Thursday, May 10, 2007

Welcome Back to Nashvegas (Part 1)

This was actually written almost a month ago, I just haven't gotten around to posting it. I was in Las Vegas April 12 - 17. This is the account of my trip. Names have not been changed to protect the guilty or innocent.

I think I'm finally back on Central Standard time and mostly rehydrated. 6 days in Vegas can be hard on your body and mind. Everyone's first question is always "did you win anything?" No, I didn't. But I didn't do too bad, I think the money the casino took from just barely covered the tequila and vodka bill. I rationed my money out so that I had the same amount to gamble on each day. 2 days I ended up with more than I started, 1 day I broke even and the other 3 days I lost. BUT, I ended each day with at least some of my gambling money left over. Did I have a good time? Hell yea.

We left Nashville Thursday afternoon after being driven to the airport by Tammy's Taxi (thanks Tammy!). I love to fly, but I hate to be close to my fellow man like you are on a crowded flight. Luckily my doctor understood and gave me a prescription for my flights. Unfortunately, I needed it. We (Ace, Chuck and me) had made sure to check in for our flight exactly 24 hours before the flight so we'd be in the A group (if you've ever flown Southwest, you know what I'm talking about). Well, after going through the security (the illusion of security) checkpoint, we stopped and got a pizza and a beer. By the time we got over to the gate, the flight was boarding and we were pretty close to the last people on the plane. I ended up in the middle seat between two guys who weren't talkative. I didn't mind as I left my sunglasses on, put on my headphones with some Pearl Jam and opened up a book. With the help of my doctor's little blue friend, I fell asleep after takeoff but before the plane even leveled out.

Chuck won the "fastest way to lose $20 in Vegas" award. We got out of the taxi at the hotel and he pulled some money out of his pocket to tip the cabbie. It was very windy and we were under a covered driveway, which acted as a wind tunnel. I caught site of a $20 bill flying off about 10 feet in the air. I swear I saw Andrew Jackson waving as it fluttered off. Chuck went to look for it, but it was long gone. Somewhere on the vast Internet, someone is posting a blog right now about how they were in Vegas and a $20 bill just flew right into their hands.

We got settled in and went to eat at the buffet at Excaliber (where we stayed). It was the first of several trips to that buffet and the first 2 lbs that I gained for the trip. Great food and there is so much variety, you have to eat some of all of it. We then retired to the roulette table and did ok. I walked away with about $30. We then went to the Keno lounge.

The Keno lounge is infamous in my circle of friends. This is due to several reasons. 1) Keno is the slowest paced game in Vegas. There is one game every 5 or 10 minutes. 2) You can bet as little as $1 per game. 3) They still bring you drinks while you are playing this slow paced game. 4) You don't even really have to play to get drinks. Just play once or twice and then keep the slips of paper on your table and look like you are playing. Tip your waitress well and you will be hammered in no time. 5) All of this adds up to a hilarious story that happened on a previous Vegas trip that I cannot relate here because what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. ANYWAY, the Keno lounge has become the last stop of the night for our crew. The first night went very well, we played a few games and then all 3 of us played the same numbers (the numbers on the outside edge) and hit for $25. We decided to leave while we were ahead.

Ace was actually in Vegas for work, he was going to classes and the NAB show. Friday, Chuck and I walked with him over to the MGM Grand so he could catch the monorail. Chuck stopped by his personal slot machine and won back the $20 that floated away the day before. They had told me all these stories about how they constantly would win money from this particular machine. Since it seemed to be in the mood to hand out money, I stuck $20 in. I actually won $12 my first spin, but Chuck had as well and he had pressed on and eventually won about $20. So I pressed on. Roughly 45 seconds later, my $20 was gone. It just confirmed my hatred of slot machines.

Chuck and I wanted to see Grindhouse and since spending $7.50 for 3 hours of entertainment is hard to come by in Vegas, a movie sounded like a good idea. So we took off down the street where Chuck said the theater was "right down there." There was a sign with the movie times over one of the buildings and he remembered that you had to walk down a side street and the theater was behind a building. We looked and walked and walked and looked. We finally decided we must have passed it and turned around. As we were walking back, we noticed the sign that we had walked right by close enough to touch. The one that was at eye level, about 5 feet high and 40 feet long and said "Some name Theater Now Open" and had ginormous arrows pointing down the street. We followed the arrows and sure enough, there was the theater. After the movie, Chuck and I stopped at this cantina we had spotted on the way to the theater. We got a margarita which was awesome. Of course, it cost $9.50, so it should be.

That night, we all decided we wanted to get drunk. We had drank Thursday, but just a bit. After dinner, we decided to walk to the liquor store. It was much further than it looked. Since I had been drinking margaritas that day, I bought some tequila and margarita mix. We hung out in the room for a bit and drank and then went down for more roulette and Keno. We accomplished our mission to get hammered. At some point in the night, I was having a very raunchy conversation via text messages with a certain someone here. As I told her (to explain my willingness to say anything), I had drank so much tequila that I could now speak Spanish.

The next morning, I was amazed. I had no hangover whatsoever. I've never drank that much tequila and not woken up with at least a headache. I also realized that I had been in Vegas for 2 days and had yet to play a hand of blackjack, which is pretty much the only game I like playing in Vegas (liking keno has nothing to do with the game itself). So that afternoon, I setup camp at one of the tables. I switched back to screwdrivers (my regular drink of choice). I played for several hours and stayed about even money-wise.

I had seen a TV show about the Freemont Street Experience and really wanted to go. Tammy and John had went when they were in Vegas and said it was a must-see. So, we mixed some drinks to go and caught The Deuce (a double-decker bus). Our driver was officially the grumpiest man in Las Vegas and he honked and maneuvered the bus between cars so close that I couldn't see pavement between the bus and the cars. We talked to a woman from Greece on the bus and she was very nice and after listening to her description of Greece, I am ready to go. There was also an older woman on the bus who's son is a police officer in Hendersonville. I told her that he has probably given me a ticket at some point. We finally made it to Freemont Street in one piece. My first order of business was to secure orange juice and vodka. Ace kept talking about eating dinner, obviously ignoring priorities. Of course, he still had some of his drink since it was in a 10 gallon cup. One of the great things about Vegas is that you can buy just about anything in just about any store. We went into a store that within the first 10 feet of the door had 1) souvenier t-shirts 2) cokes/water/orange juice (woohoo, we're halfway there) 3) poker chips 4) chips and last, but definitely not least, bottles and bottles of liquor. So I purchased a 20 oz orange juice and a half pint of Skyy. NOW, we can find dinner. After watching one of the overhead video shows, we ended up at Binion's having a great steak dinner that was $6.99. We all upgraded with a salad and clam chowder. I had gone out on a limb ordering the chowder, since I have a hard and fast rule about eating soups I can't see through. I dislike opaque soups. But this stuff was awesome. I'm now rethinking my soup transparancy scale.

After dinner, I made 2 drinks with my OJ and vodka. I poured half the OJ in a glass and about 1/4 of the vodka. that was an average screwdriver. I then poured the remaining vodka into the 1/2 empty OJ bottle. That wasn't a screwdriver, it was a fucking hammer. By the time we made it back to The Deuce, I was doing great. Since a co-worker of mine has several inside jokes about "The Deuce", I thought he would find it humorous that I was riding on a bus called that. So I text messaged him letting him know I was riding "The Deuce." It was somewhere around 12:30am in Las Vegas. Which made it 2:30am here. I didn't get a reply til morning (surprise). He correctly guessed that I was "hammered" because I misspelled "duece" and didn't message again to correct it (I'm a stickler about spelling).

Part 2 coming soon. I promise it will be shorter.

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