On the drive from Los Angeles to Las Vegas I discovered my first ever legitimate pimple on my face. It would soon prove extremely fitting as Vegas is truly the lone pimple on the face of America; full of gross stuff yet you can't help but go back and touch it every once in a while.
If you know me at all you won't be surprised to learn that my experience in Vegas was less The Hangover and more Last Vegas. The only thing I really planned to do (but didn't) was gamble. I thought there was no way I would go to Vegas and not gamble. I needn't have worried because when you're in Vegas, you are gambling with your dignity on a constant basis.
The first two nights were fairly uneventful. Walking the strip is simultaneously exciting and depressing.
Bright lights! Music! A middle-aged woman with dead eyes handing out brochures for escorts! But bright lights! Music!
The third day was designated as “Margarita by the pool” day. And that's exactly what we did. My cousins Katie and Colin (two crazy psychos you'd be lucky to know) were staying at the same hotel with four friends. So I wandered over and 7th-wheeled on their triple date vacation.
1:30pm First stop is Fat Tuesdays, a juice bar that sells yard glasses of margarita. For $20 we get 2 litres of Miami Vice (half pina colada half strawberry daquiri) with an extra shot of rum and a body strap for safe transportation. In other words, we pay $20 to pass out four hours later. Bargain.
2:30pm Back at the pool, a kind soul has brought over a bunch of Taco Bell. If you have never had Taco Bell, it is food made for the sole purpose of taking up room in your stomach. Don't try to savour it, relish it, or enjoy it because you will wind up very disappointed. Just get it to your stomach and let it sit there absorbing alcohol.
3:00pm Being unnecessarily competitive, I finish my yard in record time then find an inflatable and float around the pool for what is either five minutes or an hour.
4:00pm After finding an Oregon woman's credit card by the bathroom sink and returning it to her, she insists on getting us all a beer. She says it was the best beer in Oregon. I say Oregon needs to step up its beer game. WHOAH SHOTS FIRED FROM SOMEONE WHO KNOWS NOTHING ABOUT BEER.
4:30pm The water starts feeling a little cold so we migrate to the spa. Already there are four people who I can only describe as being the type of people I would be happy to never encounter again. A guy from New Jersey (“I wanna be a deadbeat dad that is close by”) and a girl from Puerto Rico (“I get high so I can make my jewellery”) are fighting for the attention of another girl with fake boobs (she didn't say anything funny). Then there is Lenny, an old man who seems like he is with them but could just as easily be creeping around on his own. Either way, he's suspicious.
5:00pm Once the domestics get a little too out of hand, we figure it is probably time to leave the pool area. The rest of the group are about to head out to the strip when I make the unusually wise decision to go to bed.
6:00pm I am safely in bed with the largest bag of potato chips I have ever seen. No idea where it came from through. Some people get drunk in Vegas and spend a thousand dollars on hookers. I bought a $5 bag of chips and it broke my heart.
6:45pm I receive some encouragement from afar (thanks Jo) to not be such a loser, but it is no good.
11:45pm I wake up to my five year old niece settling into bed and feel very accomplished as a human being. I am also feeling hungover at a time that I am not used to. On the way to the fridge, Katie texts to say that the group are “wild and crazy...heading back to the room”. I dry heave while reading it and decide that tomorrow I will pretend I was asleep when she sent it.
12:00am I am back in bed and fall asleep wondering how I didn't drown in the pool to overtake the Papakura Seal as top news story in New Zealand.
And that's it, sorry.
As we drive out of Vegas the next morning I notice my pimple has all but disappeared just as the Bellagio is disappearing in the rearview mirror. Nothing left but a memory to look back on sort-of fondly and hopefully not experience again anytime soon.