VIVA LAS VEGAS!!!
I had such an awesome Vegas trip that I don't even know where to begin. Well, I suppose I do -Saturday 4:00 a.m. Yes, that's when I got up. Good lord, that was early. In an effort to avoid traffic, Julia and Reggie picked me up at 4:45 a.m. Stopped for gas, picked up Kate, and headed off. First stop was McDonald's drive thru - here Julia demonstrated a near angelic amount of patience while ordering what turned out to be a rather complicated combo of menu items and off-menu items. (for the vegetarians out there - apparently you can order a Bacon Egg & Cheese McGriddle without the bacon but that's how you have to order it - not just an Egg & Cheese McGriddle...) We made great time on the road and got to Vegas in about five hours. Would have been faster except there were a few traffic accidents that held everyone up.
First stop - Treasure Island - or what my Aunt Laura affectionately calls "her bank" on the grounds that she does well there and readily walks away with money. Reggie, Julia and I sat down to play 3 Card Poker, which quickly became my new favorite casino game. It was so much fun, and I had nearly doubled my stack in ten minutes, but, like all compulsive gamblers, I couldn't bring myself to leave the table until I was down about $15 . (*I can hear the collective "tsking" from my relatives as I type this...*)
Next we grabbed lunch and headed over to Imperial Palace. Broke even playing blackjack against a Dolly Parton impersonator dealer, but lost some the second one of the Blues Brothers impersonator dealers came on board. Bastard. That guy really sucked.
But, I made it all back and some more when playing 3 Card Poker again and I hit trips!!!! Three 8's!!!! If that's not a lucky Chinese number, I don't know what is! Anyway, I made about $200!! Whoo hoo!
Played some more there (of course! just cuz you win, it doesn't mean you should stop!) and then headed to our hotel to rest a bit. Had dinner at a Vietnamese restaurant called Pho Hoa and then we were off to what turned out to be the Best Clubbing Experience Ever. Apparently Reggie "knew some people" and got us into Pure, one of the hottest clubs in Vegas. It's the club in Caesar's Palace and it was awesome. Had several dance floors and even a rooftop level where you could see nearly all of Vegas. Awesome awesome awesome.
But our next stop, in my opinion, was even more awesome. For the first time in my life, I got to see what it's like to be a celebrity. Or a gangsta. Reggie "knew some people" and got us into the VIP area of Tangerine, the club at Treasure Island. So, not only did we have our own booth in this velvet-rope-sectioned-off area, but we also got free bottle service. So as soon as I sat down, this waitress brought over a complimentary bottle of Grey Goose vodka, carafes of various juices, and cans of Red Bull. Having not quite gotten over the hangover from last weekend (actually, I was over it, but alcohol was not agreeing with me at all and I spent most of the weekend declining cocktails and drinking Diet Coke), I asked for water. And the waitress came back with multiple bottles of Fiji water. My favorite kind! The kind I buy only on rare occassions because it costs more than double! Incidentally, we pocketed all the bottles of water and cans of Red Bull and took them back to the hotel.
Anyway, the club was so awesome and Kate and I even danced on a little stage in the VIP area that overlooked the main dance floor. We finally left at 3 a.m. and crashed until 10:00 a.m.
Thank god I didn't drink the night before because we were off to the Bellagio Buffet the next morning. No Vegas trip is complete without a stop at the Bellagio Buffet. It is well worth the 2 hour wait and the $35 fee. I think I ate about $34 worth of food and more shrimp cocktail than anyone else there.
Afterwards, we headed off to Fremont Street where, accordingly to Amol, "the locals and compulsive gamblers" go. He wasn't kidding. The advantage those casinos is that the minimums are really low - the disadvantage is that there is a rather desperate and unhappy energy there. And weird patrons. However, on our way out, we did get to sample Deep Fried Oreos at one of the casinos, so that was cool.
Dinner was at Quark's, the Star Trek themed restaurant at the Hilton, where Kling Ons and Ferengi's are the waiters. Amol and AD are big time Trekkies and they looked like little kids in a candy store. Anyway, it was really fun and ended with a group rendition of "Proud to be an American" which had been playing non-stop for 24 hours on 104.7 in Vegas.
After dinner, Julia, Reggie, Kate and some others headed back to Tangerine, but I couldn't do it. Part of me wanted to go back to the hotel and sleep (I was exhausted by this point), but SOMEHOW I ended up at Bally's with Amol and Annie. I learned how to play roulette, and then played some craps. Then it was back to the hotel.
We all woke up with "Proud to be an American" stuck in our head, which was a nice change from the "Fanta, Fanta - Wanta Fanta?" song that had been stuck in our heads earlier. We left at around 8:30 and amazingly, there was no traffic on the way back. This time it was who Reggie demonstrated near angelic amounts of patience ordering breakfast at McDonald's. I got back at around 1:30 p.m. just in time to drive Max to the airport.
After getting back from the airport, I had about five hours to kill. I figured I'd resist napping, and go to sleep at nine. But Pig apparently had other plans. Other plans that involved freaking out about the fireworks, which started at nine. After running around for a bit, trying to push her way into the closet, knocking the books off my night stand in an effort to fit UNDER my nightstand, and putting her face under the pillows in my bed, Pig finally calmed down when I decided just to camp out on the couch in the living room, with the tv blaring and all the lights on.
Sleep at last.