Viva Las Vegas!

Well, I survived a four-day, three-night excursion to Fabulous Las Vegas only to be stymied on the day after my return by food poisoning; I “ran for the border” for lunch on Friday only to be stopped by the INS, with the consumed food being deported whence it came via three explosive episodes over five hours.  Ugh.

The trip itself was delightful.  I went to Tony’s apartment in Lansing on Sunday night, since our flight was allegedly scheduled for take-off at 5:45 a.m. from Detroit Metro.  In fact, the flight was actually scheduled for 6:45, which was good, because we were running late anyway.  T-Bone captured himself a potential child-custody client, a third-shift waitress at the Denny’s in Novi who wants to be a police officer because “all the hot men are cops,” and she wants to meet a man to be a substitute baby-daddy.  Not to fear, though; the real baby-daddy is an illegal who may be deported at any minute.  Jerry Springer, Where Art Thou?

Of course, I do have issues with Spirit Airlines.  I booked our tickets on Friday, but the Spirit Web site told me as the transaction completed that the seats I requested were no longer available at the price advertised.  So, I did it again — only to discover, a few minutes later, that both transactions took.  I was charged $1,100 for two pairs of tickets on the very same flight.  When I called Spirit, however, I got India — and India told me that they couldn’t process a refund for the second set of tix, that they could only give me a voucher for future travel.  This did not sit well with me, but they refused to budge, so now I’m disputing the transaction with my bank.  Which is not a fun process, even though my bank is being cool about the whole thing.

Anyway, we arrived around 7 a.m. Pacific at McCarran International.  Our trip to our first hotel, Bally’s, was uneventful, and we checked in without difficulty.  Most of the first day was spent sight-seeing; Tony took me through the hotel-casinos along the Strip, and we ended up the day with buffet and gambling.

Tuesday was spent gambling, mostly.  The bulk of our gaming was done at Bally’s, although we did drop a few dollars at various casinos, including Wynn and the Flamingo.  Tuesday evening featured karaoke at Imperial Palace followed by chatting and light gaming at O’Shea’s.  The highlight of karaoke — apart from watching Tony do a remarkably well-done rendition of Piano Man, We Didn’t Start the Fire, and Viva Las Vegas — was dancing with the wedding party from Malta; their style was retro, their English broken, but they were full of energy … even the drunk one who told me she wanted to sleep with Tony as she was grinding her ample busom into my chest.  During the combined Imperial Palace/O’Shea stint, we met a delightful British trio — two female traveling companions from southern England, and a chap from northern England they had met a few days prior and who had latched onto them.  They were a really fun group.  I also had a long chat with a young man from Australia who was on his backpacking year; his goal in the U.S. was to bed as many American women as he could, but he was having trouble finding them, so he was going from Las Vegas to Boulder, Colo.  I wish him, and the Brits and Maltese, well.

Wednesday, after a bit of gaming and going to The Price Is Right Live, we moved from Bally’s to Rio.  Wednesday was a bit more relaxed, including allocating more time for sleep.  We spent several hours at one of the “local” casinos across from Rio, smoking cigars and playing video poker at the bar.  At least that casino offered full-pay on Jacks-or-Better.

Thursday featured a late start; after going to the Rio buffet, we trudged back to the airport and flew back to Detroit.  The flight was pretty quiet, despite passing through a few weather fronts.  The only item of note was me getting aggressively hit on by a male baggage handler in the restroom at McCarran.  It was odd.  Oh, and the great chat and massage we had from Crystal at the oxygen bar on concourse C.

Overall, it was a great experience.  The food was scrumptious — especially the seafood buffet at Rio and the Paris dinner buffet — and the people were delightful.  Even Tony’s host, who refused to throw him a bone on getting things comped off of his bill, screwed him with a smile.

There’s a lot to see and do in Las Vegas, but it takes a fair amount of discipline not to lose your shirt, or to succumb to all the alcohol. 

Definitely worth a return visit next year.

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