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Reality and Drama in Fantasyland

Discussion in 'Vegas Trip Reports' started by Pimp_N_M, Dec 2, 2005.

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  1. Pimp_N_M

    Pimp_N_M MIA

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    Pleasanton, CA

    My Trip Report

    This is yet another reminder of my innate profanity. Sometimes it truly helps me describe situations. In others... I just feel like it. Either way be aware that profanity is contained in this story... Ready? Here we go!

    Reality and Drama in Fantasyland 11/20-11/24


    FUCK!!!! MOTHER FUCKER!!! I have read many trip reports on this board and others. Some people have lost money and still had a good time. Some have lost money and had a terrible time. Some people have sworn they will never return to Las Vegas. This may be one of those trips.

    This trip was theoretically built on the premise that my little sister was celebrating her 21st birthday. Just about everybody in my family either has, or at one time had a drinking problem. It was time for her to start. The cast of characters goes like this...


    Me: The Pimp In Pajamas

    Linda: The Understanding Wife

    Lianna: The Birthday Girl

    Cameron: A good friend

    Mark: Another good friend and brother of Cameron

    "Doug": A good friend using an alias

    Mom: Mom

    Ron: The Stepfather

    The trip planning began many many months before the flight date. Alot of discussion would take place. I found a rate of $49 a night at the Aladdin and I booked rooms for everyone. To be honest... Considering the location. I had spent very little time at this location. I had never really thought about why until two days into my trip. Mark and "Doug" were flying in from Reno. Cameron flying in from LA. Lianna was flying in from NYC. The rest of us were flying in from Oakland. All of us except for Lianna were flying SWA. All of us except for Lianna arrived on time. I had a nice little surprise for The Birthday Girl in the super stretch limousine from Presidential. Lianna ruined this by arriving 45 minutes late. I don't care what people say about JetBlue. They almost ruined my limo ride so unless I get a check soon. They officially suck! The Drama began the night before our departure. Cameron called me and said that nobody had heard from "Doug" and his phone was now disconnected. We called places that he would frequent, etc. This got us nowhere. I put the odds of his arrival into LV at 50/50. Linda and I arrived on flight 2821 almost 20 minutes early. While walking past the bars and slot machines we never saw "Doug". I now put the odds at 20/80. But of course the longshot paid off and "Doug" was waiting for us at baggage claim with Mark. A big round of hugs went around. It was wonderful to see old friends. Lianna was supposed to arrive 15 minutes after us. That failed. Cameron showed up and another round of hugs. After many phone calls to my parents to call JetBlue and so on. Lianna showed up with 10 minutes left on our limo. I knew Presidential gave away "champagne". But I also know when you ask "what champagne is it?" And they answer "a California varietal". Chances are, it might make you throw up. I bought a nice bottle of Charles Heidseick. Kept it cold with a "wine cooler" and two packs of blue ice. The champagne was perfect. The six of us easily finished the bottle of champagne before we arrived at Aladdin. It was DELICIOUS. I would say better than Dom at half the price. The driver was nice and all in all the ride was worth the money. We got to check-in and I tried the "Twenty dollar Trick". Lemme tell ya. I have never felt more like a bum than with that bitch! She actually gave me a fucking lecture! Then gave me room 1643 in the South Tower. No tip

    It was time to do a little unpacking. One of which was the liquor. I brought with me: a bottle of Goose, a bottle of Seagrams 7, a bottle of Bacardi, and a bottle of Parrot Bay. Also I brought those plastic pourers you stick in the bottle. VERY COOL. I also brought my glass drink shaker, enough cigars for forty people for forty days. Turns out The Playaz also brought cigars. Most of them were awful. But generosity is generosity. We all got checked in and came down to my room where the alcohol was. Some of us were ravenous and some of us slightly hungry. We decided to try the "Zanzibar Cafe". In other words... The coffee shop. We get seated and peruse the menus. First thing we notice... This place isn't fucking around. The burger is $13.95. They brag of having "Pink's hot dogs". I hate hot dogs and have no idea why a "Pink" hot dog would be better. Over $10 for a chili dog? I am not very hungry and very desperate to find something either cheap or small. I select the grilled cheese sandwich with fries ($7.95). "Doug" also ordered the grilled cheese. We were the only ones who didn't get our orders screwed up. Linda and Lianna ordered that $14 burger and wanted to split it. They asked for it to be totally plain. Instead they got it with everything. Cameron just ordered some bread and mashed potatoes. Something to settle his upset stomach. He got mashed potatoes with (misc) gravy and no bread. Mark ordered soup and he got... Nothing! We are all in the non-smoking section. Which puts us next to the gloriously loud and smokey nickel slots. I've never seen a restaurant screw up so many orders on one table! "Doug" and I both liked our sandwiches. The guy who brought our food, brings Mark some free soup. We never see our original waitress ever again. The "meal" is done and we are all extremely bitter at this "restaurant". "Doug" leaves to go to the bathroom and comes back with a story. Apparently he asked the cashier for change to pay the bill. The cashier starts hassling him about whether or not he had actually eaten there. He points to our table and the cashier says "( he) was never there". A small argument ensues and the cashier relents. But the cashier has the last word. Instead of a few 5s and singles. He gets an inch thick stack of singles. "Doug" wants to leave. I want to yell at somebody. I lose the battle. Customer service would be an ensuing theme of issue at the Aladdin. We grab a drink or three up in the room.

    Linda decided to go and hang out with Lianna and the guys and I decided to go out.

    Mark was new to Las Vegas so we went in search of cheap gambling. I suggested the Boardwalk. That place is always cheap. We exit the Aladdin through the cab stand/Valet and we go into a tail spin. What an absolute maze! We walk and walk and walk and finally come to another entrance to the Desert Passage. There is an information desk right in front. I ask the guy how to access the strip. He essentially told us to enter the Desert Passage and start over. We yet again walked and walked and walked and got to the strip. We walked to the Boardwalk and sat at a $5 table. Double deck. BJ pays 3:2, not bad. I lose almost all of my money when I say "all I want to do is break even and get a drink then I will be happy". I start to win. Then I am back to my $50 buy-in and the cocktail waitress arrives. I color up and am done. For some reason the Boardwalk has a TERRIBLE 7&7. "Doug" goes all in and gets a blackjack he screams "WHOOOO", and the floor manager actually tells him to "keep it down". There was 7 people at this table. When she said to "keep it down" every person left. Table went from full to empty, because she was a moron. We moved on to the Monte Carlo and had some fun playing Pai Gow. I lost my $100 buy-in and we walked around for a few seconds and shortly thereafter left.

    We walked to the Bellagio. Yet again, because Mark had never been to Las Vegas. We were playing around some. Not gambling much, having a little fun. We all had a cigar and several drinks. Let me tell ya... If Seagrams is $9 a shot outside of the Fontana Lounge. You know it only goes up from there! "Doug" goes missing and reappears. "I'm up sixty bucks" he exclaims. Very impressive, consider low rollers usually don't see a dime from the B. "Doug" goes missing again. I am having fun. Spending way too much for alcohol. "Doug" resurfaces "I'm down two hundred". This is a serious amount when your total fun budget for three days is seven hundred. I have had a smaller budget and had a great time. But it never involved gambling on the B tables. Seriously... At the Bellagio lower roller tables you might as well play 3 card monte downtown! I follow "Doug" around and he heads to the $50 tables. If I remember correctly, he won the first hand and still refused to walk away. He went down another $200. If I am correct, he is down to a total of $300. He keeps talking about hitting different tables. This table that table. I am doing my best into talking him away from it. He goes for a table and I grab him. I ask him to stop. He says no. I said the only thing that came to mind "let me buy you a drink". He accepts. As I sit down to enjoy my 7&7, he is not sitting. He keeps talking about the tables.

    A little about "Doug" we (his friends) have always known about his problem with gambling. We always just thought it was "his thing". We all knew he either had or would someday have, a gambling problem. Whenever he lost money we just said "that's "Doug". So this is no new thing. It's ugly head just appeared worse this time.

    "Doug" continues to talk tables. I'm asking, no, I'm fucking BEGGING him to stop. Not even stop for the rest of the day. Just stop until after my sister's birthday party. Then he and I will go play poker. His eyes widen, and with absolute desperation in his voice he says "I have a feeling". I realize I can not stop him. But it doesn't stop me from trying. I keep talking about stopping every step to this table. We run into Cameron and Mark. "Watch me do this!" He lacks no confidence that he will win. He is on a $15 min. continuous shuffle table. He loses one hundred in less than five minutes. "Doug" stands up, I thought we were all leaving. But he goes for his wallet. I grab his arm and yell "NO", but the money is on the table and the dealer is not listening to me. I can't watch, I walk to the front of the Petrossian Bar, one of my favorite places in Las Vegas. I have no money to drink. All of my money is safe in the room safe. I can't help it, I begin to cry. I am so sad to watch my friend doing this to himself. Cameron walks over and talks to me. I try my best to talk, but I don't know if it made any sense. I love "Doug", but I feel totally powerless to help him. I ask Cameron to intervene with me in my room. "Doug", tonight, has proven either a gambling addiction or compulsion disorder. I am no Doctor, but I have seen both. "Doug" before dinner, has lost every dime he has, in less than an hour at the Bellagio. He doesn't even get a $5 coffee shop comp. I am talking to Mark, also a very close friend of "Doug". He has agreed to help me get "Doug" to quit gambling. Cameron, however has different ideas. He confronts him right in front of Valet! Mark and I continue to walk. We get ready for the confrontation. Minutes turn into an hour and we continue to call both of their cell phones (Doug has gotten his turned back on). Finally Cameron answers and explains what is happening. It isn't pretty. They are still in front of the Bellagio. "Doug" is begging my friend for money. He wants $200. I tell Cameron absolutely not to give him a cent, he agrees. Another hour goes by and it is getting tough for Cameron to get "Doug" into the Aladdin. It is important that we all talk about this together. Finally I get sick of waiting and I decide to leave the room and go after them. Mark comes with me. We are at the crosswalk when I get the call, Cam and "Doug" are in front of my room. Mark and I go back and "Doug" is a mess. He begins to confess and cry in front of the elevators. I grab him and make a smooth move to an elevator. We get into the room and "Doug" wants a drink. I know the need to comfort yourself after something horrible happening to yourself. I am watching the "vicious cycle" right in front of me. Three hands stop him from the bottle and we get him seated. I give him my buddha and I tell him to hold it to his heart. I recognized his lack of a "religion" and told him that my wife's family had believed in buddhism for hundreds of years. Buddha set people straight and tonight he would be set straight. Unfortunately, I did not have any of the tools I usually use to speak to people. I did the best I could. I talked to him about addiction, about compulsion, about the desire to self-destruct. We talked for almost an hour. He agreed he had a problem and would address it. I asked how. He said "I don't now!! I just will!" This was my turn to talk. I spoke to him about a man who helped me in my life. He made obvious to me some of the evils that I went through everyday... Greed... Gluttony. I told him of my abuse of alcohol, drugs, and my body. I was set straight by this man. I wouldn't commit to AA. So he told me to quit drinking for 1 year. I actually quit for 1 year and 3 weeks. I asked "Doug" to do the same. Quit gambling for 1 year. He promised. He promised to all of us. We toasted to his future success.

    The 12:01 AM party for Lianna would take place at the MB. Somehow all of us arrived at the MB at the same time. Just enough time before her birthday. We all walked in at the same time and Mom exclaimed "OK off to Red Square!". I reminded her that Lianna wanted to put some money into a slot machine the second she turned 21. This was something I had talked to Mom about several times. Including several attempts of hers to swing the party to Red Square. After all I had been through today. This was the frosting. Not the candle. But definitely the frosting. There are no slot machines at Red Square. So this sounded more like something Mom wanted to do. Rather than Lianna. Mom wore the face of "you're an asshole". Lianna got her slot machine and we all threw about 3 pounds of Christmas snow flakes at her. It was pretty hilarious. The snow got everywhere including inside the slot machine pay out hole. NOW WERE OFF TO RED SQUARE! I have never been here and I got nothing out of it. Fourteen dollars for a fucking Absolut martini?? I definitely do not "get it". All of the guys and my wife are hungry. We decide on Bally's for cheap steak and eggs. We cab it to Bally's. "Doug" is looking bad. We all order the steak and eggs special which is $8.99. Very good food and very good service. "Doug" passed out into his eggs, the server looked him over and said "I'll bring a box". Yet again... He wore the look of someone who had seen everything. My wife takes "Doug" back to his room. Mark, Cam, and I go to the BC and play some cards. I think we were around even. I fell asleep around 4 AM.

    Day 2... "Happy Birthday to yoooooooouuuuuuuuuu"

    I wake up around noon. Nobody is in the room. So I call the guys. A raspy voice answers and hangs up. I guess they aren't ready to wake up. I get some coffee and a danish at Starbucks. It came to over $8. I had one bite of the danish and threw it away. I walked to a $10 blackjack table. I figure, if I win, the coffee is comped. The coffee was not comped. I figure out the exit and walk over to the Tix4Tonight booth at the Hawaiian Marketplace. I didn't notice any Cirque tickets on the board. I don't know if it is because it is Monday or what. But everything is pretty pointless. I walk back to the room and call up to the guys. They now are not answering. I walk up to their room and bang on the door. Looks like they are gone. I remember that "Doug" was going to Western Union to pick up more money. I'm on my own, and frankly, I enjoy my alone moments in Las Vegas. I can putz around as I please. I walk through the Desert Passage and notice an AWESOME cigar shop. The variety is kind of limited, but the place is beautiful. Decorated with rare cigar boxes and 4 nice cushy leather chairs to smoke your sticks in. I bought some flavored cigars for my wife and a couple of Fuente Hemingways for myself. I was a little hungry and the Paris coffee shop's Le Parisian was calling to me. I sat down in a table for one and ordered my favorite sandwich. As soon as I sat down. In came the phone call from the guys. They had somehow landed at the Sahara and said they were going to "try the buffet for $7.95". I said that was a horrible idea and we decided to meet up at the Paris sports book. I cancelled my order and left. I bet on three races before the guys got there. All of which I lost. We went back to the coffee shop. The consensus was, it was an awesome sandwich. Back to the book where "Doug" and I argued whether sports book gambling was actually gambling. He insisted he would be gambling "not to gamble" but just for the free drinks. This is about 14 hours after he swore to us he wouldn't gamble for a year. He didn't bet, but I also don't think he "heard" what I said. He continued to try and guilt trip us. I was definitely getting angry. I was not interested in this trip turning into poor ol' "Doug" gets screwed by his friends. Everything you said to him, he took personal. When I have run completely out of money. The sports book is where I land. I see if I can con the waitress out of free drinks and I watch sports or races. I have done this in the past for several hours. "Doug" doesn't see any fun in hanging out at the book with us without gambling. He keeps wanting to leave. We know if he is out of our site for long. He will definitely gamble. We keep him close. Lianna's dinner was scheduled at 8PM at Mon Ami Gabi. So I was ready to go anyway. It was 5PM and I suggested we go back to the Aladdin and get ready for dinner. I made a $20 bet on the Vikings. At +6 vs a 2-7 team I figured they were a lock. We all walked back to the Aladdin and got ready. I looked at my shoes and they needed a shine. I called down to Cameron and said I was going to the B and getting my shoes shined. Mark came with me. We both got our shoes shined. Dennis made them look amazing. I am enjoying myself and actually talked some random guy into believing I am a bookie. When "Doug" and Cam showed up. "Doug" looked sick. I knew that look. He wanted to talk to me. I told him to give me a few minutes. He demanded I speak to him now. I obliged. He confessed to giving his wallet to Cameron and losing $20 on a table at the Aladdin. I asked him if he was seeing things through different eyes? He said "yes", but he said it too fast. I swore to him that I would drive the 200 miles to Tahoe and take him to Gamblers Anonymous. He thanked me. I figured it was 50/50 whether he knew what danger he was in. Personally? I was absolutely sick he had broken an oath to us in less than 20 hours. We all had a 7&7 at the bar next to the Fontana Lounge. $36 not including tip.... That's like 3 bottles! I stole the glass. We walked back to Paris. Looking very good.

    We spend a few seconds in the book before leaving for the restaurant. There must've been some confusion as Cameron and Mark were almost 15 minutes late. Dinner was excellent with an excellent view. I had quite a bit of trouble talking people into believing the waiter's accent was fake. Either way he was great at his job. Most of us had steak but some had fish. I had the Prime steak with blue cheese. The meal including 6 appetizers, 6 cocktails, 8 entrees, 3 bottles of wine, and 4 desserts. Total was about $500 including tip! CRAZY!!!! Worth the money, worth the wait, worth the bitchy maitre d's. Worth everything. After dinner Lianna and Mom want to play slots. I suggest somewhere else as this place is pretty stiff. They insist. I cash in my winning Vikings ticket. We go looking for "the right slots" and we find them! Except two people are already sitting at them. We continue to look for a minute and the slots open up! Then two ladies nab them before Mom and Lianna. I think I was rather drunk. I asked some slot attendant to kick them off of those slots. She said no. I said "what if I were to give you F-I-V-E DOLLARS!!" She continued with the no treatment. However, I knew this secretly meant yes. So "Doug" and I walked over to the slots and start to scream about our genital warts. "My genital warts are OOOOOOOOOZZZZZZZZZZZIIIIIIIIINNNNNNGGGGG!!!!!!" It's amazing how much attention you get when you start screaming "OOOOOOZZZZZIIIIINNNGGGG!" Miraculously the women are off the slots in seconds. I see the slot attendant and give her $5, "good job" I tell her. She takes the money and thanks me. We begin screaming at the slots and it works. Mom is up, Lianna is down. I get bored so I watch somebody else play slots. Literally screaming at the top of my lungs to will this random woman to win. 2-4-6-8 WHO DO WE APPRECIATE?!?? NA NA NA NA NA NA NA NA HEY HEY HEY GOODBYE! BING!!! My personal alarm goes off, and I see security coming. But before security can get to me. A slot/floor manager nabs him and he goes in the opposite direction. How much is it to bribe floor managers? Mom is now up over a hundred on a quarter slot. CRAZY!!! Lianna is pissed and walks out. She literally walks out on her birthday party. Linda is still holding her presents! Ron wants to go back to the hotel Mom isn't sure. Linda wants to play Pai Gow. Everyone thinks this is a good idea. Midway to the BC Mom backs out. Now it's just the guys and Linda. We make it to the BC. As usual it's dead. We play Pai Gow for an hour or so. "Doug" smokes something like half a pack. I have overhydrated my cigars in the hope they wouldn't dehydrate too much. Instead they are soggy. FUCK! We enjoy ourselves and walk Linda back to the room. We have decided to hit a strip club and there is an argument over which one we will go to. I want to go to Scores. The guys seem to want to do anything but Scores. This makes no sense to me. Scores is new. Scores has to be the place with the hottest women. "Doug" gets the Aladdin limo driver to take us to a place. The place is Sapphires. I have never been there, but I bet I will be back. Sapphires is crazy with dark lighting we get a table right up front with my Avo cigar tip. The women are gorgeous and for some weird reason. Willing to talk to me. I mean 20 minutes after I have paid them for a lap dance. They are talking to me about their boyfriends and different lotions and good quality cocaine. All kinds of shit! I think all of us were having a great time, six dollars and fifty fucking cents for 12 ounces of water!?! Yet a lap dance still costs twenty bucks! "Doug" said Cameron had either underpaid a stripper or she was claiming he underpaid. Either way... We were in trouble. Cameron was in front of the ATM for the second time at this strip club. At least the problem will be delineated. We all stood outside waiting for the limo, talking about the lovely ladies of Sapphires. Strangely my comment was "those ladies have soft skin and are nice to talk to". For the rest of the night I wondered if I was gay. We got back to the Aladdin and went to our rooms. I slept very well it was 4AM again.

    Day 3... "The shit hits the fan"

    Linda and I wake up around noon again. A call to the guys goes nowhere. A call to Lianna goes nowhere. A call to my parents goes nowhere. A cell phone call to my sister gets her! They are at the Dolphin Habitat at the Mirage (what?). It is just Linda and I for the first time this trip. We move slowly and decide to have something nice for breakfast. Something out of the ordinary. Both of us have never tried the Bellagio coffee shop and we are off! Cafe Bellagio, I am in the mood for some quiche and my wife is in the mood for Roasted asparagus and eggs. We know we will find everything we desire at Cafe Bellagio. We leave the Aladdin (we are finally starting to figure out the strip entrance/exit) and walk to the Bellagio. The Conservatory is in fall mode and looks wonderful with HUGE pumpkins. We get in line and I decide to check out the menu. I look around thinking maybe this is the menu for some other restaurant. Some... ORDINARY restaurant. I see bacon and eggs and Eggs Benedict and fucking pancakes! Fifteen dollars for a fucking omelet??? What the hell is going on? I am willing to spend money. I am willing to spend large sums of money. I am not willing to pay a premium for pancakes and eggs! Maybe things are nicer here... Maybe the quality is higher. We get seated after about 15 minutes in line. Long enough for both of us to know exactly what we want. 1 cup of coffee, 2 glasses of orange juice, 1 ham and cheese omelette, one bacon and broccoli omelet. The waiter takes awhile, but nothing too noticeable. We make our order and water, juice and coffee is served. The juice is in nice large glasses and the coffee is served in a Nissan thermos. I took one sip of juice... Not fresh squeezed. I drank the rest in one large gulp. The empty glass would sit through the duration of our breakfast. The coffee is terrible. I mean it is really fucking awful. I don't know if the beans are stale. Or if the coffee sat in a tureen too long, but it sucks. I drink less than a cup. I drink my water all the way down. I use the restroom, it is clean. Very clean. I am a person who has problems with public bathrooms. This place made it easy. I come back, the water is still empty. About 20 minutes after we sat down, breakfast is served. WoW!!! Looks like some regular old omelets. Except... Yep... The plates are hot as hell. Lets me know they have been sitting underneath a heat lamp for at least 5 minutes. Our server sucks. How does he not notice the empty juice and empty water glasses? The seats aren't even super comfortable. This place is just a regular coffee shop with terrible service and terrible coffee. The prices are also 40% higher than the Paris coffee shop. We are done and disgusted with the service. The bill comes to... $44.15!!! The juice is seven dollars a glass!! Seven dollars for plain old Tropicana? Or whatever they use. This is absolutely insane. We leave 45 dollars and figure he can keep the nickels. I am bitter at breakfast, never a good thing. As I walk out I see the capitol of unclassy. The worst in waiting. That's right!!! I see a waiter counting his tips right in front of everyone in line. I make a move to start yelling at everyone in site. Then I remember those big security guards from Oceans Eleven and rethink my move.

    We make our move to the Venetian. I have made three reservations for our night alone they are: Delmonico, PRIME, and Blackstone's. All steak and all well received. SW "wet-aging" their steaks never sounded good to me. So they were out from the beginning. I checked out the menu of Blackstone's, the night before, and it was right up our alley. Lots of steak, couple of veals, couple of fishes. The room also looked top notch. I had seen PRIME before and knew it was my kinda place. Linda and I both liked the menu as well. We walked to the Venetian, played a couple of bucks on some penny slots. Literally, I mean two. I can't resist the Davidoff stand. They never have anything I want anyway. I figure it's safe. Well today is different. He has two of the Avo Limited Edition no.5s (LE5). At $18 I can't resist. I never end up smoking it. We walk over to Delmonico. Their wine list is fine. The menu also very good. But their dining room was way less than I expected. I have learned my lesson with Emeril at... Emeril's. I refuse to risk going 0 for 2 with the most over-rated chef in the universe. I cancel the reservation on the spot. We both agree, PRIME is the location for our special evening out. I finally get a call through to the guys. They are at NYNY and DRUNK. I tell them to catch up with me later. I call my sister again and I get her message machine. We walk over to Wynn. I have no idea what is wrong with people. This place is GORGEOUS! Maybe, I get the fresh perspective, because everyone has said how let down they were. Aside from space rockets that give out free drinks and mystery trolls that randomly give money. There was nothing more this guy could do! I love the trees. The fact that this guy has 50 foot pine trees in the middle of the fucking desert does nothing to amaze everyone? The mosaics are incredible and plentiful. Yes, it is very much like Bellagio. But for me, that is not a bad thing. I barely got through a quarter of it before I get the call from my sister. They were still at the Dolphin Habitat (what?) I told them to meet us at the Parasol bar. I got a table for 5 and waited. I will say this... The deck of the Parasol bar is GARBAGE. What is up with the plastic seats? Did Wynn really outfit this casino with chairs from Ikea? When my parents and sister arrive they are confused by the doorperson. I get them in, nice and pretty. Unfortunately for me all the ladies order gimmick martinis. My stepfather is trying to find a good beer. The Parasol bar will not cooperate. I order a 7&7. The bill was almost $60 for 5 drinks one of which was beer. The Parasol bar is home of the most expensive 7&7 I have ever had, $12.50. I need to invest in a flask. I call the guys again, to see if they are on the way. They answer but I still get nowhere. They are too drunk to actually hold much of a conversation. We all enjoy the conversation, but not the show. Why? Because the show starts at 6:30 and is only held once an hour thereafter. Why would he keep his watershow such a secret? My parents have a flight to catch. We hug and kiss goodbye. When "the rents" are gone I berate my sister for hanging out with her parents all week. We decide to try out the buffet at Wynn. My first buffet all week. The long line moves fast. The buffet is nicely laid out, and I like how they walk you by the desserts before eating anything. There is plenty of fish, PLENTY OF FISH! Sushi, shellfish, all kinds of fish. I, in general, hate fish. I do not see this as better than Bellagio or Paris. I just had breakfast about 4 hours earlier. So I wasn't really in the mood for a buffet. It is very nice on the eyes. But the quality just seems average to me. I ask for a cup of coffee with my dessert. Which I get quickly. This coffee is considerably better than Cafe Bellagio's. Imagine that! Buffet coffee, better than a Bellagio restaurant's. I ask Lianna what she would like to do before she has to leave as well. She has no ideas, but she doesn't want to gamble. I suggest we ride up the Paris elevator and check out the fountains from way up high. She agrees and we hop a cab. On this ride, Lianna is astonished to find out, it costs money to go to the top of the Eiffel Tower. I am not in the mood to argue. We get to Paris and amazingly. The same slot/floor manager that stopped security from killing me last night has spotted us. He demands to see ID from Lianna for the 4th or 5th time. When he sees the ID he begins to sing and dance. Very surreal. I tell him of my idea of drinks on top of the Eiffel Tower. He shoots this down with reality. No drinks served up there and no drinks allowed to be brought up. However, he has an idea. He walks us over to the Eiffel Tower restaurant and gets us in. I would feel like a high roller if I wasn't in my pajamas. The elevator to the Eiffel Tower restaurant spits you right out into the kitchen. Again... Very surreal. A person grabs you and takes you into the restaurant area. Very classy. VERY classy. Everyone around me looks like they smoke millions. We sit in the lounge of the bar area. We order Panna, two Tanguray Ten and Tonics with Two limes, and another gimmick martini for my sister. We enjoy our drinks. The bill is almost $50, but everything was nice for Lianna's last minutes in LV.

    We walk back to the Aladdin. We get into the room and Lianna is finishing packing up her belongings. "Doug" calls me on my cell out of nowhere. He says he is at the Aladdin and is coming up. I ask where everyone else is. He says he doesn't know. I should have been suspicious. "Doug" arrives in the room and immediately begins spinning some story on me. He says he got more money from his parents at Western Union, but it isn't enough for him to get home. He asks me for $30. Just $30. Just enough for him to have dinner tonight and jump in a cab tomorrow morning to the airport so he can buy his ticket home. I bite, I give him the money. He hugs me and tells me he loves me. Shortly thereafter Mark stumbles into the room. He bought some huge beer thing at the Monte Carlo brew-pub. This thing is enormous and he was talking about how many times he refilled it. "Doug" got a call on his cell. It's Cameron. I don't hear the other side of the conversation, but "Doug" tells Cameron to come to my room. About 3 minutes later Cameron comes in and starts talking about "Doug" hanging up on him. Cameron grabs "Doug" by the throat and squeezes till I hear a crunch. I go absolutely berzerk and Cameron walks out, muttering "that was nothing". I am very concerned for "Doug". He has bruises on his neck and everyone in the room is going crazy. Mark leaves to confront Cameron and I am scared. I know that if they start any problems in the casino. Security will show up. If they start something with security they will either be 86'd or go to jail. But I'm also sick and tired of telling grown men what to do. We get things together and walk Lianna to the cab stand. We all hug her goodbye. I'm sad, that instead of her last image being in a upper class bar with the fountains in the foreground. But, a friend choking another friend in a hotel room. I am very angry at all of The Playaz right now.

    We walk back to the room and "Doug" is trying to gain his composure. We have a couple of drinks and try calling Mark and Cameron several times. They are not answering. As the minutes go by. We are getting more and more scared that they may have been arrested. We decide that the guys are probably vastly under hydrated. So we buy water at the gift shop. The shop is called "Open Sesame". Ugh! I can't wait for SOMEBODY to do SOMETHING with this hotel. "Doug" says he wants to smoke. I tell him I will be in my room. He wants to go up to his room and smoke. We make an agreement to meet back down in the lobby. When I go back up to my room. Cameron and Mark are there full of stories. They told somebody at TI to fuck off and almost got arrested. I am still very angry at Cameron for choking "Doug". Not to mention, choking him in MY room. "You don't know what I've gone through with him today". "What's that?" I almost spit at him. ""Doug" has been giving me shit about letting him gamble all day". I start to fall to pieces. Yep, he was given more than enough money to take care of everything in his Western Union. Instead, he decided to gamble away his money. I am disgusted. He has lied and used deception to get a few dollars out of me. I am still trying to get this together though. Maybe Cameron is too drunk. I began shoving water on him. I'm asking him question after question. Then Cameron really hit me with it. "Where do you think "Doug" is right now?" Like a true sucker I said "he's in the lobby waiting for me". Cameron begins to laugh. I mean BIG laugh. I am furious. I have had it. I am tired of being used. "Doug" fucking pimped me, and I think it through for 10 seconds. If I beat the shit out of him in public. I might only get 86'd. I've got way more than enough money to stay at Paris or Bellagio. I could pack up my stuff in minutes after throttling his brains out. To be honest I am rather interested in leaving this hotel anyways. In a flash I am out of the room. Everyone is screaming for me to stop. But my mind is a blur. I don't remember that happening to me in several years. I actually have the urge to do physical damage to another human being. I feel like I'm in the Matrix, like nothing is real. The first place... The lobby. Where he said he would be. I look in all directions. "Doug" isn't there. I see my wife for a second, but I'm gone again. I ride the escalator UP to the casino. What fucking idiots! What idiots actually designed this place? I check every table, every slot, the book, the poker room. Nothing. I go back to the room and Cameron is talking about this and that, but Mark is gone. Maybe he went looking for me. Cameron said something and I told him to just continue drinking water. BRRRRRING!!! It's "Doug". He wants me to come down to the lobby. I'm gone in a flash again. I see him and he's of course got a story. He admits to gambling, but only a few dollars. Then he admitted to getting more in his Western Union, but he used that to pay Mark and Cameron. All lies. This makes me fucking sick. There are too many people around. I can't beat him here. Too many people around to break it up. He keeps on using lies to spin his story. "Look at what Cameron did to Mark" "Doug" screams. However, I know that happened by TI security. He keeps on talking and the more he lies. The less I am angry. I now feel pretty sad. This addiction has him bad. He continues to lie and lie. One of the ones I liked the most was his excuse for not being in the lobby. He said he "fell asleep in the shower. Of course his hair wasn't wet and he was wearing the same exact clothes. Then he spins it right back on us. "I don't feel there is any friendship in our circle!" I'm done. I walk back to the elevators. "Wait wait that's not what I meant!" He asks me to look him in the eye. I tell him I can't look him in the eye while he lies to my face. He now says he is going back to the room to pack up his things and catch a flight tonight. He wants Mark to come up with him. Mark decides to come up to our room instead. I tell him I would come up to his room later and say goodbye. Mark and I continue to talk and go over his lies. There are too many to count. We come to my room. Cameron is looking better by the second. He is now on his third liter of water. Cameron refuses to believe "Doug" is leaving tonight. We talk some more and I decide I'm not going out tonight. Linda agrees. I am too sick of this shit. After a long amount of time Cameron talks us into having some breakfast at Bally's. We walk to Bally's and somehow all 4 of us get phone calls at almost the same time. So we slowly check out the menus at Al Dente and Bally's Steakhouse... Not bad. We all hang up and "Doug" calls Mark. Mark says that we are all at Bally's. We sit down and order and try talking about other things. But "Doug" always seems to come up. When we get our breakfast, it is my turn to get a call from "Doug". He begins guilt-tripping me about ditching him and blah blah blah. He can't get to me... I'm back to my calm self. I try to speak to him about things, but he is way to into himself. I invite him to Bally's THREE times. Finally he excepts and says something about "finishing this". I tell him not to be fucking with me at breakfast. I continue speaking about a few things and he hangs up. I close my eyes and continue my calmness. I am happy that all of us will be able to discuss this. I go to the restroom and when I return "Doug" is sitting at the table staring downward. I sit down and have a few more bites. I look at "Doug" and say hello. He greets me with stone eyes and a nod. What a fucker. He sits there for several minutes and says nothing. Like he works at Paris as a mime or something. Then he interrupts somebody and starts talking about "if I never came on this trip, nothing bad would have happened". I informed him that his statement was an oversimplification. He continues "you guys...." I interrupt "so you would like to speak to us now?" He counters with "you...." I interrupt again, "so you would like to speak to me?" He goes on for about 30 seconds and walks out. Mark and Cameron chide him very loudly. I figured he would handle things this way. Truly cowardly. Lie lie lie, then confronted with lies, blame everything on everyone else. We pay for the bill and leave. Now it is Cameron's turn to feel ill. He no longer wants to go out. So that just leaves Mark, as I never wanted to leave the room. I'm holding my wife's hand and I realize things are wrong. I ask her if she is OK, and she bursts into emotion. Friends don't use and lie to friends. She has no idea where "Doug" now sits. "Doug" has yet again run into luck by not being around me. I refuse to let anybody hurt my wife. He got away with one. We bid Mark good luck and go to our room. Hug Mark, Hug Cameron. We will make plans to get together again. But as for this week. I am glad it is over. We fall asleep around 1 or 2 AM

    Day 4... "Pass the Porterhouse"

    Linda and I wake up just short of 1PM. I look at the clock happy to know that NOBODY is here and the only people who can make our last day in Vegas suck. Is us. While rummaging around looking for chips (I swear I had an extra black one). I found the coupons to the spa! We both completely forgot about these. I have heard wonderful things about the Elemis spa, and I was frankly, giddy with excitement. We figure an hour and a half in the spa then meet up and get something to eat. The spa was OK. I liked the attendants, but I liked the spa at MGM Grand more. They have the same things. It just seems that MGM has more of it. I hit the eucalyptus steam room and took them up on the free juice. The fruit seemed like it was hijacked off of a truck headed to Bolivia. Not top quality. It was nice, steaming, cleaning up, drinking juice in front of the TV. Then repeating. I was done after about an hour. I went up to the room and left a message for Linda. I was going to the poker room for the first time this week. Just give me a call when you want me to come out. I got to the poker room and asked what was available. there was two 3-6 tables, and one 1-2 No limit. Well I play 1-2 no limit in my home game. So I was number 3. I actually laughed and said "how can people get beat out of a 1-2 game?" The guy look confused but gave me a courtesy laugh. He did not wear the look of "the guy who had seen everything". A few minutes went by while I checked out the 3-6 game. With the bets they were making. I figured I could mop it up in less than a few hours. My name was called and I bought $50. "Only $50" he said? I found out why very soon. Holy shit!! These guys are playing some serious no limit!! These guys have checks to the sky! not to mention the blacks and greens! The guy comes back with me fifty and I told him I made a mistake "I need another fifty". So I had to play pretty tight. Including a time when I folded 8-2 of diamonds. I folded it and it snagged on the mat and flipped over. UGH! The table goes crazy... "Why did you fold that?!?" etc. etc. etc. I did play a few hands. I busted one guys queens and tens with my king and fours. Very satisfying. I also was riding kinda high and limped in with 5-10 of spades. The flop came up blank-spade-spade. Remembering showing the diamonds earlier when I folded I raised 80 bucks! FOLD FOLD FOLD FOLD FOLD. Those were the two memorable hands I raked. After about an hour I noticed I hadn't gotten a call. When my neighbor did get a call. I look at my phone. <Searching for Service> Fucking piece of shit Sprint! I ask if I can use the house phone. I get permission. I call up to our room and Linda comes down. That's fine. I'm on my free hands anyway. The guy next to me is telling me a story about losing a hand this morning at Bellagio for over $900. He had trip kings and got rivered when the guy nailed his flush. I told him "you're amongst friends, we all have stories like that". My wife shows up and I bid everyone a fond farewell. I cash out exactly $100. I sat on a no limit table, I had no business being on and survived! That was fun.

    We are both hungry but it was a little after 3PM. We decided to split Le Parisian at the Paris coffee shop. We arrived at Paris and had that "home" feeling again. We really need to start thinking more closely about our hotel choices. At the front of the coffee shop I compliment the shift manager on his tie. He thanks me and sends me to the "best table in the house". We order the sandwich and never get any bread. I ask the waitress about bread. She says people who order sandwiches do not get bread. She also said it very rude. I decided to immediately slash her tip in half. Embarrass me about bread and you get your tip cut. We notice (like at the Zanzibar Cafe) there are slots and smokers right outside of our seating. However, here at Paris, none of these interfere with Lunch. Lunch is served and we are full. Exactly the right amount considering we had 8PM dinner reservations. The plate is bussed and a few minutes later, the bill comes. She never mentions: thank you, good luck, have a nice day, it was nice having you. She just moves on. Again... Her tip is slashed. Then something I have not seen in years happens. She actually gets into argument with another server 2 feet away from me. Not a "hush hush" argument either. She is actually yelling! Her tip is slashed to pieces and I walk to the manager. I compliment his tie again, and tell him about our dining experience. The bread was first. He explains to me that bread is automatically offered to guests who order dinner type meals. However, if bread is requested by any patron. That request if fulfilled. We also discuss the argument that ensued right next to our table. The manager is disgusted and thanks me for my input. I feel valued, as we walk to the Desert Passage.

    First at the Desert Passage is Sephora. Mainly, because we wanted to try out the new BVLGARI cologne. I like it, but not as much as the original. We try a few other new ones. Nothing I like better than what I already have. There was a period in my life when I had to have the newest and best colognes. Because colognes never go bad, I have about 20 different scents. I now only buy the ones that blow me away. That hasn't happened in awhile. We keep walking. I show her the cigar shop I bought her flavored cigars from. We walk around for awhile. We have plenty of time. Then we come upon one of many clothing shops. This one, right out front, has the sexiest silky purple top I have ever seen. I am picturing it on my wife as we speak. I look at her, and I believe she is too. We walk in and discuss the top with the salesman. The coat is nice. But impractical. Very few uses except for this top alone. We find out the price... SOLD. We are about to walk out when.... Oh man... Oh no! Yes it is. It is the most gorgeous 3/4 coat I have seen since Macy's 5 years ago! I look it over and the salesman yells "that's 100% cashmere!" Oh baby!!! Single line of buttons, not that stupid double breasted coat that makes men look like they are looking for fights at the docks. "Try it on try it on" the salesman goads. I have trouble resisting. The pockets are lined with a thin strip of leather on the outside. I try it on... Perfect. I am trying to figure out reasons why I am not going to buy this. The salesman gives me the price. THERE'S a good reason not to buy. "But today, my friend, it's 60% off." SOLD! Linda and I walk away with some nice clothes and several hundred dollars of our money stays here. Hey, at least I left Vegas with a new coat! Winter is coming ya know! We walk up to the room to get dressed.

    I've always heard Men (on television) bitch about how long their significant other takes to get ready. I have never understood this. Why not schedule more time? Relax. That's how I do things anyway. First, I plan out what I will wear. Which usually takes quite a long time. I have about 40 excellent ties. Combatted with 30-40 long sleeve button up shirts. I have literally... Hundreds of choices. I have to make sure my shoes look perfect. Thanks to Dennis, from the night before. They do. Showering, shaving, brushing teeth, lotioning, etc. These all take me long periods of time. Then I make the most important decision of the night. Which scent to wear. You think about the time of year. If the wind is strong. You might want a stronger scent. All of this takes me at least 90 minutes. I might have a drink or two while doing all this. So, maybe 2 hours total. Linda shows me what she is going to wear tonight. I try to explain as nicely as possible that PRIME is a pretty "stuffy" restaurant. I suggested something more conservative. Maybe the new purple top she bought. I tried my best, but I might have hurt her feelings. I am a person who feels way out of place when people are dressed more "dressy" than I am. When we are both finally dressed. We both look wonderful. I mix up a couple of "Mandalay Bay Mornings" for us. We drink to our last night in Vegas. Our reservations are at 8:30 and it is now just short of 8:00. That gives us time for a drink on the deck of the Fontana Lounge while watching the 8:15 fountains. We mildly hurry. Nothing serious, but we had some move in our step. We arrive at the Fontana Lounge and the door person guides us to a table right out front! He takes our drink order, as we will be leaving so soon. BOOM! The fountains are off. I can't remember the songs, but if you are ever serious about watching the fountains. The deck of the Fontana Lounge is the place. The drinks come, and we sip them. The show is over and it's time to go. We walk, with our drinks over to PRIME.

    Even though we are a few minutes early we are seated immediately. The person seating us speaks with respect. Not "hey you young punks! How did you get a reservation here?" We must look like we belong. The room is very victorian with dark velvet drapes held together with thick string. The chairs are wide and very cushy. The place feels new. I have never heard of the China company but it's "made in France". The silver is nice, everything feels comfortable. Russell will be our server tonight and I ask for a 7&7. Linda leans into me and thanks me for my suggestion of the conservative clothing. The prices here are not insane. Crazy, yes, but not insane. I debated drinking Macallan. At $13 for a shot of 12 year old. I am impressed at the bargain. My drink arrives within a couple of moments of my order. Russell asks if we have a water preference. I am not a sparkling water fan, neither is my wife. They do not have Evian, but they do have Panna. That will be fine. Before Russell does anything I ask him to do something for me. "What can I do for you sir?" "Russell, I need the name of the Manager at Cafe Bellagio. That person's supervisor, and that person's supervisor. I figure when I get home I will put on my letter writing shoes. "Sir, I do not know who those people are. But I will get it for you" Russell responds. Bread is also brought by. The fluffy pretzel is the one that interests me the most. The wine list is amazing to me. It's like an art gallery! So many beautiful pieces. The cheapest red is Cakebread Cellars 2003 at $125. I have always loved Cakebread over the years. But it is nothing special. Tonight we want something special. Well, special they have in spades. wines go up into the several thousands here. I wonder which wines they are hiding for the high rollers. I choose a Bordeaux that I have not heard of. Linda and I are still having fun looking through the menu and discussing things. Russell arrives and slips me a piece of paper with three names on it. One is the house manager of Cafe Bellagio. The second is the GM of Cafe Bellagio. The third is the VP of Food and Beverage for the Bellagio. I thank Russell, he has several menu suggestions. Russell delivers that service that you strive for, but very rarely find. Attentive, but not intrusive. He makes sure to let us know that "yes, our fish is excellent, but if you like meat. Go for our meat. Yes, we've all had Smith & Wollensky, and Morton's, and Ruth's Chris, but PRIME has the best meat you will ever have". Well I came to eat meat already, but that speech made it clear. It's meat for me. We have pretty much decided. We are just trying to figure out if we want the foie gras ravioli. The foie gras wins and we are ready to order. Somehow, Russell must sense this. As he is back shortly. We order the foie gras ravioli and both order the Caesar salad. Linda orders the veal Porterhouse, and I order the normal porterhouse with puree of two celery. It's time for another drink. I like to give my Bordeaux a particularly long period of time to breathe. We were both rewarded for the wait. The first sip was rich and spicy. Yet incredibly smooth. Smooth, not like silk, but smooth like a cool river on a hot day. The wine was perfect. It would go perfectly with beef and veal, depending on the sauce that was added to the veal. The ravioli arrived and I wish I had taken a picture. It reminded me of Le Cirque. The pride taken to make food as beautiful as possible. It was also... DELICIOUS. It's one thing to have something so visually stunning, but when the dish tastes as good as it looks. You are a lucky customer. The ravioli is crispy. Almost like a won ton. The creamy richness of the foie gras is brought to the front by the slight vinegary sauce. Wonderful way to start our meal. We finish every bite and the plate is bussed within seconds. After a few minutes the salads are brought. I live in a part of the world where excellent restaurants come and go like the wind. The best Caesar salad I ever had was at an Italian bistro on Solano avenue in Berkeley. This place also had this Penne with Pancetta and Broccoli that I loved. The day might have changed though. PRIME has a wonderful Caesar that strives for perfection in every bite. First, this is a whole heart of romaine sliced length wise. The quality of lettuce is excellent, but I would expect nothing less. The dressing is amazing. Very citrussy and I like it... I LIKE IT! Every bite you taste more and more. Light and fresh for a salad, it is quite remarkable. Time for another 7&7. Russell is slanging the drinks on me big time. The drinks could only come quicker if there was a bartender at every table. I enjoy every bite (except the stem of course). I send my drunken compliments to the chef through Russell. At some point in this meal I used the restroom. This is one extremely clean lavatory. Odd though, it seems like a large bathroom for one person. Everything is out in front of everyone. Maybe I missed a lock. When the meat came, I was impressed. The plates were covered in silver, and served elegantly. My porterhouse looked perfect. So did Linda's. We also ordered the green beans and the gratin as sides. The gratin was recommended by Russell. The meat was tender. Too tender. So tender I thought I was cutting into veggie steak or something. The flavor was not super intense as so many steakhouses are going in right now. It was absolutely delicious. Literally, when you stuck your fork in the steak and shook slightly. It quivered. Not shook, but actually kind of quivered like Jello. Using just a touch of the celery puree brought out a delicious roasted taste. The only thing I might say is... The steak did taste a touch salty. The filet side of the Porterhouse was so tender. Not only could I cut it with a butter knife. If I brought my knife down (slicing style) with just the slightest force (maybe enough to cut warm butter) the knife would go right through the filet. Amazing. Linda's veal is wonderful and we tried it with a few of the sauces Russell brought for us. PRIME's steak sauce is terrible. It tastes like Heinz 57 sauce. There was only one dish that I did not like and it surprised me. "Russell, I have to tell you. Those green beans. They just weren't that great." "What didn't you like about them, sir?" "Well Russell, as strange as this might sound. They were just too... Ordinary. Par cooked with little flavor added. Maybe it's just me, but I like my green beans with lots of garlic, served al dente." "Sir you'd be surprised how often we get that complaint. The next time you come. Whatever way you want your beans. You tell me. I will make it happen." "I didn't know you could specify your beans." "Sir, you can specify anything." I am in awe. This place has treated Linda and I so well. Sheltered us from the harshness that Vegas has dealt us so far. I never want to leave. Dessert is offered. All I want is coffee. Then my bracelet snaps and beads go flying. He helps me gather them up and uses a lighter. I say "ahhhh Russell, you smoke?" "Actually sir, it's a tool of the trade." "Because I was going to offer you a cigar." "Ooooooh thank you sir." I grab my 3 finger holder and Russell says "by the way.... Yes, I am a smoker." I die laughing. The bottle of Bordeaux is essentially empty and I offer him the last sip to try it. He accepts. I give him an Avo Churchill. Russell loves it. Linda orders that Volcano cake thing. I have one bite. The coffee here is OK. A little weak. The bill comes. Dinner for two came to about $450. Definitely not a weekly thing. But well worth the money. I leave Russell a crisp Ben (I almost always tip in cash). Linda and I are relaxing and Russell comes back to the table. "I have to say it was wonderful to have you guys. You were a lot of fun and I hope you both come back. Here is my card. If you two ever have any trouble getting in. Two people or twenty people. 7 o'clock, 8 o'clock, or 9 o'clock, call me. In fact... Here's my cell phone number. Just call me" Ladies and gentlemen. I now have a "hook-up" at one of Las Vegas' premiere restaurants.

    I had been trying to talk Linda into going downtown all week. She has finally relented, tonight, we are off! As we all know. Southwest now wants you to check in online prior to getting to the airport. Three prior hotels have printed out boarding passes for me at midnight. They also made it seem like it was no problem for them to do it. It was with this attitude I called down to the Aladdin front desk. I asked if they were able to use southwest.com to check in their hotel guests. "Yes, sir we do, we charge $2 per person." I rolled my eyes at the thought of the Aladdin making money off of someone else's technology and reminded myself "You paid $49, what did you expect?" I make my way down to the lobby at approximately 11:58. I looked out into the lobby and was stunned. There was a line all the way out to the fucking door!! I have gone from the satisfaction of a wonderful dining experience at PRIME to this bullshit! I get in line and everybody around me is groaning. I'm thinking, "how did they fuck this up"? They always ask you "what time will you be arriving?" Did all of these people lie?!?!?It takes 45 minutes to get to the front, because they only have 3 people checking people in. When I get to the front, I look behind me, you guessed it, all the way to the door! I get some lady named Tricia, or Alicia, or Bitcha, or whatever. The first thing I say, and I should mention I said this very calmly "it is my opinion that you guys need to staff more appropriately". "Opinion noted" she retorted. She actually said that! I would have respected any employee more who said "look I am doing this for cocaine money and nothing more. So either go to someone else or tell me what you want!" After almost losing it. I told her that I would like to check-in using southwest.com. She is absolutely confused. She almost looks dizzy! We go back and forth about what I want for a few minutes. I show her my Southwest reservation print-out. She is still confused. I am sick of this. "I have no idea why this is so confusing to you. I spoke with a man at this post, on the phone 45 minutes ago and he had no problem with what I was discussing." She then begins to interrupt me. Something that KILLS me. "So you want to print out boarding passes!" I didn't know if this was a question or not. "FINALLY, you understand." "Yes, I understand," "Good, get me your supervisor's card as well." I am a pissy bitch when I am toyed with.

    Linda says she is ready to go to downtown even though she looks like she is ready for sleep. Our flight is at 10:30AM which means we need to be up and out of here by 8:30. It's now 1AM. Linda has never been downtown and I wanted to show her the "old school" side of Vegas. We agree to go out. We catch a cab and I tell him to take me the cheapest route to Downtown. He keeps bitching about this and that. Finally I say "fine, just get me there". I know the gas/break hard approach and he is going to shoot this thing up anyways. Might as well pay the extra 3 or 4 bucks so he will shut up. He drops us off at Binion's... I've got that feeling. Then I realize I left me 3-finger case back in the room. DAMNIT!!! No cigars. We walk in and I buy a Macanudo. I start giving a little background on Binion's, but it doesn't matter. This place looks like shit. I mean... I hear the vacuum cleaner. But I see no proof that it is working. After spending the entire prior 3 days on the strip. These patrons look terrible. None of them are wearing suits, hell! None of them are wearing clean shirts! The slots are empty. The place just looks sad. But I know that the Golden Nugget will switch everything up. We walk out of Binion's and somebody hits me up for two dollars. I feel generous. So I give him a Paris red. This mother fucker actually starts bitching at me! I tell him to give it back to me. I mean... This shit might scare the crackers from Nebraska, but I'm from Oakland! He backs off, and I tell him that Binion's will cash it. We enter the Golden Nugget and it is just more of the same. What the hell happened to the Golden Nugget? Just two years ago this place looked great. Now, I would say the casino level looks as bad as Boardwalk. This place is just not up to par. The slots are empty the smoke is thick in the air. The only difference is, the minimums are higher. I keep showing her around in circles. Vainly looking for "the nugget". Linda and I keep spinning around "look an Austin Powers slot!" Finally I stop. "What are you looking for" Linda asks. "That nugget" "It's back over there". She fains interest, but in the end. Who cares? It's a rock. It's not a rock that sings or cooks ham and eggs. It just sits there, like all other rocks. We go to the Fremont which was pointless. Yet again, another place that looks the same. The FSE isn't on. So she doesn't have that to be interested in. All I can do is point up at it and say "when that thing's, on it's pretty interesting." We decide to go back to the $5 Pai Gow table at Binion's. On the way there I get panhandled again. We both buy in for $50 and both lose 10 straight hands. We walk to the cab stand, behind Binion's, and take off. We fall asleep. I have not impressed my wife with Downtown. It is also a $20 cab ride to DT from Center strip. The chances we will be staying there are small.

    Day 5... "Let's get the hell out of here"

    Linda tries to wake me up nicely. But there is no way you can wake up a man on 5 hours sleep, nicely. The Aladdin, has literally, screwed up the wake up call. This place is managed by some seriously fucked up people. Absolutely NOTHING is done right. I would write a letter, but I have no idea where I would start.

    Dear Fucking idiot,
    Please punch yourself in the face... HARD. I hope you are painted over in the remodel. Maybe, the smell of paint will help you run a hotel better. I'd rather sleep at Mcdonald's than Aladdin. You have all proven that anybody can get a degree at Devry University.


    Sincerely,
    M


    We packed last night. So all we have to do is drag all of our luggage down to the cab stand. Why do we pack this much? We need to think things through. The cab hailer has finally figured out his job. We get a cab. "Happy Thanksgiving sir!" That's right! It's Thanksgiving! The cab guy was nice. His phone went off a few times. It's nice to hear "Vegas people" planning family holidays. I give him a 30% tip. We walk to the Southwest luggage people. We are standing in line. When a Southwest guy walks up and says "I can help you". I give him $10 instead of $5. I don't even get searched by the TSA! I always get searched! That is why we plan so much extra time. We actually have time to eat. Nothing is open. Burger King is open. Then I see one of those Meatnormous Omelet sandwiches and I almost vomit. I actually ate breakfast at Taco Bell. We get to the flight as they begin boarding. The flight takes off and I am mulling over what in the hell happened these past few days. Linda rolls her head over to me and says

    "Let's go to Reno next month... alone"

    At least I got a new coat
     
  2. Typhinie

    Typhinie Tourist

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2003
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Los Angeles, CA
    I got aweful service at Zanibar Cafe also- and that says a lot. I am a VERY patient person because I wait tables... but this server actually affended me.

    But I loved staying at Aladdin. I had no other problems besides the cafe...

    Aside from the drama, sounds like you had some good moments.
     
  3. Smarra17

    Smarra17 Poker Queen

    Joined:
    Jul 28, 2002
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    Brooklyn, NY
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    Pimp...

    Wow, I am so sorry to hear about all the Drama. It seems to me that the Mrs. and you need a nice trip all alone. I loved Wynn when I was there a few weeks ago, Steve did an amazing job and if you get a special to stay in the rooms well they are freakin amazing, I have never slept on a bed as comfortable.

    Great read but sorry to hear about your friend. Hope he gets the help he needs...

    Sammi
     
  4. YoungGun

    YoungGun VIP Whale

    Joined:
    Aug 4, 2003
    Messages:
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    Location:
    Southern California
    Thanks for the excellent trip report. It was very interesting and entertaining, which makes me feel guilty since I was enjoying drama you had to actually go through. At least you got a nice dinner and a new coat out of it. :) All the coffee shops in the newer resorts seem to suck now. Just normal food at high prices. Let us know if you hear back from "management".
     
  5. Vegas Tonya

    Vegas Tonya Margarita Connoisseur

    Joined:
    Mar 30, 2004
    Messages:
    1,090
    Location:
    Fabulous Las Vegas
    Nice report and interesting. I hope your friend gets the help he needs and realizes how he treated his friends and apologizes.

    Although the part that actually made me laugh was:

    "I stole the glass."

    That killed me. My husband bought me a margarita one time at the B and it was $14. He freaked out and said if I left the glass he would divorce me. :D It's not like it was a margarita with top shelf either....it was just plain old Jose! Bastards to rip us off cause we want a drink NOW!

    Thanks for sharing.
     
  6. Pimp_N_M

    Pimp_N_M MIA

    Joined:
    Mar 5, 2003
    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    Pleasanton, CA
    To all who wonder... My friend "Doug" and I set up a time for me to take him to a Gambler's Anonymous meeting. I talked to Cameron after Thanksgiving and he sounded surprised I was still going. I spoke to a few G.A. counselors up in Tahoe and found out exact times and places of meetings. I made the commitment to drive the 200 miles to Tahoe. Set up for the night in a hotel at my expense. Everything would be at my expense, and I would take him to these meetings and sit right next to him, the whole time. The time "Doug" and I set up was this past Monday, November 28th. Unfortunately, "Doug" never committed to giving me his address and has not returned any of my phone calls since. I have known "Doug" for years and it makes me truly sad to watch him be slowly destroyed by his addiction. It is not the Michael Jordans or Kerry Packers of the world who destroy their lives through gambling addiction. It's the neighbor next to you playing Video Poker. It's the guy on the curb out in front of the casino with his head in his hands. Wondering where it all went wrong. I have had a few bad stories with gambling, and I have heard some worse ones. My only hope is that "Doug" never gets staked by an outside interest. If he drowns by that grand or 2 grand he might not come back up for air.

    I made a very tough decision today after reading this story again and remembering everything that took place. I am a firm believer that "Doug's" gambling addiction is forcing him to do these things out of self preservation. Lie, cheat, steal, deception. However, I have to think of myself and my wife. We can not have an individual like this in our lives. Even if it is brought on by a disease. It is a disease that he can work on. Without him making the proper steps to become a better man. I have to write him out of my life. I pray that someday he can find his way back in it. But I would put the odds below 20%. I'm hoping for the longshot to come in first again.
     
  7. MikeE

    MikeE The Shah's Slightly Hairy Cousin

    Joined:
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    I really enjoyed your report, Pimp. Despite the drama, there were some hilarious moments. If you ever do send that letter to Aladdin using those words, please tell us what they respond with.

    I hope "Doug" gets the help he needs. My own 21st birthday trip was ruined by the same type of "friend" so I know exactly where you're coming from.

    AVO... mmmm.....
     
  8. SH0CK

    SH0CK Stylin' and Profilin' Quasi Tech Admin

    Joined:
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    Sorry to hear about your friend pimp, but there were good time in this trip, so those should be the things to focus on.
     
  9. doctor_al

    doctor_al VIP Whale

    Joined:
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    I'll say this, your stories are never boring Pimp. Wow.
     
  10. DNA

    DNA Low-Roller

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2004
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    Location:
    Michigan
    That was a great and very detailed report. Congrats on the hook-up at Prime.

    Darin
     
  11. sin

    sin VIP Whale

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    Wow, what a story! Perhpas you'd be kind enough to explain why you thought it would be a good idea to bring someone you know has a gambling problem to Vegas? And then, maybe you could explain why you were surprised by his behavior?
     
  12. Pimp_N_M

    Pimp_N_M MIA

    Joined:
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    Messages:
    967
    Location:
    Pleasanton, CA
    Fair question Sin... We, including myself and all of his friends in this story. Knew he was "stupid" with gambling and had a habit of continuing to gamble well after he should have quit. At no time before, has he, deceived me into giving him money. Nor lie to cover it up, or lie to cover up those lies. He also broke an oath to us. Something that surprised all of us, especially Cameron. I remember him talking about that $20 that "Doug" wanted to gamble. Later that night when I spoke to him about it he looked at me and said "I never thought he was actually going to gamble!" I never thought he would break his oath to us so quickly."

    After the trip, I spoke to a counselor. He felt that the big mistake we made wasn't bringing him to Las Vegas, but keeping him in Las Vegas. He said the second Lianna's midnight birthday was over "Doug" should have been on a flight home. Not to mention... This guy already lives in one of the top 10 destinations for gambling in the US.
     
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