Thursday, January 1, 2009

Surviving the Lights of Vegas - Part 3

When we last left you, girl and I were starting a drinking adventure in Las Vegas. On a Sunday night at 8 pm. I remember the time well because we saw the Simpsons start up on the telly and it was this year's Treehouse of Horror episode, where Homer tries to vote for Obama.

Sunday, December 21st continued - We left our room with our yard drinking glasses in tow, and immediately headed to Fat Tuesday in the lower level of MGM Grand. It's a bar, but really, there's only a couple of seats there and it's a place where they have pre-made frozen alcohol drinks. Girl got one flavor with an extra shot, while I got the mojito. And so the drinking began.

We set our goal to hit as many casinos as we could that night, staying up at late as we could. So, it was first off to New York, New York, which again is a great looking casino from the outside, with large buildings resembling New York. Inside, however, it's kind of bland. We hit the casino floor and headed over to Nine Fine Irishmen, a pub that was recommended to us by some friends. However, the pub was closed for renovations, so we just wandered about and really didn't stay very long. The walkway connected from New York, New York to Excalibur, so we wandered there.

And it was crazy loud, with a band playing there, and people everywhere. We ended up finding a couple of slot machines called England, which displayed all sorts of English symbols, and I did Ok for a bit. Well, enough that we had money to refill our yard of drink at Dick's Last Resort there. We gambled for a bit, but then wandered down to the kid's area, where they have skee ball, other arcade games, and it was crazy fun there. Too bad most of the quarter machines were busted, because I wanted to get change and play some games, but overall, it had an energy and it wasn't too obnoxious with kids. Ok, by the time we left there, it was after 11pm and kids were still up, so perhaps that was the only thing wrong.

We then wandered to the Luxor, and gambled a bit more on the Cops and Donuts machines for a couple of hours, drinking our yard of drink and generally having fun. I was doing Ok, but girl kept hitting the bonuses, so she was racking up cash like crazy. We kept drinking, and wandered around the Luxor, which seemed to have a good size crowd about, and so about 1 AM, we decided to wander to Mandalay Bay. It's a nice casino from the outside, but on this night, it was freaking dead. There was a tram running from Excalibur, Luxor and Mandalay Bay, and after a few minutes in Mandalay Bay, we left because it was boring. We took the tram back to Excalibur, and had our yard drinks filled for the third time. Thankfully, the bartender remembered us so it was an easy transaction, and besides, once you buy the glass from anywhere, it's only between $9 to $11 to refill each time, so it's a great way to get drunk. The band was also playing the song "I Believe in a Thing Called Love" by the Madness, and so we all had to sing along. At the top of our lungs. I can say that Dick's Last Resort sounds like a blast to visit, but they advertise that they have good food but surly service, and it's part of the appeal. At least on the drinking side, there was a lot to be happy with.

We left Excalibur and decided to head north towards other casinos. We walked for a bit, and stopped by the Planet Hollywood Casino, which is now where the Alladin used to be. It's a fancy, upscale casino, and the music made it sound like a dance club. We gambled for a bit there, sipping on our drinks. I found it interesting we didnt' get offered any free drinks all night because we had the big cups. Apparently, they didn't want to get us completely drunk, but not to be offered was interesting. Anyway, we decided to continue north and stopped inside Paris to see it. Paris is one of my favorite casinos, with the Eiffel Tower Experience there, but for the night, we used the loo and wandered around to see what was up. Not seeing a whole lot, we continued on to the Bellagio, which was actually a bit busy for a Sunday night. The card tables were all filled, and people were partying like crazy. However, after our experience with trying to find someone to cash out a machine, we didn't stay very long, instead wandering up to Ceasar's Palace. By this time, it was just after 2 AM, and so we wandered to see the shops, see if there were any machines to play, and the like. We did stop and rest for a bit at the sports book area, which was completely closed at this point, and we walked by some college kids who had a huge drinking glass full of alcohol. He commented that we should have gotten the bigger glass, but I don't think he had been through his three times in a night like we had.

The clock had finally hit 3:30 AM and so we decided to wander back towards MGM because we were getting hungry from all the walking and drinking. It was rather chilly outside, but we walked briskly to get back to our hotel. And since it was late, there were no vendors our pushing their services or wares, so the walk didn't take very long at all. We got in about 4 AM, and went to the Studio Cafe and asked for a table for 2. We got a pager and an explanation we should be seated within 10 minutes. By the time we had wandered away, the pager went off and our wait person sheepishly said, we had something immediately available so sorry we sent you walking.

Girl and I both ordered huge burgers, and we split some chicken tenders. The tenders weren't oily at all, and very well cooked, while the burgers were simply tasty. We didn't even eat many of our fries, we were so full from the food and drink. By the time our meal was done, it was 4:45 AM and we had made it through most of the night. And by the tally, I had only lost about $40 in the machines, had three yards of drink, and a big meal at the end. Not bad at all, and we knew that we still had a day in Vegas, and then were heading home on Tuesday. As we nodded off to sleep with the sounds of casino machines dinging in our heads, I can't help but think this is the Vegas experience we had really wanted, but had to build up to. Ok, we weren't getting up anytime early on Monday, but we partied hard and for a long time, and that's what counted.

Monday, December 22nd - Well, we did make it up around noon, a bit hung over, but happy for making it as long as we did partying. Ok, the kids did wake us up again at 8 Am, waiting to go to breakfast, but we soon turned over and slept more. We had warned girl's mom we were partying like crazy people, so she didn't expect us for food in the Am at all. We got up and about around 1 pm, showered, and left the room at about 3 pm. Not a terrible departure time after being up all night, but it was the last full day there, and we still had some things to do and see. I had forgotten to secure playing cards for my friend Wade while at the Bellagio, so I needed to go there after getting some food.

We discussed food options, and decided to eat at the Rainforest Cafe there at the hotel. The food there is usually really good, and the whole eco theme is a good touch. We did get asked about joining their club to save money on meals, but since the closest location to us here is at that place up north that we don't speak of, there was no way we were buying the membership. Our waiter was very nice and chatty, and we had a really, really good meal. Complete with a birthday song for another diner, a few thunderstorms, a little rain, and then girl and I with our picture with a large monkey. Not bad, indeed. We paid for our meal, and then I left to go find the playing cards while the girls shopped a bit at the cafe.

Monday night was seriously cold, as I walked along the Strip, freezing my butt off. The wind was absolutely biting, but I was determined to walk and get my errand run. Bellagio is a nice casino, but it took me forever to find the gift shop and when I finally did, they didn't have cards from their casino. Interesting, but at least I found a few, purchased them, and then decided to take a cab back to MGM. It was only $6, and didn't take long at all. Once I got back to the room, girl and I fussed with our luggage a bit to get everything all back into bags, knowing that the shuttle was arriving for us at 11:30 AM tomorrow. I was planning on doing the desk checkout, mostly to review our bill and mention the loud kid issue. Once we got our bags dealt with, we headed down for some more gambling and a late night snack.

I'd never had Nathan's hot dogs before, but for $4.95, I'd expect a cheese hot dog to have a bit more than just a small weiner and cheese. I will recommend Nathan's cheesesteak, because it was a great value and very tasty. After eating, it was off to play Lucky Lemmings, which went on until about midnight when I finally cashed out $25 ahead, and it was up to get some sleep before heading home. We'd spoken with girl's brother about the conditions in Portland, but we still hadn't really seen any pictures or had any descriptions about what was going on. Needless to say, we were in for another adventure in getting home, but it's probably not exactly what you might expect to happen.

Next Time - Final Day in Vegas, well, Ok, final two days in Vegas, Huh? And, wow, there is a lot of snow around here.

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