I returned this morning from another four-day extravaganza at The Happiest Place on Earth: Fabulous Las Vegas, Nevada. And with what better company than Mad Cow Tony?
Herewith a chronology of the last seven days.
- The festivities began in earnest on Friday. I went to see Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull with Andrew. We attended a late-evening showing, and agreed to get drinks after the film. Of course, conversation over cocktails was delightful, so we went back to his apartment to watch movies until the wee hours of the morning. I ended up crashing at his place, not leaving until after noon on Saturday. We watched a great horror-comedy starring Vincent Price and the first half of one version of Ten Little Indians. In all, it was a great time. I enjoy Andrew’s company immensely.
- From there, I went home to shower and change before heading to Lansing for birthday dinner for Tony with Emilie and Jon. Dinner at Tropo was exquisite (although Emilie and I both enjoyed waaaaay too much alcohol beforehand with not enough food). The only snag was the end of the night; Emilie ended up getting locked in a room in the bowels of the restaurant. Tony found her hiding behind a wine crate in the basement of Tropo as Jon and I considered a street search downtown. We escorted the Pretty Pretty Queen back to the hotel room they had rented. I intended to return to Grand Rapids, except I had left my keys in Emilie’s vehicle and rousing her and her husband was probably not an option. So I slept on Tony’s couch. We went to a quaint little railroad-themed restaurant in Lansing for brunch on Sunday.
- After leaving brunch, I went back to G.R., packed, and then drove right back to Lansing. Luckily, gas prices for a Grand Cherokee are cheap. [/sarcasm]
- Sunday evening witnessed our normal ritual: Tony and I watched National Lampoons’ Vegas Vacation before going to bed.
- Monday: We flew out of Grand Rapids (yes, GRR) on a 7 a.m. flight on Northwest Airlines. We left his place at 5 a.m. and made the trip under quite peaceful circumstances. I was worried about my health; some sort of infection had settled in my sinuses, particularly around my right ear, where I had some chlorinated water settle during dive training the previous week. Nevertheless, I soldiered on, despite not feeling well and having had three consecutive nights of non-sleep in someone else’s home. We had a four-hour layover at Minneapolis before heading to McCarran. We arrived at one of the nicest hotel-casinos on the strip — Paris — and after settling in with an ambiguous room upgrade (the clerk palmed Tony’s $20, but we got a regular room anyway), we headed to the keno desk as per protocol. From there, we hoofed it to Wynn to try to win two free buffets doing a trick Tony learned at LasVegasAdvisor.com. The trick failed; I got points at Wynn, but no free dinner. So after stopping by Venetian for Davidoff cigars, we dined at the Imperial Palace buffet instead, and then turned in early.
- Tuesday: Gamblin’ day! We started early, playing Bonus Poker on the video poker machines at Ballys. Even though I started off with less than the agreed-upon bankroll (a fact that made the Gambling Sensei cranky), I made up for it early by hitting a progressive royal worth $1,027. So I self-funded. 🙂 Most of the day was spent gambling, with a trip to the breakfast buffet at Paris and dinner at the seafood buffet at Rio. Oh, and it was Tony’s birthday, so it was fun.
- Wednesday: Gamblin’ day, again! More video poker, after having the breakfast buffet at Caesar’s. We actually played at Caesar’s Palace, which was fun. Then we returned to Ballys for even more gaming, followed by dinner at Paris. Actually, TONY gambled while I walked several miles from the casino to the Post Office to send a next-day-air package — talk about a comedy of errors. We tried to do karaoke at Imperial Palace in the evening, but the place was stuffed with middle-aged people who wanted to sing (a) country, (b) Elvis, or (c) slow pop. After an hour, we left, which is a shame, because Tony did look good for picking up the ladies. He did, however, perform his usual rousing rendition of Piano Man before we departed.
- Thursday: Breakfast buffet at Ballys, followed by a grand tour of most of the MGM Grand casinos: Monte Carlo, New York New York, Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay. We gambled some at Monte Carlo — nice place. And I wouldn’t mind staying at Mandalay Bay. We returned to Paris in time to catch the shuttle to McCarran. Our flight left at 10:15 PST.
- Friday: Arrived in Detroit around 5 a.m. EDT, with a four-hour layover. Got back to GRR around 10 a.m., in time for Tony to drive us to Lansing so that I could drive back to GRR. Please, don’t question our logic. And the rest of Friday? Playing catch-up.
The festivities are not complete; we still have the birthday gala at the lesbians’ on Saturday. But the bulk of the fun is done, for now. And although I enjoyed it, I’m ready to finally relax a bit. 🙂