Highlights: 110 degree weather… (okay, not a highlight, but an extreme thing to note none-the-less), Swimming, Drinking on the streets, Penny slots and free beer, Bellagio Fountain Show, Creepy Elvis, Photos photos photos!

We rolled into Vegas around 5PM, giddy with excitement and only slightly irritated from sitting in the car for 7.5 hours. Upon opening the doors to the car, we realized why this was considered “off season” for Vegas… 110 degree sticky weather hit us like a hot blowdryer. We all groaned and complained in disbelief, deciding we wouldn’t hit the strip until the sun set behind the mountains. Instead, we hit the pool and drank some beers, and of course ordered Pizza Hut to curb our hunger.

Finally, 7 o’clock hit and we were out the door faster than you could say “Vegas, Baby”. Cruising to the strip, we talked about how much time we had to really get the Vegas experience, deciding the Bellagio fountain show was a must see. After some debate about where to park, Caroline (the only person of the bunch having been to Vegas) swore that parking in any of the hotel lots was free. So, we tried it and just drove right into the Bellagio parking garage, still feeling like we’d be stopped or have to pay someone at some point… but Caroline was right! Parking in the lot was free! (The band LOVES anything that’s free). Right away we started having sensory overload: You walk into the Bellagio and everything is so grand, rich, colorful, ALIVE. We sort of stood around gawking, taking photos, then we realized “Wait, this is just the inside of the Bellagio! Lets go explore!”

As soon as we walked out we were there: the site of the infamous fountain show! People crowded the wall hugging the water, but we found a place where all of us could see it. Almost immediately, Kurt says “Wait, something’s happening!” and sure enough, the show began. Again we found ourselves standing there, gawking, smiling, taking photos, soaking in the Vegas experience. It was awesome! but beer was obviously the next priority on our list, and trust me, Vegas is the easiest place to get it. On the street you can buy it ($7 – $9 for a bottle…) so Pat and Caroline indulged while Brandon, Kurt and Zach decided that free was better. It was so weird being able to walk around OUTSIDE on the sidewalks drinking, it felt so GOOD 🙂 (Seriously, it shouldn’t ever be illegal…ha). After chatting up a former Cirque De Soleil performer (who was attempting to get us into a “risque” version of the show) we walked into Caesar’s Palace and plopped ourselves down at penny slots. Almost immediately a girl came by asking us what we wanted to drink, and BAM, free beer was in our hands as we pulled the handle on our penny machines, spending only a $1 here and there, grinning ear to ear.

Next on the list was finding a table to play Black Jack at (per Pat’s request) and we decided Bill’s Saloon might be the best place for that. Lights, people, street performers, traffic honking, music playing, cigar smoke filling our noses, we walked to our next destination. Before entering, a girl staggered up to Kurt asking him for a condom… “WTF?!” we all thought?? But it appeared that she was on a “scavenger hunt” for her friend’s bachelorette party (riiiight). Being the drunken sex crazed band that we are… we had to turn her away empty handed. Better luck next time?

Then Pat realized that he also wanted to see “Elvis” and maybe experience a bit of the nostalgic Vegas. Our hunt for him turned up empty until a drunken/drugged Elvis stumbled in front of us, asking for “tips” to take photos with him. We’re suckers and succumbed to the ridiculous request, getting our one touristy photo and moving into the Saloon where Pat proceeded to lose $$ at a Black Jack table, and the rest of us purchased $2 Blue Moons. By this point we were getting a little tired, but we forged on to the Flamingo in search of a Pai-Gow table for Caroline (however, it’s Vegas where only “high rollers” gamble and there weren’t any tables below $10, boo). We still sat at the penny slots in there and got more free beer, but decided it was getting late and that heading back to the Bellagio was probably best.

We ended the night sitting at a couple penny slots in the Bellagio, all of us only down a couple bucks. Caroline ordered herself a dirty martini and the boys finished off some free beer before sadly leaving the Vegas strip back to the hotel. Drunk and happy, we slept soundly that night, dreaming of fat Elvis, free beer, and the sound of winning money on our penny machines.

Vegas to LA tomorrow, lets do it!

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