Sunday, October 16, 2005

What happens in Las Vegas...

Once again, its been a long time since my last post, so I figured I would use my time this Sunday since the Colts are not playing until tomorrow night. There has been a lot going on, but I've just been so damn busy that I haven't had time to get anything done!

Leslie and I took a vacation to Las Vegas the last week of September, and it turned out to be much more than either of us expected. We had a 'freebie' that we decided to use, and our trip just so happened to coincide with my mom and step-dad's trip to Las Vegas. If it's true that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas...then what I'm about to say never happened!

We arrived on a fine Saturday evening, and discovered that, not only were there 4 major conventions in town, there was also a NASCAR truck race in town--so hotel rooms were at a premium. We had reservations for Sunday-Tuesday, but air fares were 1/4 of the cost when we flew out on Saturday, so we headed out on a wing and a prayer. We ended up with a room in the La Quinta Inn, which was just about the last room in town under $1000 a night. Once Sunday arrived, we headed out to Circus Circus.

Monday morning brought about the purpose for our visit. We toured a not-yet-completed vacation complex called Tahiti Village, which contained dozens of 5-star condo-style rooms, one of which we were contemplating putting our name on. This 27-acre complex is right on The Strip, and it has all the amenities of any 5-star hotel, and then some. We took our tour, listened to the stories, and decided to make our purchase. We bought into the Moorea, a 580 sq. ft. suite...and this thing is GREAT! Fully furnished, all the way down to dishes and silverware. All you have to bring is clothes. They even provide toothpaste and the soap! We can use it anytime we want, or we can sublet it out for $$. It's a win-win situation!

Come Monday night, we toured Las Vegas, catching a couple of shows and visiting the sites along The Strip. The development along The Strip is unbelievable, as colossal hotels dominate the horizon--The Wynn, The Bellagio, The MGM...they're just indescribable until you actually stand next to them. We got to partake of the buffet at The Riviera, then a show, then a little gambling (it is Las Vegas, ya know!). I clear enough cash playing blackjack to pay for half of our airfare that night while my lovely bride plays nickel slots all night long.

Tuesday brings a buzz of business. We awaken and begin to tour the city, riding around with my parents in the convertible, taking in the sites and sounds of the city. We do some more gambling, and I take in a few more dollars to make things feel even better. We have breakfast at my parents' favorite little casino/restaurant, and then it's off to see the sites. The women folk have to do some shopping for the renewal of vows that evening, so that's when we take advantage of the lull to do more gambling. I break even this time, as I only got a short time to do my work...but it's better than losing!

As the day begins to wane, we make our way toward the wedding chapel. It's a casual affair, as you can tell by the photos. The ceremony goes off without a hitch, and we head back to the hotel to change and prepare for the evening's affairs. We go to Freemont Street to watch the light show and visit a casino or two (I didn't get to play this time!). The lights on Freemont are absolutely unbelievable! The patriotic music intertwines with 80's classics and some newer pop hits while eagles, jets and dancing women soar overhead in a larger-than-life display that has to be seen to be believed. Once we've seen the entire rotation of light shows, we make our way off of Freemont--but not before both of my parents get themselves TATTOOED! They were the temporary tattoos, but this is stepping way outside the box for these baby boomers that had a hard time even getting pierced ears!

The evening wraps up with a trip through The Wynn to see the incredible backdrops created with living flowers, plants and trees...followed by a visit to the dancing fountains in front of The Bellagio. This was yet another sight/sound adventure that cannot be described without seeing. I grab my handy-dandy video camera, and I am able to capture all three shows.

The evening has now drawn to a close, and it's time for these tired souls to make their way back to the hotel for the evening...but not before a few rounds of blackjack at Slots-A-Fun next door to the hotel! This time, I end up cleaning up. I take home enough to pay the rest of the airfare, at which time I decide I better count my blessings and get the hell outta Dodge! It's now 3:00am, and we are absolutely exhausted. All in all, it's been a fantastic vacation, and I got to spend it with 3 of my favorite people. Who could ask for anything more?

Upon our return, we begin to see the damage parlayed upon the state by hurricane Rita, who was moving in just as our plane left the ground in Little Rock. Tree limbs are everywhere, and water seems to be plentiful. We don't get home until after 11:00, and work calls early in the morning. We really had a great time, and look forward to returning for the Grand Opening of Tahiti Village on March 31 of next year--which just so happens to be Leslie's birthday.

Well, enough for now. This is too long as it is, and I have to get busy planning for my mom and step-dad's arrival this coming week. Until next time....