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Long Overdue: How Vegas Saved My Summer, An Adventure -- Elara/MB July 2014

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by irishdave, Feb 24, 2015.

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  1. irishdave

    irishdave VIP Whale

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    My Trip Report

    New to the forum, but after lurking for about a month, I thought I’d take a shot at doing a trip report from my vacation last summer. I hope you find it amusing.
     
  2. abrolsma

    abrolsma Low-Roller

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    Honestly cannot wait to read it. We are all basically whores for repor(t)s.. :)
     
  3. irishdave

    irishdave VIP Whale

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    Prologue

    This entire trip was series of non-sequiturs, so I begin with a seemingly non-trip report, non-sequiturian (yeah, I know it’s not a word, so???) event. But, dear reader, it is actually central to the adventure that would await about seven months later.

    I have been frequenting a local pub for many years. It’s a great pub in the true Irish tradition and my wife and I have developed friendships with the owners (they’re Irish, so that was easy) and many of the servers and bartenders (they bring me Guinness, whisky, whiskey, and food…even easier).

    Just before Thanksgiving, I was on a business trip and my wife calls to tell me one of our favorite servers was changing apartments, but her temporary living arrangements had just fallen through and she and her partner had no place to stay for the first three weeks of December. My wife asks if I would mind if she offered to have this young lady “A” and her girlfriend “B” stay with us. I unhesitatingly say, “Of course!”

    As soon as I hang up, I have a “WTF did I just do???” moment. I’m a somewhat conservative, mid-50’s type guy who retired from the military and I’m now one of those leaches on the soul of the society…yes a govt bureaucrat. And I just agreed to let some local college co-ed that I really barely know, that I just found out is lesbian, move into my house for the three weeks before Christmas with her partner who’ve I’ve never met????? WTF just happened?????? Ok, well, A seems like a great kid and she’s in a real bind, so I guess I’ll hope for the best.

    And the best it was. As I said, A is a great young lady and we find out B is awesome as well. My daughter and her friends got along with them like sisters, but without the fighting. As you may have inferred from the “…whisky, whiskey,…” comment above, I am both a Scotch whisky and Irish whiskey aficionado. As fate would have it, B turns out to be a whisky/whiskey aficionado wanna be. So B and I bond as those who love the uisce beatha often do and we have a fabulous run up to Christmas with various Scotch tastings and other holiday events with our daughter, our newly “adopted” daughters, and various friends of ours and theirs for a couple of weeks. B then heads to California to pursue a different career path and A, also originally from California, goes with her for a couple weeks to spend Christmas with her family and B before returning for the next semester. Although my daughter and B plan to stay in touch, we never expect to see B again…
     
  4. daveg000

    daveg000 High-Roller

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    I once started a series of books, when the first was published, books 1-8 spanned 16 years, then the author died without finishing.

    You have our attention, great title, great style, don't make us wait too long!
     
  5. ExVegasLocal

    ExVegasLocal Low-Roller

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    Love reading trip reports! This one has me wondering where it's going. More please! :licklips:
     
  6. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Yes, please don't make us wait.
     
  7. scc31

    scc31 Low-Roller

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    dunndunndunn! next job ending it w/ a suspense. both, two lesbians in your household? i mean... that sounds like a dream. but I guess when you have a family and married and 50 y/o then that's another story... lol
     
  8. irishdave

    irishdave VIP Whale

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    The Plan

    I know this is heresy and may get me banned to a Disney board, but the initial plan had nothing to do with Vegas.

    Actually, I really wasn’t much of a Vegas person. The last time I’d been there, the Mirage was a new kid on the strip, the Luxor had just opened, the MGM Grand was under construction, and the Dunes was about to be imploded (missed that by just one week!). My visits had been in conjunction with flying missions on the Nellis ranges, a much greater adventure and adrenaline rush than what any mere city, even Vegas, could offer. There was always more alcohol and women in a flying bar than most humans, or even superhumans (e.g. aviators), could handle. And certainly more than I’d want, or dare, to handle after I got married! So, having been totally consumed by the flying bug, I never really caught the Vegas bug.

    But I digress, on to my non-Vegas trip planning. My sister and I have lived on opposite coasts for over twenty years and had not been able to get together in about 5 years. She has four kids ranging from 6 to 12 years old. The last time I'd seen my nephews, one was an infant and the other was around 4. I had never seen my two nieces except on Skype.

    Therefore, I resolve that this summer we will get both families together before my just turned 21 yr old daughter (hopefully) flys the coop and before my nephews turn into those family hating, fun destroying, evil creatures known as teenagers. My daughter started haranguing me about taking her to Vegas when she turned 21, but I told her that could come later. We really needed to get together with her aunt, uncle, and cousins before we wouldn’t be able to make that happen again and she was actually pretty excited about the prospect.

    I wrack my brain trying to figure out a way to bring such a diverse group together with enough entertainment options to keep someone in the group from being terminally bored and I come up with the only possible solution. No, not the adult fantasyland known as Vegas, my youngest niece is only six you degenerates, but the original fantasyland – Disneyworld!!

    It’s the perfect solution, my daughter loves Disney and my sister’s family has never been, awesome. We build a 5 day, 4 night mini-reunion at the house of the mouse over a weekend in July and I begin looking at airline schedules. Getting to LAX is no problem, but the only flights back that don’t involve selling one of my sister’s kids for airfare is either o’dark thirty in the morning or the red eye, neither of which appeals. When I looked at rental car rates, I started thinking, “I really liked my older nephew, but he’d probably bring the most cash…I’ll miss him.”

    Then inspiration strikes, Vegas baby!! Airfares are reasonable, rental cars are cheap, and my daughter will look at me like the hero I was to her when she was three!! After surviving the teenage years the last benefit seems like the ultimate fantasy. Who knows, my wife and I might even have a chance for some romance. Since we are Hilton Grand Vacation Club (timeshare) owners, I book a two-bedroom suite at the Elara (formerly Westgate Planet Hollywood) for three nights on the front of the Disney trip and one night at Mandalay Bay on the end. I’ll get to see how high rollers live at MB, and have the perfect answer to the pushy timeshare salesmen…”I’ve already got one, you see. It’s very nice-a” (with apologies to the French knights from Monty Python and the Holy Grail).

    With the plan in place, let’s review the objectives:

    - Reconnect with my sister and her family
    - Reconnect with my no longer teenage daughter
    - Drink to some excess (Vegas achievable, Disney not so much)
    - Teach my daughter a bit about gambling and surviving in an unconstrained environment
    - Have fun
    - Relax

    So were set, we have a plan about 4 months out and we’ll make refinements as we get closer. The anticipation starts to build.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  9. abrolsma

    abrolsma Low-Roller

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    Will irishdave be crushed by the insurmountable house edge? Or will he fall back in favor with his young adult daughter? Or will we find him wandering the barren desert plotting a meth lab to win back the money lost chasing the elusive royal flush!? Tune in tomorrow for the next installment of "As the (small) world turns".. it is a small world after all!
     
  10. irishdave

    irishdave VIP Whale

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    Crap, I just got that stupid song out of my head after seven months. :grrr:
     
  11. abrolsma

    abrolsma Low-Roller

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    But there's so much we can share! I think it's time you're aware...
     
  12. stickc

    stickc Tourist

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    I have missed something,,Where is A and B ?
     
  13. Beacon

    Beacon Tourist

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    Great set-up IrishDave but now I need to hear the rest of the story!!
     
  14. VegasDave

    VegasDave Addicted

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    A two day setup! Ugh...
     
  15. ajp

    ajp High-Roller

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    Just tell us the story, why all the build up, post it already.
     
  16. irishdave

    irishdave VIP Whale

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    Sorry folks, about one typed page each day is the best I can do.
     
  17. irishdave

    irishdave VIP Whale

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    The Best Laid Plans.....

    So we tinker with the plan over the next couple of months. My daughter whines and begs and pleads until we relent and allow her boyfriend of two years to join us. I don’t like him much, but my wife convinces me it's better than having a bytchy little brat trying to bring us down for our entire vacation. I still think he’s a worthless putz, but they’ll pretty much be on their own, so I won’t have to see him too much.

    Our travel plans are finalized, direct flight from the east coast on Tuesday evening leaving around 6pm landing about 8 in Las Vegas. We plan a leisurely departure on Friday to drive to Anaheim to make check-in and meet my sister and family. Leave Anaheim to make the trek back to Vegas the following Tuesday and fly back on a 2pm flight on Wednesday.

    We’re about three weeks out when our world comes to a screeching halt.

    My wife’s 91-year-old stepfather is hospitalized for complications from bladder cancer. He’d been diagnosed for over a year and was not a candidate for any type of aggressive treatment and it’s clear this is going to be the end. He’s the only father my wife has ever known, as her mom had left my wife’s abusive biological father when she was two years old. I’ll post something about this remarkable man at the end of the TR, it’s worth your time to know a little about him.

    Of course, my wife and daughter hightail it out of town to be with her family about four hours away. I tie up loose ends at home and head in a couple of days later. After about a week, his suffering is ended and another of the greatest generation makes his last roll call. My wife and daughter are with him when he passes and I think my daughter grows up that evening. His funeral is a week and a day before our scheduled departure. My daughter and I return home while my wife stays with her family to finalize the sad details and will return the Sunday before we leave.

    But the drama is not over.

    During the entire affair, my daughter’s boyfriend is being himself. A complete putz. Perhaps the events of the previous week have sharpened her focus, but she calls him on it and a huge fight ensues. She proceeds to tell him she needs to take a break from him and uninvites him from the trip. Although I’m privately doing a huge happy dance, I know she is devastated having lost two important people in her life in the span of a week. I also know there is huge potential for a disappointing trip, with a depressed wife and a moping, lonely daughter.

    Don't worry, I won't leave you hanging tonight on such a depressing note...
     
  18. irishdave

    irishdave VIP Whale

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    A Pub and Irish Whiskey Provide Inspiration

    So what is the best approach for dealing with such personal turmoil? The pub of course! And not really for the Guinness and whiskey. As I mentioned in a previous post my local establishment is run by Irishmen and is in the mold of a true public house. By the time I go to the pub that weekend, the entire staff and most of the regulars know of our loss. When I walk in, A (remember her?) runs up to me and gives me a great big bear hug. As soon as I sit down, she brings me a dram of the finest whiskey in the house and tells me it’s on the floor manager. I don’t know what they charge for it, but I do know its about $150 a bottle in the ABC store.

    I contemplate the whiskey, listen to the music, and consider how I might find a way to cheer up my wife and daughter and find a way for them to have some fun on the upcoming trip. About this time, A comes over to expresses her sympathies again, commiserating and asking about my wife and daughter. She mentions how grateful she still is for what we did for her the past winter... and inspiration strikes!

    “A, I hope this isn’t a sore subject, but do you still keep in touch with B?”
    “Yeah, long distance relationships are hard, but we’re still good friends.”
    "She lives near LA, right?"
    "Yes, why do you ask?"
    “Do you think she’d like to go to Las Vegas???”

    Things are starting to look up…
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2015
  19. breanna61

    breanna61 Super Moderator

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    Looking forward to more......
     
  20. irishdave

    irishdave VIP Whale

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    It's A Quest For Fun!

    A gives me B’s number. I go home and share my inspiration with my family. It’s the first time I see the two of them smile in over a week…I have a chance!

    B actually remembers who I am when I call and I can almost see her jumping up and down when I ask her to join us, she’s never been to Las Vegas. It’s even her 22nd birthday the week after we’ll be in Vegas, nice birthday present.

    B is thrilled, my wife and daughter are thrilled, B’s father…not so much. He’s been a cop for 30+ years and this all sounds fishy to him. I get it, I have a young daughter too. Finally, I guess he checks all of our references, runs background checks, or maybe just caves to his daughter and says ok, with one condition…he doesn’t want her driving by herself after she gets off work early in the morning to get to Vegas.

    Again, I get it, but I’m now like Clark Griswold, I’m on a quest…”This is no longer a vacation. It's a quest. It's a quest for fun. You're gonna have fun, and I'm gonna have fun... We're all gonna have so much ‘effing fun we're gonna need plastic surgery to remove our goddamn smiles!” So what the hell, I don’t really need a bankroll anyway, I buy B an airline ticket to Vegas. We’ll drop her at home on the way to Disney; it’s only an hour or so out of the way.

    Finally, we might be catching a break. Things look even better when I book B’s ticket, the price isn’t outrageous! And there’s a banner for slashed room rates at the Flamingo. I see the quizzical look on your faces, don’t I already have the room lined up? Yes, but my daughter loves hanging out at the pool, and the Elara’s pool is kind of meh. The Flamingo pool on the other hand….

    She’d actually read something online about the Flamingo earlier and asked if she could go to their pool. I checked and found out they charge $25 per day per person to use the pool if you’re not staying at the hotel. I wasn’t about to spring for that for the putz, but now the room rate is less than the pool charge and I like actually both people. The bankroll dwindles just a little bit more…it’s a quest!
     
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