gra-dult-hood n.

1. A stage in life between graduation and adulthood.
2. Gradulthood often involves jobs that don't fulfil a graduate's expectations.
3. A term coined during the recession.

A Gradult Abroad: Viva Las Vegas

As seen in the movies
Our first trip down to Sin City had been gloriously textbook, flanked by two friends including Gradulthoods own Michael Gray we had road-tripped across from Los Angeles and attacked the strips casino’s and nightclubs until the sun rose in the desert sky. Each wearing suit’s acquired from San Francisco’s famed thrift shops; ‘suit night’ will go down in folklore. This time though it would be different, this was Vegas on a shoestring but we were living proof that you don’t need to be in penthouse of the Bellagio to enjoy what’s on offer.

We checked into Circus Circus, not in the historic casino but one of the overspill motels hidden from the strip almost out of embarrassment. No-one wants to watch Oceans 11 and see a handful of four-storey buildings and the strips only RV Park do they? Glamorous it wasn't, but we weren’t on our honeymoon, and after two months in hostels a room without a couple of strangers tripping over your pile of dirty clothes was a blessing.

On our first encounter with Vegas we had stumbled across The Sahara, the oldest casino in on the strip. Sure, it didn’t have the glamour of Encore, the lion pit of the MGM Grand, the water slide through a shark tank or the world’s largest golden nugget, but there were $1 hot dogs, $1 beers and $1 black jack. This made for a very enjoyable six days. Nothing beats sitting down at the blackjack table, sliding a crumpled ten buck to the dealer and nursing ten chips for an hour or so. Chuck the odd chip to the cocktail waitresses - most of who look like they’ve been with the Sahara since its opening day - and the drinks are free. Vegas likes its customers drunk so they bet more, but unfortunately the casinos doesn’t accept IOU’s so we weren’t in any danger of losing any money we couldn’t afford to. If we were up, we would treat ourselves to a few more drinks or a sit down at one of the ridiculous buffets, and if we were down, we would go and lie by the pool for as long as we could bear the searing heat. Sunbathing just isn’t as relaxing when you can feel yourself cooking.

Morale is high after $6 profit
It was a great way to end a great trip. That was until the money really did run out and we had to spend our final two days camped in our hotel room watching American sitcoms until we could go home. Things got so tight that we had to wait until the breakfast menu started at 1AM so we could take advantage of the Hooters Value menu. Gradults everywhere don’t need the current economic climate to stop them seeing the world; they just need to get themselves out there. Once you're there it’s up to you to make the best of it, there’s always a way to have a lot of fun for not much money.

1 comment:

  1. Very well said Joe! Without wanting to harp back to the bike trip (I do really), travelling can be as adventurous, original and cheap as you want with just a little thought and effort put into it. I too experienced Vegas on budget this summer, if only for one night, $5 for Steak, eggs and hash browns between midnight and 8am was our way of watching the dimes and quarters!