Have you ever had a Fremont Street experience in Las Vegas? If so, you might enjoy our surprise. If not, I would hate to spoil it for you. I would never un-invite anyone from reading my posts, but I am about to break THE rule of Las Vegas What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, but the Fremont Street experience is one that must be shared.
As I have explained before, Scott and I OFTEN have misadventures, and it’s because we travel on a very tight budget. Most people save for one big trip every two years or so, but we choose to explore as much as possible. We are often scouring the internet for deals and sometimes we win and sometimes, we don’t. It’s our own form of gambling. Life is too short to stay home, is what we have come to realize. Since we know this about ourselves, we don’t argue when the new experience doesn’t live up to our hopes and dreams: and that is exactly what happened in Vegas MANY times in the 36 hours were there.
We arrived in Las Vegas at the perfect time, at night, the lights were bright, and we immediately got off the interstate so we could enter on The Strip. We knew our hotel was NOT on the strip, but according to reviews, AND a map, it was supposed to close and an easy walk with sidewalks. Plus, shouldn’t everyone’s first impression of Vegas be the lights? Isn’t that what it’s ALL about???
Man, the lights were bright, the people were fun to watch, and the hotels were neat to see. It definitely did not help my terrible case of “Oh shiny syndrome.” My first impression of Vegas was neat, and it was one to hold onto.
So, our GPS, was guiding us to our hotel, The D, Formally known as Fitzgerald’s (yes, that is the real name of the hotel) near Fremont Street, so of course we had to stay there! Plus it was $20 a night with a “free” breakfast. How could the Fitzgeralds who live in Fremont pass up that opportunity? Anyway, Lady, my GPS guide lead us past the strip, past the renovation district, past the really the REALLY run down district, and into a financial district of sorts. Finally, we were greeted by more bright lights and interesting people and our hotel.
To speed the story along, I will skip over the next hour that consisted of our GROSS room, a debate about leaving the hotel all together, and finally an upgrade to a remodeled room that had yet to be used on our own floor. By that time, it was around 11pm, we started the day in northern California and had the WHOLE next day to explore, but we had promised ourselves that we would have ONE drink in Vegas when we arrived… I never break a promise.
We entered our hotel’s SMOKEY casino, and took in the scene of the locals. Most of them look like they had been sitting there since the 1970s when my parent’s visited Vegas, and were probably wearing the same clothes, smoking their Lucky Strikes. We kept walking, eventually we got to the part where the ladies were dancing on the tables. Classy! (Scott sure picked a nice place!) At least their clothes were on, and our room was booked by the day, so it could have been worse, I guess. All of a sudden, we see this garage door type opening, and LOTS of lights. We do what any Alice in Wonderland type people would, we keep walking and enter into our FREMONT STREET EXPERIENCE – Vegas Style!
In that moment, in those lights, seeing the people the music, taking in my first impression of this place, at 11:30pm on a Wednesday night, I have never felt more like a soccer mom from Nebraska in my little plain t-shirt, pony tail, shorts, and glasses. (This coming from a woman who has been lost in the Bronx). I really don’t know HOW to describe the Fremont Street experience, other than it is the MECCA for street photography. It is on the Old Strip of Vegas, and you are outside on the street, but it is enclosed by an awning. Bands play, people carry their drinks, Elvis, Michael Jackson, Ozzie, Kat D, Hello Kitty, and the Chip and Dales are more than happy to take a photo with you (for a fee of course). Skinny Santa Claus loves to dance and knows the routines to Rock of Vegas’ songs. Plus, there is a sky ropes ride, that you can fly above the crazy. The feeling is that of freedom and fun. Yes, it is a freak show, but everyone there is completely themselves.
At midnight, BAM! The lights shut off, the music cut off. We were standing there in the dark, when all of a sudden, the light and music show began. Psychedelic is the best word to describe it. It is meant to be enjoyed in another realm of reality with the bright colors and interesting graphics. It was fun to see, but we were not in the frame of find to FULLY appreciate it. 😉
We did enjoy the no rules mentality of Vegas. We bought adult beverages from an outdoor bar, and sipped them as we walked around, soaking in the “show.”
Our first night in Vegas is one I never want to forget. It was fun, crazy and different. My views of Vegas changed the next day, and I will share those stories with another time. I would not recommend staying in “Old Vegas” but our misadventures are what make our travels fun.
Have you ever stayed in Las Vegas? Do you have any funny stories from cheap travels? I would love to hear your travel stories.