Divas Las Vegas
Gemma is a 21-year-old glamour-puss fashion graduate who's waiting for her first big break in the fashion and beauty industry.
Fresh out of fashion college and into Vegas, fashionista Gemma goes in search of glitz and glamour down The Strip.
I knew my trip to the US with my friend Jo was going to be good the moment the airline rep muttered the immortal words "I'll upgrade you to business class". I'd like to say it was because of my celebrity-style good looks. The truth is my friend's mum works for the airline. Still, when we saw the amount of legroom we got, I didn't care how the hell we got there. It made a change from being a sardine, the (alcoholic) drinks were free, and even the food was edible - we got Haagen-Dazs for dessert.
Our first stop was Las Vegas, also known as 'the land that style forgot'. I'm not joking, I've never seen so many obese people with bum bags. Now, I have no problem with obese people, but there is no excuse for bum bags. I'd rather take the risk and be mugged than strap one of those around my waist for the sake of safety. And those who wear them for the sake of fashion well, there are just no words to describe the pity I feel.
We were staying in the comfy but boring Imperial Palace Hotel & Casino. Usually I don't care where I stay but the thing with Vegas is that, aside from gambling, all you do all day is look around other hotels. Luckily, although our hotel was dull, it was in a fantastic location, right across the road (sorry, 'strip') from Caesars Palace, and within walking distance of all the top Vegas hotels. Each one is like a miniature museum/amusement park, and I loved every single one from the moment I stepped inside. You can visit Paris, New York, Egypt and Venice without even leaving the Nevada desert. And everywhere you go, they've thought of a new way to take your money. From our favourite thing, the Manhattan Express rollercoaster that weaves its way around the faux-NY skyline at New York New York, to the Secret Garden (zoo) and Dolphin Habitat at The Mirage, there's something to kill the hours at every stop. We crammed more into five days than I've ever done in my life. We danced at Coyote Ugly (yep, it's just like the film, with a tourist-friendly Las Vegas gloss), we had dinner at the Bellagio, we drank cocktails at Times Square, we watched Saturday Night Fever at the Sahara (men in tight trousers - now there's a look that should be resurrected) and we sipped lemonade under the Eiffel tower.
"There is no excuse for bum bags. I'd rather take the risk and be mugged than strap one of those around my waist for the sake of safety."
We also did a hell of a lot of shopping. Alongside the two malls on the strip, most of the casinos have shopping arcades of their own, but these aren't like the ones in the UK. They're themed just as much as the hotels themselves. The Grand Canal shops at The Venetian have a (chlorinated) canal running through them, complete with gondoliers and a mock Piazza San Marco. It's like a Disneyland version of the real thing, but that pretty much sums up Vegas completely. The Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace have roman statues that come to life to put on free shows at various times during the day. All the malls have fake skies that make it seem like dusk 24/7. The one at the Aladdin's Desert Passage was amazing for helping you forget what time it actually was.
The people in Vegas are fun too. Once you get past the huge masses of badly-dressed pleasure seekers, you could (if you're anything like us) do tequila shots with drunk Texans, get accosted by 20 Irish leprechauns (and we're talking full top-to-toe costumes here) and get served in a certain preppy American shop by the most beautiful man you've ever seen in your life (who Jo ingeniously nicknamed 'Abercrombie and Fit'). Sadly, our trip was severely lacking in sharp-suited high rollers who wanted us to blow on their dice.
Still, there's always next time, because I definitely intend to go back! Will tell you all about my onward trip to Los Angeles in my next entry.