Las Vegas Vacation

…stays in Vegas.

Vacation in Las Vegas.

What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas…

…or, maybe not.

Me and Joe in from of the Eiffel Tower in Las Vegas.

That should BE something.

Everything should be something!

That was the motto of our Vegas ’06 trip. Why isn’t cherry, cherry, seven, seven, seven on the slot machine something??? It’s beyond me. I also still think that it is totally unfair that you can get blank, blank, blank. Here’s a recap for all you suckers who didn’t come. I’m having trouble remembering what we did at some points, which I guess means it was a good vacation:


Thursday, March 16, 2006

I woke up at 3:30 to make it to my flight at 6:30 am. At the airport they had to inspect my bags. Apparently 3 cameras plus one giant bag of change equals national security threat. It was impossible to find a seat at the gate because everyone was sleeping and taking up 3 or 4 seats. I also managed to break my boarding pass and was paranoid that they weren’t going to let me on. On the plane the safety video broke. Yup. I also closed my window at one point and was terrified to open it for fear of seeing a gremlin on the wing. Four hours later at 8:30 am I arrived in Vegas. It definitely doesn’t look as cool as when flying in at night.

After making my way to the Luxor I call up JoeJoe and go up to our fourth floor room. The view sucks and there are these strange cables swinging against our window every few minutes. We then changed rooms to the 14th floor, right near Wilkey, and with a view of the Rio and Palms and the mountains. We then walked around forever chasing after a Starbucks (I’d been awake for almost twelve hours with no caffeine and the Pepsi machine right outside our room was broken). After several near misses (there’s one, nope coming soon), we found one in New York, New York (leave it to New York to have a Starbucks). Alina, Joe, and I walked around the Coke store (no Coke blak, damn, but they did have some American Idol season 3 bottles). Joe and I went to check out the pool and then we all headed to Mandalay Bay to watch basketball. The Illini game was postponed though so once Glen got in we went to meet him and then went to watch that at the Bellagio. While the boys watched their sports, Alina and I watched an old man totally hitting on the waitress and then some poker players who were getting massages while playing.

Once Jen arrived, we skipped out of the end of the game and headed to heaven in the form of the Bellagio buffet. It cost $30 and was very surprised when there was someone behind me pushing in my chair for me after I sat down. Classy. We filled up on plate after plate of sushi, venison, prime rib, pasta, potatoes, crab legs, and of course dessert. mmmmmm. The food was soso good but I was feeling so sick due to waking up early, flying, lack of caffeine, lack of food (we had starved all day in anticipation) so I couldn’t take full advantage like glen eating 10 plates of sushi and Joe eating prime rib for dessert and Alina eating 20 desserts.

After dinner, Alina, JoeJoe, Joe, Meredith, and I went to the Wynn to see Avenue Q. Twas brilliant. Basically the show is Sesame Street on crack. It has puppets who sing songs such as “If you’re gay its OK” and “Everyone’s a little bit racist.” There was also sex and nudity and “bad idea bears” who would convince people to go buy lots of beer. Hilarious.





Friday, March 17, 2006

Friday was basically a day of sightseeing. Kelly got in early and then off we went. Lions at the MGM, M&M World to see how they really are made, pathetic rain storm at Alladin (I swear it used to be better), the butterfly and dragonfly themed Bellagio Conservatory (where Heather joined us), Ceasars Palace, the Venetian. At the Venetian we watched a bride and groom take a sail down the grand canal. Awwww. After our tour of the strip, JoeJoe, Alina, and Kelly went off to see Cirque de Soleil’s “O” and the rest of us went off to gamble. Most everyone else played poker and I confined myself to 2 penny slots where I worked off of the same dollar for over an hour. When JoeJoe got back, some of us went over to Nine Fine Irishmen. Very shortly after the drinks were served we were told they were closing but “you can take your drinks with you.” Only in Vegas.



Saturday, March 18, 2006

Saturday was one of those days where you wake up the next morning and can’t believe that that happened just yesterday. It started out leisurely by the pool. It was a little chilly so I just sat with my feet in the hot tub for some of the time. We then went to a little Mexican restaurant to eat yummy food, drink margaritas (yum, melon flavored), talk about vibrators, and watch the Illini lose. After that Alina left 🙁 She told Joe he was allowed to do anything I asked of him while she was gone as long as it was something he’d do for her if asked. Hehe, let the reign of torture begin. We then went on a hunt for cheap gambling. It started with the Tropicana, which despite promise, had none, then a long stroll down the strip (stopping for some hot coffee along the way, who knew Vegas got that cold?) We stopped at Harrah’s and a few other places and finally (after somehow losing Wilkey and Meredith along the way) made it to Casino Royale, a hellhole of a place with craps, roulette, and other suchness for under $5. I watched as everyone played craps (Go Susie! Go Larry! Go Lee!). At the slots, JoeJoe laughed at my new method for playing. He earlier told me that it is not true that if you leave a machine and someone else walks up to it and wins a bazillion dollars that you would have won the same if you had stayed for just one more spin. It all works on random number generation or something. This got me over the paranoia of not being able to leave a machine. It however created a new habit of putting my hand on the lever, closing my eyes, concentrating, and trying to wait for the exact right moment to pull. After the Casinos, JoeJoe, Kelly, Jen, Heather and I went to a dance club at the Rio. Glen decided to stay home (boo). The club we decided on cost $20 (boo) but once inside advertised 3 for $9 beer for the next 10 minutes only so I had me a cheap Killian’s and all was good. Before getting inside Heather decided to split (boo to her too). Kelly and Jen danced with a bunch of random guys and I made JoeJoe pretend to be my boyfriend so I wouldn’t have to. They were all kind of smarmy looking and for me, dancing in whatever way they were dancing with a random guy is not my idea of fun. A couple of them came up and just started shaking their ass at mine and I’m like hello, get out of my personal space now, I did not say that could go there. JoeJoe was a good cover at least, even though he doesn’t like to dance. When we got back to the hotel we decided to go gambling some more. At about 5 or 6 in the morning I sat down at a Roulette table, lost $5, put a bet that included my lucky number 13 and its two corner spaces. The ball landed on my lucky number 13 and I won a lot. I put $30 aside (the $20 I started with plus an extra 10) and then proceeded to lose all the rest of my winnings). When I went to cash in my chips the lady said to me “Have a good day,” and I’m like, day? It’s almost bed time. Around 7 or so we finally went up to bed, where JoeJoe insisted on sharing a bed with me.





Sunday, March 19, 2006

We woke up, well, late (no surprise there, eh?) We ate at a champagne brunch buffet, which was just a regular old buffet that served lunch food and breakfast food and had little plastic cups of champagne. Jen then took off for home and we all went to the Stratosphere where we went 1,149 feet in the air for a view of all of Vegas. They had these metal strips along the window that you could lean out against for a better view down and out. JoeJoe held me while I did it so I wouldn’t die, but I couldn’t look at much anyways. Heather and I found out we were separated at birth both being afraid of heights, and loving to torture JoeJoe and loving MTV reality shows. We were both pretty scared to be up there. JoeJoe and Kelly went onto this ride called Insanity which was, well, insane. It’s this big claw thing. That spins. Up at the very top of the stratosphere. Hanging off the side of the building. Scary. I, bravely, made my way to the outside observation deck and actually managed to get near the edge, shakily, but there. We then spent some time gambling there, where I won $40 on one hand of video poker. I cashed out right away. hehe.

We went to the Bellagio fountains, beautiful as always. Glen found out, while stopping to get batteries for his camera, that the Bellagio does in fact carry both beef jerky and KY lubricant. We got dinner at Bertolini’s, a yumyummy Italian place at Ceasars.

Glen, JoeJoe, Kelly and I went to ghostbar, a bar up at the top of the Palms. It was a really nice place except that to get a table you had to be famous or something. We did find some seating in what Glen and I came to call the “creepy room” because it was basically empty minus a few people groping and making out. My theory is, if no one else is in there, there is a reason for it. So, I sucked it up in the freezing weather to stand outside because it was at least less creepy. The highlight of the bar was the bartender. Me and Joe went up to the bar to get drinks. We were standing there for a few minutes when this woman sidles up and pushes her way to the front, then hoists her chest out and leans in front of us to try to block us out. The bartender walked right past her and took our orders. I just asked for something fruity and he gave me a yummy mixture that tasted like those little gummy peach rings. Yumyum.

After freezing our asses off outside we decided it was time to leave to spend the rest of the night gambling at the hotel. I lost another $20 on roulette way too fast. Me and Glen were the only ones at the table so it went wayway to quickly. Heather and Glen then had to depart around 5am 🙁 and the rest of us passed out.





Monday, March 20, 2006

We woke up just in time to say goodbye to Kelly, and it was down to just me and Joe and Wilkey and Meredith. After lunch at the food court (corn dog and fries for $10) and some Nathan’s Famous trivia, Wilkey and Meredith had to leave as well. And then there were two. JoeJoe and I went on a hunt for shot glasses, then he lost a lot of money on blackjack. We walked around MGM looking at expensive menus and the high roller slots. We found one machine that was a $500 slot. Seriously, you put in $500 and have one shot at making it big. Could you imagine getting blank, blank, blank??? Crazyness. The best part was that it still had a coin slot. You know, in case you have $500 worth of coins laying around. We also found the most brilliant game ever: Sigma Derby. Basically it was a big table with a miniature race track inside of it and little plastic ponies that run around the track. The game gives them odds and you bet quarters on which fake pony you think will win. Unfortunately it was a pretty popular game so we didn’t get to play 🙁 We went over to Tropicana then and Joe lost more money on blackjack. Stupid cards not going right once. And then it was time for JoeJoe to go, leaving me with 7 hours alone time in Vegas. I took an hour to walk through the store at Mandalay and eat some Cappuccino gelato. Since I didn’t have much money and my feet were killing me, I then stuck a $5 in a two penny slot and continued to play off of that for the next two hours before heading off to the airport.

At the airport I got on one of those moving walkways. There were 2 people in front of me. In front of them was a man pushing a woman in a wheelchair. Now, there is a reason there are signs posted to not put wheelchairs on the moving walkways. At the end, the wheels hit the metal strip, turned, and the chair got stuck. The chair that took up the entire width of the walkway got stuck. Therefore, everyone behind it had to turn around and run like hell in the opposite direction (basically running in place) so that we wouldn’t get killed or mangled. Not fun. I also managed to break my boarding pass again (how do you people keep it in one piece? It’s an anomaly to me). I have decided never to fly America West again. Every seat on the plane had an ashtray (I wonder how old it was) and somehow the pilot thought it was a good idea to try to make the Vegas to Chicago flight in less than three hours. Somehow that didn’t seem right.

It was actually a really amazing trip. I had so much fun, and would almost venture to say that it was my best trip out there thus far (which is kind of surprising, considering…). It was also contenting in that at the end of it and throughout it wasn’t one of those vacations where I am dying to get out of there or where I never want to leave. It just happened. And it was amazing.





So, who’s up for Reno ’07???

Hi, I'm Val. I spent most of my 20s in a standstill, unable to pick which path in life I wanted to take. I wanted the nomadic life of a traveler but also wanted the husband, the condo, and the kitten. Unable to decide which life I wanted more, I did nothing. When I turned 30 I’d had enough of putting my life on hold and decided to start “choosing my figs.” So, I quit my job, bought a one-way ticket to Europe, and traveled for three years. Now I'm back in Chicago, decorating my apartment in all the teal, petting my cats, and planning my next adventure.

  • Heather
    March 22, 2006at8:07 pm

    cherry seven seven 1bar blank 3bar blank cherry
    that should win at least 3 dollars.
    without you, i may have forgotten that gem.
    and always remember, on double diamonnd, blank blank blank means something.

  • Sid
    March 22, 2006at11:40 pm

    that is waaaayyy too long to read the whole thing

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