Las Vegas: January 2017
This was a totally unexpected Christmas present from Greg.
Not only unexpected but also planned behind my back in the fact he had been having secret conversations with my boss to organise my annual leave and everything.
Well, when I say secret, it actually made me realize my boss isn’t very good at secrets – she phoned him one time in the car when I was in the car too. She hung up as soon as she realised I was there.
Greg was having an affair with my boss!
Obviously not! When I did get my Christmas present from my boss she gave me a fancy box of chocolates and a posh bottle of wine and said “oh there’s something else too but I have given it to Greg to look after” – to which I replied “oooh?” and she said something like “ohh shhh, don’t ask me anything else, you’ll see what I mean…
“oh just shhh”
You think I might have twigged that something was going on then…but I didn’t.
Anyway, when it came to Christmas morning and I was opening my presents, this is where my real stupidity set in.
First, I was told they had to be opened in order but that’s usually the case as everyone wants to save the best for last, right?
One of the presents I opened was a pack of chocolate casino chips. I LOVE chocolate coins and I LOVE the casino so I thought ‘ahhh that’s thoughtful and nice and, oh, I can eat it too – BONUS!’
Next up was a little plastic toy thing of a dancing Elvis.
Outwardly I said ‘oh that’s good, thanks, I can add it to my “trinket shelf” great stuff’.
Inwardly I was thinking “what the fuck is this shit you’re giving me here, Greg?”
It was time for my final present I had to open – it was small, flat and let’s be honest no one ever really gets too excited about the small wrapped gifts – do they? No matter how fucking fancy they are wrapped up.
As I was unwrapping it I could see exactly what it was…
A LAS VEGAS TOUR GUIDE
“We leave on 9th January” he told me, “I’ve organised all your time off work”
I then opened the gift from my boss and it was US dollars for spending money – “ahhhh” the penny was dropping.
Notice, I said “dropping” rather than “dropped” as I didn’t get the reason behind the chocolate casino coins and the stupid Elvis toy until I was in the shower a few hours later when I actually said out loud…
“Oh, so that’s what the fucking Elvis thing was for”
Not the cleverest am I?
Either way, I was super excited – VEGAS BABY!
This would be my first long haul flight and my first time travelling outside of Europe but most importantly, finally, after all my travels I was going to get a stamp on my passport!
We set off from Aberdeen with a stop off at Heathrow. I’ve done this trip many times for work so aside from the fact that Aberdeen airport is a bit shit it was pretty much non eventful on this occasion.
Well, it was actually eventful when you consider it was the last flight by BA where they provided complimentary snacks and booze before they decided to cash in and offer
At Heathrow, when we were going through the gate to board the plane to Vegas I had my boarding pass on my phone and it scanned just fine but for some reason Greg’s was reprinted by the gate staff when he scanned his phone. We didn’t think too much of that.
As we were getting on the plane and they were checking our boarding passes to tell us which door to go through i.e. if we were in the good seats or the cheap seats.
They checked Greg’s first and said “ah you’re in premium economy – this way”. “What?”, I said “we are supposed to be in economy“. “Oh” said the man, well this one has been upgraded…
At this point I didn’t realise my phone boarding pass had been automatically upgraded and the man said without checking it “well, if you are in economy then it was the other door”. A bye, bye loser kinda thing.
Greg was practically prancercising through the “golden gate” and waving to me as if to say “see you at the other side scum”.
I said “no, hold on a minute here, if we’re travelling together we should be sat together”. After all, someone I know has to suffer my “in flight entertainment” as it would be lost on a stranger and I might even get beaten up.
“it’s two upgrades or no upgrades, pal – capiche?”
I didn’t say that obviously because we always think of the best and funniest things to say afterwards don’t we – it sucks balls!
The man checked my phone and clarified that my boarding pass had actually been auto upgraded so that’s why I didn’t need a new paper copy.
In your face Greg and your shitty android phone boarding pass!
I didn’t say that either and I think I was also so excited to get the upgrade I forgot how a few seconds earlier Greg was quite happy to leave me alone for ten and a half hours in cattle class!
while he sat wearing an eye mask with his feet up and wrapped up in a blanky
Although it wasn’t first class I couldn’t have been happier with the upgrade. We were welcomed on the plane by a lady with a glass of champagne, were sat at the very front of the premium economy section so had “extra” extra leg room and like I just said the special pack which included eye mask and blanky!
Although it wasn’t first class I felt like I was special when the food arrived and it was so much better than what economy class were getting.
Although it wasn’t first class I loved the fact that I could press the call bell a.k.a “the lady button” whenever I wanted a glass of wine and subsequently not be looked at like I’m a scumbag. Well, maybe looked at like I’m a scumbag but a premium scumbag so the “forced smile” from the lady looked a little more genuine.
Although it wasn’t first class I absolutely wasn’t going to let the ugly stranger passenger in the third seat with the dirty fingernails and the hand luggage full of condoms ruin my first long haul flight.
Although it wasn’t first class I did have a first class book with me:
The flight was long, I got a bit chilly and my feet pretty much felt like they had doubled in size but it was far better than I had ever thought a 10 hour flight would be!
We landed at McCarran International Airport and I knew the momentous occasion of me getting a stamp on my passport was approaching. However, I wasn’t quite prepared for the questions. “What are they asking people?” I asked Greg. “I dunno” was his helpful answer, “maybe like where have you travelled from or something.”
“Shit!”, I thought and had flashbacks of being asked similar questions when trying to get into a nightclub after a night out on the town. To which, since I usually had forgotten where I had been, said something like ‘places’ and was swiftly refused entry.
What if I get confused? What if I say the wrong thing? I was totally sober but under pressure sometimes I crack. I might get refused entry to America just like I once got refused entry to Soul Casino!
Oh no wait hang on, I did walk into the wall that time at Soul Casino – that’s the reason I got refused entry.
I did consider telling Greg that we could maybe pretend that we didn’t speak American i.e. ‘we no speak Americano’ and try to get through the border control like this…
…but I very much doubt I would have been allowed in the country or even allowed out on my own again if I did that.
“Okay concentrate Steve”, I told myself – “remember, you’ve travelled through London from Aberdeen and for fuck sake don’t walk into any god damn wall!”
So what did the man ask me? Well, I’ve actually no idea – I just nodded and laughed in the right places and that seemed to work!
As for Greg he was quizzed about where he was from, was he on vacation, would he be gambling, and was told to have an awesome time! I felt a little cheated as I was waiting for him in the border control area until…
I was sternly told to “keep walking” by a little man with a big gun!
Getting from the airport to our hotel couldn’t have been easier thanks to Lyft. It’s basically another version of Uber and it’s awesome so look out for a separate blog post on it alone as we use it A LOT.
We were picked up by a really friendly driver called Tiffany*. I remember her name for two reasons. One, it’s stored on my Lyft App and two, her name was Tiffany for fuck sake!
She gave us lots of advice about Las Vegas but I will always remember her for one sentence…
“Welcome To Sin City!”
Amazing! We had arrived at our hotel, The Bellagio, and this story DOES continue!
If you enjoyed this post – don’t forget to check out my other Travel stories…
*not the ginger singer from the 80’s