Not Rihanna was not good, our introduction to Las Vegas

Yesterday was the day we headed to Las Vegas. Our flight was at 7.50am, so we left Waikiki at 4.30am, got to Honolulu International Airport at 5am, and checked in. We had already checked in online and was given the option of upgrading our seats to the bulkhead seats with extra room for $35USD per person. We opted not to, and stuck with our seats 47 J and H, which the Seatguru link shows to be two of the worst seats on the plane. We’ll see about that.

We then went through TSA security, taking our shoes off, showing ID, and all of that good stuff, even though this was just a domestic flight. I forgot to take out my little bag with 100ml or less of liquids but that didn’t seem to be a worry to them. Once we were through security the national and international terminals are linked together and let people intermingle. I thought that was a little weird but on reflection, separating people is the weird thing. If everyone has been security screened, then it doesn’t really matter if they’re flying domestically or internationally. After a while at the airport, we were ready to depart on our flight.

Airline Cheese

Hawaiian Airlines prides itself on being the only US domestic carrier that provides a meal on their flights, but they also give you the choice of upgrading your meal before departure. We didn’t bother to upgrade, and instead enjoyed a quite nice breakfast of fruit salad, crackers, cheese, and some chocolate. I find it interesting that they need to add the colour Annatto to the cheese to make it this orange colour. Do they not know that cheese is meant to look yellow and golden rather than orange? It is rest assuring that there was no artificial growth hormones in the cheese. Why doesn’t Mainland Cheddar say that on the packet?

Anyway, once on the flight there’s really nothing to watch unless you pay $7 USD which gives you TV and old movies, and then you can pay $7 USD per each new movie. Save your money, put some tv shows from YouTube on your tablet or phone.

Landed at Las Vegas around 4.10pm. As soon as you step off the plane, the terminal has some slot machines in it. That made me laugh, I mean, it’s not unexpected, but there you are, imagine just gotten off a six hour flight, and then thinking “man, I really need to hit those slots, I ain’t gonna’ wait for the hotel, I want it now!”. Good way to pass the time if you’re waiting for a flight I guess.

We then stepped outside and waited for the taxi cab. The temperature was around 110 degrees Fahrenheit or 43 degrees Celsius. However, it’s a bit like having a hair dryer blowing on yourself rather than being in a sauna. It’s a hot dry heat which is reasonable and something you can live with, unlike when we were in Shanghai where it’s 30 degrees Celsius but the humidity is 100% and is unbearable. I asked our taxi driver to take us the cheap way to the Tropicana Hotel. He said I’d come to the wrong town to be cheap. That’s a fair point. I enjoyed how he served to avoid hitting traffic that he wasn’t really paying attention to, as well as smoking at the lights. $18 USD later and a $4 USD tip, we were at the Tropicana.

After waiting in line for a bit we checked in at the Tropicana Hotel. We have to pay a $19.99 USD resort fee per each day that pays for things like Wireless Internet and Pool Usage etc. It’s just a scam. Why not just include it in the hotel fees? That would be like staying at a hotel buy they don’t include changing the sheets or the towels or a door that locks. Oh you want that stuff, that’s $3.99 USD per item extra per 12 hours. Scammy. We opted to take our own bags to our room. The Tropicana is designed in such a way that to get to your room you have to walk through the whole casino, and then past the restaurants, and then past the gift shops, and out the back, as far away from anywhere as possible, there’s a couple of lifts, and that’s where your hotel room will be.

Hooters HotelOur room has a nice king size bed, and the decor’s nice, but it doesn’t have a fridge, so you can’t really have your own food. We have a nice view of the airport and of Hooters Hotel next door. Kathryn thought the first place we should head to was a massive 24 hour Walmart about a 30 minute bus ride away from the strip. On the bus we had an ominous black guy sitting next to us sprawling out all over the bus. Once he moved, a Latino guy with words tattooed into the back of his head decided to stare at us a little. I felt like Norwegian tourists catching the bus to the wrong part of Rotorua. Turns out the Walmart didn’t actually have these special brushes that are a brand of a YouTube makeup guru. We then caught the same bus back, and were thankful that we were back to the strip.

We then got ready to head to a comedy show at The Laugh Factory. We had a Groupon for The Laugh Factory which gave us tickets for two for around $30 USD. American humour tends to revolve around jokes about fat people, disabled people, racism, and gays. The headline act said he was all for gay marriage which made the crowd go silent. Then he said he was “against gay divorce since once you’ve chosen that ass-hole, you should have that ass-hole for life”. Crowd loved it.

After The Laugh Factory we hit the casino. Kathryn ended up a little addicted, but we only spent about $20. You lose and lose and then you win a little, and then you lose and lose some more. It’s like a tease. After we lost all our money we then decided to hit the strip and go for a walk. I now understand why there needs to be a Hoover Dam, it must take up a bit of power to light up this town, it really is amazing!

Heard some karaoke which was Rihanna except it was all in one key, and without any backing music. Not Rihanna was not good.

Anyways, it was then 2.30am and it was time to hit the sack. Las Vegas first night, done!