Vegas On A School Teacher’s Budget
Despite all the glitz and glamour that comes to mind when you think of Las Vegas, the truth is you don’t have to be a high-roller to have a memorable Vegas experience! I recently visited Sin City with my best gal pals from Backwood Pines Middle School to bring you this insider’s guide to an affordable Vegas adventure.
There are plenty of cheap places to stay in Vegas if you’re willing to head just a couple of briskly walked miles off the Strip! If staying in a ten-bed co-ed dormitory hostel room doesn’t interest you, perhaps a stay at one of the many budget motels in the area will entice you.
There may not be room service at America’s Best Value Inn, but there are certainly rooms! If four late-forties middle school teachers sharing a room with two double beds for $39.99 a night doesn’t spell value, then I don’t know how to spell! (But I do – I’m a teacher!) The young man at the desk was very accommodating, offering us each a sip of water in a little styrofoam cup and pointing out our room on a map that was hand-drawn on sepia-stained stationery (it’s possible his hand was just bleeding, but it was dark, and I couldn’t tell). It was a bit of an inconvenience to discover their credit card machine was down, and that we would need to pay in cash. None of us 21st-century gals had any on hand, so we had to find an ATM. Sadly, the motel’s ATM was also not working. In fact, it looked like much of the electricity wasn’t working and that’s why it was so dark. Thankfully, after a quick trip to a nearby liquor store, we paid the young man $40 cash.
LADIES WHO LUNCH
Forget steaks and fancy buffets; the real Vegas hot-spots fly under the radar. Breakfast was an underripe banana and a little box of cornflakes from the motel (save save save!), but for lunch, we decided to see what the strip had to offer. White Castle, with its adorable little sliders and full casino, is not to be missed. What you save on your thin grey burger with questionable meat to bread ratio you get to lose at the slots! Win/Win or should I say, Wynn/Wynn??
For dinner you’ve got to hit up Wing Street – a secret wing spot tucked away inside a Pizza Hut. It’s like a speakeasy – but for chicken! We obviously couldn’t go into a Pizza Hut – whose website boasts “restaurant quality food” – and not get a pizza, so we ordered a large 2-topping pie, cheese sticks, a triple chocolate brownie, and all the wings we could carry out with us. (It’s takeout only.) The hotel was a healthy 40-minute walk, so we decided just to eat in the parking lot, spreading our picnic out before us on a tarp we found near the dumpster. As we were remarking the various merits of the different dipping sauces and discussing our evening plans, a young couple emerged from the dumpster holding a rat, which they said they had been looking for everywhere and whose name was Alexander. They had overheard our conversation and gave us an incredible insider tip on a secret VIP Criss Angel magic show in the alley behind Madame Tussaud’s! Apparently, he sometimes likes to try out his new magic tricks on the general public before they make it to the main stage! We were so grateful for the info we gave them the rest of our food, which they had indicated they really wanted by trying to take it.
Looking in the window of Madame Tussaud’s Wax Museum was almost like seeing celebrities in real life, so why pay the entrance fee when you can see Beyonce’s glowing white skin from the street! What’s the controversy? She looks beautiful!
As 11:00 approached we rounded the corner to the alley – A secret Criss Angel show – how thrilling! Criss was there with his assistant, lighting a paper towel roll on fire. They vaguely looked like the couple from the dumpster wearing different clothes but no time to think about that – the show was starting!
For his first act, it appeared Criss Angel was going to set himself on fire! His assistant was crying and yelling at him to stop, but he pretended not to hear her. He brought the fire an inch from my friend Peggy’s face and said, “Do you believe in Magic?”
Then he threw the burning paper towel roll on the ground and stomped it out as he withdrew a pack of cards from his pocket, cackling wildly. I thought I saw a rat’s tail hanging out of his top hat but before I could be sure the cards flew into my face and I felt a sharp, deep pain in my abdomen.
I looked down, saw I was bleeding, and then I noticed the knife on the ground. Criss Angel was gone, his assistant was gone, and… MY PURSE WAS GONE! He turned my purse into a knife and stabbed me with it! How interactive! As I sat in the ambulance rushing to the hospital surrounded by my best gals after a day of adventure, I just couldn’t help but smile. Thank you, Las Vegas! We will definitely be back! (Well, I’ll be here for a few more days in the hospital anyway.)