Sunday, April 04, 2010
Tenth Time Is a Charm
The Vegas trip report.
Normally I'd fill these pages with regal drunken stories of Las Vegas Boulevard. It's what Vegas is to me. To some it's a vacation, an escape, or a place to say "ah, fuck it" and let go of every sane, rational thought in your body to push it to degeneracy levels that could leave a person on Clark County's 10 Most Wanted list.
The escape route of casino hopping in Nevada happens every December with a group of friends who huddle around the forgotten watering holes of Imperial Palace to pay homage to writing, gambling, and each other. This is a time for pushing your body to the max, filling it with alcohol and stories of fellow bloggers that might not make their respective pages. It was during one of these trips, I had an "ah, fuck it" moment in a city where such notions could kill you.
This past week that weekend nearly ended in divorce, took a 180 and rung in the 10th year of taking vows in a church near her homtown. While the actual date of our anniversary is still a few months away, due to kids, the impending return to school, and having no time off in August, our decision was to go back to Vegas during Spring Break as we'd done on many occasions before the whole responsilbity part of our union took hold.
Where else can you see a Gene Simmons look-a-like being flanked by Hooters Waitresses or have Jay Leno pose for a picture with your non-sober wife in shopping mall Sbarro's ? Where else can you sit down with people of different reglious, political, sexual beliefs and orientations and gather up a cheer for the trucker with the beat up John Deere hat from Montana as he hits yet another point erasing the champagne room bill from Cheetah's as the last of the glitter finally falls off the shirt you've worn for the past 56 hours.
It wasn't that kind of trip though. It was to see if two people in love could brave the elements of zero adult supervision inside America's candy store. Having just enough money to play and drink without financial reprecussions could have been a receipe for dividing something special as the patches lines of our past rough times started to fade. Instead we walked away hand-in-hand despite some nasty weather which took from my wife's leisurely pool time.
There was the fullfilment of a 10 year old promise to drop her out of a plane at 15,000 feet. With prerequisite parachute and studly diving instructor latched on to her of course. That video in which she manages to say seven words for 2 mins may make YouTube in the future as testimate to her adventerous side, as I sat safely with two feet attached to mother earth as humans were built to do.
While fine foods at overpriced restaurants were not eaten, there were some surprises found in the shape of the improved Treasure Island buffet which last time I remember spending a considerable amount of time in the hotel bathroom after consumming what they claimed was food. Fresh Cotton Candy as a dessert? Win. Orange chicken and chicken dumplings that didn't taste like an unwashed lower female anatomy part. Worth the price of admission. Freshly served pasta bar?
The new Aria/CityCenter blew me away sightwise but had a cold feel to it until the beautiful waitress appeared at the Lone Wolf slot machine with a perfectly made Cap'n Coke and vodka collins no more than a few moments after feeding the -EV game a c-note. Excellent service but the metallic feel of the place was better suited for nightclub versus taking tourists money at $100 a pull. The poker room looked VERY inviting, but time and marital obligations along with being there during the live poker death hour of 8am there wasn't a chance to check out its comfortable surroundings.
MGM Grand's rooms were comfortable as always but the drink service lacked in it's slots area. Then again while playing a quarter or more a hand Pai Gow, they were filling my glass faster than I could relay my distaste for Xioa's inability deal me a non Pai Gow in a bloody monring session. Same with the poker room, where getting me drunk actually has a negative effect on their profit margin yet their wait staff never slowed and professional dealers that our writing group gets to bother every year never missed a beat at all hours.
Gambling-wise the week was break-even as the money "lost" was on the tipping, cabbing, drinking, eating side of the ledger. This was helped of course by entering the 11am donkfest as the wife tried to direct a few sun rays towards her before hopping on the return flight eight hours later. Thanks to good cards/bad players, I managed to come 3rd in chips as the chop numbers came down and won back most of the money deposited into Xioa, Yi, and Charles' rack.
But the trip was a complete success as two people were able to be friends with benefits again versus just parents and breadwinners.