I normally hit the hotel gym when I’m away, but on this trip I couldn’t pass up on the ultimate treadmill — the Las Vegas Strip. I couldn’t quite adjust to the time change, so I was up and out by 8 every morning.
Given the early hour, I figured I’d get to witness some “what happens in Vegas” moments. I was pretty disappointed on Friday and Saturday morning. The most exciting thing was the guy out in the middle of the water fixing the fountain at the Bellagio.
But Sunday morning was a different story.
My first clue should have been the guy sitting at the blackjack table who gave me a high five as I cut through the casino to get out to the street. To him, it was still Saturday night.
I headed down toward Caesars and followed the the series of walkways to cross the Strip. As I walked through one of the shuttered outdoor bars, I could see the signs of the previous night — half-full glasses, bottles, and a puddle or two of vomit. And for a second, I felt bad for whoever had to clean that up.
Throughout the weekend, I’d learned that the walkways are like mini-bazaars. Buskers, panhandlers, entrepreneurs selling everything from bottled water to sunglasses. And on a Sunday morning? Those “entrepreneurs” are ladies of the evening looking for one last date.
As I worked my way up the stairs, I caught up with a guy whose night hadn’t quite ended. As we walked by one of the “entrepreneurs,” she approached the guy and asked, “Is she with you?”
I thought it was pretty apparent that we weren’t together. He was shuffling along, sipping on his huge Heineken. I was in my workout clothes, listening to my iPod. But I suppose it was polite of her to ask. And while I was curious to see how it worked out between them, I kept moving.
Back on street level, I thought the excitement had ended. But, no, it hadn’t. There was the girl, sitting on the wall outside the entrance to Bally’s, bare foot and yelling on her phone. Judging by the layer of filth on the bottom of feet, I assumed she’d lost her shoes many hours before. I couldn’t quite hear what she was yelling about, but the story I made up in my mind was that her friends had ditched her the night before and now here she was, shoeless and probably still drunk.
If you’re ever in Vegas, don’t waste your money on the hotel gym. Check out the ultimate treadmill. You’ll never forget it.