We spent the next four days getting to know the real Las Vegas better. My parents met their friends, J&L, on a cruise many years ago and spend time with them every time they come through town. Four years ago, when we came to town to be married, we met them for the first time and they were our only guests at our wedding other than my parents, so we like to joke about them being Harold’s Las Vegas parents.


Whenever I hear the prices of Las Vegas real estate, I want to scream. Prices have gone up since 2008 and people have doubled their money selling homes that were foreclosed on back then, but prices are still very, very low, in comparison to back home. Of course, with Vancouver having the most expensive real estate in North America the same can be said for pretty much anywhere. We could buy 4-5 homes in Las Vegas for what our house is worth at home, and it can be so tempting to buy elsewhere, but to get out of the market back home would be crazy. It would mean that when we decide to come back, we’d be priced out of the market.

My favourite stores in the bigger cities of the US are the liquor superstores. They sell everything that can be attached to alcohol, from glassware and cool knick knacks, to gourmet foods. I have never seen so many types and brands and cool ideas all centred on alcohol. We’d been impressed by BevMo! but Total Wine & More just blew us away. I’m particularly enamoured by all the different flavours of pre-mixed drinks and shooters they have. I had to restrain myself from buying them all. After all, we only have so many days left to drink it and a border quota we’re already over.


I used to wonder why anyone would want to live in Las Vegas, and figured only big gamblers or casino employees and entertainers would want to live there, but it’s a really nice place to live, with lots of outdoor activities, great dog parks, the best shopping and entertainment, cheap real estate, and fantastic deals only available to locals. It’s high on our list of places we could be tempted to live.

We were invited over for dinner at J&L’s home our second night, and had a wonderful time, then headed back to the RV where we had an early night. The revelry from the night before was still taking a toll on me especially.


The third night we met everyone at the Palm’s for the buffet. We arrived early, so we could play some video poker, and this is where things started going wrong. By the time we headed in for dinner, I was $60 down and Harold was $40 down. Usually losing doesn’t bug me, I count on it, but I’d been seduced by the first night’s win into thinking we had a chance.

The buffet at the Palm’s includes all you can drink wine and beer and the women’s side of our table (the non-designated drivers) got our money’s worth.

For the first time since I was a teenager, I was disappointed to be too young for something. Everyone else in our group, even Harold, who just turned 50, got the senior discount, but I had to pay full price! It didn’t seem fair, much like when all my other friends were getting into clubs when I was still 18.


After dinner, Harold and I headed to the strip to checkout the new properties that had gone in since we’d last been here. We made it from Caesar’s to the Tropicana and then ran out of steam. It was time to head back to the RV and sleep off another night of excess.

Our last night we went to the same place we’d had our wedding dinner four years previously, at the Cortez Room at the Gold Coast. It’s a great old style steakhouse with really good food, and really good prices. Back on Fremont street, we wandered through the same casinos we’d done so well in just days before, but now all we could do was lose. Vegas had turned on us. We left with me still up $100 and Harold up $40, so we took pleasure in knowing we were still ahead.