Friday, May 18, 2012

Vegas For the Win!

We recently returned from our Las Vegas vacation, and it’s time to add up the wins and losses:

It hasn’t rained in this area for it seems 6 months, but it was raining as we drove to the airport for our departure: I volunteer to park the car to spare St. Pauli Girl’s hair. As soon as I park, the rain comes down even harder. I have to run to two different shuttle bus stations. By the time I get to the terminal, I’m soaked. Loss

Since it was vacation as well as 8:30 a.m., we treat ourselves to Bloody Mary’s on the plane. The debit card machine breaks down, and the flight attendant never comes back for payment. Free drinks for the Win!

Flight arrives early. Baggage arrives quickly, no waiting for the rental car. We arrive at the Paris for brunch 30 minutes earlier than planned, get a great table on the outdoor patio at Mon Ami Gabi after only a 15 minute wait. Win

“I can’t wait to gamble,” I said. “We are on quite a roll.”

VIP check-in at the Golden Nugget, no waiting. Win (Okay we paid extra for this as we were celebrating the sale of our restaurant.)

No more Elvis slot machines at the Golden Nugget. Loss

A lot of high profile chefs these days offer exclusive (read: expensive) kitchen seating where you can see all the action up close. For a mere fraction of the cost, sit at the Binion’s Café counter which is directly in front of the grill. Watch the talented grill cook handle 20 pounds of hash browns and 15 hamburgers and buns at once, plus eggs and bacon. Enjoy the show as he berates the servers for grabbing the wrong plates. And it’s tough to beat Binion’s Hangover Burger, even if you don’t have a hangover. Win for the food and the entertainment.

65-year-old male bartender singing along to ABBA’s “Dancing Queen.” Win

To get away from the casinos for awhile, St. Pauli Girl finds some antique shops to browse. As we walk through a shop, we hear a woman screaming from up front:

“Don’t touch me! Don’t %&# touch me! Do you hear me? You call my grandmother and ask her who #&^% runs this shop! What did you call me? You think I’m not worldly and smart? Who the *%#@ do you think you are saying that to, *%#@*? You call my grandmother and ask her! Then you come back and tell me who the %&# runs this shop!”

At that point, we run into another vendor and ask him, “Is there a back door?”

“Oh don’t worry. This happens all the time. No big deal.”

When we hear a pause in the screaming, we run for the front door. Push (It was funny afterwards but actually pretty scary in the store.)

St. Pauli Girl orders meatloaf for dinner. Loss

At midnight, we drive past a guy sitting on the ground meditating in the lotus position on top of the Main Street Station parking garage. Win

Woman asks bartender if they have any better wines.

“Not for comps,” he replies.

“Then can I have a taste of the white zinfandel?”

Apparently even comped drinkers can be choosy. Win for entertainment.

$13.99 a day for internet access in the hotel? You can get free access at Motel 6, and they’ll leave the light on for you! Loss

Playing blackjack next to a barefoot 80 year old Chinese man who rubs his arm a certain way for luck on every hand. We both get dealt a blackjack. He gives me a fist bump. Win

Playing blackjack next to a guy who is providing color commentary on his own play. Loss

We go out to the pool bar for an afternoon cocktail, find out it’s last call. Push

Call hotel maintenance because our smoke detector keeps beeping. Before he replaces it, he asks, “You sure you don’t have anything in your luggage that’s beeping?” Push

Unsure what to do for lunch, we break down and hit the cheap buffet. Vegas buffets have become quite good over the years and some of them charge $50 to $80 per person. This one charges $7.99. And it isn’t worth it. Epic Loss

Total gambling: Loss

Our flight arrives back in Austin and apparently it hasn’t stopped raining since we left. I volunteer to get the car. It’s pouring again. I’m sure I parked in space 80, but that’s not our car. After running around and getting soaked, turns out I parked in space 60. And in another section. Plus I’m pretty sure everyone on the shuttle bus was laughing at me. Loss


  1. That sounds like a fun outing even with the losses. It has been years since we took a Vegas vacation. I don't know exactly why as we always have a good time. The "people watching" there is a show in itself.

    Every place we go any more has tacked on crazy fees and costs but those Internet fees make me nuts. AND 13.99 is ridiculous.

    Hope the rain has stopped in Austin and she aren't currently floating/treading water.

    1. Yeah I should have noted that all in all, since we were in Vegas, the total trip was a win. You have to try really hard not to have a good time there. As a friend once said, "It's DisneyWorld for adults."

      Rain did stop, but it's hard to complain about it since we get so little of it.

      Thanks for the comment!

  2. I really should proof read....she??? was supposed be "hope you aren't floating/treading water...

  3. Although the missing Elvis slots are clearly a loss, the fact the Nugget still survives certainly shifts it to a push. JMM

    1. True. But GN is the class of downtown (okay that's not saying much.) but I'd compare it favorably to most strip hotels. But more importantly, if you want to gamble and you're not a high roller, the strip is for suckers.

      I am disappointed we didn't go to "Oscar's Beef, Booze and Broads."