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13 - 17 Jan at the Mirage.

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Taris, Jan 25, 2005.

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  1. Taris

    Taris Tourist

    Joined:
    Dec 31, 2004
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Atlanta Area

    My Trip Report

    Day 1
    My wife and I caught an uneventful Delta Airlines Flight from Atlanta at 9:35 AM on Thursday Morning and arrived in Las Vegas at 11:53 AM. I followed the advice of my fellow T2Vers and took a shuttle to the Mirage instead of a Taxi.

    We carried our bags to the Shuttle booth outside of the Airport and purchased 2 round trip tickets for about $11.00. We walked across the street and waited about 15 mins for a shuttle to arrive. The Shuttle driver was a nice guy who is originally from Memphis. He asked more questions about Atlanta than we asked about Vegas. There were 2 funny older ladies who shared the shuttle with us. They recognized us from the flight from Atlanta. They were traveling from North Carolina to see Celine Dion. They were in Vegas a few weeks ago to se Celine and the show was cancelled. Caesar’s Palace comp’d them a suite and front row seats to Friday night’s show. The 2 ladies gave us a few Vegas pointers. They insisted we eat breakfast at The Village in Paris and go see the Fat Elvis.

    We arrived at the Mirage at about 12:45 PM. My first impressions as we drove by the Venetian and TI were I could not believe how huge the Hotels and Casinos are. Since we arrived at side entrance of the Mirage, I did not notice the Volcano fountain until we got into the room. We exited the Shuttle bus and the driver unloaded our baggage, I tipped him 4 bucks, which is a reasonable amount for 3 bags and a laptop. The Porter greeted us as we dismounted from the shuttle. He took our baggage and offered to store them until after we checked in and called for him. Again, I gave him the same 4 dollar tip.

    We entered the doors of the Mirage. I was blown away by the 20,000 gallon FOWLR (Fish Only with Live Rock) aquarium behind the check in counter, this was a special treat because I am really into Salt Water aquariums, and I have a 75 gallon reef tank. The aquarium contained the largest puffers, tangs, triggers and eels that I have ever seen. We walked up to the check in counter hoping that our room was ready even though it was only 12:50 PM. I contemplated on the $20.00 trick but I remember Pimp’s advice and just asked if there were any upgrades or complementary upgrades available. The guy at the front desk stated we were already in a premium volcano view room, the next upgrade were mini suites and room on a higher floor, he gladly offered go upgrade us for $50.00 a night. We declined. He did throw in a complementary bottle of Champaign because it was our 10th wedding anniversary.

    We checked in without incident. We followed directions to our room, funny that we had to walk all the way through the casino to get to the guest elevators. The Casino was just the way in imagined it, large, full of life and the sounds of slot machines ringing in the air. I also noticed the wonderful smell of premium hand rolled Cigars. I was surprised to see allot of people in the Casino so early in the day. Any way, we caught the elevator to the 17th floor and arrived at our room. The room was not spectacular but not bad either. I’ve stayed in better rooms but in Vegas, I looked at the hotel room as a place to crash and spend a little “Honey Moon†time if you know what I mean. Standard King Size bead, 27†TV, minibar, desk, small table and sitting chairs were all included. The Bathroom was a standard marble vanity with tub/shower combination, again nothing special. I was disappointed when I found out that internet access was 20 bucks a day.

    We unpacked our luggage and headed down to California Pizza Kitchen for lunch. I had my favorite, the Thai Chicken Pizza; my wife had the Peking Duck Pizza. We also had an Asian Chicken Dumpling appetizer and I had a Sam Adams for starters. I devoured my pizza and guzzled the Sam Adams. My wife barely touched hers as she was a little Nauseated from the flight we boxed up her pizza and took it back to the room. We were disappointed when we noticed the room did not contain a Refrigerator. We called the Front Desk and asked for a refrigerator and a microwave. Housekeeping sent up a Refrigerator, but they did not have microwaves. Again, I have stayed in much nicer hotel rooms. Since wife was not feeling well, she decided to take a little nap, and I joined her.

    We woke up at around 5:00 PM. Since the window was cracked, we heard the sounds of the strip coming to life. The first thing I noticed when I look out of the window was the bright of Harrah’s Hotel and Casino. The sun was going down and the strip was beginning to light up. The Mirage Volcano erupted, the people along the strip stopped to stair and I knew we had finally arrived; we are in VEGAS BABY, VEGAS!!!

    I hopped out of bed, brushed my teeth, got dressed and headed down to the sports book to place a few bets for a few friends, they all like the Falcons -7. (I hate the Falcons BTW) After placing the bets, we ventured out onto the strip. I reached for my Cigar pouch and remembered leaving it on the bed at home. Now we were on a mission to find Cigars, not just any Cigars, but Ashton VSG’s and Partagas Blacks. The first Casino we went into was Harrah’s; I asked around for Cigars but no one knew where we could find them. We walked into the Venetian and we found Davidoff’s. I could not believe the selection they had. Not large Humidor, but they had a really good selection and decent prices also. I purchased a handful of Ashton VSG’s for $14.00 a piece and a few Partagas Blacks for $8.70. Back home in Atlanta, I could get these cigars for $12.00 and $6.00 respectively but you have to pay to play in Vegas. One of the most wonderful things about Vegas is you can smoke everywhere. I am not a true smoker; I do enjoy an occasional premium hand rolled Cigar. I do not and never will smoke Cigarettes. No offense to those who do.

    I really enjoyed walking through the Shoppes at the Venetian while smoking a fine cigar. I also purchased a few CAO Vanilla Cigars for my wife; I could usually get her to smoke about 2 cigars a year. We walked through the Venetian holding hands and marveling at the architecture, the canals along the Shoppes, and the Sistine Chappell Ceiling replica. We were in awe!! We could not wait until to visit the other Hotels and see what they had to offer.

    After leaving the Venetian, we walked along the strip until we reached the Luxor. We did not go into any of the hotels; we just crossed the street back and Forth planning our next few days. After finally reaching the Luxor at about 9:00 PM, we walked back to the Mirage. We arrived at the Mirage after a brief stop at the Bellagio to watch the fountains. We had a late dinner at Samba Brazilian Steak House in the Mirage. Dinner was not as good as Fogo de Chao, but I enjoyed it. I had a huge Brazilian drink that gave me a pretty good buzz. Wife and I went back up to the room for a little private time.

    Wifey was tired and I was ready for more strip action. I hopped a quick shower and went down to the Casino this time with a Partagas Black in Hand. I slipped a $10.00 bill in a quarter slot machine and went to work. I won, I lost, I won, I lost, I won, I lost this went on for about an hour. I walked away with $25.00 and left the Casino, I walked along the strip and went in to the Harley Davidson Café, for a Drink, All of the outside bars seemed to sell Beer only; I Was not in the mood for a beer because it was a bit cold out. Cold beer + Cold Weather = Shrinking Bladder. The Harley Davidson Café had last call and I could not get a Drink, I walked down to Bally’s and ordered up a Grey Goose and Cranberry Juice and went back to the strip. Funny, but I had the best time walking up and down the strip by myself, drinking and smoking Cigars. I finally made my way back to the Mirage and retired for the night.

    Day 2

    Friday Morning, Wifey had a little Spa Time scheduled for 9:00 AM. We had Breakfast at Cravings at the Mirage. Not the best Breakfast buffet, but it was pretty good. Hit the Omelets station a few times, had lots of coffee and some potatoes. After Breakfast, Wifey went to the spa and I walked around the Mirage again. I found a nice Cappuccino bar/pastry Shoppe and purchased a large Cappuccino. I made my way to the Sports Bar at the Mirage to have a Morning Cigar and watch Sports Center (Starting to see a trend here?) After watching Sports Center enjoying my Romeo y Juiletta Reserva Real, I walked around the Mirage again. This time I visited the pool. WOW, I cannot wait to visit the Mirage in the warmer months. The pool is awesome. The Water falls, the Slides, Really nice.

    The White Tiger exhibit and Dolphin Experience were not opened yet so I did not visit them. I made my way over to TI to have a look around. The Pirate ships were really neat. There was a really pushy guy outside of the Mirage that was trying to sell me a time share. After repeatedly telling this guy no I am not interested, I finally told him to get lost. I made my way into the TI to have a look around. The Casino was very busy. Not much to say about TI.

    My wife called me a little after Noon and we met outside of the Mirage. We walked to Fashion Square Mall. I purchased a few things and so did she. We had lunch at Ra Sushi bar, pretty good Sushi. I could not find a place in the mall that sold Cigars. I asked a security guard and he looked at me as if I was speaking Japatalian. He did not know what a humidor was. On the way back from the mall, I made my way back to the Venetian to purchase a few more Cigars from Davidoff’s. We walked back to the room and put our bags up. I went down to the Danny Gans ticket office and purchased 2 tickets to the 7:30 PM Zumanity show at New York New York. Since it was only about 1:30 PM, we decided to try our hands at the Monorail. We walked over to the Imperial Palace Monorail station and purchased 2 24 hour tickets at 10 bucks a piece, a pretty good deal. We took the Monorail down to the MGM Grand to try to find a place to watch the NFL Playoffs on Saturday. We walked through the MGM Grand and discovered a Fat Tuesday’s Daiquiri Shop. Since I grew up in New Orleans, I love daiquiri shops. I ordered a 26 oz 190 Octane with an extra shot of Vodka. We walked around the MGM Grand, Paris and Aladdin. I was really impressed with the Shops inside of the Aladdin. We walked around the Aladdin and made our way into the ABC Store. Right away I recognized the workers in the store all spoke like they were form Hawaii. (I spent 4 ½ years in Hawaii while in the military and college) I spoke my version of Hawaiian Pigeon to the cashier and she got a really good kick out of it. She asked where did I learn to speak pigeon and I explained to here I lived in Hawaii for a few years. I purchased a few decks of playing cards and few coffee mugs for souvenirs.

    We walked back to the Monorail and made our way back to the room to change/shower before Zumanity.

    We decided to take a taxi to Zumanity at 5:30 and try to find a place to have dinner. Gallagher’s was booked solid until 10:00 PM so we went to the ESPN Zone for a drink or 2 and you guessed it, a Cigar. After the ESPN Zone, we went to 9 Fine Irishmen. I ordered the Fish and Chips and they were not very good. My wife ordered a combo that had Lamb Chops, and some kinds of Irish Sausages. The Lamb Chops were very good, but the Sausages were awful.
    After dinner it was time for Zumanity.

    We took a few pictures before the show then entered the auditorium. We had really good seats, Section 102, 3rd row. Shortly after arriving at our seats, a 300 lb white woman in a Thong made her way to our row. (If you ever go to see Zumanity, arrive early!!!)She was making fun of all of the guys in our row, then she placed her big @ss on my chest. Everyone got a really good laugh out of it. I thought it was really funny also, I am a really good sport. There were other entertainers from the show making their way trough the audience harassing the show goers. Let me begin by saying if you go to see Zumanity, you have to really put your inhibitions to rest. There are a few homosexual scenes in this show. After spending the first 8 years of my adult life in the Military, I used to be a homophobe. Since then I have matured and learned to accept people for who they are no matter how disgusting I think being gay is.

    The show was awesome. The acrobats were very skillful. The girl in the large glass tub of water was probably my favorite. The Girl with the Hula Hoops was pretty good also. The 2 guys kissing kind of grossed me out, but hay to each his own.

    After Zumanity we caught another Taxi back to the Mirage and went to bed ;)

    Stay tuned for more.
     
  2. ncgirl

    ncgirl Guest

    great TR so far. Cannot wait for the rest.
     
  3. RamBill

    RamBill Tourist

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    Great TR, Taris! Yea, I LOVED the Davidoff shop in the Venetian! Great selections and not too bad prices for Vegas. Nothing like enjoying a fine cigar with a good drink, in the company of a beautiful woman whilst gazing at the sights of Vegas!
     
  4. Rhinestone Cowboy

    Rhinestone Cowboy Low-Roller

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    Great TR, helps to fill the void until I get back. Awaiting the conclusion...
     
  5. HurricaneMikey

    HurricaneMikey A-List Buffoon

    Joined:
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    Taris--

    This is a great report--keep it coming! I too dig a good cigar and *love* the Partagas. I smoked #10s for years, but for the past year or so I've been smoking the blacks instead...they are awesome. Besides, a Partagas 10 is big commitment!

    Funny that you mentioned the wife smokes CAO Vanillas. A couple years ago me and my buddy met some chicks at the Venetian and talked them into smoking cigars with us. We went to the Davidoff shop upstairs, Partagas for us, Vanillas for them...they loved 'em! [​IMG]

    That's one of my favorite things about Vegas--you can smoke cigars anywhere! (Well, except for some 'enlightened' poker rooms... :rolleyes: )

    Love the details, can't wait to hear the rest.

    Mikey
     
  6. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    Nice TR. My kind of trip, wandering around with a cigar and a drink. Got my attention with the FOWLR thing - I was big into freshwater aquaria when I was a grad student, researched but never bit on a mini-reef. Got any pics of your tank?
     
  7. Taris

    Taris Tourist

    Joined:
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    Location:
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    Day 3

    Saturday Morning, we took the Monorail to Paris and tried the Breakfast Buffet at “The Village.†I can honestly say the 30 minute wait was well worth it. This buffet was probably the best breakfast buffet I have ever been to. The Fruits and Berries were fresh, the Belgian Waffles, crepes, and omelets were to die for. The Service was prompt and polite, did I mention how good the food was.

    After Breakfast, we walked some more. This time we decided to go to the Bellagio. What a really classy hotel the Bellagio is. They also did a good job of separating the Hotel and shops from the Casino. I had a very good Cappuccino at a pastry shop in the Bellagio. The Pastry shop was designed to force the patrons to walk in a complete circle. By walking in a circle, you had to gaze at all of the beautiful works of art pastries. Those things were to pretty to eat. After admiring the pastries and having a conversation with one of the pastry chefs, we walked through an “Observarium†that was decorated like an Oriental Garden. In the entrance, there was a very large Rooster the moved around and made noise. I guess by the Chinese calendar it is the year of the cock? After walking through the Bellagio, we went to Caesar’s Palace. I fell in love with this place. The Marble, the fountains, the gold, the Living Statues, the spiral escalator left me in awe. I made my way into the Bally shop to admire a few pairs of boots. I cannot believe I used to shop at this store when I was in the military and made very little money. We eventually made our way to Planet Hollywood to watch a little NFL Playoff Football. We watched the first half of the Steelers vs Jets game then went back to the Mirage Sports bar and watched the second half. After the Games were over, we went back to the room to take another nap ;)

    After the nap and a really hot steamy hotel shower we decided to hit the strip again. This time we caught the free tram to the TI to see the Pirate show. Let me begin by saying I caught a few of the free trams during our trip to Vegas. I am really impressed with these trams. Some of the things I really love about Vegas are the little things like the Trams, the Free Shows and the Escalators/people movers. I’m not lazy by any stretch of the imagination but I really appreciate how they go out of their way to make Vegas comfortable and pedestrian friendly. Back on track. We exited the tram at TI and were in route to the Pirate show. My wife had to stop at the 10 dollar boutique to take a look around. She picked up a little hand bag and I even found a really nice tie. We walked through the casino and attempted to walk out to the boardwalk to see the Pirate Show. We were met at the Casino doors by a sign that said VIP Viewing and a guard. He asked where were we staying and replied the Mirage. He asked to see the room key and proceeded to let us watch the VIP Viewing of the Pirate show. This viewing was really crowded, even the VIP Section, which happens to be in the middle of the boardwalk that leads into the TI Casino. The show was very exciting. The music, singing, dancing and acting were very entertaining. The special effects were a “blast.†I thought my eyebrows were going to melt when the Pirates fired a direct hit to the Witch’s wardrobe closet. After the show, we made our way to the Venetian once again. This time we went on a ride around the Shoppes via Gondola. If you are traveling with someone special, I highly recommend the Gondola ride around the Shoppes at the Venetian.

    After the Gondola ride we walked around the Shoppes again enjoying another Cigar and a Latte. For some reason I thought Vegas was going to be a long Drunk Fest with free or cheap drinks. I ended up spending a small fortune on Cappuccino and lattes. Drinks were pretty much on par with Atlanta. I paid about $8.50 per drink for Martinis and Cape Cods. We were still full from the breakfast buffet we had a Paris. We left the Venetian and walked up and down the strip again. We stopped at a few hotels/casinos stopping to have a few drinks to looking around. After Midnight, we ended up ordering a Sandwich from a Sub Way in a food court. We were both very tired and went back to the room for the night.

    Day 4

    Sunday Morning we decided to try Breakfast at our favorite Hotel, the Venetian. My wife ordered the Chicken and Waffles and I had the Buffet. I should have known better than to order the breakfast buffet at the Venetian after experiencing the World’s best Breakfast Buffet, The Village at Paris. The Buffet is in a small room inside the restaurant. The selections were minimal and the only saving grace was the omelet station. I had a vegetable omelet, potatoes, Bacon and a really pretty pastry. I did not return for seconds as I did not want to over eat since we were leaving later in the afternoon. The coffee was pretty good.  After Breakfast and you guessed it, a morning cigar we visited the Madame Tussauds wax museum. I had not been to a wax museum since I was a kid in New Orleans. The Don King, Michael Jordan and Ben Affleck were my favorites. Again I was really impressed with the museum. We headed back to the Mirage to check out.

    We called for the Bags, gave the standard 4 dollar tip and proceeded to the check out desk. The bill was a little less than I thought it would be. The only surprise was the 24 hours of adult film I accidentally ordered. Be really careful with the remote controls at the Mirage. :D We waited outside of the Mirage for our Shuttle. The Shuttle arrived, the driver loaded our bags and off we went. We were the first pick up of the day. The driver was really nice guy originally from Houston. He also sked allot of questions about Atlanta as we were on our way to the Bellagio to pick up more travelers. We arrived at the Bellagio to pick up to really nice ladies. There was a wedding party standing outside getting ready for pictures. What a neet idea getting married at the Bellagio. After the 2 ladies bordered the shuttle we made our way to the Airport. My wife and I really hated to leave Vegas but we had to get back to our son.

    We checked in without incident and found a sports bar in the Airport to watch the Play offs. I had a HUGE Sam Adams and the wife had a Grey Goose and Cranberry Juice (That’s my girl) We watched the game until it was time to board the flight and head back to Atlanta.


    I am really in love with Las Vegas. I think I will spend the rest of my vacations in Vegas. I normally make the trip to New Orleans every year for Mardi Gras and I have been going for 6 years straight. This year I am not going and saving my money/leave days for a return trip to Vegas. 2 years a Five friends and I were planning a guys only trip to Vegas for the Cigar Aficianado Big Smoke. I had already booked the rooms at the MGM Grand and a Limo Tour that would have lasted for about 5 hours. The Limo tour was supposed to stop at 5 different Club/Casinos on the strip. Funny thing is, we all got laid off from our Tech jobs within 3 months of each other. Needless to say the trip did not happen.

    This year I am planning another trip for the fellas only. Since I picked Golf again, Golf will be included in our trip. I would also like to go on one of the ATV Desert tours. I’m not sure if we will go to the Big Smoke or not. We may try to visit in September/October time frame.

    My only regret for this trip is I did not get a chance to go to any night clubs. For years I have been hearing about Vegas night life and here I was in Las Vegas from Thursday – Sunday and I did not visit any clubs. My wife and I really enjoyed Vegas even though we are not gamblers. The beauty of this place is Vegas is really for everyone. Everyone could have a great time in Vegas.
     
  8. Taris

    Taris Tourist

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    http://www.reefcentral.com/forums/showthread.php?s=&threadid=455221

    Here are a few very old pics. I really need to update them.
     
  9. vegasdrea

    vegasdrea Buckle Bunny

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    Taris,
    First I would like to tell you "Happy Anniversary". You guys did a great job seeing so many things on your first trip. I'm glad that you had such a fabulous trip, I really enjoyed reading about it. [​IMG] Great TR, thanks for sharing.

    ~Andrea

    [ January 25, 2005, 11:56 AM: Message edited by: vegasdrea ]
     
  10. IWannaBeInVegas

    IWannaBeInVegas VIP Whale

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    Excellent report. Its got me wishing I had a sig. other to take with me when I make my treck, BUT, single can be fun.
     
    Tentative Arrival
  11. Dougie

    Dougie I am IN!

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    IWBIV-- set your top timer to finish AFTER your Vegas countdown clock. *POOF* situation solved!
     
  12. daj6332

    daj6332 Tourist

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    Sounds familiar... I used to be able to spend large amounts of money on things while not making very much money in the military. Why is that?

    I am glad you had a great time. I have been trying to get my husband to go for about a year now. [​IMG]
     
  13. sharkey

    sharkey Tourist

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    great Trip rep, really enjoyed reading all about your adventures. Just counting down the days till it's my turn in the sun!
     
  14. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

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    Thanks! We've talked about cutting a hole in the basement drywall much like what you show there, except that the room behind it stays under 60 over the winter. Hmmm.
     
  15. Taris

    Taris Tourist

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    Thanks! We've talked about cutting a hole in the basement drywall much like what you show there, except that the room behind it stays under 60 over the winter. Hmmm. </font>[/QUOTE]My Garage can reach temperatures under 60, I use a pair of 300 watt heaters in the sump to keep the temperature in the aquarium under control. I have an AC/Heating vent in the Garage as well as insulated Garage Doors. I can usually keep the temperature in the 70's even if it is below 30 outside if the Garage doors are not kept open for a long time.
     
  16. Taris

    Taris Tourist

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    Thanks for the kind words.

    I cannot wait to go back. This time me and the fellas are going and leaving the wives behind. I can see it now we will end up on Taxi Cab Confessions. 4 Bruthas in the back of a taxi talking about all of the hot girls they flirted/danced/hooked up with. [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG] [​IMG]

    [ January 26, 2005, 01:49 PM: Message edited by: Taris ]
     
  17. LearningVegas

    LearningVegas Tourist

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    Don't be so hard on yourself. As far as I can tell, you've never been a homophobe.

    "Homophobia" means "fear of men." While there is such a thing, those who disapprove of homosexuality usually do so for reasons other than fear of men.

    Throwing around a psychological term like that in political debate is a perversion, so to speak, of both sex and science. It's an attempt to imply that all men really want to engage in homosexual activities, but avoid doing so only because they fear their potential partners. It's a slightly dressed-up version of the high school bully's claim that if you don't drink, smoke pot, or street race like him, then you're "chicken." Don't fall for that nonsense...

    ....

    [ January 27, 2005, 02:08 AM: Message edited by: LearningVegas ]
     
  18. Taris

    Taris Tourist

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    Don't be so hard on yourself. As far as I can tell, you've never been a homophobe.

    "Homophobia" means "fear of men." While there is such a thing, those who disapprove of homosexuality usually do so for reasons other than fear of men.

    Throwing around a psychological term like that in political debate is a perversion, so to speak, of both sex and science. It's an attempt to imply that all men really want to engage in homosexual activities, but avoid doing so only because they fear their potential partners. It's a slightly dressed-up version of the high school bully's claim that if you don't drink, smoke pot, or street race like him, then you're "chicken." Don't fall for that nonsense...

    ....
    </font>[/QUOTE]Thanks I guess [​IMG]
     
  19. Gogurl

    Gogurl Guest

    Taris,

    Glad you had a good time. I left Vegas planning my next trip also. You're planning one with the guys and I'm planning one with the girls. [​IMG]

    I responded to your questions on my Trip report from Dec. You'll like Orleans since you are from the big easy. It's very pretty on the outside.

    We've lived in the Atlanta area for almost 7 yrs now. My 13 yr old is a devoted Falcons fan, thus we all pretend to be. Gotta love Warrick Dunn, this years NFL MVP and such a good hearted humanitarian. He's cute too. ;)

    You guys are in great shape, a walk from Mirage to Luxor and back, I don't think so. In 10 yrs of marriage hubby and I have both put on a little weight. We may have made it down, but certainly not back.

    Fabulous trip report. I really enjoyed it.

    Thanks. [​IMG]

    [ February 04, 2005, 06:18 PM: Message edited by: Gogurl ]
     
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