I have returned from my trip to Las Vegas. Good trip, although I’m poorer and fatter than I was before.
As I recall my trip, I’ll make a special mention of some good things and some bad things about Las Vegas.
Good thing about Vegas: The time difference
It’s a treat to fly to Vegas from the East coast, because you get those three extra hours due to the time zone difference. So despite our flight not leaving until after 5 PM EST, we still got to Vegas before 8! Sadly, the flight wasn’t exactly restful. At one point, I was trying to sleep when the sun managed to angle itself directly into my eyes. It felt like someone tried to wake me up by shining a flashlight in my face. The screaming child in front of me didn’t help either, but I think I should start getting used to that.
Good thing about Vegas: McCarran Airport
Some people dislike McCarran. I’ve heard that they don’t do a great job of handling huge crowds and their security is a mess.
But I love McCarran Airport. You step off the plane and you almost feel a magical sensation. You see the slot machines. You see ads for all the shows in town. Once you’re there, you instantly know that your vacation is beginning, and the opportunities are limitless.
And hey, even when the vacation is over, and you’re leaving town, those slot machines are there, offering you one last chance at hitting it big.
Sadly, our cab ride from the airport took a lot longer and was more expensive than expected. Apparently, quite a few people head to the Strip on Saturday night. Who knew?
Good thing about Vegas: The Flamingo Hotel
This was my third time staying at the Flamingo, and it remains one of my favorites. It’s smaller than most of the Strip casinos, but it holds a certain charm. There are waterfalls outside as well as a wildlife habitat on the grounds complete with flamingos, ducks, and a fish pond.
Most casino hotel rooms offer great views of the Strip or at least the surrounding neighborhood. And many rooms in the Flamingo offer that as well. This particular room did not. Instead, we got a view of a wall and a passageway between two buildings. If you craned your neck to the right, you could see a brief glance of the Strip. But hey, it wasn’t like we’d be spending too much time in our room.
Good thing about Vegas: Hash House A Go Go
This place is actually both a good thing and a bad thing. It’s very good if you want huge portions and want to feel well fed. It’s bad if you don’t want to feel like you just devoured your body weight.
After dropping our bags off in our room – This took longer than expected because when we arrived at our room, the maid was still cleaning it – we headed over to the Imperial Palace where the Hash House was. Squinty had seen the place on the TV show “Man vs. Food”, and I quickly found out why.
We started out with biscuits in honey and Budweiser cans in a bag. (Why in a bag? Why not.) Then, my fried chicken sandwich arrived, and this thing was BIG. I ate a decent chunk of it, and soon after, I was feeling it. I had been on a pretty strict diet for a couple of weeks, and my body was not ready to handle this much food. I was left feeling bloated and sluggish.
Bad thing about Vegas: Gambling mistakes
Feeling bloated and sluggish, we made a bad decision. Despite being sober and tired, we sat down at an Imperial Palace blackjack tables with two attractive females.
As I’ve learned from past experience, I don’t typically gamble well when sober. I definitely don’t gamble well when overly full. And I don’t think anyone really gambles well when there are attractive women at a table. I’m not sure why exactly, but that seems to be the way it goes.
It also didn’t help that one of the girls asked Squinty if we were there “together.” He quickly “pulled a Yasgar” by announcing that I was expecting a child. For some reason, this made things more awkward than it would have been if we were an item.
Naturally, I got knocked out quickly. Not wanting to lose too much money on my first night, I quickly left the table. I tried to find some alcohol, but realized that I was so full that it would be difficult to actually get drunk. Instead, we wandered the strip a bit, and then headed back to the room.
Good thing about Vegas: The morning
Still being on East Coast time, we awoke pretty early and headed out to the Strip. Vegas in the morning is interesting. You see the fitness nuts jogging down the strip. You see some people who still haven’t gone to sleep. (Like the guys we saw peeing in the bushes) You see some people clearly doing a walk of shame. And you also see janitors cleaning up all the discarded porn palm cards that are all over the ground.
It’s also much easier to walk around before the majority of the population has gotten up. We made it all the way down the Strip until we finally ended up at the MGM Grand.
Good thing about Vegas: CBS Television City Research Center
An employee handed us tickets so that we could watch and review a television show. Mrs. Cutter and I had done this back in 2007, so we happily agreed. Squinty and I were part of a group that were placed in a room with a large TV and touch screen computers. When we sat down, we saw them: Knobs!
Basically, when you saw something you liked, you turned the knob to the right. When you saw something you didn’t like, you turned the knob to the left. And once our amusement at the knobs ended, it quickly picked up again when we saw what show we would be reviewing: The Ghost Whisperer! Featuring the greatest actress in the world: Jennifer Love Hewitt!
The episode was actually a lot better than I expected. After we answered a survey, they asked us if we were regular watchers of the show. If we were, we could have come back the next day and been given $50 to join a focus group about the show. But after telling the woman that I’d only watch the show to make fun of it, everyone decided it wasn’t a good idea.
They did let us preview one of Sony’s new 3D televisions. While it is kind of cool, I don’t think I’ll be buying one anytime soon. I don’t know if I’d want to watch 3D television at length (Gives me a slight headache) and do I really want to always wear glasses when watching TV?
Bad thing about Vegas: European style pools
We headed back to the Flamingo and I decided to check out the pool area. I learned that since my last visit, the Flamingo added a “European” style pool where toplessness was permitted.
These used to be a novelty at a couple of Vegas hotels, but apparently most places have them now. And some might consider these to be a good thing. Until they realize how much it costs. The $15 that the Flamingo charges for men is a very good deal, as places like Wynn can charge up to $50. And maybe if I was younger and single, I might be inclined to check it out. But from what I’ve heard, most of the topless women at these pools aren’t the type who you’d want to see topless.
Instead, I went to the main pool which is probably much nicer. It’s a large lagoon like pool complete with waterfalls. Sadly, the water slides and outdoor gaming tables are only open in the summer. But still, it was nice to be able to swim in April.
That concludes the first part of my chronicle. In part two, I will discuss the greatest thing ever brought to Vegas.