Looking back at Vegas

All I have been talking about lately is Qatar and my trip to Vegas kinda fell by the down side. Sure I posted a trip report but it was pretty basic and I didn’t put all that much effort into it really. Mind you i was half way to Qatar while I was writing it and getting the photos ready. Hell i am pretty sure I posted the trip report from the air. But that report just doesn’t really talk about how much fun I had in Vegas.

I’ve been to Sin City 3 times now. The first two times were with Contiki and only for 2 nights. The first time I went was my first real time overseas on my own, I had been sick for my birthday the month prior and I just decided to go all out. I absolutely wiped myself out that first night in Vegas and got that true vegas experience. I was so out of it that first time that the 2nd day I was in the city it was a total write off. What a waste!

The 2nd time in Vegas was about 3 years now. At the end of my last Contiki. By that stage I had made a fantastic group of friends and was looking forward to an amazing time in Vegas. My Favourite DJ was playing that first night we were there and I was pumped to live it up big time with my friends. Then I got sick. I still made the most of my time in Vegas but I didn’t get plastered, I didn’t go to far out of it, I even ended up missing out on seeing the DJ because I felt so crappy. :( What a waste.

The first time I was in Vegas a couple of people talked me into going and visiting Blue Man Group. I saw the show, and loved it. I ended up Downloading (legitimately of course ;)) their album. Then the 2nd time I was in Vegas I had to take my friends to Blue Man Group and they loved it. We had poncho seats (which i managed to score at the last minute for no extra cost) and we were so close to the action, but didn’t get any paint on us sadly. I had the best time and even though I was pretty sick I still had enough left in me to enjoy the show with my friends and then get this photo as well:

From North America 2009 Pt 3

Blue man group had changed their show this year and it had only just reopened at the Monte Carlo theatre. I just had to go, I had to check out the new show. So I did, it was fantastic and even though I couldnt easily get the same photo again (as I had no one with me to take the photo and the staff there won’t touch your camera for some reason) I still managed to get something that I feel is the same (even though I look way way way different now)

From Vegas Avgeek Style

That’s me with a Blue Man!

The other big thing I remember from my 2nd trip to Vegas was my visit to the Gun Store with my friends. Ash, Stuart, Ashina, Michelle and I all went out to the “Las Vegas Gun Store” which at the time was pretty much the only place that allowed you to fire whatever fully automatic weapon you wanted. I went all out, i grabbed a package that was $350, it was everything you could think of and then to top it all off, you got to fire a belt fed machine gun. I remember an old saying i saw on the internet “Happiness is an Automatic Weapon with Belt Feed.” It’s not far off it. The feeling to just let that ammo fly is just indescribable.  What a thrill!  I had this photo taken off me

From North America 2009 Pt 2

So this time I went back.  But not to the Gun Store, I did things a little bit differently.  I went to a new place that had opened up, one that was a little bit more glitz and looked much nicer.  You had to make appointments rather than just walking in off the street (you could do that but they told me the likelihood of not waiting was slim.  So I booked with them, the girls that worked the counters and helped you out were pretty hot to (not that I chose it just for that reason ;)).  It was a bit more expensive, but what made it even more awesome was that they had an M203 Grenade Launcher and for $40 you could shoot off 2 rounds.  SOLD!  Even better than the M249 that I shot last time, they have a Vietnam Era M60.  This thing is old school Belt fed.  With big time rifle bullets 7.62mm.  Much bigger than the M249 which shoots standard NATO 5.56mm.  So I took that, all up it set me back about $220 for what I shot.  It ROCKED!  The M60 kicked like crazy, and I of course, got the recreated photo:

From Vegas Avgeek Style

I may look stupid holding that handle but this is right after I fired it so if I held it any other way I would have no skin on my hands and 3rd degree burns.  Pass on that!

So much good happened on my trip to Vegas.  Doesn’t mean it all went according to plan.  I had a great time don’t get me wrong but I would definately change a few things for next time and a few things I will do again.

Good Things to keep
1.  Stay off strip –  Staying at the Trump was good.  I really enjoyed staying back from the Strip, but what I think I really need to do is stay out of the main strip area around MGM, Paris, Bellagio etc.  It is way to crowded.  I would rather stay that half a block back or maybe even further down the strip around where Wynn & Encore are.  Sure they may be out but its quieter down that end and theres not so much hassle.   It meant I could run the strip and not worry about crowds in the morning or the crazy footpath system.
2.  Hire a car – I didn’t spend my days lazing by the pool or all day at the Casino tables (hell the only time I gambled on this trip was the $1 I fed into the slot machine at the airport) so I spent the majority of my time out of the hotel, out and about.  The Car made it super easy to get around.  Navigating was a bit of a pain in the ass as Vegas is a bit one way streetish, but I found my way easy enough thanks to my phone.  All the casinos have free parking and that just made it smarter in the end.  I may look out for a better deal or just priceline something next time but a car is definately the way to go imo.

Things I would do different
1. If I was to go to Aviation Nation again (entirely possible) I would probably not plan anything else but that.  Because I booked in the gun range time, I had to leave the show by a certain time.  What I didn’t expect was the crappy weather the first day compared to the second.  If I had of left it open I could of bailed on my plans of snapping all the shows the first day and the statics the 2nd when I had the reduced time.  I think what I would of done had I not booked it would of been to reverse my days and snap the statics the first day and then I would of avoided the crazy ass weather.  Mind you hindsight is awesome, so I can say this now but yeah, next time I gotta be more flexible.
2. Don’t Bother with the M203.  Sure it was awesome to fire a grenade launcher, not that I will get another chance but the let down was that it was not a proper round.  Not even a bean bag round.  All they let me shoot was essentially a shotgun round in an adaptor made out of a 40mm round.  So It made it look like I was firing a grenade but it was just a buckshot round.  So not what I thought I was going to be getting.

It was a pretty great trip and thoroughly enjoyed going.  But Vegas is way more fun with other people, that I know for sure.  So I will wait again till I end up going with someone else but unlike the saying.  Whatever happens in Vegas, you are guaranteed to hear about it!

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