My trip started off by getting bumped from my flight, but getting a voucher for a future flight, and my new scheduled arrival time being only an hour later. Not too bad. The down side of that, however, was a woman sitting in the same row on the plane relating her amorous exploits to the guy sitting between us. The entire way to Vegas. She has a "special room" in the basement, has been married 4 times (the last two husbands died); her last husband died in July and she was flying to Vegas to meet her boyfriend for the weekend. I know that what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas, but we hadn't even gotten there yet!!!
Anyway, when my flight landed, an hour and a half later than my original flight time, Mad and Mike met me with a sign that Mike had made.
We then met up with Jeff and Jackie and went to Paris for a late dinner, getting a table at the fake outside. Sort of like this:
The next morning, Mad prepared a wonderful brunch for us of scrambled eggs, strawberry and chocolate chip pancakes, bacon, mimosas, and rugulah (sp?) provided by Jackie from Brooklyn. Initially there was a concern because we didn't have any butter. We decided the eggs could be cooked in the bacon grease, making them taste close to the pig, but that wouldn't work for the pancakes. Higgy came through by stopping at a convenience store on his way over and picking up two sticks of butter. Didn't know it could be bought that way, but it worked. Later, Higgy's wife, Lisa, and his friend Sean, joined us.
Mad cooking up brunch.
Jackie, Higgy (in the window) Lisa, Mad and Jeff.
I changed into my National League Championship t-shirt and we headed out to the strip. As we left, I realized the plan was "getting sly drunk". Apparently, there had been plotting while I'd been changing. While we did have a few drinks, that event didn't happen.
We headed over to the Forum Shops. Mike developed a nosebleed and he and Mad had to return to the condo, but the rest of us shopped, gambled and/or checked out the bar. I heard that statues there came alive every hour on the hour. However, that day, they were broken. So we went to a Mexican restaurant for drinks and snacks and were entertained by Higgy's impression of Roy Orbison.
Later, we had a conference about what to do next; Mad went for a massage, Lisa and Higgy went back to their hotel while Jeff, Jackie, Mike and I went to a block party at Margueritaville where there were pirates on stilts.
We regrouped that evening at Nine Fine Irishmen for dinner.
Where Higgy entertained us with his imitation of Roy Orbison drinking.
Federal Duck called us during dinner to say hi and get an update on the goings on and said he'd try to make the trip next year. For dinner, Jeff had pot roast, Higgy dined on bangers and chips, Lisa enjoyed the waitress' suggestion of halibut, Mad had a salad (I think), Jackie and Mike had the fish and chips which were served in a coil...and apparently with a side of thumb.
My meal paled in comparison, mainly because it was, well, served in a pail.
During dinner, I kept an eye on the score of Game One of the World Series, being rewarded with a 7-2 win for the Cardinals. YAY! After dinner, Mad and Mike left to see Bill "here's your sign" Engval, and the rest of us went to see St. Louis Lutheran South High School Alums Peter and Jim Mayer in concert with their lead singer, Jimmy Buffett.
It was a great concert, but a few of the younger Buffett fans fell asleep a little early. We noted that there are very few fashion police among the Parrotheads.
After the concert, we said goodbye to Higgy and Lisa, and goodnight to Las Vegas. Yes, just to the right of the Brooklyn Bridge at New York, New York, you are seeing the Eiffel Tower.
Jeff, Jackie and I met Mad and Mike the next morning for brunch at
At the Venetian, there is a restaurant called Tao, which advertises itself as a place for spiritual dining. The entrance features tubs of rose petals and scented candles. Jeff had heard that Paris Hilton had dined there earlier in the week. The combination of Vegas, spiritual dining and Paris Hilton almost made my head explode, so I didn't think about it.
None of us felt compelled to shell out $15.00 a person for a gondola ride through an indoor Venice canal, but we were surprised at the number of people who lined up to do just that.
We went on down to the Bellagio to check out the autumn leaves.
...and caught sight of a bride with men in kilts....
.....we did see another bride angrily stomping away from the area of the Wedding Chapel with two of her friends. We got the impression something hadn't gone as planned. The chapel is in the area where Chihuily glass flowers decorated the ceiling.
One of my favorite sights was the topiary garden which featured ducks made out of over 40,000 botanicals
and a banyan tree which was taken apart from its original home (I forget where that was) and reassembled in the Bellagio.
Then, of course, there are the famous Dancing Waters outside of the Bellagio, which start off as vapor forming over the lake.....
before the water erupts and dances in time with music.
Much too soon, it was time for me to leave and I headed for McCarren Airport, where the Vegas excesses continued. I passed this oxygen bar where one can buy oxygen available with different packages. PT Barnum would have been proud of the marketing. I chose to breathe the normal cheap air.
Game Two of the World Series had started, so I located a friendly sports bar across from the gate for my flight and found it full of Cardinal fans, and one of our local news anchors (fourth from right) who used to be one of our sports broadcaster. He gave us a little play-by-play during the game and someone else offered to buy us all a round of shots if the Cardinals got a run. Sadly, he didn't get a chance to do that.
It was 2:00 am before I got home and fell into bed, having thorougly enjoyed the weekend.
This year, no statues were molested and apparently, it was a
And we're sticking to that story.