Awake and panicking about returning the rental car on time, we spent the late morning driving out to the direction of the airport, not the most relaxing start, but who ever said Vegas was relaxing?
Of course, we had to stop on route to take photos of the famous welcome sign. The film makers featuring cars driving past this sign must have to clear a hell of a lot of tourists to get those shots as it is not much more than a tourist attraction now, including it’s own car park and queue to have your photo taken next to it. We didn’t want to queue due to our time limit on returning the car so just took a quick snap and had to leave, figuring that we’d return back to it later (we didn’t as we got a taxi back into Vegas).
Of course, renting from a cheap company has its downsides, one being that when you see a big sign saying ‘RENTAL CAR RETURN HERE!!’ It means for people who pay full rates at normal companies that you can drop your car at conveniently next to (inside) the airport. After driving through this area and realised that I had been duped by said rental car return sign, and over the time limit for returning the car we had to continue out of the airport area and further away from the strip to find where the company was actually located.
I should also add this was with the car running on fumes. When you pay for fuel up front, you certainly aren’t going to give them anymore than 2% of a tank back which of course means crawling slowly when you need to actually return it adding to the stress. At least I didn’t have to find a gas station and fumble around trying to find the ‘open cap’ lever.
Fortunately, returning the car was stress free, and we just drove up in a queue and told to get out by an attendant who handed over a receipt and that was it. This bit of paper would be my evidence for getting my $150 deposit back if the situation came too, but fortunately I got that back without issue, so honestly I don’t have anything bad to say about Fox-rent-a-car and recommend them if you want a Camaro on a budget (and frankly, who doesn’t?).
After that we took the complimentary huge american vehicle thing back to the airport and then took a taxi back to the strip, fumbling with what tip to give as all foreigners do (is $2 normal? For a 10 minute journey it seems reasonable to me).
Finally, 1.5 days later after I intended to start exploring this city, we could actually start, and start we did at the Bellagio. Haru heard good things about the buffet from her 7 year old Japanese guide book of Vegas so we went with that.
It’s worth noting that the buffets change twice a day, from Breakfast to lunch and then dinner, all at different times, so if you got to one it’s best to check with individual hotels on their current timings. We went so we could catch the end of lunch and start of dinner (3pm) to get 2 different selections of food. Most of it is actually the same, but the main courses are different (when we went it was some pork for lunch and roasted beef for dinner). It’s also worth noting that the Bellagio has pre-halved Alaskan king crabs too. Which usually cost a small fortune, even in Alaska, but they are all you can eat here, so if you want value, there’s your excuse.
Almost 3 hours later, and astonished by how much my formerly-tiny Japanese wife can put away, we waddled out with physical pain, guilt, regret, a wonder if we got away with something we shouldn’t have done, and smiles, the usual Vegas combination then. At last my plan was starting to work out as desired.