We just got back from Vegas last night, and boy do I ever feel like death warmed over. I’ve got a head cold that would kill an ox, and I think I may have hacked up a lung this morning. It’s not a regular cold either, I’m pretty sure that I’ve got a “Man Cold“.

Let me get it off my chest right now. I lost over $200.00 on Craps this weekend, maybe closer to $300.00. In total I maybe played 15 minutes of craps. The only reason I’m not crying into my cookie jar right now is that between Char and I, we won back that much and maybe a little more playing slots. Yes slots. The thing that you’re never supposed to win at.

The Wynn had my number. The first night I played the $15.00 table (which was the lowest at the Wynn), and lost $60.00 in the blink of an eye. I went back a little later and lost another $40 without even trying. That was night one. We also had a pretty decent little dinner at the Wynn’s cafe where I had a half sandwich and Matzo ball soup (which was spectacular). We also decided on text messaging as our communication tool of choice, and spent the weekend blitzing each other with a barrage of texts.

Day two we didn’t do a whole lot of gambling. I got up early and went downstairs for the previously mentioned $17.50 2 coffees and 2 muffins. We had breakfast with Dave, Joanne, Mark, and Nancy at the Terrace in the Wynn, which was beautiful if a little pricey. We then got together as a group and wandered the strip. Let me just say that a 10 person party is much like a massive corporation, it’s slow and cumbersome and ultimately you feel like the entire group isn’t REALLY doing what it wants to be doing. We took a couple of hours wandering up to what used to be the Aladdin, which is now Planet Hollywood and had lunch at La Salsa (the hugest burrito you’ve ever seen). The women split off to shop, while we men folk headed down to the MGM to pick up our tickets to Ka. At the MGM, I put a couple of bucks into a slot machine, and walked away with $15.00. Dave threw a couple bucks into it too, and scored some cash a few minutes later as well.

We then headed to Fry’s electronics, where everyone except me bought electronics. I just picked up an iPod screen cover, and drooled over some things that I didn’t know how to get home (like the Windows Home Server). Surprisingly prices are close to what they are in Canada right now though, and since I don’t NEED anything right now, I may as well let the prices naturally decline before I buy something unecessary.

After heading back to the hotel, we found four empty slot machines in a row, and Dave, Gord, Ron and I proceeded to play some slots so we could get a drink. At the Wynn you can use your room key as a slot rewards doo dad, and get points which can be used for comps. 25 points is a buffet, 50 points is two buffets, and so on. I sat down, borrowed $20.00 from Gord, and played for nearly an hour, going up and down little amounts, but by the end I had 60 points, which was more than enough for two buffets (and at $30.00 each, that was a good deal). We then got ready for our show, and drove down to the MGM Grand.

Ka was spectacular, I can’t even explain it more than that. It was astounding, awe inspiring, and a spectacle. I was worried when the first half of the show took so long to get things going, but by the end the action was at a fever pace, and it was simply dizzying to witness.

After the show we headed to the Rainforest Cafe. I had Salmon which wasn’t fully done, but was mostly decent. We ended off the night back at the Wynn, and headed up to our room to crash out. Char was pretty sick, and I was beginning to feel the tell tale sore throat of a cold (I was taking Cold FX though, so I was mostly good).

Saturday was our “Free day”, we had nothing planned other than dinner that night. We grabbed Dave and Jo and headed over to Terribles for breakfast. I didn’t know this, but the normally $4.95 breakfast buffet is a $9.99 champagne breakfast on Saturdays. It’s the same breakfast that you pay $4.95 for, just with champagne. Still, afterwards we went downstairs and I tried out a little craps where I walked away with a cool $68.00, off a $20.00 investment, meaning that I was really only down a few bucks on the weekend by then.

We drove to the Hoover Dam, which is pretty incredible to see. The water is down nearly 50% in Lake Mead due to climate change, and it’s incredibly surprising. There is a massive, visible “bathtub ring” around all of the surrounding rock. I just read on Wikipedia that if this isn’t curtailed, Lake Mead could be dry by 2021, and that as soon as next year it could become severe enough to restrict the power generation that happens via the Hoover Dam.

Char and I dropped Dave and Jo back at the hotel and went outlet shopping, where I picked up a few essentials, and we got a couple of things for that mouse of ours. Our dinner was at Bartolotta Ristorante di Mare in the Wynn, it’s described as an Italian seafood restaurant. I started off with the Risotto di Mere (Seafood Risotto), and Char had the Vegetable Risotto. For the main, the waiter brings out a plate of fresh fish and shows off the seafood you can order. I wanted the Sea Bass, but apparently you have to split it, so I ordered the snapper instead. Char ordered a chicken dish. The fish is sold by the 100 grams, at $15/100 grams (3 oz), and apparently my fish was 9 oz. Meanwhile Gord had the steak, which he reminded me all weekend was delicious. So delicious in fact that his wife cut a piece with a fish knife (a fish knife is similar to a butter spreader, it has no teeth and is slightly angular).

Plus his 12 oz ribeye was $10.00 cheaper than my fish.

Have I ever mentioned how much of a jerk Gord is?

It was a fantastic meal, and afterwards we all headed down to the old strip to watch the show.

We struggled to find parking, but we found one space in the Golden Nugget, which has been entirely refurbished. There’s now an outdoor pool with a really cool shark tank installed in the center.

We did the whole Freemont thing, and I lost some money at the 4 Queens (where the idiot next to me kept betting the “don’t pass” line and calling for “sixty-one”, meaning he wanted a six and a one…god did I want to punch his stupid mouth). Freemont’s light show has changed quite a bit, it’s very “showgirl centric” now, and is even cheesier than ever before.

After that we headed back to our hotel where I promptly fell asleep.

Sunday morning we did the Wynn buffet, which was fantabulous. I ate so much that I thought I might burst. Char had a spa appointment, so Gord, Mark, Dave, Gord’s wife Lisa, and Mark’s girl Nancy all went to the Star Trek thingie. Dave and I got tickets at the Tickets 4 Less booth, so we managed to save us all $20.00 each, and we also picked up tickets for Bodies…the exhibition on the cheap as well.

I’ve wanted to do the Star Trek Experience for the last three or four visits, but we’ve never done it…I can officially say that it was kind of a disappointment. There’s no bridge for you to sit at, that sucks. There’s some museum stuff, which is kind of lame, and the “ride” itself is a little cheesy (although I did like the part where the seats jammed into your buttocks).

Afterward we had a drink in Quark’s Bar, which as always was great, then we headed back to the hotel. I picked up Char and we headed over to the Mandalay Bay where we parked the car and headed up to Tropicana for the Bodies the Exhibition show (but first…a quick stop at the Excalibur for a small Cold Stone Creamery).

Bodies was incredibly cool. It’s a controversial show where real human cadavers have been preserved so that you can see everything from musculature and organs to veins, circulatory systems and connective tissues. It’s really interesting to see how the human body is assembled, and its something that very few people outside of the medical profession really get to see. Some of the things like diseased organs are real wake up calls for people.

After bodies we headed to Mandalay Bay for burgers from the Burger Bar. I had the Kobe beef burger, and it was spectacular. Then it was off to Penn and Teller at the Rio.

The show was pretty good, but not spectacular. I was honestly expecting a little more from them, and was surprised that they didn’t do more of their shtick. One of the coolest things however was that Teller came over and talked to my boss about one of the tricks they were doing (he told him to go through the books, see that the pages were all real, and select a book). He spoke in really low, quiet tones, and you could barely make out his voice, but he spoke! Teller spoke!

Plus Teller did the best magic. He did this little thing with coins and fish that was just awe inspiring. I think the fish part was done with a mirror, just because of the way the fish came up. It was still incredibly cool.

I bought an “ordinary deck of cards” from their store for $5.00, and got Penn to sign it for me.

After we went over to the Bellagio to watch the fountain. While we were waiting for the show to start, Char and I played a couple of the machines side by side. She won 90 credits, and two pulls later I won 90 credits.

After the show, we went back to our hotel and did a little more gambling so that we could get Charlene’s card up to 50 points (so we could do the buffet again). It didn’t take long, and we called it a night, up another twenty or thirty bucks.

Monday morning we packed, did the buffet (our first solo meal of the trip), and then co-ordinated rides back to the airport. As we were leaving the hotel, Dave mentioned to me that our cards had points that could be used as cash, so I went back to “our” machine, and tried one last time. My card had $1.50 on it, so I played the free credits. 2 pulls at 3 credits each (or .75). First pull. Nothing. Second pull. Double bar, double bar, triple pay. 180 credits ($45.00). Not a bad way to end it.

The airport was the usual insane mess. First we didn’t get assigned seats, then I forgot my coat at the front desk, we blitzed past security and got to our terminal where I asked someone if they could find my coat. Luckily they did get it, and we not only got seats, but got seats together (none of the rest of our party got to sit together). We made it to Detroit by 11:30, and after waiting forever for our bags, got in the limo and headed home.

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