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