Keep it down or I'll give you a smack!

Friday, April 21, 2006

How funny is this???

Thursday, April 20, 2006

It's about time...

So after almost a month of not posting I finally got around to writing up a trip report from my trip to Vegas last month. So here it is. And I just came back from Boston and will go over those notes and get some details of that posted soon as well. Hope you enjoy...
Wednesday March 22nd

Ron and I had an 8:45pm flight out of Cleveland so we got there around 6:30pm and it was wide open. Ron upgraded us to First class seats so we got to use the exclusive check in but it wasn’t even needed. We were through security in less than 5 minutes. We hung out at Max & Erma’s and had a beer before the flight. We were among the first few to board and took advantage of the first class cocktail service. The flight was uneventful except that we didn’t get a meal. We had a “cold plate” with fruit and cheese and crackers. So I decided to indulge in the Chardonnay that they were offering. After a couple glasses of wine I switched back to beer but I guess we had a plane of drinkers behind me or I was doing some damage because they had no more Miller Lite. I just told the attendant, “Bring me a beer. Brand doesn’t matter.”

So we landed in Las Vegas and cabbed it over to Bally’s. We checked in and were told that all that was available was handicapped rooms. We could check back and see if we could be moved tomorrow. I didn’t really care either way, so we took one of the handicapped rooms. It was huge! The only real difference was that we did not have a tub if we needed to bathe. It was just a walk in shower that could accommodate a wheelchair. And another bonus was that it was the first room off the elevator so we didn’t have to walk miles to get to our room. And dropping the bags in the room and freshening up a bit I called Murph and we met up with him at Barbary Coast. We met up with Matt, Pam and Murph at the Paigow tables at BC. We had to wait a little bit for a seat to open up but we did all end up getting seats at the same table. So we proceeded to play Paigow until the sun came up at BC. I did finish up a few bucks after playing but I know that we killed them at the bar! We even got a comp breakfast after displaying our mad Paigow skills for several hours. So after eating I went back to the room and got maybe a whopping 2 hours of sleep!

Thursday March 23rd

Woke up still pretty much in a stupor and showered up and headed to Commander’s Palace at Aladdin for our scheduled lunch meeting. Met up with the group (Murph, Pam, Matt) there and ordered one of the 25-cent martinis. I have no clue in what order I had them in but over the course of the meal I had a Cajun (my favorite, it was like a bloody mary), a creamsicle (gay like it sounds), a jolly rancher (too sweet) and something that looked like windshield washer fluid. So I already had the shakes when I got there and then decided it would be a good idea to drink more. I had a PoBoy sandwich that was good but probably wasted on my taste buds. And we finished that off with some bananas foster for desert. Everything was good and Matt decided that it would be his big business expense lunch so he took care of the bill.

After lunch we hopped in a cab and hit downtown. That was quite an adventure in unto itself. It was crowded on the highway and the driver was bobbing and weaving like Mario Andretti in and out of traffic. And then Ron says, “this ought to be fun,” as the cabbie looks up and almost rear-ends the car in front of us. So he locks up the brakes as we cling to the “oh shit” bars for our safety. After that we did finally arrive safely.

We said we’d just start at one end and walk our way down. So we got dropped off at the Plaza. As we were riding in the cab I knew that my stomach just wasn’t right. So I told the crew that I needed to do something about it. As much as I didn’t want to I made my way to the nearest restroom and refunded my lunch and everything else that was in my stomach. It was a doozy too! I actually hurt my ribs in the process if you can believe that. But it really was a necessity. After upchucking, I was a new man. And ready to attack downtown.

We hopped on a $5 craps table that was ice cold at the Plaza. We couldn’t do a thing, I think everybody dropped a quick Ben Franklin in The Plaza we decided to change locations. We made our way over to Main Street Station. I don’t think that anybody did any gambling there. We did stop at the brewery and had a beer. But that was about it. After checking that out we passed through The California as well. It was more about saying that we had gone through those places we had never been than anything else. Ron stopped and got some chips for his collection everyplace we went. After that we made our way back to Fremont Street. Matt and I decided to stop in La Bayou and get a ride on the “grain train”. I ordered a mudslide and Matt had a hurricane, I believe. We both did take advantage of the extra shot, which looked more like two or three shots.

After that we headed over to the Golden Nugget. Ron and I jumped into a craps game there and played a little dark side. The table was kind of choppy but we were just content to hang around and drink. I had my mudslide and was ordering Miller Lites as well. The staff loved me!

After playing for a while an older man walked up and bought in. He was playing but he kept walking a few steps away from the table and talking with other people that he was with. The dealer was getting annoyed with his act. So he went to pay him his winnings and they guy was gone. The dealer says, “Where the fuck is this guy?” He says it loud enough that Ron and I heard him. We started rolling with laughter. So the guy strolls back and the dealer tells him to stay at the table or he won’t get paid. But the guy doesn’t listen. Basically he’s just screwing up the game for this dealer. And the dealer is getting pissed. Meanwhile Ron and I are just laughing like crazy at the entertainment. So finally the dealer gets fed up and pushes his bets back to him. And the old man gets mad. So the following exchange takes place:

Old Man: I’m the customer and you are the employee. You should treat me…
Dealer interrupting: You’re an idiot! (to the pit boss) Get me outta here before I kill this guy!
Highest of comedies there!!! So after that ordeal, things really started getting fuzzy for me. I was hammered. I know that Ron and I (or maybe it was just me) were hitting on some ladies that were probably 10 years our senior. I was walking over to a blackjack table where there were playing and asking them what they were doing for the evening. I’m sure I was very charming and speaking very clear and fluent English to them. Needless to say we never did meet up with them ever again.
So after a couple hours at the Nugget, we decided it would be wise to head back to the strip. Matt and I were both feeling the effects of the grain train and probably needed to be watched closer than a couple of three year olds at this point. I was told that there was some sort of spitting incident in the cab on the way home but I don’t remember it. Once we arrived back at Bally’s I said I needed to lay down for a little bit before doing anything else. Around 1:15 in the morning, Ron came back into the room and the noise woke me up. He had some tales of more PaiGow at the BC with some guys from Michigan. I guess they had a good time drinking and messing around at the tables. I proceeded to then finally untie my shoes, get undressed from the same clothes I had worn all day and “officially” retire for the evening. All in all, I think I may have broken my personal record for a night’s sleep while In Las Vegas. Since I passed out probably somewhere around 8:00pm, I must have gotten almost 12 hours of sleep.

Friday March 24th

Ron and I woke up I think because his phone was ringing, but we just hung around the room and watched a little of The Players Championship golf tournament. We were heading to Silverstone to play some golf on Friday afternoon. We finally got ready and made our way down to get our clubs and get a cab out to the course. We then talked to one of the bellman and he suggested that maybe we get a car service to do our driving for us for the day. We stood around and listened to the guys go back and forth with the drivers about how much it would be for the rides. We figured that it would be cool to get dropped off at the course in a limo or even a Lincoln town car so we were definitely considering it. The price we were quoted by a couple of guys was $88 each way so we ended up turning down that offer. So we jumped in a normal cab and made our way to the course.
Weather was great. It was sunny and warm. We were paired up with a couple of good guys and had a nice day of golf. Course was so-so. Tees and fairways seemed to be well taken care of but the greens were rough. There was a lot of left over ball marks and unrepaired divots. But for the most part we had a good day away from the buzz of the casinos. After the round we made the call for a cab to pick us up and watched some hoops while we waited.
Came back to the room and got cleaned up, Ron put in a suggestion to go and hang out at Aladdin for the night. So we made our way over there with Matt and Pam and did some gambling, and very, very heavy drinking. We made friends with our server very quickly and she took very good care of us. So we got quite drunk there and had a nice night of gambling. I got a call from Tom Murphy letting me know that he was now in town. So we made our way over to O’Sheas to meet up with him and also Brett and Carrie from Chicago. We then went back to the Barbary for more PaiGow. Anybody seeing a pattern here? If we ever lost just check the Barbary. It’s probably the best place to start a search for us.

Tom and I get a couple seats at a table and are having fun when a group of three girls come and grab two of the seats that opened up at the table. They are very young but they tell us that it was one girls’ 21st birthday. She was so cute. What a coincidence? It was just my b-day St. Patrick’s Day (not really but go along with it). So we sing her Happy Birthday and just start having a great time. We did a few rounds of shots for the entire table. And just kept on drinking. I think we finally shut it down around somewhere around 5 or 6 but I’m not even sure what time it was. But it was a fun evening!

Saturday March 25th

The game plan going into Saturday was a nice game of Bingo to honor’s Murph’s grandma Gooch who had passed away a few weeks ago. It was always one of her favorite activities to take part in when we came to Vegas. So Ron and I got rolling along and made our way over to Barbary to catch the shuttle. It was nowhere to be found so we jumped into a cab and told him our destination. He said, “You know there is a shuttle and it’s right there.”
It was pulling up as we hopped into his cab. “Thanks, sir.” we said to him as we hopped right back out of his cab. You just saved us at least $10.00. So we made our way to Gold Coast and waited for the rest of the group to show up.

One of the highlights had to be when Matty strolled in with his official Anderson Varejao wigs that had been handed out at the Cavaliers games a few weeks ago. It went along nicely with his Donkey Punch t-shirt. It probably won him best dressed over my “Drink Like A Champion Today t-shirt”.

Bingo was its usual laugh riot with all of our dumb jokes flying back and forth in between the 13 second intervals of numbers being called by the speedy bingo workers. After 3 or 4 games, I heard the familiar voice of Pat Murphy call out “Ladies and gentleman, we have a BINGO!!!” I think he got about $100 for his win. Gooch was the only person in our group that had ever pulled a bingo down in the previous visits. But I was happy to see Murph win one. Kind of like Gooch was looking down on him.
A couple games later Tom Murphy shot out a very distinctive call of Bin-GO. Almost sounding like a doorbell. But in his post game fog from the previous evening’s party he didn’t realize it was a 2-way hard way bingo game. He
Let everybody know it was his mistake with a “my bad” call to the blue hairs in attendance.
On the final game of Bingo which is usually a fill up game we got out last bit of excitement when Brett declared he only need one more number to fill up his card. Murph asked which number it was so we can all celebrate if it would hit. Brett said “49”, I believe to which Murph said he “better go ahead and yell Bingo because they had already called that number.” So he yelled it out and did indeed win a fill up game for $250.
After bingo we traditionally go and play some $3 craps at the Coast for a while but the tables were ¾ filled with locals so we decided on a Paigow table that was empty. So Brett, Matt, Ron and myself filled up a table and sat and played for several hours of Paigow. We had a great time with a great waitress and a cool Pit Boss named Derek that was a great guy. He spent plenty of time on our end of the pit chatting it up. So after several hours of that we took turns walking over to the sports book and taking advantage of the 75-cent hot dogs. It, like bingo has become a tradition. After a long while of that we decided we should probably head on back but Derek offered up some comps for the buffet. So we figured we would give it a shot. None of us we all that hungry but who passes up a “free” meal. I don’t think anybody won that much playing but I don’t think we lost a bunch either. So we sampled the various offering there for a little bit before we decided that we were all stuffed. We hopped on the shuttle back to the BC and went back to the rooms for a quick round of shuteye before cleaning up for the night.

We got cleaned up and met over at Bugsy’s Bar in Flamingo with the Murphy family reunion. Nobody was really making any kind of call on where they wanted to go. I suggested that we head to Venetian or someplace that we have not been to on this trip. But it just seemed to fall on deaf ears. So finally we made a move and walked across the street to Caesar’s. Well it was a Saturday night in Las Vegas but it was ridiculous over there. The table minimums were about as high as I had ever seen them. There were $100 and $500 craps tables that had plenty of players. And there was just points in the casino that you could not walk through because there was so many people in there. We wondered around the casino for a while and found an excuse for the crowd. Fergie from Black Eyed Peas was having a birthday party at Pure nightclub. And there was a line to get in that stretched around the casino. It was insane. So we decided on Bellagio to see if that was any better. We made our way across the bridge and strolled around there for a little bit and made our way to the craps tables. They had $10 tables that had spots open so we jumped on board but just couldn’t get anything happening. After a while I just stood there and drank without any of my chips in play. The worst was when the table did heat up I didn’t want to mess with the karma so I just hung out and kept ordering my Absolut and cranberry. So it wasn’t much a gambling story but it was a great night to stand around with a cocktail in hand and watch the scenery that was passing through the Bellagio. Man was there a lot of good-looking women in attendance!
After a while I picked up my chips and met up with Ron. He had come across a great sight on one of the other tables in the dice pit. Across the table was a lady that had both of her best assets on display for the world to see. She tried to keep them covered for the most part but it was a lost cause. So we positioned ourselves in a great angle to get a view of the show that was going on. She was a treat to watch too. It had to have been here first time playing dice as she scooped up all 5 dice when the stickman slid them in front of her when it was here turn to roll. She then handed the other 3 back to the dealer closest to her instead of the stickman like a normal player would do. She may have had a few too may drinks. Anyway, she was a working girl that was there with her John that was doing a fine job of groping her in front of everybody that was in the area. He was committing several infractions that would have been 15-yard penalties in a normal NFL game from holding, to choking, to illegal use of the hands. All in all, it was a great show for those in attendance. Finally they decided that they had enough and he dragged her away for some late night activity although at this point she could barely even stand up straight as they weaved their way down the hall into the night. We decided we had enough as we had an early morning tee time and we made our way back to Bally’s. But it turned out we had one more sight before shutting it down. As we came down the escalator a fight between some kids broke out right on the sidewalk in front of us. A few guys wrestled around in the bushes for a while and a couple of smaller pushes went back and forth before security came and sorted things out. We then made our way up and called it a night.

Sunday March 26th

We woke up early to get ready and check out of the hotel, pack up our stuff and make our way out to Tuscany golf course for an 8:05am tee time. Brett met up with Ron and myself and we hopped in a cab and were on our way. We had played there before and Ron really likes the course. It is a nice place. They treat you real well and its reasonably priced. We gave ourselves plenty of time but our genius of a cab driver decided that he would just go out on Sunset, which resulted in about a 20-minute delay in getting out there. And then he took a couple of wrong turns and we were totally in the wrong place. We finally asked a guy that was out running with his dog and he got us pointed in the right direction. After that we made it to the course with a few minutes to spare and got settled in. Since there were three of us they did pair up a single with us. A nice enough guy he was, so it was a pretty good day. After the round we got pretty lucky that a cab was dropping off more golfers so we commandeered the cab and had him take us back. The downside to that was we missed the Sunday promotion that they run at Tuscany. When you are done playing they have you bring your scorecard in to the bar and charge you your score for your first drink. So I missed out on an 85-cent drink. Ron and changed our clothes in the cart shed and we made our way to the airport for our flight home. We got dropped off and said our goodbyes to Brett.
Now we had mentioned it a couple of times during the week, at least I had that I wouldn’t mind getting a bump on the flight back. I had taken Monday off work so I had nowhere to be until Tuesday so we told the skycap to put us on the list. He told us to let the clerk know at the gate that we were willing so that’s what we did. We hung out and watched the end of the George Mason vs. UConn game as we waited to see what our fate would be. They got around to boarding our plane and we were in line to get the bump. We had several people waiting in stand by mode to get on our plane. So after the plane left we stood around and got all of our details as to what we were getting from Continental for the bump.

Here’s the breakdown:
$300 travel voucher for airfare plus a bump to first class on the ride home
Hotel room at Terrible’s Casino
2 meals each at the hotel
Drink tickets for Continental
And a voucher for food in the airport.

All in all I was pretty happy with taking the bump. One downside was that we didn’t have our luggage. So we had to wear the same clothes for a solid day. But we made due with what we had. So we came back and checked in to the hotel and called the others that were still there to see what the night’s plans were. We made the call that we should go and see Purple Reign over at Mandalay Bay. So we braved the café over at Terrible with the first of our free meals and were pleasantly surprised. The food wasn’t that bad. The service was poor but it was edible and who can argue with a freebie? After that we stopped in the casino to check it out. If you haven’t been, it’s a small cramped place with way too many machines crammed in a small space. And there isn’t a real flow through the casino. It’s kind of hard to find your way in or out. But that’s by design I’m sure.
We jumped into a craps game basically to get some drinks and get some chips for our collections. We had a dealer that quite entertaining. A small man that literally did not shut up. He kept talking and talking. “Hey we got a craps game going on here tonight. Who wants to play some craps here tonight, we need to give away this here money” Blah, blah, blah. After a while he was moved off the stick and it was funny because then we kind of missed having the constant chatter going on. After a guy on the other end, made a couple of points and Ron had made some money, our boisterous friend says to him, “gimme two dollars”
Ron figures he’s playing some sort of bet for him and gives him the two bucks. And the dealer throws it out and says “Dealer’s hard six and eight.” So the guy conned Ron out of a couple of bucks to make his own bet. We just laughed it off. The next time he asked Ron told him, “No, thanks.”

After that we hopped in a cab and made our way to the Bay. We met up with Matt and Pam and told them about our day. After that we decided to buddy up and play some video poker. We each threw in a fin and started taking turns pressing buttons while pounding down some drinks. We over tipped and received some great cocktail service while we played. After a while we were about ready to shut it down after just about breaking even. We decided to give it a few more tries before quitting and heading to the House of Blues. As it was coming around to me I was dealt 3 aces. And low and behold I got the fourth on the draw. It was good enough for $250 bucks, which we whacked up between the four of us. Not a bad pull on a $5 investment.
We went in and grabbed a table for the Purple Reign show and started throwing back more drinks and had a great time. That show is still great and we enjoy it every time. We actually had “Morris Day” stop over at our table before the show and say hi to Pam. He told her that she looked like some gal on a soap opera. But he seemed nice and friendly enough. Another added bonus was that we were right in the path of where Prince’s dancing girl made her way to and from the stage. So we gave her several standing ovations as she made her way back and forth with her costume changes.
After the show, we made the call to go back to Bally’s for some late night gambling. I made my way to a craps table that was ice cold and parked my money on the dark side. I quickly doubled my hundred-dollar investment and made the choice to quit gambling for the evening. It was getting quite late and we had a flight out at 7:10am the next morning.
We said our goodbyes again and cabbed it back to Terrible’s. Ron said he was hungry and we did have another meal voucher. We went back to the café and gave it another chance. The service was just horrible but we suffered through and made it back to the room around 4:00am.

Monday March 27th

We woke up after our hour nap, showered and made our way to the airport. When we arrived we made our way towards gate D and we just couldn’t believe the people that were waiting to get through security. The line of people was snaked through the upper level all the way back to the escalators that lead there from the main ticket counter. We thought we would be smart and weasel our way through somehow but that didn’t work. We were cut off by airport security. So we started making our way to the back of the line when we ran into Tom Murphy, Mike Z and Jeff. They were marching to the front so we followed their lead. Jeff works for Continental in Cleveland so he had his airport badge and flashed that to the gal working the barriers that were shuffling the herd of people. She let us all through which surprised me, but we were quite happy. We just saved at least a half hour of waiting. We then got to move to the front of the line because of the first class tickets. So we really, really got lucky.
After that ordeal we were home free. We stopped and grabbed a free coffee with our voucher from the previous day and waited for our flight. We watched as people came running to the different flights after not making it through security fast enough. The one bummer was that Tom, Mike and Jeff didn’t get on our flight because it was full. They all had buddies passes and couldn’t get on. Ron and I didn’t get to sit together on the way home, but my eyes were closed most of the time anyway. So it really wasn’t that much of a big deal. I really doubt there would have been much conversation anyway.

Final Points
Good things:
Bally’s had nice rooms, I would stay there again
Commander’s Palace was a good time. Go there hungry though
Golf is always a nice diversion for a few hours

Not so good:
I really need to gamble smarter. The last few trips have been brutal
The late comeback helped though.
I didn’t get to see a lot of places on this trip
No Wynn, Venetian, NYNY, MGM, Hooters
We really need to do some different things on the trip, the last few have been pretty much carbon copies of each other.
Thanks for listening,