’ll have to see) had been born to the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge! No one clapped, but I’m sure our murmurs of excitement far exceeded those of the Americans around us. We love the Royals, us folk.
We touched down at 1:08 local time. From here we collected our luggage, which turned out to be a little battered, and set off to find a ‘cab’. It turned out to be white, not yellow like the cabs in New York, much to Mitchell’s disappointment.
To say our cabbie was odd would be an understatement. She was frightening. She threw our cases, literally from the sidewalk aimed into the trunk, despite the ‘FRAGILE’ stickers all over each one of them. Also, when mum was attempting small talk she commented on the lady’s Russian-sounding accent by simply saying “So you don’t sound like you’re from round here?” to which the woman replied in a deep, husky voice – “I live here. That’s where this conversation ends. I’m taking you the long way to your hotel because I need to make a living, you know how it is.”
In hindsight we guessed that ‘she’ probably wasn’t as female as a first glance would suggest.
The Venetian Hotel.
I wasn’t sure about the hotel when we first arrived. It is themed to represent a mini Venice and was apparently the best on the Strip. We entered and at first glance I thought the lobby was kind of tacky and there was an odd smell of wet carpet down the hallways. However, I slowly began changing my mind on the half-an-hour walk (I’m not even exaggerating, the scale of Vegas and everything in it is mind-blowing) up to our hotel room – gold detailing, luxurious carpets and incredible paintings on the ceilings. A small corridor that you expect wouldn’t lead anywhere suddenly expands into a gigantic ballroom, to which you wander through with your head spinning trying to drink up all the immense detail and care gone into the interior design, and back into the corridor again.
12–634: our room number, and it is fabulous! Two large double beds, a marble decked en-suite, a balcony inside overlooking a lower level in the room containing several sofas, two flat screen TVs and floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking Las Vegas.
We all did the typical thing of arriving in a hotel room and jumping face first into the huge, soft beds, though this time we didn’t explore the rest of the hotel straight away; we let our heads sink into the feather pillows and caught up on some much needed sleep.
I awoke at 6am this morning – I think it’s safe to say my body clock is well and truly messed up because I never see that time of day in England without several alarms shouting at me. After an hour long chat with mum, who also couldn’t sleep, I got up, brushed my teeth, applied Bonjela to a cracking mouth ulcer and fell straight back to sleep until half nine. We all got up and ready for a relaxing day by the pool to see us through our jet-lag, but little did we know what was about to come…
The pool area we chose out of the ELEVEN pools on offer at the Venetian Hotel, is the largest one. There are free water dispensers everywhere, a number of pools, a handful of bars and hundreds of sunbeds. It has such a Fijian feel to it due to all the exotic plants separating the walkways and lounge areas. We chose three sunbeds, with one in the shade for Mitch who’s skin apparently is very disliked by the sun, and lay sunbathing for about an hour before deciding we should get some water and head for a dip in the pool.
I had noticed that I was sweating a ridiculous amount (ew, sorry!) and my heart was palpitating but I pinned it down to the thumping music blasted out of a speaker near us so I trooped on to gain a killer 45 degree tan and didn’t mention it to anyone. So when we were stood waiting to get a drink I finally told my mum how fast my heart was beating and she told me to sit down and drink some ice-cold water. That’s when my hands started to tingle, and the clarity of my vision got worse, kind of like when you stand up too fast. Then my hands went numb, everything went black and I collapsed in my mum’s arms. When I came around a minute later I had a wet, cold towel round my neck and several medics checking my heart beat telling me I had a weak heartbeat and low blood sugar (Gatorade, a sports drink full of electrolytes, would sort that out apparently) and I was whisked off in a wheelchair to our hotel room in only my bikini. Oh my God. I fainted again in the chair. In short, around four hours was taken up with my fainting, sleeping and sipping Gatorade. Apparently dehydration is common in the middle of the desert…who knew?
And here we are, I’m sat up in bed recounting my humiliating tale from a few hours ago, mum is napping beside me and Mitchell is hunting down a margarita pizza somewhere in the hotel.
Until next time…