Viva Las Vegas

Ah, Vegas, how I'll miss you. Here's a recap of the best vacation ever taken. I'll skip the plane ride nonsense, because that's always boring.

We got to the MGM Grand around 11:30 on our birthday. Ho. Ly. Shit. I knew it was mind-blowingly large and ornate, but I hadn't braced myself for how huge and beautiful and bright it was. After a quick lunch, Angie and I wandered aimlessly around a few of the closest hotel casinos, doing nothing in particular. We had dinner reservations at Top of the World restaurant in the Stratosphere at 7, so we went back to the room early to get a little rest and get ready for our big night.

The Stratosphere was absolutely insane. We were a hundred and some floors up in a rotating restaurant that had a beautiful view of a beautiful city. And it was our birthday. The meal was really expensive, but completely worth it. I can't ever remember food tasting so good (with the exception of Hoops pizza and everything on the menu at Kouri's). Afterwards we headed to the outdoor observation deck and went on a ride called The Insanity, which was basically one of those swing rides where you go in a circle. The difference was that this swing ride was connected to a large arm that swung you outside of the Stratosphere roof, so there you are swinging in circles 1000 feet above the Vegas strip with nothing underneath you. It was incredible.

Afterwards we walked to The Sahara, where I managed to stretch my incredible gambling luck and came out ahead on the whole evening. My proudest moment was telling Angie I would quit video poker in 2 more hands, than hit a Royal Flush 2 hands later that won me just over $100.

The next morning wasn't so lucky for me. While Angie got ready, I decided to try my luck at the Blackjack tables at our hotel. Long story short, I lost $40 almost instantly. When I say almost instantly, I mean within 5 or 6 minutes at the most. I didn't win even one hand before my $40 was nothing but a memory. I wasted another $20 on slots before Angie was ready for our trip down the strip. We just walked down the strip, seeing the sights and stopping in virtually every casino on the way. There was incredibly fancy ones followed by incredibly trashy ones followed by a lot of McDonald's and a surprising amount of Denny's. From the top of the strip to the bottom and all the way back, plus all the walking we did in the casinos, I wouldn't be surprised if we walked 10 or 12 miles that day. I consider myself in reasonable shape, and will often run 4 miles then take my dog on a 3 mile walk immediately after without a hard time, but man... my feet and legs were aching after all this walking. We finally arrived back in the MGM, where we got ready for our fancy show that night.

Before the show, we tried to make it into Coyote Ugly, but it was too crowded with a line at the door. Instead we played some Roulette where we actually came out ahead, believe it or not. We stopped when it was time to go see KA, which is the new Cirque du Soliel. I'll be honest, I thought the show would be girly and silly and uninteresting. It was far from it. It was fascinating and amazing. That's the only way I can describe it. I couldn't take my eyes off the stage. I could never do it justice by describing it, so I'll stop here, but it was simply amazing. The show ended at 12:30, and while part of me wanted to play some slots and gamble a little more, the majority of me just wanted some sleep. So we went to bed.

After a very nice, long night of sleep, we did some more walking on the strip and a little more gambling. That night was a show called Hypnolarious, with a comedian hypnotist. She went into the audience to grab people for the show, and she stopped at our table. Yeah, I went up on stage. She tried her damndest to hypnotize me and the other 9 or 10 people up there. I was just trying no to laugh. At one point she told us to imagine helium balloons on our wrists that were raising our arms up in the air. I didn't raise my arms. Some assistant or something started rubbing the back of my arms to encourage me or something, but I didn't budge. She sent me and a few others away before the actual show started.

The show was funny, but I got most of my amusement from one of the "performers", only because Angie got to talk to his newlywed wife as we were both on stage. The poor dude hadn't slept in 72 hours and would have done pretty much anything she asked. And he did. At one point he gave me a lap dance.

After the show was more gambling. We tried to catch the Pirate show, but the windy weather put a stop to that. Same with the water show at the Bellagio. We hit Fremont Street just in time for the last laser show, and hung out there drinking beer out of footballs. Or at least that's what I did.

We were leaving the next day, but had some time to kill before our plane left at 4:20. We killed that time mostly by just walking around. By this point, my gambling had lost me a few hundred bucks and I wasn't feeling quite as good about my luck as when we arrived. It was nice having that first part of the day to wind down and prepare for the plane ride rather than wake up early and have a rushed trip to the airport.

And now I'm home.