What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas

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Hence, this will should be a very short blog post. However, after long and difficult discussions with Philipp, we decided to disclose some of the joy we experienced in Sin City. To put the most important thing first: The food in Vegas was much, much better :)

After leaving the heliport at the Grand Canyon, we tried to find a sports bar along the way for lunch and to watch the last world cup games of group B. Looking at the map we decided that Ash Fork would be the place to stop – getting off the highway and glancing at the town, we were a little bit afraid to be part of the next Texas Arizona Chainsaw Massacre. Our small group size kept us safe though – there are no horror short films, right? Unfortunately, the only sports bar we could find had neither ESPN nor good food, which was horrific enough for the day.

In Vegas we had a very professional AirBnB host, so I can now understand why the hotel lobby is a little upset with AirBnB (Research for this article revealed that 15 of the world’s 25 biggest hotels are located in Vegas). For us as guests, the stay was very pleasant and rather cheap though. The same is true for our first night at The Strip – an early win saved us from losing significant parts of the travel budget. We actually spent more money on dinner and drinks at Margaritaville than in slot machines and roulette tables.

Tuesday had more to offer than just The Strip, although we started the day there. Judging by various signs along the highways and Philipp’s stories, it seems we were more reasonable than the average US citizen when it comes to drinking and driving and got a taxi home. Hence, we had to pick up our car and also needed some breakfast. Foursquare recommended the Hash House a Go Go as the place to go and the queue seemed to confirm this decision. And what can I say – the massive blueberry pancake was way bigger than necessary but clearly the best breakfast I have had in the US so far.

Strengthened and bursting with energy we started our day full of activities. The first stop was the Battlefield Vegas – a shooting range where Philipp could prove that he did not forget everything the Bundeswehr taught him years ago. Impressively, he managed to land all of his 40 shots on the target – his evil terrorist/burglar/trespasser opponent would have been pretty dead. My target was even worse off, mainly because I had a shotgun when Philipp had to use a sniper rifle. (Un)fortunately, this meant that we could not determine how many of my shots missed the target and I will just claim that it was not a single one. Hitting the paper will have to mean hitting the target for this purpose :)

Some consider shooting a sport but I am not too sure about this. Hence, we put the Skyzone next up in our agenda. Skyzone is a trampoline arena where we faced an actual physical challenge. Philipp succeeded to almost do a full forward flip, while I only managed to embarrass myself trying to do the same. It was only in the foam area that I could find the courage to do it properly. In the Sky Slam, another part of the arena, I got my revenge and it was my turn to beat Philipp with a glorious performance.

Our last pre-strip stop that day was the Hoover Dam, “one of the finest examples of how civil engineering ingenuity shaped the development of society’s quality of life in the 20th century” (the sign’s words, not mine). Located only a few miles outside Las Vegas, the dam is an easy to reach yet rather impressive landmark. Reading the Wikipedia article you can learn all kinds of weird facts about the structure: The first of the 112 people who “died to make the desert bloom” (another sign) was the father of the last victim of the project; after 9/11 the US authorities were scared that the dam could be target of another terrorist attack and diverted large vehicles until a bypass was built; and that there was a lengthy disagreement regarding the naming of the dam.

Again, the day ended on The Strip with very good food, plenty of drinks and rather reasonable contributions to various casinos‘ balance sheets.

Wednesday morning we left for Los Angeles, taking a small detour to see the Death Valley. Quite frankly, the area deserves its name. Not even the first checkpoint was manned and we had to buy our park pass from a machine. At almost 50 °C there was a sign suggesting to turn off the AC to avoid overheating and gas was priced at more than 5 USD per gallon. After two photo stops we decided to leave as fast as possible and arrived in LA just before sunset.

More photos can be found here and all other road trip stories have the tag Road Trip US assigned.


2 thoughts on “What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas

  1. Great article Martin, keep goin.

    You also should give me more insights on Vegas since I want to go there later this year.

    Greets
    Jochen

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