Las Vegas in $100 per day: Part 3

The following is the final part of a three-part series in which I attempt to survive on the Las Vegas strip for $100 per day. Yes, I know this is possible if either (a) you don’t drink or (b) you don’t gamble. But then why go to Vegas in the first place?

You can read part one here and part two here.
Day 3

After waking up late the day before, we decided to wake up early today to go to what I was looking forward to the most "“ the champagne brunch at Le Village Buffet in the Paris hotel.

On weekends, we know the line is long so we wanted to get in line by 9 a.m. No dice. We got in line closer to 11 a.m. By the time we got near the entrance, we saw that a line of people "“ about 200 feet long "“ had started to form.

After being in this line for nearly 20 minutes and almost reaching the main entrance, we’re told by a portly woman dressed like an extra for a live-action version of the Hunchback of Notre Dame that we’re in the "express line" and that it’ll be $10 more. After finding out the the regular line was a 90-minute to two-hour wait, I decided to suck it up and just pay the extra money as well, like the two other guys in our group. Besides, earlier that morning, while looking for the buffet, a Paris employee handed me a card for 10 percent off. (Maybe because I was pretty.)

Nothing says “manly” more than three guys at a champagne brunch. I got over that insecurity immediately because, apparently, our waitress knew we were a bunch of drunks composing a fun-loving group. She kept on refilling our glasses with champagne non-stop. If my glass just became empty, I’d turn my head away for a second and turn back to a freshly-filled glass. After three hours of this, Rhonda was totally deserving of a $10 tip. That plus the $35 price of the buffet and I was already $45 in the hole. However, it was definitely worth it.

It was at this point when I started justifying my overall spending. I went $20 over budget on the first day and was $42 under budget on the second day, so "“ in overall spending terms "“ I have $22 extra to play with.

After the buffet, we headed toward the Venetian hotel to try to get into the famous Tao Beach pool party, where some of our friends were at "“ as well and UFC Ring Girl Arianny Celeste (Yes, I stalk her Twitter page).

We got into a line and start talking to this greasy-looking dude with slick-back hair, a v-neck t-shirt and stupid wayfarer sunglasses, who said he can get us in for $40. Yeah, that’s not going to happen. I don’t trust this guy anyway, so I wanted to see the damage for myself.

"Unless you’re a guest of the hotel or on the owners personal guestlist, it’s a $50," said the lady in charge of the line.

Go to hell, Tao Beach. Go straight to hell.

We decided to walk around the indoor mall at the Venetian for a bit, which is a nice site. A Venice-style canal runs through it with gondolas and the roof is painted like a partly cloudy sky in Venice. It’s not open-air, because Vegas’ sky is never partly cloudy (I’m only assuming).

After this, we headed back to the hotel and cracked back a couple of beers from our home stash. Our group then decided to go to see Blue Man Group "“ the cheapest tickets of which are $65 dollars.

You only live once, right? I said yes and had already hit my $100 budget before 7 p.m. "“ the time of our show. It was totally worth it.

After the show, we grabbed a quick bite at a fast food joint, which put me $8 over budget for the day but still $14 under budget for the weekend.

The group then decided to go to a night club again. However, this time I would have been the only contrarian to the idea, so I just took one for the team and expected to pay at least $20 to get in.

We stopped by the room for a second and I grabbed a couple of road beers. After all, I didn’t want to go too over budget. Once we get to the line at the club "“ Jet at the Mirage "“ a girl in our group recognized one of the guys at the door. Turns out, they are old friends, which means we’re all getting in for free.

The elation of this soon left after I spent $17 on two beers, which put me $25 over for the day, but just $3 over for the weekend. The fact that I got two free tequila shots and a free beer "“ aren’t friends great? "“ eased the pain a bit and we called it a night around 5 a.m. Honestly, though, I don’t remember. Those tequila shots really made the end of the night hazy, which sucks when you wake up with a hickey on your chest.

Just kidding. It was dried blood. From what? I don’t know.

All in all, spending $303 in three days on the Las Vegas trip is pretty good. However, it does hinder you from gambling and strip clubs. Neither of which "“ except for blackjack "“ are really my thing, but I know that’s what people go looking for in Vegas the most. And after a night of heavy drinking, I was heavily tempted to say “What the hell?! Let’s go for it!”

Thankfully, I stayed true to my goal and didn’t have to whip out the plastic. Next time, though, I’ll try a $200 per day budget and see what trouble I can get myself into.