So our Hit n Run Vegas trip began early Saturday morning. Really early. Theo got in the night before at around 10 p.m. and we were up by 5 a.m. the following morning. We actually hit the road at around 6:45, with a full tank of gas, cash burning in our pockets, and the requisite road trip McDonald's breakfast in hand. The drive was super fast (no need to get into why we got there so quickly) and we were ready to hit our first casino before 11 a.m. We decided to do a "casino crawl" from one end of the strip to the other and started our journey at MGM Grand. We also decided to keep a picture record of what we looked like exiting the casinos.
This is what I look like after losing $40 in my first 20 minutes in Vegas (MGM Grand)
This is what my brother looks like after walking around MGM Grand looking for an available $5 craps table and failing to find one.
This is what I look like when I'm about to eat my second McDonald's meal of the day
This is what my brother looks like when he's watching me eat my second McDonald's meal of the day
Yep, still eating. Still enjoying.
This is what I look like when I'm down about $80 coming out of Aladdin and have decided to start drinking vodka sodas to lessen the pain (incidentally if you've met my mom, you know that she looks EXACTLY like this, even when she's hasn't been throwing back drinks at a casino - scary)
This is what my brother looks like after he's won money playing roulette at Aladdin.
This is what my brother looks like when he's eating a savory crepe at Paris (the casino, not the city although they'd have you believe otherwise...)
This is what I look like when I'm eating a nutella crepe at Paris
This is what I look like when I've lost $100 playing Let it Ride at Bally's.
This is what my brother looks like when he's lost $100 in 15 minutes learning how to play 3 card poker - also known as what he looks like when he's just paid $100 for a pina colada.
This is what I look like after I win at gambling - I've just won $2 on a giant slot machine!
This is what my brother looks like after he's discovered a video poker machine that plays 50 hands at once...all for 2 cents each!
After Bally's we did a quick tour of Flamingo looking for a $5 blackjack table but didn't find one so we left and hit up Imperial Palace. No $5 tables at IP - which was utter bullshit. Seriously, IP should have $5 tables. We settled for a $10 table and it took us two hands to realize that we were at a single deck table so we got immediately. There was no sign stating that it was a single deck table (which we both refuse to play - it feels a lot harder to win at them than a multi-deck game) so we were pissed and decided not to take a picture and pretended the whole incident didn't happen.
Next we did a quick tour of Harrah's and watched some people play a bizarre game that was part war, part 3 card poker, part 5 card poker and part...nonsense. So we trekked on to The Mirage. By this time it was already 6 p.m. or so the tables were getting expensive. I lost another $60 playing 3 card poker so I decided to call it quits for a bit. Theo found a very chatty and slow dealing black jack dealer (the best, since you can play very slowly and won't lose as quickly) so I watched him for a little while. Then I played a bit of video poker and 2 cent slots before deciding to head back to the hotel to take a nap and freshen up. Theo was on a roll so he decided to stay a bit later.
Since I had indulged in countless unhealthy foods that day, I figured I should exercise a bit and walked all the way back down the strip to the Tropicana, where we were staying. It took a good half an hour and some fancy footwork (had to avoid all the people trying to hand me nudey cards!). I checked us into the hotel and to my surprise and initial delight, they had hooked us up with a suite on the highest floor. Now the Tropicana is a pretty old hotel, so this wasn't a super fancy suite, but it did have two bathrooms, a jacuzzi tub, a sauna, and two fancy mirrored dressing tables. Nice!
Now the rest of the night was pretty much all Prince related. Shortly after my brother met up with me (he actually didn't stay very much longer at The Mirage, and by the time I got us checked in etc, he showed up about 10 mins later) he suggested I call the Rio box office to see how we would go about getting into Prince's aftershow. During my last Vegas trip, we discovered that Prince often plays an aftershow at the restaurant in Rio. Theo and I had originally talked about going to the concert, but then discovered the tickets had been jacked up to $250 plus ticket master fees, so we had planned on skipping the concert, but possibly going to the aftershow, which would run around $50 per person. Well when I called the Rio Box Office, I learned that tickets to regular concert were still available...for only $178. Now listen, I know that's a lot of money, but this was the type of thing where I knew if I didn't go, I'd totally regret it. Prince is done playing at Vegas after this month so who knows when I'd see him again in such a small venue. And considering that I might easily lose that same amount gambling for the rest of the night it seemed (and was) the right choice. So after a quick powwow with Theo, I decided to go, and he decided to skip the concert, since he's not a huge Prince fan but is a huge gambling fan. It worked out great because we each got to do what we wanted to, and neither really minded splitting up.
Anyway, I had to get ready very quickly for the concert. The guy at the box office said that they were only selling the tickets there, and not over the phone, so I had to make sure I got one before they sold out. Was a bit bummed because I only had about 20 minutes to pull myself together after a long day of traveling, gambling and fast food eating, and I would have liked to look my purtiest just in case I got to make eye contact with Prince because of course naturally he'd fall instantly in love with me if he did.
This is what an unshowered Prince groupie looks like when she's only had 20 minutes to pull herself together. Maybe it's for the best that I didn't get to make eye contact with him!
It was at first a bit strange to be at a concert by myself, but I soon discovered the advantage to that was that I could worm my way all the way to the front of the stage without anyone really noticing. Since this was my second time at the concert, I knew the drill. The club 3121 is very small, and the tickets are standing room only. Although the club opens at 10 or so, Prince doesn't play until much later, but once he starts it's hard to move around, so best set your feet down in a good spot as soon as possible. The dance floor is right up next to the stage so what I did was I stood as close to the stage as possible, and then scooted up when I could as people milled about. I chatted with the people beside me so it really didn't come off as rude as I'm making it sound at the moment. So, employing this strategy I was able to get all the way up until there was only one woman in front of me. I was so close it was awesome!! I was close enough to put my hand on the stage, and I tried to get this woman to move over a bit so I could get right up next to the stage but she wouldn't have none of it. I even tried to annoy her by standing really close to her so she'd be forced to move over due to me invading her personal body space, but she was hip to what I was doing and just wouldn't cave, so I settled for my "second" row spot. Man I could see everything - down to how Prince's diamond ring matches his diamond cuffs. Very exciting. Now since I'm a new fan, I don't really know all his songs, but I did some internet research and here is what he sang:
dmsr - long jam with part of controversy horns. he fell over on a riser - I thought he was just dancing sexy but I guess I was wrong!
somewhere here on earth (new slow number)
pass the peas
what a wonderful world (instrumental)
sometimes it snows in april (my new favorite song - the one that made me cry in the car the other day)
the rules (i think this was more just him playing a blues song and singing "the rules", which I found on the internet - seems like it's stuff off a funny forwarded email type thing - rules for women by men like "christopher columbus didn't need directions and neither do we" and "learn to use the toilet seat, if it's up put it down" or if "if you have to talk, do it during the commericals")
It was all really great! I can't believe how close I was - literally an arm's length away. I could have touched him. I was so close at one point I think his spit landed on my forehead. Or that's what I told myself, because I couldn't bear to think it was spit from the guy standing next to me.
So as soon as he was done with Purple Rain and the curtain started to come down and I realized there wouldn't be an encore, I rushed over to the restaurant to get in line for the aftershow. I was one of the last people to get into the MAIN room. Last time, we were in the outer room where we could hear him but not see him. This time, I got into the main room, which is about the size of my living room. I was so excited - I got a great spot too - in the center in one of the booths. UNFORTUNATELY, Prince came in, played one awesome song ("Sugar Mama"? I think that's what it's called), got everyone dancing hard (I was dancing up on the booth along with the other girls in my booth - okay, confession: I WAS dancing on one of the booths until I spotted this little area between the booths that was even more elevated so I climbed up there and was dancing for a bit until some woman gave me a dirty look and motioned for me to come back down - was feeling a bit sheepish about getting reprimanded by undoubtedly a Prince related person - but at the same time somewhat thrilled because I could see everything for the few minutes I was up there and I'm sure Prince could see meeeeeee!) and then HE LEFT! Booo. What a rip off. I mean, his band continued to play, and his band was awesome - they played a lot of jazz numbers and ended with a jazz rendition of the song on the Geico Caveman at the Airport commerical - it goes like "and everywhere I go, there's always something to remind me...of another place and time." But still...they're not Prince.
Anyway by the time I got back to the Rio it was 5 a.m. (remember there was the daylight savings, so technically it was only 4 a.m.). My brother had just gotten in about 10 minutes before me! He had spent the evening playing at Bellagio - where apparently there are now $10 tables in the evening. Now, I would much rather play at a $10 table at Bellagio than a $10 table at Imperial Palace ANY day. IP...grrrr. Irritated still.
So, we crashed for about two and half hours (turns out the Tropicana lied and the sofa was not a sofa bed but just a sofa so my poor brother had a poor and short night of sleep while he let me have the king bed) and then we were up and on our way back to LA. Technically we were headed to Long Beach, since that was where he was flying out of. Since we had a plane to catch, we planned for a lot of travel time, in case there would be the usual Vegas-to-LA-Sunday-traffic. Luckily we missed all of it and even had time to stop at Denny's for breakfast, and to mill about Long Beach for an extra hour before he had to leave. No pics from Sunday morning, as I was looking shiteous from the lack of sleep and showering.
So that was our super fun 24 hour Vegas trip!