Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Don't they have dolphins here? (Vegas, pt. 1)

I've been slacking on blog updates. I know. I'm sorry. How about a nice long entry about how amazing my recent trip to Vegas was to make up for the lack of recent reading material? Yea? I thought so.

Before I start, I need to preface this fabulous tale of Las Vegas with a bet. A bet made between two longtime friends on the 31st of December in the year 2007 (so very recently). The terms of the bet were simple: no consumption of alcohol could take place for the entire year of 2008, except for the 17th, 18th & 19th...as those days related to the Vegas trip. Therefore, the double Jack & Coke (in a short glass) I had @ 6:30am on the 17th @ SeaTac was allowable bc I was waiting to board my flight for Vegas. So too was the Heineken & shot of Captain Morgan's I had at the Vegas airport on the 19th while waiting for my return flight home (coincidentally these were the only drinks I paid for the entire trip...and they were but a small fraction of the drinks consumed). However, when I met up with the guys later on the 19th, back in Seattle @ Dante's, no alcohol was allowed...as the Vegas trip was officially over. So while I drank plenty of drinks in Vegas, the bet is still on and shall be won by yours truly come the 31st of December in 2008. (Now the payoff is only $10...but my friend who offered to bet me money on this year of sobriety never bets on anything...so when he offered to make a wager, I was totally game...plus it now adds an additional aspect to the year of sobriety (which was just something I decided to do as sort of a New Year's resolution/money saving tactic/beer gut reducing tactic/challenge to myself to see if I could do it))

So. Vegas.

4:48am, Thursday, January 16th, Shoreline, WA (OMG that was too many commas!): My alarm goes off, and I hate it...but unlike most days I am up without hitting snooze bc its time for VEGAS!!!

5:00am: After getting some last minute things together, I take a quick shower and pack up the last of my suitcase items. Double check to make sure I have all the necessities...toothpaste (check), toothbrush (check), mouthwash (check), cologne (check), various types of body cleansing products (soap, shampoo, face wash (check)), q-tips (check...shut up they're important). Suitcase is all packed up. Carry on bag is stuffed with goodies: Cheez-its, PSP (brand new! w00t!), PSP game/video case, ipod, deck of cards & gum. All set to go.

5:20-5:40am: In the car, headed to Sarah's (aka BG-2, aka Pomona) apartment to pick her up as well. Pick her up and off to SeaTac we go! (Funny side note...Pomo got in and the first thing she said was something to the effect of "Vegas baby!!!"...fantastic.)

just before 6:30am: Arrive at the airport (I tried to tell Dan there wouldn't be traffic and we didn't need to leave 2.5 hours before the flight, but oh well). Get checked in rather quickly, and proceed towards our gate. Funny thing here is that the guy checking us in didn't ask for my ID, just Sarah's, even though the reservations were under my name. Whoops.

6:35-6:40am: Arrive @ the Africa Lounge inside SeaTac. Definitely need some breakfast...and a drink. Well...Sarah needed some drinkage to help calm her nerves on the plane (she has a terribly real fear of flying). I decided that a double Jack & Coke in a short glass was the perfect compliment to breakfast, and a great way to start the Vegas trip. Indeed it was.

7:40am: Board the plane. Sarah asked to change to seats closer to the front of the plane, and so we were the first row in coach. Bad decision Sarah. There was no leg room...and no seats in front of us that I could put my legs under. We did get to sit next to this guy who broke his leg skiing over the weekend. He was cool. Sarah thought we were twins bc we both had gauges & black ipods. Meh. I'm still bitter about the lack of leg room...at least I had Dr. Mario. :)

10:15/10:20am: Arrive in Vegas. Flight was quicker than scheduled, so that was a good sign. Seeing as we were seated so close to the front, we were off before Fred & Jason (my two bosses, who were on the same flight as us...we knew this...just failed to mention this before now), so we decided to take the "moving walkways" up and down the hall several times while watching for them to exit the plane. Whoops. After several trips we realized nobody was coming off the plane anymore so we must have missed them. Yep. Meet up with them at baggage claim. Get our bags, wait forever for a taxi in the FREEZING COLD. No kidding. OMG it was colder in Vegas than in Seattle...at least it felt that way.

11:00am: Cab ride to the Mirage, our hotel. We think our cab driver is a porn director bc he moved out to Vegas for "film school" and is driving a cab until his "home business" can get up and running...and his "website" should be up by month's end. HA. He was fun but totally in the porn industry. I'm convinced of it. So is Pomo.

11:20/11:30: Arrive @ the Mirage. Check in. Room is nothing special. Nice view of industrial Vegas. Meh.

Noonish: Decide to get some grub. Eat at this little restaurant in the hotel. Had a nice little Turkey Club w/ some fries. While we were there, one of the employees got every one's attention to sing happy birthday to a woman who was turning 80. Becca would've loved her. So we sang to her...forget her name tho. Oh well. Finish up eating and now its time to GAMBLE.

12:45/1:00-6:00: Blackjack. Lots of it. Little @ the Mirage. Caught the tram and played a little @ Treasure Island (TI). Didn't leave a single table down any money, and was usually up at least $50 (and we were hitting up the cheap tables so $10-$15 tables that night). I'm stoked to be up at all, even if its not much. Sarah made a killing too. She was up like $300 or $400. Solid.

6:00-6:45: Get ready for dinner and take a quick 10 minute power nap. FANTASTIC. Head over to the Venetian to eat @ Tao and run into the rest of the group, some of whom got there after we did on Thursday, and a small handful who came down Wednesday night. Everyone looks very nice, but I was still a little unsure about this pre-planned menu. Luckily for me (but not for the bosses bc they picked up my share of the bill ($125 per person..WHOA!)) I got to partake in the Asian themed feast for free. And let me tell you it was DELICIOUS. OMG. Battered shrimp stick things, pork fried rice, phad thai noodles, wasabi encrusted fillet mignon, tao temple salad, ginger or garlic chicken skewers, kung pao chicken...it was all so amazing. I don't think I would've paid $125 for it, but it was damn tasty. So thanks again to the bosses for treating me there. Didn't have any dessert bc I was so full...but that too looked decadent, delicious & tantalizing.

9:30: Dinner is winding down, and after getting some pleading from Darci, Sarah & I decide to join the rest of the group at a private VIP table @ Tao Nightclub (which is right next door to the restaurant). We had to pay $40 but that provided us special service, our own booth & several bottles of booze. Ok fine...I'm up more than that at this point so why not.

9:30-10:30: Free time before we had to meet back up to get into the club. So Sarah & I hit the tables downstairs at the Venetian. More blackjack & again I don't leave a table w/o winning money. Its fantastic. I'm feeling great. Head back up to the club, and hear a bunch of ABC TV stars are eating in Tao....whoop-dee-doo...but I guess Johnny Knoxville was also there too. He would've been kind of cool to see in person. But no. No big deal. Well now I guess they aren't going to let us in until 11:00pm and some of the group is pissed and decided "we don't need anything from them" so we're no longer doing the VIP thing. Sweet. $40 back to me. And now Fred, Jason, Sarah & I decided to go play more Blackjack instead of wait around to get into the "normal version" of the club...or something. Meh.

Rest of the night until 1:30/2:00: Playing. Winning. Still haven't left a table down money...and at this point Jason retires for the night. Sarah & I decided to stay up for 24 hours (save for my 10 minutes power nap)...so roughly until 5:00am.

3:00am: Sarah goes to bed. Weak. Fred gives her crap...as he should.

3:01-5:05am: I watch Fred play, play a little myself...go up & down but still manage to always leave up money...if even $5 or $10. While I watch Fred he orders me beers with his beers. So he's playing...he gets free drinks...but managed to get me free beer even though I was only watching him play. For awhile I did sit and play @ his table. There was a group of guys (who had been at this other table for a good 4-6 hours) that would yell "WE DON'T...WE DON'T...WE DON'T MESS AROUND...YEA!" every time something good happened to the table. This got annoying after about three rounds. So Fred decides we should do "the wave" & shout if everyone @ our table wins either from a dealer bust or everyone having winning hands. After those hands, we'd count to three then stand up, flail our arms and ROAR victoriously. It was hilariously fun. Fred was in rare form...so upbeat, frisky & fun (not that he's not fun at work, but it was a different kind of fun bc it was Vegas & not the office)...I also blame the Budweisers for this. HA! Eventually it gets to be after 5:00 so I retire to bed...and Fred gives me crap. WHOA. I was the third to go down & made it past 5:00, for a 24 hour day. WHOA. Meh.

5:30am: In bed and asleep...but have to get up by 10:00am to meet up with people for In & Out, then bowling @ 1:00....YAWN....and I'm out.

This ends Day 1. It was great. I forgot to include the countless Heineken's I was downing. Seriously it had to be up around 20+ between when I started gambling after lunch and when I went to bed. At some point...this topless dancer from Florida (who was clothed at the time) sat next to Fred at his table, while Jason, Sarah & I were across the way. Apparently she was fun. Fred apologized for not hooking me up with her...haha...glad he didn't.

Favorite dealers of Day 1: Brian (TI), Kitty (TI), Phung (Mirage), Tony (fastest hands in the West (Mirage)) & pit boss Charles over @ the Venetian.

Favorite quotes:

"I'm here to meet my two wives (sleazy chuckle)." -guy entering the lunch cafe as we left
(in response to this) "I wonder if polygamy is allowed here?" -Sarah
"What do you mean?" - Me
"You know...all the Mormons?" -Sarah
"Uhhhh...Mormons?" -Me
"Yeah...because we're in Utah...oh wait...shit/damnit/some expletive when she realized we weren't in Utah." -Sarah
(I probably butchered that (sorry Sarah)...but it was hilarious. I kid you not.)

(to the front desk lady after asking us about them, and after we pointed out gold ones in the front body of water, only to be scolded at...) "Do you guys have dolphins here?" -Sarah
"Yes. There's no show, because they are here for research, but they are around back and its fun to watch them at feeding times." -Front desk lady (from Montana...lol new quote)

"Fred, how do you know she's from Montana?" -Sarah, to Fred
"She is...ask her." -Fred
"Are you?" -Sarah
(as she pulls her hair back and her name tag says she's from Montana) "Yes." -Front desk lady

LOL. Sarah was on fire this trip :D

So a great start to the trip, but as I was at 5:30am then, I am also tired now. Stay tuned for more tales at the tables, more amazing food, a FABULOUS show, a "bunny" visit & my run in with a wild mountainous feline (HA!...a cougar...get it? no? better ask someone else then :P)

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