Not used to having a king size bed and a luxurious hotel room, we slept in for our first morning in Las Vegas and only got going around lunchtime. Vegas is more of a night-time place anyhow so we felt fully justified in doing so, not to mention paying for a hotel room we wanted to make full use of it. We went for a stroll down the Strip to check out a discount ticket place where we picked up some cut-price tickets for a brunch buffet at the Monte Carlo casino and a dinner buffet at the Planet Hollywood casino. We only had an hour or so before the Monte Carlo buffet ended so we crossed the road, bought our tickets and attacked the buffet. The amount of food on hand is staggering at these places. Considering this was a brunch buffet too, although they do state brunch to be any time from 10am to 3pm here. We had a variety of Mexican, American, Asian and European dishes; two plates each and desert. Full to the brim we staggered out onto the gaming floor and found a slot machine in our budget range (25c) where we played, didn’t win much but scored a ‘free’ drink off a cocktail waitress. If you’re gambling here they give you free drinks so the strategy is find a cheap machine, go slow and catch the eye of a waitress before you lose more than the drink is worth. This became a theme of our two days here.
We woke on the second day in the knowledge that we had to tackle an all-you-can-eat dinner buffet and most likely a late night trawling the casino floors so in no particular hurry we got up and had breakfast. There are some older casinos further up the Strip that we hadn’t checked out on the first day so we caught the bus up to Circus Circus. Here they have live circus acts in a big-top style arena. A free version of Cirque de Soleil which we wanted to go to but the tickets were a little out of our price range ($100 plus). Walking back to the Strp through ‘Slots a Fun’ we found the ‘Black Widow’ machine again that had been kind to us and threw in a dollar only to get three back. Result. Clearly we are not high rollers here but you can still have fun on a shoestring budget! We then went through a few more casinos on the way back to our hotel to get ready for our evening of feasting and gambling. Stopping back at the Cirque de Soleil ticket office in the MGM Grand we managed to score some last-minute cheap decent tickets for ‘Ka’, an asian/steam-punk style circus performance. Beforehand though we had to knock over the buffet which we managed, two plates and desert again. There was even more food at this one and a range of cuisines – American, Mexican, middle-Eastern, Italian, Asian, seafood, salad, the list goes on.
We made it back to the MGM for our show and just in time. Once inside, we couldn’t get over the scale and the set-up of the theatre. The shows stay here for so long that the whole theatre is decked out with themed gangways and towers looming alongside and over the audience. There was a strict no camera policy here so no photos I’m afraid. It was astonishing to sit through with all the acrobatics and crazy stunts mixed in with martial arts, not to mention flying through the air over the heads of the audience. We were thrilled to have seen a show like this, especially in Vegas. After the show we ventured into some more casinos on the hunt for waitresses and free drinks who seem to get more elusive as the night goes on, especially around the cheap machines. After some searching, paying for drinks and false-starts with ‘one-drink’ waitresses, we found a waitress back at the MGM who was quick and keen to get us another so we stayed on a machine for a while enjoying ourselves betting 25c a go and not winning much but then not losing much also. Our night almost over, on the way back to our hotel room we bet $25 on ‘red’ on the Roulette table and promptly lost. Our only bet over $1 and it didn’t pay off. We feel like two days here is enough and are happy to be moving on to Yellowstone and back to nature.