Been kind of slow in the TR section lately, so I figured I’d relive my last trip to Vegas for my older brother’s bachelor party way back in August of 2007 (sigh). I just found my trip notes while going through my gmail account.*At the time I was in law school, single, and full of pre-recession optimism. This degen trip is what made me REALLY love Vegas. I am planning to hit Vegas at least twice a year from here on out (work permitting). So hopefully I can post some new TRs soon. There really hasn't been a chance to go in the last few years as I am just transitioning out of the new-graduate-get-your-shit-together phase of life. Anyways, I had an early flight out of Boston so I ended up staying up all night with anticipation. I spent most of the night texting my bro to discuss all of our plans after reading the old CheapoVegas site (texting on my Motorola Razr phone of course - my pre smartphone days). I was able to get a fairly cheap upgrade at the gate to business class with the intention of drinking on the flight over, but I was too tired and passed out after one bloody mary. I was the first one of our group to land, so I hit the Budweiser racing bar in the airport. Being the morning I was the only person in the bar and downed two or three Bud bombers before the rest of the crew arrived on their flight from Atlanta. The rest of the gang was my older brother and his friends E (engaged), J (engaged), and M (married at like 19). I am about 2-3 years younger than the rest of the group. We hopped a bus to the strip that was only like $5, but it seemed to take a while for it show up. Meanwhile we were baking in the morning Vegas summer sun. I'm from Georgia originally but had become sort of a heat wuss after living in Boston. Everyone was quiet on the bus sort of just taking in the sites. J and M are sort of reserved. J acts like he is 40 years older than he is, and M's wife is really religious so he is pretty whipped into shape. But since this was a bachelor party and I had a few drinks in me I decided it would be my job to be the hell raiser. I pulled out an Evan Williams Green Label plastic fifth out of my backpack (lol) and passed it to my brother. The rest of the ride I was making the entire bus uncomfortable by making lewd comments and explaining how blasted we were going to get while chasing fat-bottomed girls. We finally arrived at our luxury accommodations - The Tropicana (before remodel). My brother and I had stayed there previously in a room that had a sliding glass door to the pool area. On that trip I remember the room as being pretty beat, dingy, and dark, sort of reminded me of a motel room you'd find on spring break in Panama City or something. We decided to go back because of the price and the pool. We were hoping to get a slightly better room this time, so my bro did the $20 trick and off we go to a strip view double queen room. Not sure if this was really an upgrade as we had 5 dudes sleeping in a basic double queen room, but whatever. The first day was mainly spent at the pool baking away in the sun. It was over 100 degrees, but there were lots of white trash chicks hanging out at the pool in bikinis (my favorite…what can I say, the hot girls growing up in my town wore tights jeans, boots and NASCAR t-shirts). I bought an overpriced (~$20) rum drink in a plastic football and lounged around. I talked up some girls and tried my best to embarrass the guys in my group. My brother's friends are not particularly outgoing, so I think they were happy that I got a group of girls to sit and drink with us. Again, I was the only single guy and the self-appointed shit starter. After chugging the big drink down, I started pouring Cap. Morgan's/Cokes for everyone and encouraging the guys to drink more. M doesn't drink much and had ordered some girly blue drink from the pool bar. He was barely sipping it, so I went full on backwards-hat-bro-mode and made him drink shots. He was trying to have a serious conversation with one of the girls so I told him the only thing he should talk about is college football and how much beer is left in the keg. The girls were having a good time (probably because the free drinks) and one of them was sitting in my brother's lap haha. At some point I made out with this girl who had a Godsmack tattoo, these were classy chicks. I'm sure that was some sight to see with me being a drunk and sweaty mess. I passed out on a rusty lawn chair (Tropicana keeps it real) with this girl. I'm the sure the awkwardness was too much for the guys because when I woke up an hour or so later they had bounced back to the room. I woke up Ms. America and got her number so our crews could meet up again at some point. When I got back to the room, it was the most depressing thing I've ever seen. Four guys sitting around sipping whiskey while classic rock was playing on someone's laptop. What the hell? This is a bachelor party in Vegas dammit; I should have walked back to find a full on orgy going on with mountains of drugs being consumed. Instead it was Steve Miller Band and a discussion on proper blackjack strategy. Ok fine, let's go gambling. We stopped at some fast food sub place for a quick dinner and hit the casino floor. M hadn't been to a casino before, and I think blackjack blew his mind. By the end of the trip he was obsessed with it and gambling in general - even played the airport slots on the way home. We played $5 BJ at Imperial Palace and put a few baseball bets in. I only brought $350 for the trip to gamble with (student budget) and was up around $40 when my bro wanted to leave. He had lost around $100 and was in a bad mood. The bottom shelf whiskey drinks at IP probably didn't help. So we hit the road relatively early at 1:00am. I slept fairly well considering there were 5 of us packed in the room. I saw that the classic beauties had texted me at like 4am to see where we were. We got up early and took a walk on the strip before it got too hot, but even at 8:30 it was still hot as hell. Pretty miserable being hung over and walking through the heat. I made sure to tell each porn slapper that M really wanted their cards (THIS GUY right HERE!). After the brief sightseeing we all chugged a ton of water and had breakfast at a diner type place. They served liquor so I ordered everyone Johnny Walkers. Nothing sets off the taste of cheap eggs and pancakes quite like JW. I know I am probably coming off as obnoxious in this TR, but my brother was having a good time and was glad someone was keeping his bachelor party degen. We spent most of the early afternoon drinking liquor at the pool and it was pretty uneventful. In the early evening we walked over to MGM for some more gambling and we were all pretty drunk already. In past Vegas trips my brother and I had mostly played BJ at Westward Ho (may God rest her soul) and also at the short lived The Ho! - which was behind Westward Ho and catered mostly to truckers popping off the highway. It was a pretty low class place, but we liked it. Laid back atmosphere and good drink service. Hard to believe this place was on the strip. At the MGM I decided to try my luck at the slot machines and found an old school three reel machine. I was even for about an hour and had about three mixed drinks when I got a $160 hit. I was ecstatic as this was almost half my bankroll. Drunk, I jumped up shouting "Fuck You!" at the machine. My brother was starting to get into it and started yelling obscenities with me at the machine. He dropped an entire mixed drink on the floor. I'm sure the old folks sitting next to us were thrilled. I took all of my winnings to the roulette table and put it all on black. My brother told me I'm a fucking idiot but was amused. The party was starting to get started. Black hit. "Fuck you Steve Wynn" I yelled. "Dude, I don't think Wynn even owns the MGM, but yeah fuck him," my brother replied. I left him at the table to go get bottom shelf tequila shots at the bar for us. All of the liquor was really starting to set it in and we were yelling out quotes from the movie Swingers. I then let it ride and put a $320 bet on red. Red hit of course, so I had effectively tripled my meager bankroll by acting like a giant asshole. I put the chips in my pocket and we went back to the bar and ordered some vodka and champagnes haha. The bartender looked concerned but shrugged his shoulders and opened a mini bottle of cheap champagne and made two mixed drinks with the champagne and vodka on the rocks. I was ready to hit the strip club, but my brother said M promised his wife that we wouldn't go and my brother didn't want to leave him behind. I guess I had texted those girls at some point because they showed up at the MGM. They wanted to go to the Double Down Saloon, which I guess is a famous Vegas dive bar. I told them I wanted to finish my drink, but Queen Godsmack took my glass and put it in her purse and said c'mon. We took a van taxi over to the Double Down and my brother had texted his friends to come meet us there. The bar was really dead. I think it was only 8:00PM but it seemed super late after drinking all day and the time change. The guys showed up eventually and we sat on the dirty couches there watching the freak show acts on the little stage. All pretty dumb stuff, I think a guy put a nail in his nose or something. We had several rounds of their famous "ass juice" drink. It tastes sort of like something you'd have at a random party in someone's apartment in college - everclear and kool-aid. Pretty gross. J and M weren't feeling it so they cabbed it back early. E, my brother and I kept boozing and dancing with the girls to whatever bad music was playing. Eventually they wanted to go to a real club on the strip but we declined. This turned out to be a good decision because about half an hour later like 200 roller derby girls showed up. I guess there was some roller derby convention or something in town that weekend and this was the final meet up spot. By now everything seemed surreal. They were doing lesbian weddings in the parking lot of the bar. It was pretty cool. I somehow started making out with this really cute girl with a lot of tattoos (I know I'm a makeout slut). She suggested that we get married in the parking lot. I was like hell yes and drank another shot of ass juice. There was a fairly big queue of people waiting to get married (yes there was a real ordained minister of some sort). After like 30 minutes I came to my senses and realized that both E and my brother had left. I staggered away before going through with it and caught a cab back to the strip. I don't think the cab driver could understand me because he dropped me off at the Paris. I somehow got into the hotel's elevator and went to my room number at the Trop. Damn, why doesn't this keycard work. Eventually security saw me staggering around and led me back down to the casino floor. Only in Vegas. Take the drunks to the gaming tables not out the door. I eventually made it back to the room and everyone was zonked out. The next morning was one of the worst hangovers. Almost as bad as the day after my 21st birthday. The boys headed out around 9, but I stayed in bed till noonish. They came back to get my sorry ass up because they wanted to eat lunch at Hooters. This sounded like the worst idea ever, the thought of beer and chicken wings was revolting, but after a shower I stumbled along with them. As soon as we sat down and ordered Bud Light pitchers something clicked. The clouds parted and the loving light of vegas and Hooters girls shined down. We hung out there for quite a while and after several beers I was feeling great. We went back to the Tropicana and I played craps for the first time. The mood at the table was sort of lousy and I lost $60 pretty quickly making carney bets. We hung out at the pool again for the afternoon even though it was like 107 out. I got another football rum drink and sort of dozed under an umbrella. Back at the room we all got cleaned up because we were going out for a nice dinner at some sushi place (I think at either MGM or Paris). It was ok but the sake wasn't treating me right. For some reason it always smells like cheap malt liquor to me. We were all dressed up nice now because we were hitting a real club tonight at Paris. They had some promotion we had bought in advance online. You pay $70 and get in the VIP guestlist line and get free drinks all night. When we got there the line was really long, but we strolled past everyone and got our wristbands, it was sort of cool for low rollers like us. Inside my brother and I walked straight to the bartender and each tipped him like $50 on the first drink. This proved invaluable later in the night when the place was packed. He would quickly hand us makers on the rocks even though there was a crowd 3 or 4 people deep waiting to order drinks. I'm glad we paid for the open bar because the prices were otherwise pretty high. Nothing too crazy happened, although I danced with this girl with red hair in a bright red dress and yes made out with her too. Afterwards my brother and his friends swore she was a prostitute, but who knows. This was our last night in town so after everyone was near blackout we headed back to the Tropicana. I wasn't ready to let the party die just yet so texted the girls from the other day but got no response. I stumbled down to the pool to try to pick up chicks, but they were obviously closed at 3:00am and it was dead. There were two really skanky girls, one with buckteeth, by the ice machine next to the pool doors. They were wearing belly shirts and skirts. So I just blurted out, "Are you girls like prostitutes or something?" They just looked at me. "Listen, it's my brother's bachelor party and we need something cool to happen." "How much money do you have?" the bucktoothed one asked me. "I dunno, like $40 bucks?" She rolled her eyes and started back in her conversation with the other girl. Defeated I went back to the room and passed out. All in all it was a great trip and I tried my best to make sure my bro had a wild time. I can't wait til we head back out there this coming spring.