Sadly, I have returned from the glamorous life, and I sit here typing this from work. The mundane is so... mundane.
Last night, at about 1:00am, my wife rolls toward me in bed and whispers, "Hey, if we were still in Vegas, we could do downstairs right now and play some craps..." Normally, at 1:00am, she's been asleep for 2 or 3 hours, but we've got two things working against us:
- We're still on West Coast time.
- Worse than that, we're still on Vegas West Coast time, which is like being on Hawaii time, because you stay up till 3 or 4 in the morning in Vegas, only going to sleep because you know that you should, not because you need to.
The trip was fantastic. It was my second visit, but it was her first time out there, and even though I'd done everything I could to prepare her for how much fun it was going to be, it continued to exceed her expectations at every turn. (There's not many things in this world that live up to the hype, and even fewer that surpass it.)
As I mentioned in my last journal, we stayed at the Mandalay Bay. Our room was on the 32nd floor, which makes for an ear-popping elevator ride, and a spectacular view. December is the slow season in Las Vegas, so the table limits in the Casino were pretty low... That was an unexpected surprise. I didn't expect to find $10 minimums on table games on a Friday and Saturday night at one of the nicer resorts, but there were a lot of them, so your gambling dollars stretched pretty far. Bonus.
My wife was initially intimidated by the table games. She wanted to play slots and video poker, and that's what she did the first couple of days. Two things changed that:
- She caught up with me at a craps table, and watched me turn $100 into about $400 in precisely 6 minutes.
- I convinced here to fill the 4th seat at the Caribbean Stud table while I was there with the other couple we were travelling with, and on her second hand, she was dealt a straight (But unfortunately, the dealer failed to qualify, or she'd have gotten a pretty good payout).
After that, she was finally ready to try Blackjack. She sat between my buddy Ryan and I, so we could give her advice, and she did pretty good. She also played "Let it Ride," and even won there.
On the last full day we were there, Sunday, she probably only put about $40 into machines, and spent the rest of the time playing the table games.
She has already decided that the next time we go out there (Next time! Score!), she's going to play table games almost exclusively, because they are so much more fun.
So that's the gambling report. We also availed ourselves of many of Vegas' other diversions:
On Firday night, shortly after our travel companions arrrived, we went over the New York, New York, for the Rita Rudner show. Her act was pretty good, and we had 2nd row seating. My only complaint was that the seats were hard as rocks, and our butts were uncomfortable in the time between when we were seated, and when the show started. Even though I liked the act, I couldn't wait for it to end so I could get out of those god awful chairs. (Rita, when you read this ('Cause I know you read my Slashdot journal all the time.), please make them get you some proper seating in your Theater...)
The following night, we went to the Venetian for Lord of the Dance. (I can almost hear the laughter now.) When at home, sometimes you have to make a concession to your wife, and go to a chick-flick at the movies. Nobody goes to the movies in Vegas. Instead, sometimes the concession has to be a chick-show. Lord of the Dance was just such a concession. I appreciated the technical merit of the dancers... They were quite good. My wife, on the other hand, loved the show, and she'd been wanting to see it live for several years, ever since she saw it on PBS way back when. We also scored 2nd row seats for that one, so as you can imagine, my stock closed at an all-time high on the WGHM (Wife General Happiness Market).
So those were the shows. On to food...
Morning fare was Buffets. We mostly ate breakfasts there at the Mandalay, which was pretty good. We did however make it a point to hit the breakfast buffet at the Rio on Saturday, because their buffet is simply the best in town. I was dismayed to learn, after our arrival, that they had half of the buffet closed for renovations. That said, the Rio at half strength is still a match for any other buffet in town, so it was still good, even though it fell short of it's usual standard. Only Ryan and I noticed the shortcoming, because he and I stayed at the Rio over the summer. The girls were quite pleased with it.
For dinners, we hit some great places, which number in the hundreds. Topping the list, in my opinion, is the Luxor Steakhouse. It was my second visit to this place, and damn, it doesn't disappoint. Over the summer, Ryan and I wandered in there just to grab a bite before seeing the Blue Man Group (which plays at the Luxor). It totally blew us away. This time, we went there on purpose. My wife's review: "That was the finest meal I have ever eaten." My review: "That was just as good as the last time, which was the 'other' best meal I've ever had."
We dined in a number of other places, and for the most part, you can get a really good meal anywhere in that town.
Lastly, as though Las Vegas hadn't devised enough clever methods of parting people from their money in the Casinos, Shows, or Eating establishments, they've also become a force in upscale shopping. Manadlay Place, The Furom Shops at Caesar's, the new Complex at the Alladin, and don't count out the store at Bellagio. Park Avenue and Rodeo Drive have nothing on Las Vegas. If you're ever looking to blow some money, you can easily do it shopping in Vegas. I must have dropped two grand on Purses, Shoes, and Jewelry.
I was glad to do it, because this was the Honeymoon that my wife and I never took, and I expect to ride the wave of good karma from this trip for quite a while. I surprised her with a bracelet from Movado that she absolutely loves.
All told, it was a pretty expensive trip, but it was worth every penny. My wife and I had the best time we've ever had together, and we can't wait until we have the chance to do it again.