Tuesday, February 21, 2006

What Happened in Vegas

It was a great weekend in Las Vegas, even though we don't drink (actually, I'll have a little wine now and then) and I didn't gamble a dime.

I went in to the weekend without having gotten enough sleep.

On Friday morning, we took Shelby to the vet to board her for the weekend. She was non too happy about that. Last time we left her there, she pretended not to know us when we picked her up.

The vet was in the opposite direction of Vegas, and so that added hours to our trip. I was a grumpy hothead all morning.

My friend Rick had called me before Kori was even awake, and he called me again while we were by the vet, fueling up. He'd call up many more times to check on our progress. "No, we aren't there yet!!!"

Finally, after 11am, we were on the road, in lovely southern California traffic. It was after 1pm before we were into the Cajon Pass. We stopped in Barstow for In-N-Out. There was an accident - and thus traffic - near State Line. We ended up in rush-hour traffic in the Vegas area, since it was well after 5. Rick wanted me to call when I hit the offramp he told me to take, and then had me call back a few more times along the way to his place, because he said the directions were complicated. They really weren't all that complicated. But, hey, he got us there.

So there was Rick, his wife, and their little daughter, who is a really adorable kid. She was one of our flower girls, after all.

Rick took Kori and I out. We ate at a cafe in Luxor and talked about family. Then we went to the Bellagio for the water show, and forgot where exactly that we parked. That was fun.

We then hit the Wynn, where Rick and Kori played the penny slots. At one point, while Kori and I were watching Rick, a woman was walking our way and Kori got out her driver's license before the woman could even ask. Rick turned around and was like "I didn't hear any of that." I told him it was because no words even needed to be exchanged. Kori looks young, lucky me.

We went back to Rick's, where Rick fell asleep snoring on the couch while Kori and our hostess bonded and had really deep conversation past the wee hours of the morning. I was on my back, on the floor, tired as hell. About ten minutes after 4am, I went over on to my stomach and fell asleep. Next thing I knew, it was 4:30am, our host and hostess were gone (upstairs), and Kori was in her pajamas. We took out the sleeper sofa and went to sleep.

Saturday, Rick, the little girl, and I went to get something to eat at the Gold Coast buffet, which Rick wanted to try.

After we finished, ee went back to drop off the girl and pick up Kori. The three of us went to Caesar's to check out the Forum Shops and the show there, where the acoustics just don't work for the show. What a shame. We walked across the street to Harrah's, where Rick and Kori again played the pennies. (Kori only played a total of two dollars all weekend, and broke even as far as that goes). We had to get back to Rick's so Kori and I could get ready for the show that night.

I decided to tell Kori we were going to see Cirque's "KA" at MGM when it was time to get ready, so she'd have some time to be excited about it, rather than wait until we were sitting in our seats, like I had done with the Sarah Brightman concert. She was very excited. We had great seats for the 10:30pm show. Kori hadn't eaten anything all day, so while we were waiting for the show, she had a muffin and some milk and I had an apple fritter. I should have had something with caffeine, because I struggled to stay awake all through "KA". It wasn't boring... it is just that it was dimly lit, the seats were comfy, and the music and the movements are a little hypnotic. Struggling to stay awake was a distraction. The show was great. It had come highly recommended by friends who are able to properly judge such things, and they were right.

After the show, we drove out to stay with a different set of friends - Deena & Vito. We stayed up until 4am... all of us talking.

Sunday, we got up around noon and talked some more. Finally, we went to a "local" place with a buffet, where we treated Deena & Vito. At least, we tried to. They redeemed some frequent customer points so that one of them was free. It was our one meal for the day. The line was long there, thanks to the holiday weekend.

We finally got to our hotel after 6pm, and weren't able to get our room until 7pm. It was the Renaissance Las Vegas, part of the Marriot company. It opened up about a year ago just off of the strip (near the Las Vegas Hilton) and used to be dilapidated apartments. I went to sleep before midnight while Kori stayed up late watching the Olympics.

Yesterday, we checked out of the hotel before noon, then went back to the Wynn for their buffet, which Rick says is the best. It was good. We went back to the MGM so that we could check out the stuff next to it... the M&Ms and Coca-Cola stores. The places were really crowded. I saw a former Disneyland coworker who had hired in about the same time I did and quit last year before to go to Las Vegas. He was working the register and was too busy, I so simply used a "secret code" to get his attention, and he looked around and saw me. We exchanged nods, and that was it.

After gassing up the car, we were on the road home around 3:15pm. When we got to Baker, traffic slowed to a stop and literally inched along for many, many miles. Apparently, due to a couple of accidents and holiday traffic, the entire way from State Line to Barstow was bumper to bumper by then. Ugh!!!

Things got better as we approached Barstow, and we stopped at McDonald's (like everyone else, apparently). We ended up getting home around 9:30 last night. I had to get up this morning to go to work.

Office stress erased just about all of the relaxation from the trip. That's life.


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