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Las Vegas Adventures: Surviving Vegas

Updated on March 14, 2011

Las Vegas Adventures, Part I: Preparing to Survive Las Vegas


Las Vegas. I've never been there before, but I've been inundated with commercials, seen the quality cable drama, and have imagined jumping from casino to casino on the Las Vegas Strip. Yes, in some ways Vegas is strange for me. I love the outdoors and nature, want to get away from civilization, talk about philosophy and writing, but I want to go to a city that proudly calls itself "Sin City." Well I'm a complex individual, and while everyone else is running around chanting a mantra, I just want to have fun and take my first true vacation in three years and abuse this privilege I've heard rumors of called "free drinks." Heck, the first day I might just order room service and turn the air conditioning on to max and enjoy not having a 17 hour day of work.  Maybe I'll wander out just long enough to watch the flair bartenders at work.

But I love to just get away and have a little fun, and I plan to spend a lot of time people watching on the Vegas strip. A week off is long overdue, and it's time for me to have a little bit of fun, but the nervous sweats hit me.

Do I know how to survive Las Vegas?

Guidebook prepared, web surfing done and done, mind already packing it in even during insane work days, I'm ready to go, but maybe a little bit of a plan is in order to prepare for my Vegas adventure.

Las Vegas Worries Begin


Adventure should be a natural part of travel, but I think of one famous author's Vegas journeys from decades ago and maybe I begin to worry. Or maybe I'm more excited than ever. Maybe it's a combination of both, but one thing is for sure: my brother and I are both planning for one heck of a great Las Vegas, NV, vacation. Three years for either of us since we had a vacation, it's long past due...but with Hunter S. Thompson now in my mind, Las Vegas begins to feel a little ominous.

Las Vegas Nightmares


Usually I try to be optimistic. I'm all about the silver lining, but then panic begins to strike me before my Vegas vacation. Am I betraying my roots, my "hip-because-he's-independent-and-not-quite-hip" persona? My heart beats 1,000 miles a minute as I stare at the ceiling of my apartment less than two days before my flight out west.

What's the worst that can happen in Vegas? I ask myself. The credit cards are frozen in a block of ice in the freezer, my ATM limits are set, and my daily budget planned, but my mind answers.

What if I win a million dollars? Do quote a teacher, writer, and mentor, David Crouse: "Don't let all that sweet, sweet, money change your Bohemian ways." If I won a million dollars, could I really be a Bohemian? Wouldn't I be a faker? I hate it when those white teenage brats with rich parents wear "gangster" stuff and talk street. Wouldn't a millionaire Bohemian be the same thing?

But on the plus side, I could bet it all on black and let it ride. Then I could lose it all with one spin. That would be a great story.

But what if I won?

At $2 mil, I'd have to be either self hating or a hypocrite. I'd either have to hate myself for being rich, being the poor "class warrior" that my W-2 informs me I am, or every essay I wrote about the rich would apply to me now and I'd have to hate myself. Man, that's a dilemma.


Then Las Vegas is designed with buildings like France, Italy, New York, an unnerving circus...diversity scares me because money + business + diversity... that could mean the one group I have trouble around. What if I show up and old white Republican free market capitalists are everywhere? Rolexs, PDAs, talking about Forex and markets and McCain being too liberal...oh God, what a nightmare. I'd rather be back by that charging Grizzly.

Or what if I come back married? Six years ago five men made a bet about who was the Alpha Male...which of us would stay independent the longest and not be whipped? Who would go the longest without an engagement or partner? My biggest competition just informed me he's looking for an engagement ring and therefore he owed me $50. If I came back married, I'd have to give him his money back and capitulate my position as Alpha Male.


Obviously I need a plan to survive my Las Vegas adventure, even starting with details like picking out the right Las Vegas hotel.

Low Standards Have to Rise in Vegas


Wanderlust and natural curiosity makes me want to travel everywhere, from the wilds of Alaska to the Highlands of Scotland, to the tropics to Vegas. But obviously my night terrors of wealth, Bohemian betrayal, and sweeping romance reveal a deeply disturbing fear that is coming out in nightmare form.

Usually I'm a silver lining type of guy. Usually three for five is great. Amazing in baseball, solid in football - 60% is great in most real life situations. But I make a list and stare at the characters, understanding deeply and intrinsically that three out of five wasn't good enough this time.

No. I love adventure, and I'm Celtic through and through meaning that I measured wealth by great stories, adventure, and life experiences. But I couldn't let my nature get in the way. 3 out of 5 wasn't good enough this time. I had to go for the sweep. Everything else in Las Vegas was open as an option, but this list had to be off limits, scribbled in smearing red ink on the back of a napkin, my poor version of the 5 commandments that didn't include the obvious: don't get into a street brawl:

Jerry G's 5 Commandments for Vegas:

  1. Thou shalt not go to jail.
  2. Thou shall stay out of thy Nevada news.
  3. Thou shalt not return with a ring.
  4. Thou shalt not drink too many of thy's favorite whiskies (remember going away party in Fairbanks, AK, that drew every police car on duty at 4 a.m.)

Interjection: Still regarded by many who attended at the best party ever.

  1. Thou shalt not miss thy plane home.

Five for five. That was the conclusion after my mind wandered back from my Alaska days (that was a great party). Five for five was the goal, and these would guide me through the dangers of Vegas to a great vacation.

Las Vegas Bellagio Fountain Show (Night)

Las Vegas Strip Great Flair Bartender

Vegas Ho!


The five commandments for surviving a Las Vegas adventure are written down, the normal blend of adrenaline, excitement, and twinge of fear are mixing together as they always do before a major vacation or travel adventure.

The hotel rooms are booked on the strip at a great price, the plane tickets are bought for there and back, and I'm ready to mark Nevada off that short list of states not yet visited. After weeks on end of 14-18 hour days, 7 days a week, this might be one of the most anticipated vacations of my entire life, and with the five rules clear in mind, and independence to enjoy everything not covered therein, I'm ready to go.

Next stop, Las Vegas. Will I have the time and effort for a mid-trip hub, or will it all come down to an after vacation hub? Whatever's next, it's time to travel again, and until I can make enough passive income to globe trot, Las Vegas it is!

A Question About Las Vegas Adventures

Is a Las Vegas vacation something that appeals to you at all?

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Escape Adventures Las Vegas - Sometimes You Just Need a Vegas Vacation

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    • Wanderlust profile image

      Wanderlust 9 years ago from New York City

      Great hub! Love Vegas and go there sometimes for few days. Great restaurant, great hotels and beautiful surroundings. Came up with 10 reasons to travel to Vegas. Please check it out.