2006 Las Vegas Pictorial

A large portion of this 2006 vegas report has been sanitized to protect the guilty. So apparently, in this case, what happened in Vegas, stays in Vegas. However, if you're interested in the whole report email me and maybe I'll send the redacted pages to you.

Tuesday - Travel Day

We pulled into Las Vegas around 4pm (Pacific time) and stopped at the Palms to start the party early. We looked at the tattoo parlor inside the casino that is featured in the show, I think its called Inked. It was nothing special, at least if you were just walking by. We sat at the bar and played video poker and talked to a guy who had lived there for 17 years. He and I talked about the NBA semi finals and all three of us talked fishing for about an hour. I said "Want to see a picture of our son?" and I showed him this picture on my camera phone:

I did this gag several more times on the trip and I thought it was funny every time. HARHAR. I'm afraid our activities the rest of the first night might be offensive to those with delicate sensibilities, so we'll skip on to the next day.

Wednesday - Sharks and Steak

We had Breakfast at the casino's Cafe - I had the country friend steak with eggs over medium ON TOP of the steak and under the steak was a bed of think Gravy. I think I had a couple of heart attacks while I was eating it but man it was good.

After that we got some latte's at the Starbucks in the casino and then drove the truck over to the Mandalay Bay. We walked all the way across the Casino and conference area (that place is so big its like walking through an airport). At one point we walked up to a dead end and just as we arrived it split in half and opened up. It was like it was welcoming us to the Shark Reef.

The Shark Reef was... Overrated. If you've been to any aquarium on the West Coast (or any coast) you've probably seen a better aquarium. The only interesting thing about the Mandalay Bay Shark Reef is that they aren't on the coast so I have no idea how they keep millions of gallons of salt water at perfect salinity without being able to tap the sea nearby.

The aquariam was so dark that the best pictures were the ones that we took in the gift shop. With the funny shark hat.

Then, in the Mandalay casino, talked with an English couple who were on Honeymoon from Liverpool. She had asked him to marry her after being together for 12 years - apparently in the UK there is a tradition where every leap year day (Feb 29) the girls get to ask the guys for their hand in matrimony. So all the guys can be found huddling under tables in remote pubs on Feb 29. LOL

We also talked to a local casino worker about my age with a goatee. Amy asked him where we could go dancing and he made a comment about how real men don't dance. Amy said that I liked to dance and he gave me a look. So I said well what do YOU do for fun. He then proceeded to tell us how he liked to drive out into the desert near the airport and park where the planes are descending. He then gets out of his truck, takes off all his clothes, and stands there. Um.. okay. I said "who has issues now?"

Back in the room I took a bath in the very deep bathtub and we discussed where we should go. I wanted to go -------, which is a --------, but Amy was concerned that we were spending too much time -------ing. I conceded the point and made reservations at Smith and Wollensky's steakhouse down the street. We dressed up in our nice clothes - Amy tried on all her dresses and nice outfits and finally decided on the Betsy Johnson dress. I wore my new pants and shirt and Italian leather shoes.

We had to walk down the strip about three blocks to the steakhouse but it was fun. It was only a Wednesday night so it wasn't too crowded or crazy but you know everyone is from out of town and we were by far the best dressed. We had to wait at the bar at S & W's and we got friendly with the bartenders, Dave and Pops. Dave was really taking his time explaining to us how to order a decent steak and he was giving Amy lots of TLC. He even invited her behind the bar for some pictures. Pops was the bad cop bartender for some reason - maybe Dave spends too much time with the ladies. Amy was by far the easiest on the eyes in the steakhouse and it was fun to be with her.

Dinner was PHENOMENAL. We used a basket of different breads to soak up a tray of "mustard butter." Never heard of it before but it was delicious! When our 18 oz rib-eye arrived it was covered with a layer of toasted blue cheese. We also had a big lobster tail and this was my first surf and turf. I found that if I took a bite of lobster at the same time as a bit of steak the whole thing tasted like lobster. It was so good. It was easily the best meal since our last romantic dinner in Las Vegas last year.

Thursday - Shopping and ---------

For once we both slept in and got 8 hours of sleep. We got up at 8am, used the TV to check out, dragged our luggage to the truck and then went back into the mall and had breakfast at the Salsa Cantina again. Breakfast burritos, coffee.

We spent the morning wandering through the shops just shopping. Amy picked out what turned out to be the perfect gift for Sam, our neighbor; it was a big serving dish in the shape of a big brown leaf. She loved it. It was nice just shopping together. We bought a couple of lattes at the coffee shop there and we were sitting having a smoke and enjoying the lattes when a woman walked by in a Hooters Casino shirt, which reminded me that we should go there.

It was still too early to check into the nugget so we stopped at that Hooters Casino to check it out. Amy parked at a blackjack machine while I wandered around. It looks like Hooters just bought one of the normal hotels that was there and made the bottom floor into a small but nice casino (with the best looking dealers around! - at least for the $25 tables). I asked to see a room and they showed me some pictures. The rooms looked really good and were only $59 a week. The suite was very impressive for I think $200 a night during the week. I think we'll stay at the Hooters casino next time.

Amy won $40 at the blackjack machine and then we sat down at our first blackjack table. We had drinks and chatted with the various Mexican dealers they gave us and Amy played two hands to my one. She did great and we had a really good time. She walked away from the table up $100 - I think I was even or maybe down $5. The women's rest room was closed for cleaning so I invited her into the empty men's room. She was in and out in literally 15 seconds. Maybe less.

So we checked into the Golden Nugget (ah the nugget) and then went downstairs and played black jack for a couple more hours. The table was not as nice to us as it only paid 6 to 5 on black jack, but the other players were really nice and we had a good time there also. I talked with a nice guy from, shoot, I don't remember where but when I shook his hands I noticed they were really small and weak. Turns out that he has had debilitating arthritis all his life. He had his hips replaced when he was 10 - only the second child in the US to have that surgery. That did not stop him from having his own business and a beautiful wife and a beautiful daughter and just being the man I would love to be when I'm his age.

On our way out, Amy wanted to ask this old guy to take our picture. I thought he looked to old to do it. Well the picture on the right is the one he took.

And that's the last thing I can say about what happened that night.

Friday - Crazy Girls

I decided that I kind of needed to take it easy after the previous night's activities, so we had a nice little morning together. Since we had slept in so late we decided to just go out and get some lunch. And for like the fourth year in a row, I continued a little tradition I've started: we had lunch at the bar of the Pink Taco restaurant at the Hard Rock Casino, and we had the Sweet Corn Tamales and diet cokes. I have done that exact same thing every year for four years now.

After the Pink Taco we drove the MGM Grand, where I parked Amy at a machine and I walked through the Casino out to the strip. The MGM has changed since I was there last - it's really nice now and has some fabulous-looking bars. The street was already hot, probably 95 degrees. I had to walk a block to the Tickets2Night store and by the time I got there I was covered in sweat. At the store there were two shows that I was interested in - the Amazing Jonathan (magic show) and Crazy Girls (boobie show). I called Amy and asked her which I should get tickets to and she said either one. When we both hung up we both knew which I would pick. So I got half price tickets to Crazy Girls -- $50 for two tickets.

After that we had to go back to the Hooters Casino because Amy forgot to cash in some chips there. While she was there she bought a hooters mug for my dad and a hooters T-shirt for Casey. Then it was back to the Golden Nugget. I took a nap and Amy went downstairs for more fun. She met some interesting people - one guy was this Philippine guy who was pretty weird. I can't remember what he said to Amy but it had something to do with believing that Jesus was the person that loved you the most. After he left, some other people told her that he was having a hard time because he came back to his hotel room early and found his fiance getting it doggy style from some guy. He sent the guy away and then told the fiance that he would forgive her because Jesus would want that or something like that.

We had an early dinner at the Golden Nugget Buffet - it was nice. Then it was time to get over to the Riviera to see the show. We went early so we could play the tables, which we did. This was the only time we lost any money - I think we lost $250 in an hour. It's hard to be proud of yourself for saving $50 on a half-price show ticket when you get lured to the casino an hour early (to exchange the half-price ticket for a REAL ticket) and then you lose $250 while you are waiting. Well we had a good time anyway and talked to this older couple from Jersey. The guy was Mafia all the way and his younger blond wife had just gotten him to marry her the day before. They were funny.

We still had a little time to spare before the show so Amy decided to try out a water massage machine. People who were walking by stopped to look at her, and then after the show about a dozen different people recognized her from the massage thing and asked her how she liked it. She turns heads in the dress of hers.

So finally we were in line to see Crazy Girls. Even though we were early they seated us in some bad seats. I was a little peeved about it and so was this old East Indian guy who got seated next to us. He started going on and on about "the gatekeepers" who you had to pay to get you a good seat. I immediately got up, went back out into the lobby and asked if there was some way I could get a better seat. The seating-woman laid it out for me - I could pay them off and they'd give me a good seat. They wouldn't tell me how much - they would just say yes or no depending on what I offered. So I held up a twenty and asked for the horse-shoe seat in the very front and she said "okay." She then told her goons that I would be switching seats and I went back and grabbed Amy's hand and started steering her to the good seat. The old Indian guy was frantic and started asking loudly if we got better seats. I mumbled something and left him there and she and I went and sat in the best seats in the house. I feel like I'm finally starting to understand this town.

The new seats were literally 10 feet from the stage and right in the center. The show was really good, much better than the show I'd seen a couple of years ago (SHOWGIRLS). Most of the pieces were these 40's numbers that were pretty tasteful and fun. In between those were little artsy pieces that features one or two small breasted eastern European girls doing little artsy dances. These were just to give the other girls time to change their outfits and such. There were about 4 numbers which were pretty hot, including one that featured this black girl doing an awesome striptease to an extended version of Zeppelin's "I can't quit you babe." We both thought it was really hot and we laughed about our new "--------- -------" thing that we've developed. The seats we had for show were just so awesome.

The intermission was.. a juggler. I was hoping for a really funny comedian and I was aghast when this crazy old Italian guy came out juggling what looked like four golf balls. But he quickly progressed to juggling a bunch of shiny bowling pins and it looked really cool. He then put on a hilarious show where he berated various members of the audience in funny ways. He was so energetic I leaned over and said to Amy "it must be ---- ----'s ----." He was always yelling out "WOPA!" After the show we went out and bought a Crazy Girls T-shirt (which I guess I can't wear anywhere but at home) so we could get a picture with the Crazy Girls. All in all it was a great show and we both had a great time.

Back at the Nugget we couldn't decide what to do, so we just lay around and watched TV. Then we decided that a burger sounded good so we ordered some room service (big burger and some chicken strip and fries). And then we fell asleep in our separate beds. A note about this: all three nights in Vegas we slept in separate beds. It was kind of nice. We would never replace our big bed at home but for a short time it was nice to each have our own sleeping area. Funny.

Saturday - Travel Day

I woke up the next morning around 6:30 when Amy came back upstairs. It turns out that she slept ONE HOUR and then had gone back down to continue the partying. She won $100 and talked to this bunch of guys from California (though their accents said West Virginia). She said they were pretty crazy and that when she told one of them she had just lost $20 on one machine he said "I'll get it back for you ma'am" and she said something like "if you're going to do that, why don't you get $40."

So I got showered and dressed and we got down to the buffet and were first in line (it opened at 7am). We zoomed in, got some coffee and loaded up on breakfast food and sat back down at our table, just as a bunch of guys came in. The first thing they said was "Hey's it's the $40 girl! Ma'am, we'd like to sit with her! Throw that guy out!" they said pointed to me and laughing in a good natured way. I talked to them for a while and they were pretty funny and told me they were just joking. We had a great big breakfast for $15 and then we went back to the room and packed up. We did the express check out and we were in the truck on the road in no time.

We had to stop for gas and I started counting the miles back to Montrose. 560, 555, 540, etc. We listened to more Jack Reacher which helped the drive some, and Amy slept in the back of the truck a lot due catching up on her sleep.

It was another awesome Vegas trip. And, as usual, for a week afterward, I was pretty depressed and entertained strange thoughts of trying to move to Vegas to be there 24/7. But that passes.