Celebration time!!!WOW... that sums up Vegas, but let's get into details. One year ago I got married in Vegas, in August, when it was about 115 degrees F and Elvis performed our ceremony lol. My husband is a truck driver and we were on a 34 hour mandated break. It wasn't a spur of the moment like most seem to be in Vegas, but it was fun!!
We went back this year for a week to celebrate our 1 year anniversary. This is 2020... the year the entire world has gone to Hell. Covid, murder hornets, riots, history being erased, cities being burnt down, kids being killed for being white and adults being killed for being a cop or for even showing support for our president... basically if it can go wrong in the world, it has.
Ok back to Vegas. It was between 110 and 115 during the day and about 95 at night. I live in SC so I always hear "oh its a dry heat there... much better than this humid heat." L O L. Don't believe that for one second. The only way I know to explain it is the humid heat in SC is similar to walking into the bathroom after someone took a HOT shower. The dry heat in Vegas is similar to turning your oven on the highest setting, letting it preheat, then opening the door and sitting in front of it... with no a/c or fans on. It's all hot no matter how you look at it.
** One important thing about me is I have MS which causes severe heat intolerance** I bet you're wondering why we would get married in Vegas in Aug. So am I lol.
Due to my heat intolerance, it's easier to use a wheelchair when going places, especially when it is hot, so I had a wheelchair waiting on me when we got there. We stayed at Treasure Island which offers complimentary wheelchairs but I didn't want to risk them not having one available when needed so I rented one. It was inexpensive, delivered to our room and then was picked up on our last day there. I highly recommend doing this if you need one.
Because we are in the middle of a pandemic, masks are required EVERYWHERE. Playing slots? Masks. Laying by the pool? Masks. Going to eat? Masks, until they put your drinks on the table. Wanna go sightseeing? Masks, unless you're away from everyone. Going to a bar? Masks. Dancing? Masks.
Masks are not a suggestion... Vegas is barely staying open due to Covid exploding there and you will be kicked out of wherever if you dont wear your mask. The only time we got away with not having our masks pulled up was when eating, drinking, smoking or actually being in the water at the pool... if lounging by the pool with no one beside you, you still have to wear a mask. In the casinos you literally have to have a smoke or drink up to your mouth or the Mask Patrol will be, not so kindly, reminding you to put your mask back on.
** Keep in mind that this isn't just casino's in Vegas... these are regular people who are working about half of the hours that they normally work and are struggling like the rest of the world. They also know that at any moment the powers that be can walk in and shut them down, no questions asked. If I knew my livelihood was hanging that precariously in the balance, I would be doing everything to protect it too.**
When checking into Treasure Island and probably all hotel's there, you will get your temperature checked. What I found odd about this was we could enter any casino in any hotel and not get our temps checked but to actually stay at the hotel's you had to get checked... once. Very strange in my opinion.
Anyway, our first night in Vegas we went sightseeing. To safely cross the streets there they have pedestrian bridges. Due to using a wheelchair, we had to use the elevators to go up and down.. no big deal right? Wrong .....lol.
We rode the first elevator up without issue. We go across the bridge and push the next elevator button to go down. We wait for a minute and the door slides open and then the real Vegas welcoming committee greeted us.
This crazy, wild eyed, dirty, homeless, white man greeted us by screaming at us to "use the stairs" and that we weren't "allowed" to use the elevator. This is where I would love to say that I jumped out of the wheelchair, yelling "Hallelujah, it's a miracle!!" and ran down the stairs but that didn't happen. Here is what did happen...
We were so stunned by this new, not so friendly, welcoming committee that we both semi froze. I say semi because had he tried to hit, spit on us, grab us etc... we both would have been throwing my wheelchair at him.
Somewhere during his rant, he realized I was in a wheelchair. I seen it in his wild eyes the moment he noticed. Instantly, we were deemed "safe" to ride on the elevator with him. Not having many other options, we boarded the slowest elevator in the history of the entire world. Seriously, our hotel room was on the 36th floor and that elevator was about 100x faster than this metal death trap we had entered!
During the longest elevator ride ever, I started looking around. There was a pile of clothes in one corner, fast food wrappers strewn about and the smell of this elevator also being used as a toilet was...WOW. This is when I realized this man was actually living in the elevator.
This is the only time I have been truly grateful for a mask. I used both hands to seal it as tightly as possible around my nose and mouth. I was also wondering why I hadn't invested in goggles to protect my eyes from whatever ickies were floating around.
I've rode many elevators in my 44 years of life. It usually goes one of 2 ways... you make awkward small talk with whoever is on there with you or you ignore everyone. This guy seemed to prefer the former except, for him, the talk wasn't small or awkward.
He told us how he had built one of the casino's and how he owned another casino. He kept saying he had a plan to do something. Truthfully, I'm not sure what his plan was about because I was more interested in how hard I would have to kick the door to make it open, or, if I did kick it, would I jam it and be locked in this elevator forever with this unfortunate man.
I guess neither my husband nor myself was showing enough interest in what he was saying because the next words out of his mouth made me almost completely come unglued. He kept talking about his plan and then said "I'll show you how serious I am. I have a gun right here."
I have no idea how I didn't, at least, attempt to rip the door open at this moment. My mind was racing, heart pounding but I continued to stare at the floor as I had done since we entered the elevator from Hell. I didn't even flinch. I think my many hours of "Criminal Minds" training kicked in. "Show no fear!" I'm 100 percent sure none of that applies to a crazy, homeless guy living in an elevator but it's all I could come up with at the time. Thankfully, somewhere in the depths of my terrified mind I remembered my husband was right behind me and that he's an army vet and would knock the guy out before he had a chance to pull a gun.
900 hours later the door finally slid open. I'm pretty sure we left rubber in that elevator from spinning the wheelchair tires so fast to get out of there! This is when I noticed my 2nd issue with Vegas.
Places in Vegas also rent out 3 wheeled scooters along with wheelchairs and various other small modes of transportation. These scooters are mainly used by people who are too lazy and/or drunk to walk.
PSA 1... people are just as terrible trying to drive one of these things while drunk as they are while trying to drive a car. I think the only thing that qualifies a person to rent these things is a credit card. Honestly, I found it very frustrating to see healthy people using these things. I guess you dont realize how important your legs are until they start to fail you.
PSA 2... 99% of the tourist's in Vegas are drunk and/or high. I am not including or excluding myself from this observation, I am merely stating what I seen.
We had a particular close call with a guy on a scooter. He was driving towards us but was turned around, talking to his group of friends. Thankfully they seen what was about to happen and joined me in yelling at the guy to stop. Everyone in the group, especially the guy who almost ran into me, was extremely apologetic so it was hard to be mad. I was frustrated briefly but not mad and definitely not upset enough to let it ruin my mood. I do think that you should be disabled in order to rent one of these but that is just my opinion.
One of the highlights at night is the light/water show in front of the Belagio. It's absolutely breathtaking. One of my OMG moments was turning a corner and Hells Kitchen sitting in front of me! I'm a huge fan. The only thing that could have made that moment better would have been Gordon Ramsay cussing me out lol.
A huge shout out to my husband for taking me there that first night just to see it even though we were going to eat there for our anniversary. Also a huge thank you for pushing me all over Vegas. It was about 95 degrees every night there so it wasn't exactly easy for him in the heat.
Since I have touched on the subject, I want to say I have a new found respect for those that are permanently in a wheelchair. To go in anywhere you have to find the wheelchair ramp. Ive never given it much thought until we had to use them. The ramps are typically way off to the side. You really have to look to find them. There are neon signs for everything except those. Very irritating!
PSA 3... wheelchair ramps are not a place to hang out on. They are there to serve a much needed purpose. That purpose isn't for you to lounge on them, sleep on them or take a break on them I don't get in your way so get out of mine. Go sit on the steps, benches, curbs... anywhere but a wheelchair ramp. While they may not be used constantly, they are used. I did, however, enjoy the guilty looks on the faces of those still sober enough to realize they were in a disabled person's way. I really, really, really wished I had a horn. Not just any horn but one that blasted the lyrics "Move bitch, get out the way! Get out the way, bitch! Get out the way!" (Artist is some rapper who's name i don't know) In hindsight it was probably best that I didn't have a horn lol.
Another frustrating thing about being pushed in a wheelchair is that you only get to look in whatever direction your chair is pointed. When talking, you have to nearly shout so the person pushing you can hear you. Then, because you shouted, the person pushing you thinks you are fussing/yelling at them. In reality, ya just want to see something that you just zoomed by and you have said "stop" 3 or 4x before you yell it. That brings about the "why are you yelling at me" discussion. Ughhh!
I have always shown respect for the disabled but I came away from this with such a greater respect for those that are wheelchair or even walker bound!
Anyway back to Vegas... on our anniversary we went to Hell's Kitchen. It was on the pricier side but, for the experience, I'm glad we went. It looks exactly like it looks on TV and even had the pictures of all of the winners hanging on the wall. On TV, these customers rave about Gordon Ramsay's signature dish, Beef Wellington. I couldn't wait to try this amazing dish!!! When our food arrived it was just as beautiful as it is on TV and this is where i learned something about myself.
I don't like pretentious food. The welly came on a smear of potato puree aka about a teaspoon of mashed potatoes smeared under the wellington. I don't know about yall but when I get mashed potatoes, i want a big spoonful slapped on my plate... not a smear that I would need to lick the plate in order to eat.
It also came with carrots and something else, maybe teeny tiny potatoes but im really not sure what they were and then a leaf... just a small green leaf.
The carrots were something else. It looked like it was one baby carrot at some point and someone chopped the ends off of it then cut the rest into 3 pieces and that was all of the carrots I got. The TWO (possible) potatoes I got were smaller than marbles. As Gordon Ramsay would say I must have the palate of a donkey's butt because I truly couldn't determine exactly what the tiny potato looking things were.
I found the Beef Wellington to be big, beautiful and... bland. I don't know if that's how it's supposed to taste because I've never had it before so I have nothing to compare it to. Some A1 sauce would have worked miracles! I was expecting an explosion of flavors like Ramsay is always preaching about. That was not the case.
For dessert I had the sticky toffee pudding. This was absolutely delicious!! I could have licked the bowl on this but that's probably frowned upon there lol.
My husband got the lobster risotto, a new York strip with wild mushrooms and nothing for dessert but he had the jasmine tea to drink. I'm not a fan of seafood but I tried the risotto because, according to Ramsay, if you can't cook a great risotto then you don't deserve to be in a kitchen! I found it to be overcooked, nearly mushy rice with a very tasty sauce. I don't know if that's how the rice was supposed to be because I had never had this before either. I didn't try the steak but husband was not impressed at all with it. Husband did rave over the mushrooms tho and the tea.
That jasmine tea was the most interesting drink I have ever seen. It came to the table in a clear, glass teapot. There's water inside, along with, what I thought, was some type of sea creature that was going to crawl out of the spout. It was actually a jasmine flower that opened and released it's flavor the longer it sat. I didn't care for the taste of it but husband absolutely loved it and was even asking where he could buy this to make at home. Even when we left I still wasn't sure that it wasn't going to crawl out of the spout!
If you're a Hell's Kitchen fan or even a Gordon Ramsay fan then I strongly recommend going for the experience!!
After our very weird dinner we went into Ceasars Palace casino. We didn't go to gamble, only to look around. Husband was still pushing me around in the wheelchair. They have moving sidewalks in that casino. In case anyone doesn't know what that is, it's basically a flat escalator that allows you to ride across the floor instead of walking across the floor. Husband had been pushing me, he was tired, so here we go on the moving sidewalk.
We were so busy looking at everything around us that we missed one very important sign.... no wheelchairs on the moving sidewalk. Oops!
The first one was no big deal... he was able to take a break from pushing me and we were both enjoying the decor tremendously! After the first one he rolled me onto the second one and here we go again. While riding along there was a slight hill but not a big deal... we were still enjoying the decor. This ride ends so we roll on over to the 3rd moving sidewalk and are ready to take in more of the beautiful decor.
As we are moving along I notice that there is a rather steep looking hill coming up. Keep in mind I rarely use a wheelchair, so brakes and actually moving it by myself is mostly foreign to me. As we start going up this hill I hear husband breathlessly say "Put on the brakes! Put on the brakes!" I turn around to see what's going on and my poor husband is in what looks like a football players stance.. shoulder pushed into the back of the wheelchair, one foot forward and one behind, pushing/ holding with all he's got. My reaction was to immediately burst out laughing. He is still breathlessly telling me to put on the brakes and I'm struggling to find the brakes during my fit of laughter. I finally find them as we were almost to the top!
What goes up must come down, right? We start going down and I am still laughing and then I think "I will release the brakes and this will be fun!!" Husband knows me too well because as soon as I had that thought he said "DO NOT release the brakes!! I'm fighting to keep you from tipping forward!!" Thankfully, he said that just in time! We finally made it to the bottom and off of that free roller coaster ride! That was the end of moving sidewalks and Caesars Palace for us lol. When we got outside husband had to sit down and take a break while I'm still struggling with fits of laughter!
Once he caught his breath, we start looking for the wheelchair ramp. We came out of a different door than we went in so we were clueless! One guy noticed we couldn't find the ramp and offered to help husband carry me down the steps so shout out to him! but there were a few police there and they pointed us in the right direction! While leaving, we seen a huge Caesar statue with a mask on lol.
We finally found familiar territory and started heading back to Ti. We still had to use the elevators to use the pedestrian bridges and I cringed everytime the doors opened because I was waiting for crazy, homeless guy to come raging out but, thankfully, he had moved.
On the day we checked out, Ti comped us over half of our hotel fees, along with 2 more nights that we didn't use and about 100 bucks in free gambling money. By the time we left, we had stayed 5 nights for barely over $200 dollars... not including the free gambling money that we spent on the way out.
The one thing we missed out on was seeing any shows. They were all closed due to Covid. There was only 1 show that we wanted to see but oh well...
If you want to go to Vegas for CHEAP now is the time to go! Respect the rules because they are trying to survive like we all are. Have fun! Laugh! Enjoy your oopsies and keep on going. Gamble very cheaply and get all of the free alcohol you want!
If you absolutely hate the smell of marijuana, Vegas is not the place to go. It's everywhere! Where cigarette smoking is allowed, so is marijuana smoking. Inside, outside, casino's, hallways of the smoking floors etc... it's everywhere!
If you want to see topless women with their breasts painted like the American flag, take a stroll down the strip. I seen a child maybe 10ish years old getting her pic taken with Minnie Mouse and Darth Vader... not sure how those 2 go together but whatever.
I have very strong feelings about taking a child to Vegas... Don't! It's called Sin City and an adult playground for a reason. It is not child friendly in any way, shape or form no matter what any brochure says!
All of this being said, this was the best vacation I have ever had! I hope to remember every moment for the rest of my life!