15 Tips for Trek America Trips

Top 15 Tips for a Trek America Trip

As a spontaneously booked trip – i went into this adventure rather blind. I had no idea what to expect. I  scoured the internet to try and read about other people’s experiences but to no avail. Hence, this blog was born. Now i get to educate all of you lucky Trekkies-to-be, before you set out on your own American adventure. Below are a list of things i feel may help you. If you are looking for a more specialised list of what you should take. hop on over to my other pages “Trek America Tips – Part One” and “Trek America Tips – The Girly Section” for all things tent and luggage related.

1. Scout out areas for setting up your tent. Why? Well first of all you do not want to be sleeping on a slope or in a patch of mud, but most importantly its for bug avoidance. We actually put our tent on a spiders nest on our first night, luckily these were of  the nicer, non-venomous type! Nice, flat grassy areas are a winner, avoid the edges of wooded areas and make sure there are no ants before you plonk your ground sheet down. They are the worst.

An accurate photo of the spider tent

2. Keep the tent shut at all times. And i mean as soon as you step outside. This is a massive hassle but you really do not want any unexpected intruders.  I recently spoke to a friend of mine who had camped in the Grand Canyon and ended up getting stung by a scorpion which had crawled into his sleeping bag. Turns out its not the most fun of experiences and the venom will actually make your skeleton hurt. Yes, you read that correctly – your skeleton.

3. Mosquito repellent is a necessity – I traveled from New York to LA between late June and July, and got eaten alive  from Washington until San Antonio. You can buy own brand (Superdrug/Boots etc) repellent which is a lot cheaper than the others on the market. Just make sure you have a high percentage of Deet in whichever one you go for. Don’t rely on the natural products, they will probably just make you smell tastier.

4. Louboutins will not be necessary –  Hush, girls. You are now travelers and we have no space for such trinkets in our packs. However, i do suggest bringing some less casual, going out type clothes. We ended up going out to bars a lot more than i thought we would. However, six inch shoes are not recommended, especially as you will probably be staying in a tent.

5. Go photo crazy – I took around 400 photos and i still feel this wasn’t enough. Perfect profile picture moments were missed out on, as were hilarious video moments. Embrace your inner tourist and take as many as possible. You will need something to look back and reminisce on.

monument
Hundreds of photos like these? Okay.

6. Budgeting for the Small Things – You will have a food kitty to pay into and a large section of your budget will be for the daily activities. However, there were a few other things that my credit card took a pounding from; tipping, VAT and snacks. Waiters/waitresses and bar staff live off the tips they get, so be generous when you are being served. VAT is a little strange here as America have decided that its a good idea to add this on when you go to pay rather than on the actual price tag. And as for snacks, i think i bought something at every single gas station stop and it did add up … onto my budget and my waistline.

7. Shower Gauntlet – Try and get up earlier than everyone else so you can get to the showers first. This is especially true when you are at a campsite with other trek groups. Guys, you don’t need to worry about this part. Girls, prepare yourselves! If in doubt, dry shampoo it.

8. Stay Connected – Make sure you all swap numbers on the FIRST day. We all added each other on Facebook but never got round to exchanging digits. You aren’t going to need to make lengthy calls to your new friend, but one or two texts wont hurt. This is especially important once you reach those unfamiliar cities, and find yourself completely lost.

9. Medical Supplies – Bring plasters for flip flop and/or shoe related blisters. Your Trek Leader will have a first aid kit but plan ahead for small injuries or cuts, you may end up having a few.

10. Comfortable (Ugly) Footwear – Invest in some Teva’s, Karrimor Sandals or something similar. Yes, i am aware that they can be ugly, Jesus -sandals, but they are also very comfy! They can also be quite expensive, although mine have now been around the world with me – two years and still going! Plan ahead, see them as an investment for future travel.

11. Be Odd – Being weird is totally acceptable behaviour, just be yourself! I became so much more confident and outgoing after this trip. Throwing yourself out of your comfort zone once in a while is very good for you.

Elvis Travis down in the Grand Canyon

12. Select A Mascot – You will need a van mascot. Ours was a blow up alien and he went everywhere with us – from the Grand Canyon to crazy nights out. He even got his own Facebook page.

13. Mingle – If you are travelling alongside another van (which happens quite often with the Southern Sun trip) make sure you get to know them as they will become your extended Trek family. I find that 80% of travelling is making new friends. And the other 20% is spent getting drunk with them.

14. Confrontation avoidance – There may be times when you want to throw another individual into a canyon. Be patient, its an intense three weeks, there are a lot of personalities and there are bound to be conflicts at some point. Trust me, they do blow over.

15. Enjoy Yourself – Finally, be super positive and enjoy every single moment. It will all be over before you know it.

Sunrise at the Canyon

Trek America Tips – The Girly Section

Trek America Tips – The Girly Section

Whilst i was writing this post, i found that my section devoted to all things female related was getting rather lengthy. Therefore, i have created a post of its own. Yay. Whee.

New Orleans, fourth of July. It was all downhill from here.

1. “What about my hair?!”

Let us first address this topic of great importance. Girls…you can breathe a sigh of relief, for your straightners can come with you. The campsites are pretty decent and can accomodate our beauty regimes. But do not forgot to bring plug adaptors! These are essential if you want to put on your hot girl disguises. I have unruly hair and managed to straighten it whenever i wanted to – just make sure you get up early enough. There’s nothing worse than fighting for plug space in your PJs.

Along with your straighteners, the beloved hair dryers can also make an appearance on your trip. However, do be aware that blasting hot air on your face, whilst in the middle of Texas is not an enjoyable experience. Your hair will probably dry as soon as you step outside anyway.

If you have purchased a travel hair dryer, you will need to change the wattage settings which is usually done by switching a button on the dryer itself. We failed to notice this until the end of the trip when it finally starting working at full capacity. Oh and don’t forget to switch back when you get home, or you could have a dead hairdryer and a possible electrical fire on your hands.

A shower gauntlet commences.

2. The Shower Gauntlet

The shower gauntlet is the early morning challenge that each one of us came to dread. When it comes to showering during the trip, it may feel like you are living with 20+ women with one bathroom. This was magnified tenfold when it came to sharing the campsites with other trek groups, including vans full of hot Norwegian teenagers. It was utter chaos.

The only lie-ins you will get on your trip, will be on the days that you are in a town for more than a single night. Even then you will be up at sunrise, unless you feel like baking in your tent. When we had a long drive of more than 5 hours (aka. quality van time) you could find yourself back in the van by as early as 7:30am.

My tips for surviving such a gruelling task:-

  • Set your alarm early.  Try and remember to turn off the snooze before you head for the shower block too. It infuriates the sleeping boys.
  • Get organised. Countless times we made the walk to the showers, only to forget our towels or something equally as essential.
  • A healthy dose of patience.

Having male trek leaders may also complicate the shower gauntlets (not that i would have traded them for anyone else!) With all guys, your leader may not understand the concept of getting ready or its ritualistic properties. You may even have to put on your transformations within half an hour. Take this opportunity to embrace the natural look, for you are beautiful and do not need to slap layers of crap onto your face. This also means more time for campsite pre-gaming! Priorities.

3. Standards Will Slip

At first your standards are high. There are people you don’t know, there may be guys and you will want to make a good first impression. Yeah, well…that doesn’t last, give it a good three days of living in tents and outdoorsy activities for this to occur. At times you will be dirty, sweaty and looking disheveled but you are all in the same boat van. You will make a fool of yourself when you are drunk and you will also embarrass yourself when you are completely sober. These end up being your fondest memories!

As for your makeup regime, remember that foundation in 30c+ temperatures is grim and one way to look extra shiny for your photos. Save it for the nights out if you can. Despite all of this talk of going au-naturale, im sure taking extra girly equipment won’t hurt your baggage allowance.

Why make an effort? You'll just end up looking like this.

 4. Trek Attire

I can imagine that any guys reading this will be rolling their eyes at this section (if they haven’t done so already/are still reading this) This is important for us!

What you take will depend on your trip and the time of year that you travel. I opted for the southern states during mid summer, therefore it was hothothot and i was wearing as little as possible.

A plentiful amount of T-shirts and vest tops were all in my luggage. Shorts, skirts, a dress and pair of jeans for the colder evenings. You will probably live in your flip flops for the majority of the trip but i also had a nice pair of flats, trainers for hiking and some Teva sandals. Tevas are those ugly looking sports sandals that are usually worn by old people and teamed with socks. Yet, despite their appearance they were useful after my flip flops gave me a nice cut that became infected. For hiking the canyons i took my trainers and they served their purpose well. I would probably not bother with hiking boots as they tend to be heavy and unnecessary for a trip like this. As for evening activities, we ended up going out a lot more than i had anticipated and i wish i had taken some nicer clothes with me. As for heels, mine stayed at home and i didn’t miss them. The only place you would probably wear them would be Vegas and although it is one big ol’ party town, you will be doing a lot of walking. But if your heart is set on hitting the clubs, then go for it if you have room in your luggage. Another very important item to pack for Vegas is a nice dress – anything that has your boobs and/or legs out will be perfect!

Remember that you will be travelling across America, not Central Asia. So. if you forget something, it won’t be the end of the world. I’m sure you will be able to buy a replacement with relative ease at a Walmart store. Oh god and bikinis – don’t forget them! I’m looking at you, tent bud. 

Vegas Dress - boobs out, legs out.

Trek America – Trek Tips (Part One)

Tips For Your First Trek America Trip

(Part One)

Let me start off by saying that i am by no means an expert on this. This is just some friendly advice from one Trekkie to another. If you do have any other questions, just email me and i will be happy to answer these! Click HERE (TBC!) for more tips about your Stateside adventure.

Before the trip i spent hours scouring the internet in search of information about my upcoming adventure. This was to be my first solo trip abroad, and although being driven across America is a little different to backpacking, i was nervous none the less! Now and then, i return to the Trek America Facebook page to give advice to the newbies and to tell them how amazing their trip (whilst i try to hide my jealousy!)

As i have mentioned, i am no expert on these trips. You would probably be better off asking Trek America themselves or an ex-Trek Leader but hopefully this information will help someone…somehow. I have only been on one trip with Trek – Southern Sun NY to LA in the Summer of 2011 but im sure this information can be used for other tours.

Starting Out

If you are reading this you are probably thinking about one of these trips, or have already booked yourself on one. If you are still pondering over your decision i have only one thing to say – Click Here and go book it! It will be the best decision you will ever make, i assure you! If you have reserved and/or handed over your hard-earned cash – congratulations! (…take me with you…)

After booking your trip you will be directed to “Trek America Live“, which is a live forum hosted on TA’s website. This is a good place to start looking for your fellow passengers. About four weeks before your trip is due to start you will be able to find out who is on your trip through this feature (as long as they have also signed up) Another place that i managed to find people on my trip was on the Facebook group, “Join Team Trek America” Post a comment about what trip and date you will be going on and just wait for your new buds to come find you! Here begins the awkward, “Should i add them to facebook!?” whilst hoping that they request friendship first. These guys will be your weird, international family for the next few weeks.

Early morning in Tennessee

To Take With You

If you are on one of the BLT trips, then overlook the next section, as this will be about camping. I had serious reservations about spending the majority of the trip in a tent, but it  turns out that staying in tents is actually a lot of fun! This section is just covering some important items, obviously you will need to take a lot more with you…

Sleeping Bags – If you have one at home that you don’t mind taking, then brilliant – that’s one thing you can tick off your list. But be warned, they may get damaged after a couple of weeks in the southern heat. I ended up buying one from my leader on the first day, in an attempt to save room in my luggage. If you do choose this option, make sure you phone up Trek America and let them know BEFORE your trip begins. If you are heading down South to the hotter states, it may be worth getting a sleeping bag liner to use. It was unbearably hot at times and i was glad to be able to lie on top of my sleeping bag without the fear of having something…crawl over my legs whilst i slept. A pillow is also worth getting during a Walmart stop,  for both night time and van snoozing.

Camping mats – A debated topic, as there is the option to borrow a mat from the van equipment. However, when i booked my trip i was underweight and decided that i would need some extra padding. Don’t bother with proper air beds or inflatable mattresses, they will only turn you into a raging beast when it comes to packing up your tent in the blazing sun. I went with a Base180 self inflating mat for £30 from www.alpkit.com. It rolls up neatly and only needs a few puffs of air to be fully inflated. I was very grateful for a bit of comfort after those long days of hiking through canyons.

Torches – You will be camping, so you will definitely need some form of light. A headlamp would be an even better purchase. Imagine this – its 11pm at night, you are slightly inebriated from beer pong and there are two of you rummaging through your luggage trying to find various items. You will need all available limbs for this task and it is here that a headlamp comes in handy.

Bags – This was the most researched aspect of my trip. I decided to leave the suitcase at home and bought a holdall with wheels and a handle. Having something that opens along the length of your luggage is great for finding those items when you are in a hurry. Unless you are combining a Trek trip with travelling, i would avoid the large backpacks as you end up having to re-pack it each time. Along with your luggage, you will also need a day bag. This should be big enough to fit wallets/purses in, phones, mp3 players, books or anything for the van, with extra space for snacks and a drinks bottle. I took a medium sized satchel bag but should probably have just stuck with a generic backpack.

Chargers – I’m sure you will, but DO remember to bring all your chargers with you and adaptors to use in American sockets. It may also be worth buying an adaptor to use in the van lighter sockets. This is useful if you forget to charge your camera battery and are enroute to some exciting destinations. The front of the van is usually covered in wires about 90% of the driving time. I found a cheap one on Ebay for about £3.

This is where all your stuff goes!

The Girly Section

Guys, look away now. Girls, read more here as I had to make a separate post as it got rather lengthy. Plus, I wouldn’t want to inflict our female troubles on any males reading this.

Somewhere along Bourbon Street i was robbed 😦

Money Factors

One cost i did not factor into my budget was snacks. I literally bought something from each gas station stop and it does add up. Another thing i forgot about was VAT and tipping. VAT is not added to the price of some items, such as clothing etc. This extra cost will get added on at the till. So, put away the $20 note, because that $19.99 top will actually cost you something completely different. As for tipping, 15-20% is usually the standard for bars, restaurants, guides or for anyone that gives you a service. One important tip that you need to factor in is for your Trek Leader. We all collected this on the last day and its all done anonymously – but don’t be a tight ass, these guys deserve a tip after hauling you foreigners around!

Be cautious with your finances. Let me direct you to a previous post so you can learn what NOT to do during your stateside adventure. Its worth splitting your money/cards up, so that if you have a back up if something does go missing. I managed to lose everything including my debit cards, cash, travellers card and even my Boots Advantage Card (why i brought that one along, i’ll never know) For travellers cards, i went with www.fairfx.com which is used like a top up card. Adding funds was easy, hassle free, and could be done online or by text. If possible, tell your debit/credit card company that you are  going abroad  to avoid having it blocked at an inconvinent time. If this does happen, you should be able to phone an international number to reverse it, this is usually located on the back of the card itself.

So overall how much did i spend? Including flights, the price of Trek, an extra day in New York, an additional 4 days in LA and spending money – approximately £3000. Although i am probably not the best person to ask as i ended up losing track of my finances after having my purse stolen. It may seem like a lot of money but it was worth every single penny!


Tearful Trekkie Goodbyes in L.A

Trek Diary: Day Twenty Three (19th July)

I have been avoiding writing this post. This was the final day of our three week long trip and it seemed like it was only yesterday that we were standing in the lobby back in New Jersey.

After a night of broken slumber thanks to the horrendous 4am alarm, we collected our belongings and set off in the van for one last time. After a Wendy’s burger for breakfast, the girls piled in the front whilst the boys caught up on some much needed sleep. As we started our journey, i could feel the tears welling up already. This was to be the saddest drive of my life. I probably shouldn’t have wasted it feeling sorry for myself but i was dreading having to say goodbye to everyone. It is amazing how close you become to the people you travel with. You start off as strangers, become friends and then end up as family.

There is not a great deal to see on the drive between Vegas and Los Angeles, but Steve still found us some odd roadside attractions. We made a pit stop in Baker to stretch our legs and to see the biggest thermometer in the world (which was broken). Nearby was a store selling “Alien Jerky” which was home to a large animatronic UFO that we let our mascot Elvis Travis ride. Other than that, its just desert for miles and miles!

Alien paraphernalia. Everywhere.

We also stopped off at a town called Barstow for lunch. This place is a typical stop off for the highway travelers and in one bus station (“Its a great family destination!”) there were a variety of fast food chains, shops and tacky souvenirs, all crammed under one roof. You can even eat your Big Mac in a McDonalds themed train – wonderful!

By late afternoon we had reached Los Angeles and spent some time driving around the city. We managed to see Sunset Boulevard, Rodeo Drive, the UCLA area and even had a quick stop at the Chinese Theater. (There will be more on L.A in a further post)

It All Ends
Fitting image for the last day!

We had a last Trek dinner together, where we drank plenty of Long Island iced tea (the new love in my life) and then it was back to our hotel to say our goodbyes. After three weeks with my strange family, it was now time for all of us to go our separate ways. Back to our home countries and for some of us, on to more adventures. I will admit, it all got a bit emotional.

Rooftop Jager Shots
The final group photo

I booked Trek America as a three week holiday and i had absolutely no idea that the trip would be so utterly life changing. Although we were not doing the independent backpacking experience – this trip still made a significant impact on me for many reasons. I wish i could do it all again with the knowledge of what i would learn from it and the impact each of these individuals would have on me. The gin-induced, spontaneous decision turned out to be the best choice i have ever made.

To each and every one of you on my trip – thank you!

Ughh, that all got a bit soppy. What a muschi.

xxx

I Hope Nobody Got Married Last Night…

Trek Diary: Day Twenty Two (18th July)

I awoke at 6am. A time that should never be seen in Vegas.

After nearly three weeks of camping, it seemed that my body was regulating its internal clock by the sun and i found myself wide awake. It also didn’t help that i realised that my room was missing something quite important. It seemed my dear room mate had pulled a “Hangover” style stunt on me and had yet to return. It would have been fine if she had taken her phone, or if i had everyone’s mobile and room numbers. And so, our poor Trek leader had another “emergency” telephone call from me at stupid o’clock in the morning – sorry Steve!

After a few guesses and a selection of sleepy strangers down the end of the phoneline, i managed to dial the right number and updated the rest of the girls on the situation. An hour or so later, we were reunited with our missing party animal (who had done Vegas proud) and dragged her along to our next destination – Grub. I was very concerned about her welfare…but i wont lie, i was also concerned about who was coming to breakfast with me. Ah yes, I know my priorities. Especially when breakfast was a buffet.

The booze box claims another victim

After the gambling, the eccentric shows and excessive partying, the best way to recover is to find yourself a breakfast buffet. Each hotel has their own, which vary in price and quality. For example, we picked up a breakfast buffet for $14 in the Flamingo but for $30-40 dollars you could have dinner in the Bellagio with alcohol included. But no booze was required or wanted for this particular sitting. Buffets in Europe tend to lean towards either continental style or full English. However, in Vegas you can literally get anything you could ever want for the first meal of the day. I have even heard of people having Roast dinners and Vietnamese noodles at these buffets – seriously, anything goes. (Nb. Now that i have been to America – the burgers for breakfast thing does not suprise me. We may have done this the following day…) I really wish i had taken a photo of our selection. There was the usual breakfasty items – bacon, cereal, toast, eggs etc, but it went on to include – pastries, cupcakes, steaks, king prawns and even the salad bar was out. I was rebellious and had ice cream. For breakfast? Take that parents!!

After digesting the horrific amount of salt, sugar and whatever else we could eat for $14, we met up with some of the others and took a short drive to go shoot some guns. For a European or an Australian, a trip to Vegas is never complete without taking some frustration out on a paper target with the biggest and most bad-ass looking gun that your budget allows. Having been recently robbed and with a week left on a limited amount of cash, i decided to sit this one out. As did Lisa, who was probably still too drunk to even be near a firearm.

Natalie looks like she is naked in this photo.

The afternoon was spent exploring Vegas in 40’c heat, debating purchases of various “Hangover” souvenirs and avoiding Victoria’s Secret for fear i would spend every last cent i owned. As this was to be our last proper night together before the end of the trip, i attempted to get everyone together to go out and find some dinner. But by 7pm the majority of the boys were still sleeping and so our dwindling group decided to try Dick’s last Resort Restaurant in Excalibur. The Vegas guidebook describes Dick’s as having obnoxious staff, rude games, insults and a lot of banter. Sounded interesting. Some genius and some very clever marketing, created a successful chain of restaurants where the staff are rude to you and will go out of their way to insult you. If you are (un)lucky, you may even get a dunce cap with something degrading written on it. It was definitely a very unique dining experience.

Our waiter, Dustin. He then proceeded to throw cutlery at us.

Our last night in Vegas was relatively quiet – except for the boys, who powered through many cigars, vodka and our beloved George Dickel Whisky. Most people had partied hard the night before and were not really up for a second night. We managed to regroup outside of Caesers Palace and wandered around watching the hotel shows and attractions. Back at the hotel, we played a last round of “Arrogance” and headed to bed before our early start and last day together.

Yet, before the day had even begun, we all had a very rude awakening at 5am when the WORST ALARM EVER started to sound. I have never been so terrified in my entire life. A siren was blaring and a mans voice was repeating the following, “WARNING. THIS IS AN EMERGENCY”  In my sleepy state, i somehow thought it was my personal alarm and started frantically trying to find my phone. This went on for about 5 minutes and people poked their heads out of their doors and collected in the corridor. Some went out the fire exit, some panicked and some went straight back to bed. We never did find out what caused the alarm but i loved the guy who waved to us and shouted, “Morning Everyone!”

From River Tubing to The Vegas Party Bus

Trek Diary: Day Twenty One (17th July)

Why wake up in a green and sweaty tent, when you can wake up to views like this? Although, it would be a lot more scenic without the car park. Waking up in canyons, deserts and swamps was definitely the best thing about sleeping outside. It was about 7am, some of the boys had opted to hike up the toughest trail in Zion, Angels Landing, and had already left by the time we got up. I opted out of this, knowing i would have to be as refreshed/alive as possible for our next stop. But fair play to them, they did bring back some awesome photos.

The boys on Angels Landing

With the morning to spare, we decided to arrange a less energetic activity – river tubing! Our campsite was right next to an adventure company where you could hire rubber tubes and go on a self guided tour downstream. We had two instructions – get off at the right stop and to not lose our tubes…and nearly failed both of these. We all got stuck on rocks, sent into spiky bushes on the riverbank and very nearly flipped out into the rapids. I also foolishly chose the ring with the hole and spent the entire time trying to avoid grazing my bum on the rocks. I could have spend the entire day floating down that river, rescuing my Trek mates from rocks and watching Ingrid chase after her runaway tube. But after an hour or so, we reached our stop where a bus came and collected us.

After returning to camp and rejoining with our tired boys, we packed up our things and set off for our next stop – Vegas! After stealing the front rows of the van for the majority of the journey, us girls reluctantly sat at the back. We made a brief stop in St George, Utah for Subways and ice cream before shortly crossing the state line into Nevada, where we made a very important and necessary booze run. Our stocks were running low and where better to replenish these than an alcohol superstore! I have never seen so many types of Smirnoff vodka before and was very tempted to try the Dragonfruit flavour. Natalie even found her beloved cider which was the first state-side sighting!

Once the alcohol was bought it was straight on to Vegas and the back row crew were getting a little over excited. The boys on the other hand, were either asleep/tired/still hungover and were being very boring and told us off for being too noisy. These were ignored with shouts of, “VEGAS BABY! YEAAAAAAH!” and a variety of quotes from “The Hangover”.

“Not at the table, Carlos!”

“We’re the three best friends that anyone could have!”

“…PAGING DOCTOR FAGGOT…”

Annnnd repeat.

"There it is!"

I am told it is best to see Vegas for the first time from the highway. After driving hours through desert, it appears out of nowhere and then the onslaught of billboards, light shows and extravagance begins.

Our hotel was Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and Saloon situated right on the Strip and opposite Caesers Palace. Not the fanciest of hotels but it served its purpose as base camp very well. Besides, who wants to stay in their room when they go to Vegas?! After checking in and doing the “Grand Entrance” (the leap onto the bed, which should be done in each hotel room – without fail!) we set off in search of an In and Out Burger – a West Coast specialty.

One of the activities which is included with the Southern Sun trek is a limo ride around Vegas. The one we had was massive and fitted all 26 of us in it. It even had a pole. So after a frantic girly session of hair straightening, we grabbed our booze and red cups and met the other group at the Flamingo. The first stop was Fremont Street, the second most famous street in Vegas. It is used in virtually every single program and documentary to do with the city. There are shows, a neon cowboy, plenty of bars and casinos and an LED roof which has its own light and sound show. Back on the bus and a few more drinks later, i was showing off my skills on the pole. Not the greatest idea in a tiny dress and in a moving vehicle, but it had to be done! The second stop was at the famous “Welcome to Vegas” sign, where a lot of photos were taken, many of which seem to have made it onto the front of our Facebook profiles. The third and final stop was the Bellagio to see the famous water show. By this point everyone was a little worse for wear and we must have stood there, taking photos and half-watching the display for about an hour.

The Party Bus - A few beverages later and that i was upside down on that pole. Classy.
Fremont Street

Eventually the group split up and begun to stumble off down the strip in search of cigars, slot machines, cocaine and hookers (…I can only assume…) For this evening i assumed the role of “drunk carer” and had to steer one particular member of our party back to our hotel and to bed. Amazingly, i managed to re-group with our little party outside The Flamingo, before deciding to head over to Caesars Palace and to the famous roof top bar. I am very surprised we were allowed in, especially after Lisa managed to throw the entire contents of her purse at the bouncer. Entry was only $10 and i was falsely led to believe that the drinks would also be relatively reasonable. WRONG! It is always a bad sign when you approach a bar with no drinks list, filled with incredibly hot individuals who are sipping fancy looking cocktails. I ordered a shot of Jager in an attempt to gauge how pricey this bar was going to be. “That’ll be $10” I severely regretted not pre-drinking more.

The combination of the Vegas sobriety, extortionate prices and…i will admit, the fact that everyone looked like they had stumbled out of 90210, made for a stroppy Amy. It also didn’t help that the trip was coming to an end and i kept thinking about how i would have to leave my new best friends in a few days. So…in a very girly fashion, with a few tears, i was escorted back to the hotel thanks to one of my fellow Trekkies.

Wow.

I totally failed Vegas.