Monday, September 20, 2010
happenings in vegas
After a quick dip in the Sahara pool (which closes at 5pm for some reason) we returned to our 22nd floor room to enjoy the view and prepare for our night on the town. We'd failed to pack any nightlife duds into our tiny backpacks, so we decided to go Vegas casual. It was hard to tear ourselves away from the comfort of the room and the promise of "Hitch" on TBS, but the next thing we knew we were cruising down Las Vegas Boulevard in our snazzy, rented Hyundai Sonata. It was Saturday night and The Strip was packed to the gills, as we cruised at barely a half mile an hour, heading toward the New York-New York Casino at the opposite end.
While stopped a red light, I happened to glance over at the car to the right and saw a woman performing oral sex on her male companion. I know, I know, a clandestine BJ in Sin City, it hardly bears mention. But here's the twist: the woman was driving while the man relaxed in the passenger seat, one hand on her head and the other casually holding a drink, his elbow leaned on his open window. I told Deb to glance over to 3 o'clock and we both spied with amusement, waiting to see if they'd beat the light. They did not and she got the tap when the light turned green. We lost them in the intersection and never found out what became of those crazy kids. Speaking of kids, they were everywhere. And while I'm not saying that parents who drag their young children down Las Vegas Boulevard late on a Saturday night are bad parents; I really don't know what else to call them.
After almost an hour we had made it nearly halfway and I turned off the strip in disgust. First mistakenly venturing into a valet parking section, then making it to Frank Sinatra Boulevard, which ran parallel to the Strip, but was utterly void of traffic. We hit New York-New York (note the hyphen: New York-New York is a registered trademark, I guess they couldn't copyright the comma). Deb was keen on seeing it—and who wouldn't want to see a miniature version of the city they live in complete with slot machines? Vegas has Paris, Rome, Venice, and Monte Carlo, but no Seattle, Philadelphia, Washington D.C., or Dallas/Ft. Worth-themed casinos.
We walked the Strip for a while and on every corner there were crowds of immigrants wearing multi-colored "Girls! Girls! Girls!" t-shirt and handing out flyers that were tossed to the ground two steps later and littered the sidewalks like autumn leaves. I suppose those aforementioned children wandering the strip with their folks are going to have to learn about call girls sometime. Walking the strip is not like walking any other street as there are escalators and pedestrian bridges instead of crosswalks, and as someone who had recently tried to take a right turn driving, I can understand why. Vegas can be both overwhelming and dull at the same time, but I wanted Deb to see what the city had to offer so we wandered in and out of casinos, had a few drinks, and I even won $15 on a single slot pull at Ceasar's. Then we wandered back to the car and returned to the Sahara where I was eager to play some $1 blackjack.
The last time I was in Vegas I played two hands of blackjack at the Luxor at $10 each. In both hands I was showing 20, but the dealer got 21. I took that as a clear sign and gambled no more. Poor folks like me love $1 blackjack because we can spend $20 and play for at least a half hour, even with the worst of luck. I turned Andrew Jackson into 20 chips and started winning immediately. When I didn't win, I pushed, and when I lost it was usually only a buck. I even doubled-down and got the face card I needed. This was fun; the free drinks helped. Deb got bored and went to the room to nap and I kept winning. After doubling my money they shut down the table for the night and I headed up the room to retrieve Deb and do some more gambling.
Deb was in no mood to have the table games explained to her and played the slots instead. She went up ten bucks quickly, but kept playing and was reduced to her starting $5. This upset her to no end and I tried repeatedly to remind her "that's how they get you"and that she hadn't actually lost any money. We decided to call it a night before the night became the morning and Deb put one last buck into the "Sex and the City" machine and hit it big. Well, technically she hit it Charlotte and won $7 (Mr. Big would've payed out $338). We stumbled back to the room, which is the preferred way to enter a Vegas hotel room, and realized we would not be getting that early start.