I love Las Vegas. The MoH and I have our trips down to an art, honed over many years of celebrating the end of tax season. The only reason we went at this point in the year is for football. Another couple was supposed to have gone with us so the guys could hang out in the sports book at Caesars and watch as many games at one time as possible. But they bailed on us in the end. But the other reason October is a good time to go is because so many people now wait until October 15 to do their taxes, it’s like there are now two tax seasons. That part is a drag. The nice part is there are more opportunities to go to Las Vegas. Do we have money to throw away? Are you kidding? We just don’t get the sprinklers fixed or the sluggish drains in the bathroom sinks unplugged. Tolerate spots on the carpet and wear clothes that are so five seasons ago. Feh.
The first time we went, we stayed at the Continental — long since torn down, thankfully. I have less than stellar memories of shag rug with cigarette burns, a buffet that rolled out in those public school looking serve yourself stainless carts, and a boozy sounding woman who sang in the late afternoon to the accompaniment of people dropping nickels and quarters into slot machines. It was off the strip, and full of people not remotely close to our age. I survived on a rationed roll of nickels slipped from my luggage each morning and evening. What is that, four bucks? No chance of that now. It isn’t that it’s not possible. I just wouldn’t bother going otherwise. There are too many other places to get away to that don’t have what Las Vegas has. Honestly, where else can you get free drinks as fast as the cheesily dressed waitresses can bring them, see a young man with his head shoved deeply in a trash can and barfing, and watch a lone high roller win over $50,000 rolling dice in less than 15 minutes. Las Vegas.
There have been great times and not so great times. We’ve taken the boys and we’ve left them at home. We’ve gone with family and friends. For a while, we were hooked on staying downtown because we swore the slots were looser and we knew the blackjack tables were cheaper.
And we’ve taken the car, but only a couple of times. Flying is much easier, even with all the security everyone has to endure now. We’ve rented cars to get around in, but have figured out that it takes longer to stand in the rental line than it does to fly there, so use a taxi now.
Like I said. Slam, bam, and we’re there. Blink, and we’re back.
Other than the non-stop construction in Las Vegas, and the increasing number of amazing restaurants, the only noticeable factor is that depending on what day of the week we’re there, and what casino we’re in, everyone seems younger than we do. How sad is that? Well, until we were returning from The Wynn and began to see men in grass skirts and women wearing leis and others with odd looking palm trees perched on their heads. Jimmy Buffett? Someone at the airport asked if that’s why we were going. Um, no. But, yes, Margaritaville was in full swing, with a barbeque going, smoke billowing, and music blaring. The usual row of crowd ooglers was lined up outside the bar actively engaged in yelling at passers by. I got the general impression that the more scantilly clad the person was, the louder the calls were. So, no. None of them yelled at the MoH, hunkster that he is. He had difficulty sleeping that night because of the dejection.
And what’s up with all the fancy evening wear now? I’ve never noticed it before. I’ve not seen so many short dresses since I wore them in high school. Hell, even shorter. Shiny, sequined, gauzy, sparkly, short, short skirts. I’m thinking there could be some problems with a dress so short and tight, from the rear, one would be taking his life in his hands if he glanced downward to notice the wearer was sans underoos. “What’s the point of the dress?” I asked no one in particular. The MoH just looked at me wondering if I really had to ask. The wearer and her friend were clearly very late to something and skittered past us in their clacking heels, barely handling the strong winds in their flight — one skirt inching up, the other tossing up and around her ample rear end.
Closer to our destination and out of the wind, a willowy blonde hurried just ahead of us in her silver metallic dress. Approaching from the opposite direction were three others not making much of an attempt to disguise their appraisal of the blonde. As the trio passed, it only took the MoH a second to whisper their conclusion about the blonde in a perfect imitation of a catty female’s voice, “Oh my god. That dress is so Las Vegas.” *sigh*
It’s good to know that women traveling in packs can be so sweet…
The shopping is quite lah-tee-dah now. It does make sense that if you should win a hefty jackpot, you can hop on over to the mall at Caesar’s and pick up some baubles at Harry Winston. But for people like me, the swanky malls serve a purpose. After I’ve lost my ration of pennies for the day, I can drool on the windows.
The show La Reve was quite entertaining, but I found myself wondering how the performers deal with being in the water for two performances a day. Wrinkly?
And dinner at Bouchon was to completely die for. The restaurant is tucked away in The Venetian in a ritzy area of the hotel where the rooms go for about $800 a night. Those lovely flagolettes and leeks with that heavenly sausage…Those slow cooked short ribs and that dreamy sauce? Mmmmm…And the French Margarita? Interesting.
Our hotel? The rooms in Paris are excellent. Tres chic or something like that. And there’s a great little French bakery that makes the most flaky pastries I’ve had. Overall? We spent more time in other casinos.
But the smoke? It kills me. I think all the people who can’t smoke in California hang out in Las Vegas and smoke all day. You know how the smoke from a barbeque or a campfire seems to follow you? Well that’s what it’s like in Vegas. When I sit down, invariably, someone with a cigarette sits next to me. It’s actually quite funny. I don’t complain. I don’t move. I just end up looking like a vampire. It’s embarrassing.
But it’s fun.