What happens in Vegas

Tuesday, 26 May 2015



So it turns out what happens in Vegas doesn't stay in Vegas after all. Or, in my case, what doesn't happen in Vegas happens in the United Kingdom instead. Less glamourous, more appropriate. Let's spin back to the beginning.

It starts with a boy. Of course it does, it always does. Unless it starts with a girl, which it very well could do, we live in a free and happy world after all. But in this case, it was one of the male species that stood at the beginning with me. Contrary to popular belief, it never started in Vegas at all. We only say this because it simply sounds cooler – and also because there are no such novelty items such as duvet covers and gimmicky sayings that go hand-in-hand with the equally awesome but less flashy San Francisco. This Californian coastal gem is where the seed was really sown.

It was nothing major. A smile, a greeting, a swapping of names, a quick chat. A confession of my age and a slack-jawed wide-eyed look in reply – I love it when that happens. After all, I'm a sucker for getting IDed and even more of a sucker for getting deliriously overjoyed about it. A four hour eastbound drive calls for a lot of conversation between two people but between six English speaking participants, time flies like there's a thousand tomorrows. Sparks bounce back and forth, undetected. We stop at an American supermarket, or whatever they call them. We all spend elongated moments perusing the chilled liquor aisle, marvelling at all the exotic types of alcohol. Mostly the beers, but the cheap and almost nasty alcopops sang out at us too. The boxed and canned Mangorita, with it's cleverly playful name, kind of like a neon sign. This guy was stood at my side, giving the Mangorita the same side eye that I was, when I turned to him and said, “Do you want to go halves on a box of these?” And he nodded and replied, “Hell yeah.” We topped up our tropical stash with Mooseheads and Newcastle Brown Ale and added them to the swelling cocktail; of everybody else's drinks in the shared coolerbox. This, folks, was roadtripping at it's finest.

Our beverages depleted slowly over a couple of days, but it was after the epic 9 hour drive from Yosemite to Las Vegas and our arrival into sweltering 38 degree heat that really quenched everybody's thirst. That and the promise of a wild night on the strip, limousine partybus transport guaranteed. Two hours later, all showered, suited and booted, we found ourselves all raving in a moving vehicle, downing champagne and shots of Fireball – it's warm cinnamon tones sliding down throats and begging for liquid company. We drank until the Fireball was gone, until the champagne was gone and until the partybus dropped us in the midst of Planet Vegas. That's the only way I can describe this casino city in the middle of the desert – it is wholly existent entirely on it's own. Just like a suckerpunch below the ribcage and just like the heat when stepping out of an air-conditioned building, Vegas is unignorable. The lights and the sounds are a drug all on their own; you could easily spend all evening walking around without spending a dime just soaking it all in and still feel drunk from it all.

Then it suddenly went from multiple manically happy roadtrippers to just us two in the blink of an eye. The guy and the girl, alcoholically-induced hand-holding guaranteed. We meandered across to a crowd on the pavement, gathering before the Bellagio Fountain, awaiting it's next grand performance. Little sparks flew between two bodies stood side-by-side, arm-in-arm as the music started up. The water and the lights, mesmerising every pair of eyes in the audience. Hundreds of people lost in the beauty and the wonder of it all and we two, lost in the very first kiss of the night. Of our life. The magic and the moment. A story unfolding before our very eyes. The start of everything that has happened up until now.

Whatever happens, we'll always have our happy beginning.

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