Thursday, August 12, 2010

Vegas.... The Sacred Cow was the lucky one....

(Please see sidebar for strange Post-Vegas experience-if I hadn't actually been there I never would have believed it! But we have photographic proof!  Believe it, or not)

Well, not the only lucky one, but because The Maven and I forgot to take him off his antenna perch he missed some of the adventures of the night.

Let's start at the beginning shall we?  The Sacret Cow bid adieu to Stanley and the gang on St. Elmo Drive Tuesday morning.  He looked happy enough:

We drove through the desert for hours.

Where we saw strange exit signs:

It seemed like forever and The Maven and I were beginning to understand why everyone thought Bugsy Malone was crazy when he started building out in the middle of the desert. 

(Don't you think he and Warren Beatty look alike?) Starting with The Flamingo.  Apparently there were other skeptics because Bugsy's "colleagues" made him "swim with the fishes" because of The Flamingo's initial failure.  If only they would have withheld their judgement a little longer, Bugsy would have seen his vision grow into one of the top tourist destinations in the world.

The Maven and I were excited as we finally exited the highway and found our hotel, The Excalibur. 

Chosen for no other reason that it was cheap, on the strip and we could walk everywhere (or so we thought at the beginning of the evening).

Our room was very nice, but not terribly glamorous.  We were particularily chagrined that they did not offer wi-fi and we had to be connected to an incredibly slow ethernet connection. (whatever ethernet is).  But for a $40 a night room in the middle of the action, what can you expect, I guess.

View from our room. Very Nice.

We showered with very precious desert water and were ready to hit the strip as two wild and crazy females.  Of course, in comparison to some of the characters we saw during the night, we were quite tame.

Speaking of tame.  One of our must-see stops was right across the street from our hotel, The MGM.  What was the attraction?  The fantastic lion habitat they have in their main lobby for anyone who happens by to view.  We spent a good amount of time watching these cuties.

If you have time to watch some cute video, please do, otherwise, scroll at will:

Okay, so enough of the cute animal stuff.  We wanted to try our luck.  Clutching our $40 each we were immediately drawn to this machine.

We were sure that Mr. Big and The Girls would make us rich just like they are.  And they did!!  Okay, not like they are, but to us, it was like we were big rollers.  We each bet $5.  I won't bore you with the tedious details, but we won!  The Boston Lady won $50!  The Maven won $60!!!  See here's proof of her immense wealth and gambling success.

Then we started walking.  And walking.  Looking at various casinos and in search of dinner.  We stopped at Bugsy's Flamingo.  It's one of the older casinos now and not as fancy, but I got a giggle out of the fact that two of my childhood favorites were performing there:

Go ahead, laugh, I don't care. Alas, they had cancelled their show the night we were there.  How could Donny do that to ME?!?

Since most of you are wondering if we two squandered our winnings, we did not.  We put them in secret compartments in our wallets and actually did not try our luck on any other gambling pursuits.  We used our initial $40 each to enjoy a nice dinner.  We went to an old standby, Outback, thinking it would be reasonable and we would still have $$$$ left.  Aaaaah, no.   The prices are higher in Vegas.  Still good food, still had some money left and that's a good thing.....

By the time dinner was over the sun was down and so was the temp.  A refreshing 100 degrees.  A big streetside industry has sprung up in Vegas since I was last there.  People with coolers selling bottles of water for $1.  Oh, and another industry I didn't notice before was quite aggressive in their marketing - ad naseum - since it's legal - did they honestly think "I" wanted a girl to come to my room in 20 minutes guaranteed? Ugh.  Sorry PG readers, but I tried to cloak that in the most "delicate" way.  That was a bad impression for me.

Okay, let's not dwell on the down side of the strip...

The lights!

The Buildings!

The Mystery and romance.....

The Maven insisted on hiking all the way down to the end of the strip where Circus Circus reigns. (Okay, yes, I was a willing participant):

 Almost anybody who knows me knows I stayed there with my dad in 1969.  And then we, The Fabulous Four, parked our pop-up camper in their RV parking/camping area in 1999.  We were the only idiots in a tent-like structure.  It was 109 outside the camper, 99 inside with the a/c and a fan going.  Needless to say we spent the days exploring the hotels. And the free circus shows at Circus Circus.

 This was the beginning of the Vegas Family Friendly era.  And we really did find it so.  Indoor theme parks, our first visit to the MGM lions, the free circus acts at Circus, Circus.  This time, 2010, I cannot claim that same family friendly atmosphere exists, I guess I can't get the people with the "girls" t-shirts on every corner out of my memory.  It's been just over ten years since I was last here and the growth has been incredible.

Funny enough, Trump Tower looked puny in comparison- yeah that's it to the right.  The little one behind The Bellagio.  That must tick off The Donald.

The hotels and casinos have multiplied considerably and it seems like most of the people walking the strip were from other countries.  Business is booming.
After The Maven and I reminisced and watched a circus act we decided to head back.  Oh my, what a long walk it would be.  We decided to save some time and feet by taking one of the shuttles.  Right at the last minute we found out they would only accept exact change.  It would cost each of us $5.  Between the two of us we only had one 5 dollar bill.  The change machine was malfunctioning and the bus was pulling up.

The Maven rode the bus, she was having some trouble with her back.  I thought, no problem, I will just walk back.  So off she went - with my cell phone.

Two hours later after fighting the crowds, being routed through various casinos and dodging the "girls" people, I arrived back to my room at the castle.  I had been a bit frantic.  Did The Maven make it back?  I didn't know, she had my cell.  Was she worried about me?  Didn't know, she had my cell.  What if something happened to either one of us?  Well, neither of us would know because she had my cell.
So, this is why I say The Sacred Cow was the lucky one.  Because we were rushed and didn't take him from his antenna perch he did not get to accompany us on our long hot night. 

He rested in the hot parking lot ready to take us on our next leg of our trip - to Albequerque!

Oh, and The Maven made it back in record time to our hotel room.  Was calmly lounging on the bed watching MTV and drinking a Gatorade when I frantically stumbled in with my bloody stumps that used to be feet.  Okay, they weren't bloody stumps, but I did stumble in and drink a gallon of ice water.

I calmed myself with the image of the sunset I saw from the Seal Beach Pier the last night I was there:


Arrived safely in Albequerque after a very long driving day. Thursday we will head to OK City where we will visit my second son, Elliott, who you can read about here, and his new baby daughter.

Maven and Boston Lady, out.


Mr. Connor said...

What an adventure. Sounds like a good place to visit with an eye closed. The " ethernet" is a way to connect lots of folks to the internet. UF in Gainesville is well known ( and sworn at ) for their ethernet system and "special" ~ costly connections ! You might here from the UF folks on the west coast about this !

Orlando Grandma said...

What an adventurous day in LV.You beat the Casino,congrats.Your separation time was something else.Ann you deserve a medal for making it back to the hotel, safe and sane. I told you about your GAs acompaning you.
Great post, one less day on the road. Looking fordwards to your next installment. Take care

KarenSue said...

Oh I enjoyed that! 20 minutes?! We do live a sheltered life and I'm glad of that. Did you cover The Mavens eyes? I sure hope so. Was The Maven worried about you on your journey back? Maybe you needed a drink?
Keep being safe,
See ya soon,
SueBee to you!

Sue said...

Good ole Vegas. Last time I went, which was years ago when I was still married, we went with another couple. I got lost in the hotel and the front desk had to escort me back to my room. I know people that LOVE to go to Vegas. I rather shop than gamble my money. Great photos, and because of those, I won't have to go back for another ten years ;0}

Take care, Sue

Sammy said...

I love imagining all of this! Isn't it so funny how lost and helpless we feel without our cell phones? haha...way to win big!!!

eggzachary said...

Nothing worse than walking the Strip when you're tired (except when you're also broke). Glad you had a good time, though.

Linda said...

I've never been to Vegas~ I enjoyed your adventures! The lions spinning in that ball were too cute~ I can't believe they did that and seemed to really like it, too!

Kingston girl said...

Wish I would have been able to meet you down there. We will plan something for next summer. I have to meet you because you are the one I know will be a forever friend. <3