Tuesday, November 26, 2002

Viva Las Vegas!
I left work Thursday knowing Friday morning would see me on an airplane for a FOUR day weekend of relaxation and silliness. Or something like that. Little did I know how much money I would be throwing in the street in the days to come.

Friday
Started out early, with a 9am shuttle to San Francisco airport. The driver was from Nigeria, and drove like a mad banshee. At one point on Hwy 280 he hit 95mph. In a shuttle van! Yahoo. But the strawberry air freshner tree was not doing its full job, this fellow obviously showers once a week, whether needed or not. And we were towards the END of the week, if you know what I am saying.

Arrive at SFO, check luggage, find the gate, sit and wait. Rebecca joined us shortly, and we went for muffins, coffee, croissants, and she tried for a drink, but the bar staff was less than attentive. Load the plane, and fly on out to Vegas. Where? Vegas Baby! Vegas!

After an uneventful flight, we land, need to get to the Sahara Hotel,
http://www.saharavegas.com/

ground transport in Vegas makes no sense whatsoever. We took some sort of luxury Lincoln Valet thingey. After all’s said & done, I now know, take a cab. Quick & cheap. However, the driver of the Lincoln was friendly, played some nice tunes, and made jokes. We passed many of the signs for the shows, and I cannot remember much, other than The “Star Trek Experience” which Rebecca and Sara morphed into “Star Trek on Ice” and were giggling furiously over.

Arriving at the Sahara, I am ready to check into my “deluxe” room, that I reserved on the internet. Close to all my pals who are joining us, of course. Well, till I spoke to the insolent, rude, nasty son of a bitch at the counter. “Desi” said his nametag. But he wasn’t. I was just absolutely stunned at how rude he was, and it pretty much set the tone and attitude for my stay at the once great, but now faded Sahara.

“No, all rooms are the same”
“We do not reserve rooms till you get here”
“We’ll put your friends in rooms as they arrive”
“Your room will NOT be ready till 3”
“I do not care where you put your luggage”
“What you did on the internet does not matter”

You know, the more I think about it, the more I want to send letter of complaint. On the other hand, I never want to go back to the Sahara, so a letter would be a waste of more money.

Rebecca checked into a double room, Sara and I tossed our luggage in her room, then went downstairs to meet up with Dale & Joan. We all hopped a cab to the strip, well, the NEW strip. The other END of the strip from the Sahara. The Strip where the hotels were nice, and everything was clean. The place we SHOULD have stayed.

Wandered around, had some food, had some cocktails, got lost for a bit, memory blurry,

http://www.treasureisland.com/pages/frameset_noflash.asp

Treasure Island! Pirate bar! Pirate Show! Fruity Drinks! Pirate Show. Big Ships, explosions, fire, do not stand up, we have black powder & stuff” great drinks. Yummilicious.

http://www.treasureisland.com/pages/attrac_bucca.asp

saw ceaser’s fountains, fondled some statues, Left and headed back to hotel? Maybe? Played some dollar blackjack and lost some dollars. Went to sleep.


Saturday
we all met up and went to the Venetian.

http://www.venetian.com

Jack made it in, so did Robert & Linda. We all went to Grand Lux Café,
http://www.venetian.com/dining/dining.cfm?ID=9

where breakfast was delicious. The restaurant was clean and tidy, there were no screaming kids, fat old retirees in shorts, etc… The Venetian? VERY high on my list of “if I ever go back to Vegas, this is where I will stay”

After brunch, we made for the Guggenheim Exhibit “The Art of the Motorcycle”.

http://www.guggenheimlasvegas.org/lv_home.html

I have often said I could look at motorcycles all day long. Well, they proved I could not. After a few hours, I was overwhelmed. Yep, I hit my motorcycle viewing rev-limiter. BANG. I was tired, and wanted to sit.

But I did get to see some amazing rides, that I will never be able to see again. Ever. It was brilliant. I highly recommend it.

We left the Motorcycle exhibit and split up to go roundabout ways, and regroup for dinner. Sara & Jack went shopping, she bought new underclothes, he bought nothing. I do not know where Robert & Linda went, or Dale & Joan. Rebecca and I went to Sephora in the Venetian to look for red mascara for her. http://www.sephora.com/ apparently they no longer MAKE the “Artistic” line, and we bailed for the Sahara so I could change.
Cab ride back to HELL, wander through the lobby of our dumpy, old school casino, and up to the room to change. Into the Tux! YAY Vegas! People should DRESS for Vegas. None of this shorts & t shirt rubbish. Sammy & Dean! Rat Pack to the MAX. Wear a damn TUX people! http://www.rat-pack.net/

Left the room, met with Rebecca, went out for a cab. The gal calling cabs asked “which chapel are you headed to?” and we just laughed. V funny. I am dressed nice, she is wearing a dress also, we must be getting married? Hello? I declined and asked for a cab to the Paris http://www.paris-lv.com/ another FINE hotel, where we should have stayed. We met at Mon Ami Gabi for dinner. http://www.paris-lv.com/gabi.html But arrived early, so we wandered around. Passed about 5 wedding chapels, and joked “wouldn’t it be funny if when Sara got here, we said ‘you’ll never guess what we did’?” but then decided it would backfire, cause she & Jack would have laughed and held up rings too! J Vegas is a silly place. No one got married.

We all met and had some very delicious and tasty food. Yummy. Saw some squids on motorcycles do stupid things, then the group split, as some were going to watch Pen & Teller, others were cheap. Sara, Rebecca and I walked almost the full length of the strip, to New York Casino, which has a roller coaster. http://www.nynyhotelcasino.com/pages/index_noflash.asp
It was much too crowded & hectic, I was glad we did not stay there, but the roller coaster was fun. The bartender suggested Venus, a Tiki Bar at the Venetian, done in 1950’s pop-u-luxe style. So we wandered BACK down the strip to the Venetian.
http://www.venetian.com/attractions/venus.cfm

this was like a bar in Austin. Like Chuy’s meets Vegas, and jams it into a small room.

Rebecca ordered fruity drinks (mai-tais we found out) and we drank and waited for Dale & Joan & Jack to join us after the Pen & Teller show. Now you need to know, Rebecca has VERY long hair. Which she wraps up in pony tails, and then balls up kind of like Princess Leia Star Wars. So she was jamming all the swizzle sticks & umbrellas into the hair, and it made for quite an adornment.

Sara decided to have a drink. Now she stopped drinking a while back, and it has been a good thing. But every so often, we feel, it may be good to have one. Then be stopped. Which we did. She got tipsy, then felt like hell in the morning, and remembers why she does not drink. It was an okay experiment, and my baby is not all blotto and passed out right now. YAY!

Drinks at the bar, pilferage of tiki cups, and we were all tired, back to the Sahara for some dollar blackjack and sleep. Rebecca had an early flight, so that’s the last we saw of her.

Sunday
Breakfast at the Sahara Buffet. $10/person, all you can eat, 9am, we went back to the room after to change for the pool, but fell asleep instead. Dale & Joan watched football games, Jack & Linda & Robert were out somewhere.

Sunday afternoon Sara & I went to the pool, she soaked in the hot-tub, I rested.

Sunday evening, we went to the Luxor http://www.luxor.com/ to see the sights, and decided to watch a show. Since Charo http://www.aloha.net/~mahalo/charo/ was on vacation at the Sahara, (MUCH to monkey’s disappointment) we saw the Blue Man Group at the Luxor. http://www.blueman.com/ticketinfo/lasvegas.shtml

I am totally at a loss for words, it was an amazing show. Just amazing.

After, we went to Mortons for dinner http://www.mortons.com/website/index.html ummm, I had the best steak since leaving Texas, and it was on par with Texas steak houses. Oh my goodness, I wanted to touch myself afterwards. No salads, no sides, I KNEW what I was after. Porterhouse, medium rare, no toppings, bring me the cow.

Sara had Salmon, Jack had veggies, Dale & Joan split a porterhouse. I was in ecstasy.

After dinner, cab back to the hotel, to bed. Slept late.

Monday
We met Dale & Joan at about 11:30 and took a cab to the Venetian, where we had a light lunch, then back to sahara, checkout and cab to airport.

Sara & I checked bags, and pulled the magic “search me” tickets. But they managed to be pretty quick, flew into San Jose, Dale & Joan dropped us at the house, answered emails, did laundry, and split for the Monday Night Ride.

Next post.

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