Sunday, April 11, 2010

Vegas Vacation - part 1

I returned to Vegas for the first time as an adult. My only other trip, I was 12, so it doesn’t really count. Last time, we stayed at Circus Circus which was awesome…if you were twelve. Arriving at the airport, I spotted an advertisement for a gun range where you can shoot an automatic weapon. Now I’ve heard anything goes in Vegas…now I am convinced.
Bill, Big Mike, and myself were in town for the 311 show being held on March 11th (get it 311). Apparently the band holds a giant concert every year on that date. It is known as “311 day”.
I had no idea the following the band had. Our hotel, Mandalay Bay was the site of the concert and EVERYONE was in full 311 mode.
Although it was March in Vegas, it felt more like Canada. The temperatures peaked in the mid 40’s during our entire trip. I brought along mostly light clothing and thankfully held on to my wool coat that I wore at the Chicago airport. Actually the temperatures in Chicago during our trip were warm than Vegas. Ugh. This ruled out my wish to lay by one of the many pools while the boys gambled.
Our first stop was lunch at Hooters. I know. I’ve been in a Hooters only twice before, and both times it was not for dinner. Okay that sounded funny, but I was in high school (okay that sounds worse) and I made the dance squad new initiates bunny hop in the place. God I miss hazing. We convinced Bill to eat 20 of their hottest wings. It was quite an endeavor, and by the end he was profusely sweating and nearly in tears. Later that night we ran into a couple decked out in 311 shirts who also ate at Hooters earlier. The girl (who is smaller than me) exclaimed she too attempted the wing challenge and managed to eat 75 wings. We all turned to Bill and laughed. She said after the first 25 or so wings, she just went numb and then went for speed before she got too full.
We stopped by the Hard Rock to show me the memorabilia. I left with a greater conviction of what a whore Britney Spears is. The boys played blackjack. Being wary of losing money (I am a big fan of keeping it in my pocket instead of someone else’s), I watched them gamble. I couldn’t score free drinks or a seat without putting some money down, so I picked a seat at the bar. I slipped in $2 and selected nickel video poker. Only when the bartender would come around, I would play in order to get my free drink. When they were finished, I cashed out with a whole $2.30 voucher. I may be the only person in Vegas who cashed out with a 30 cent profit.

The first night, we spent at O’Shays which could be classified as the “dive bar” of the strip. The main attraction is beer pong. Yep, beer pong in Vegas. They were having a big tournament on Thursday, but we were going to miss it because of the concert. It was every frat house’s dream. There were at least a dozen tables with a mix of guys in t-shirt who had been drinking all day to guys in dress up clothes who needed to get wrecked prior to going out. I watched the guys play a few games but then got distracted watching some uber drunk douche bag who’s friends kept taking his shirt off. The joke was on him, because he was hitting on a prostitute.
The boys finally convinced me to attempt blackjack. I wouldn’t call it playing, more like losing my money faster than you can say blackjack. I put down $40, and even following the boy’s advice, I lost all of it in four quick hands. Granted people lose a whole lot more than that sum, but to a cheapskate like me it was like two electricity bills.
Although it was two days before the concert, O’Shays was filled with 311 fans. They loaded up the jukebox with non-stop 311 songs which possibly alienated all the other customers. One guy passionately sang along to EVERY song no matter how unknown. Now that was a fan.
We found an abandoned T-shirt at the bar. It had Kayne West glasses that lit up in sync with any music playing. “T-shirt” as we dubbed it, soon became the mascot of our trip. Shall we get some more drinks…T-shirt says yes.
After leaving the bar, we ran over to the Bellagio fountain and light show. The song was Por Ti Volare (aka the Step Brothers fucking Catalina wine mixer song) sung by some guy and Celine Dion. It was spectacular! I mean on the verge of tears beautiful (even Bill was getting watery eyes). Granted, it could be the booze.


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