I feel thoroughly spoiled after my trip to Las Vegas. It was my first time visiting this truly bonkers bizarre city and, to be completely honest I had fully expected to chalk it up to experience and cross it off my ‘to do’ list. Instead, we already have plans to return next year!
On the advice of friends we booked into the five-star Wynn. I’m not entirely sure what I was expecting but nothing can really prepare you for the Wynn (or Vegas generally for that matter!). As soon as we stepped inside we were bombarded with a sensory overload; an indoor garden, complete with trees and floral sculptures. And, that was just the entrance! In fact the hotel is, quite literally festooned with floral sculptures by the artist Preston Bailey, including a large air balloon sculpture and working carousel.
After travelling for a day, and being awake for almost 24 hours we checked into a room, with a footprint greater than our own home and decided to head straight out to take a look around. The first thing that hits you when you arrive in Las Vegas (for the first time) are the escalators. Outside escalators that straddle every side road. I’ll be honest, our initial reaction was to roll our eyes at the ‘silly Americans’ and their lazy ways but, a few yards and two side roads later, having taken the steps up and down two footbridges I was broken. I sit here humbly apologising for my initial holier-than-thou sarcastic cynicism and proudly proclaim: Long Live the Al Fresco Escalator!
Before I talk about our real reason for being in Vegas I have to finish gushing about the Wynn; specifically the Wynn breakfast/brunch buffet. Steve Wynn likens the buffet restaurant to Carmen Miranda meets Willy Wonka and, to be honest I couldn’t think of a better description. It’s just completely crazy. I could write a blog on just the choice of food: wheat germ shots, southern states staples and traditional breakfast/brunch fare. Antipasti, sushi, omelette bar, pizza kitchen, fresh vegetables, roast meats and barbecue. And, if you’re not done with the savouries you can feast on a selection of sweets & miniature deserts and puddings that would make Wonka himself proud. Instead I’ll leave you with some shots of the buffet restaurant itself…
THE HIGH ROLLERS!
We visited Las Vegas this year, specifically to attend the High Rollers Scooter Rally. We had received some mixed reviews from previous rally goers before we got there: “It’s nothing like UK scooter rallies” (True!) “It’s like scooter rallies used to be in the UK in the eighties” (I have no frame of reference!) and, “you’ll stand out from the crowd for being the smartest there” (NOT true, by a LONG shot!).
It’s certainly not like any scooter rally I’ve been to (although I should add the disclaimer that I haven’t been to many). But, to be honest each rally I’ve been to has its own ‘personality’ and anyway, this one was in VEGAS BABY! Nothing in Vegas is like anything else, anywhere else in the world. Nothing! Nowhere! Unlike a lot of British rallies, the High Rollers wasn’t centred around a campsite or single venue. Whilst the Downton Grand Casino & Hotel acted as a meeting point and base, people were scattered in various hotels around the city, (this is MY kind of scooter rally!) and events were organised to make the most of what Las Vegas has to offer. The High Rollers put on a packed itinerary from Thursday evening through to Sunday night including daily rides to places of interest; a custom show and stalls. Evening entertainment at the Mob bar, a downtown Tiki bar and a Ska all-nighter with live music and soul from local DJs. I want to say that it felt a little more ‘Mod’ than British scooter rallies but, I’m not sure the High Rollers would appreciate the comparison, and I’m not entirely sure that’s an accurate description. It was smarter! There was noticeably less camouflage than at home, and The Mob Bar was billed as ‘black tie encouraged’. Maybe the difference, other than the location was that this felt like a celebration of British Culture. We were Brits abroad surrounded by anglophiles and, I think that’s what gives the High Rollers scooter rally its own personality.
Registration Day at the Downtown Grand
A few style notes…
- Question: how can you tell an American Mod Woman from a British one? Answer: check out her shoes! The women absolutely rocked the 60s vintage fashion and original Mod look… and, so they should having vastly greater access to vintage clothing than we do! However, I did notice that most (not all) of the vintage was styled with modern shoes. I know some of my British compatriots will be shaking their heads in mock disapproval but, I found it quite refreshing; a nod to the ‘modern’ in Modernist if you will. I’m not a fan of vintage as a rule and I have a particular disdain for vintage shoes (although I’ve just bought two pairs, story for another time); I love the idea of mixing things up & staying fresh. So, whether it’s a conscious style decision or simple practicality it gave the American Mod Woman her own style personality.
- In the evenings, there was noticeably less khaki and camouflage than British rallies. Mod & British tailoring; the gents dressed for style rather than practicality.
- During the day it was nice and casual. I spied a good amount of Levi’s, patched bombers & parkas and a pork pie hat!
We had a wonderful time, and were so impressed by the organisation (as we are at all rallies). There’s always an effortless quality to these big events that you just know means a few people have gone to a LOT of effort to pull off. We can’t wait to see you all next year!
Scooters at The High Rollers