Travel Fail: Sweet Nothings in Las Vegas

If you’re new to the blog, I do these things called Travel Fails. Regularly. And Not intentionally. A Travel Fail is where the Mrs or I fuck up when abroad. It could be a genuine mistake, we could accidentally offend a local or we could even slam a door in the face of a prostitute.  It all happens on this blog… believe me.  For more of the same see here

Las Vegas. One of my favourite cities in the world. A place that I read about often, a city that I discuss regularly and a city that is home to my favourite podcast and vlogger. I’m sure you’ve already heard about how we offended a certain Britney on our last trip, but let’s reminisce back a little further…

It was our first trip to Las Vegas in 2014, we are having a blast and we were on top of the world. No, I mean literally… on top of the world. We’re 107 stories up sipping cocktails at a bar (if you’ve read the blog before then that shouldn’t surprise you in the least…). Our group of five have spent the past few days adopting our very own American alter-egos. Mrs Carl is now called Britney and I am now Randy with Cynthia, Jebidiah and Rodriguez complete our crew. We’ve had fun doing American accents and trying to ‘blend in’ throughout the week- but we were giving the lingo and alter-egos a break for the night and instead we’re enjoying the sky-high rides at the Stratosphere Hotel and Casino.

This iconic building is situated at the northern most part of the strip and is a good taxi ride from the rest of civilisation, but the views are phenomenal. It is worth the trip for the sights alone; not to mention a panoramic revolving restaurant plus several sky-high fairground rides (including a rollercoaster that dangles you off the edge!). Most of the guys n gals in our group enjoyed the rooftop rides whilst I and one other sat it out. There’s something not right about dangling off a building 350 meters high and laughing in the face of death-  it’s just not for me.

We head to Level 107 bar for some drinks when a certain cocktail on the list catches my eye.

It’s a Caramel martini. Except it’s written as Carmel Martini. Now if you squint your eyes and try to imagine a strong American accent from the movies ordering a caramel *anything* and you’ll (hopefully) agree that they do indeed say ‘Carmel’. Even Google confirms this. Ish.

How do Americans say caramel?

The pronunciation of the word “caramel” is tearing the country apart. According to a new survey, 57% of Americans pronounce it “car-a-mel,” with the strongest supporters in the Atlantic and East Coast regions. 43% say “car-mel,” with the most support in the Midwest and West Coast.


This had always perplexed us and the group had earlier joked about it when practising our thick American alter-ego accents. But this particular cocktail was actually written down as carmel. C-a-r-m-e-l. Nice.

So I go up to the bar, loud and proud, and I announced my burning desires for the “carmel martini”, with a snigger. “I look like a right, proper, local” I thought, pronouncing it Carmel like in the book…. Classic Randy.

The barmaid looks at me with a mixture of confusion and patronising-ism-ness She tilts her head, raises her brows and looks up to me before saying:

“What?? You mean car-a-mel, right, sugar?”

~ Passive aggressive bar lady in Level 107.

“Erm… Yeh.. I’ll have the caramel… ”

Fuck. I look like such a dick. 


Have you ever tried to look like a local and ended up with egg on your face? This isn’t my first time or the last time failing at blending in… American’s in the room- how do you say car-a-mel? Have you visited Vegas? Where’s your Vegas hotspot – I’d love to know, I could literally talk about it for hours… have you got the time?? 🙂


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