We had planned on staying in an RV park just off Freemont and walk over to the new years festivities, since it was only 2 blocks away. We started chatting about it and figured it would be a royal gong show, claustrophobic, noisy and this RV park was in a sketchy area and directly under a major overpass – so we decided to take Wade’s advice and squat in an asphalt parking lot directly across from Mandalay Bay Convention Centre on the strip.
He said that we would be sharing space with all types of people – homeless, fancy fancers, truck drivers – you name it. We did a test drive with the civic to the parking lot to assess the situation first – and confirmed with a homeless guy and his wife (Walter and Veronica) that yes this is a place we can squat. A few hours later, we pulled Ruby in and found a great spot, next to another larger motorhome. Within 3 minutes of pulling in, another homeless guy on a bike scoped us out and asked Todd for a tool to fix his bike. Both Walter and this guy, told us that we needed to secure our bikes better than we had them – as they would, no doubt, be stolen. We had a great conversation with this (meth) guy, Todd tried everything to help him out with his bike seat, but couldn’t get it. He came back again for another tool and chat – we gave him a wrench and some excess snacks we had that we didn’t need.
Since we were not staying at the RV park by Freemont, we changed our NYE plans and just stuck to the strip, since we were squatting on it! They shut the entire strip down, starting at 5 pm until 9 am the next day. All in all, it was pretty uneventful, as far as insane shit – we mainly stuck to Mandalay Bay, Luxor and Excalibur area. It was recommended that its best to get on the top floor of a parkade to watch the fireworks. Each hotel does their own fireworks, but coordinated with all the hotels. They start at the south end and move their way up the strip. We barely made it to midnite, since we started with margarita’s at 6! The fireworks were great!
Stayed an extra day in Vegas just to avoid any day after traffic that we might want to avoid. And we checked out some free sites:
– Silverton Casino has a really cool indoor aquarium and its attached to a Cabella’s that was the biggest one I’ve ever seen.
– Finally made it to Freemont Street for the gong show – and that is never a disappointment!
Some things we learned in the past 48 hours:
- Never think you are going to get a parking spot to sleep in a truck stop in a major centre – it will be full up. We are better to stay at a truck stop a few miles outside of the city
- Bring earplugs when squatting on the asphalt parking lot, its right next to the airport and two helicopter landing/take off pads!