Vegas; Buffets, Ferrets and Mayhem

     When we were growing up in the mountains we had nothing to do in our early 20’s but create mayhem in our boring lives. The best place for mayhem? Las Vegas, Nevada of course! I’m two years older then my BFF’s Jenn and Ryan, so when I turned 21 the three of us went to Las Vegas for the first time. Even though we didn’t gamble, go to clubs or hardly drink, this was one of the best Vegas vacations I have ever been on. Just two days of Amber, Jenn and Ryan ruckus at its finest.
      We left the mountains on a sunny August morning, barreling across the open desert singing Eve 6 and Everclear. Ryan drove my new, at the time, Ford Escort. Right through the end of high school all of our friends drove Escorts. Tthroughout our group of friends, we had owned about 8. We were staying at Mandalay Bay because they had a wave pool and a lazy river. We were looking forward to two days of lounging in the pool and causing ruckus, Amber , Jenn, and Ryan style.
     Say your 20 years old and in Vegas and you can’t gamble, or go to clubs, what to do? Lets go to a exotic animal store and buy a ferret! Okay well actually Ryan wanted to buy the ferret for this friend of ours Brooke, and you cannot legally buy a ferret in California. Luckily just off the stripe is a crazy exotic pet store; I mean you can buy monkeys, hedgehogs, pot bellied pigs, ferrets, every wild animal you can imagine! We spent a few hours at the exotic animal store checking it out before Ryan picked out the perfect ferret for Brooke. We had checked out of the hotel at this point, so no this is not a story of Ryan smuggling a wild ferret back into a Vegas hotel. Which I would not put past him by the way.
     So we load ourselves and the ferret back in the escort, and head back to California. We neglected to get gas. This was my first trip to Vegas and I figured there would be a gas station between here and Baker. Yeah I was wrong, there is nothing but empty hot desert between Vegas and Baker. Okay well there were three gas stations. Two were deserted, One had lost power because of a tornado. And this was how we found ourselves driving through the desert at 55 miles an hour (Better gas milage) no air conditioning on, windows up, sweating, and yes with a stinky ferret wedged between us. Jenn had actually fallen asleep. When she woke up she screamed
     ” Why is it so hot! And why does it smell like a zoo in here!?’   It had to be almost  a hundred degrees outside. We tried to stop at every gas station we came across on that barren stretch of highway between Las Vegas and Baker, but no gas. No gas any where. And the ferret was getting stinkier. And so was I. For years after this my car would smell like armpits and ferrets For years after this friends would say
     “Amber, your car smells like the mountains”
      We managed to drive 55 miles with my car on empty before we rolled to a stop at the Arco in Baker, put down the windows and filled up. After that even with the air on, the car still reeked of ferret. Then we had to go through the California State Line inspection. I’m sure they wondered about that weird smell emitting from both our our car and our bodies. We had covered the ferret cage with a sweater, and when they asked us if we had any fruits or vegetables, we just giggled and said “No officer, no fruits or vegetables”
     Was this our last trip to Nevada to purchase illegal animals? No. Ryan decided he just HAD to have a hedgehog. So later that summer we drove to Vegas in one day, to pig out at the Bellagio Buffet and buy a hedgehog. And this time we filled up on gas before we left Nevada. Ryan named the hedgehog Zxxyx, after the Zxxyx road you pass on your way to Vegas.
     This was by far not the last Vegas trip Ryan and I would take together. We also slept in a Walmart McDonald’s after driving to Las Vegas at 2A.M. Okay I was actually kidnapped by him and other friends, and then we got a flat tire, had to wait for Walmart to open, ate a breakfast buffet, drove to said Walmart after pulling an all nighter, and finally passed out in a booth in McDonald’s, exhausted until the teenager who worked  there kicked us out.
     What have we learned about Vegas? Dancing in clubs til 2  A.M. is fun, but buying exotic animals and pigging out at buffets? Way more fun!

Comments

  1. Calamity Rae

    lol, everyone is talking about the Ferret…I want to hear more about that hedgehog!! What a crazy trip – thanks for sharing. (I really do want to hear more about the hedgehog….they are SO cute!)

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