My roommate (BG), my best friend (S), and I (C) left San Diego at about 6am on Thursday the 13th. It's usually a 4.5-5 hour drive and we didn't want to miss out on our 1pm reservation at Commander's. S drove with me riding shotgun. BG pretty much just slept in the backseat. After flipping off the hick that kept tailgating us, we decided to stop off in Barstow. NEVER AGAIN. Jesus God who built this godforsaken place?!?! It took us 45 minutes to get gas and McD's. When we got into the the McDonalds we all had a vision of the Star Wars cantina in our heads. I almost lost it when BG started humming the music from Star Wars. Some uhhh "pleasantly plump" lady tried to take off with S's shake...which did not go over well... We made really good time and made it to the Tropicana earlier than we planned. Well we can't check in until noon and its about 10am. BG decides to play poker (this will be a recurring theme for him throughout the trip). S and I go next door to MGM to get a drink and play some VP. We return at noon... Reason for hating the Tropicana #1: "Oh, we just assign you a room at noon. You can't actually check in until 3pm." Die please. So we have 3 dudes, who spent 5 hours riding in a car, who desperately need a shower, and have lunch reservations at a nice restaurant in about an hour. Great. We took turns changing in the car. The bathroom would have been a little more subtle, but... Reason #2: a clean casino bathroom is a little much to hope for. I've been to Vegas many times in the last 2 years and I must say...I don't remember the Aladdin being that far away. I was getting annoyed that the sign wasn't getting any closer. Anyway, we make it to Commander's and our waiter (male) takes a liking to S (also male.) We still haven't stopped teasing him. We all do the lunch special. I get the tomato bisque (excellent) and the pork etoufee (yum, but kinda cold). I ended with the bananas foster's parfait and everyone else's beignets. Of course we got our 25 cent martinis. Two bloody marys, a something martini (i can't remember), and a chocolate one for dessert. The bloody mary ones were excellent as always. S got a couple of girly ones. And was drunk after two. (insert lots of jokes about castration/lack of manhood/et cetera) Our waiter was pleased to know that it was S's first time in Vegas. As in..."we need to show this boy around TOWN tonight!" No thanks, homie, we'll be fine without you. We shook the waiter's hand when we left and S....well, for some reason S decided to give him a hug. After all the teasing about his new boyfriend, S gives him a hug.... We go back to the room (fairly large with a balcony, and our roof looked like it would cave in at any moment) and drink, except BG goes and plays poker. If you don't hear about BG much in this story, it's safe to assume that he was playing poker. We meet up with Jason, S's friend who works at MGM. We wander down to the Bellagio and go into Caramel. I found my new favorite bar. I got the caipirinha which reminds me of my time in Brazil. The women were beautiful and my couch was comfy. Jason has to leave so we head back to the Trop. After dinner at the cafe in Trop I decide to rest before going clubbing. I shower first and take a nap while S gets ready. Reason #3: The water tends to come out in a fine mist...arbitrarily hot or cold. I heard at least 3 screams this trip...and a couple of those may have come from me. BG isn't coming because he didn't have nice shoes and refused to borrow mine...aka he was going to play poker. So S decides to take a nap instead of waking me to go clubbing. I wake up around midnight and WAKE HIS ASS UP Well our club plans are pretty much shot so we go to the Empire Ballroom for afterhours. Twilight zone moment: It seemed like Decatur had converged on Vegas for the weekend. 1am and guys are wearing hats, baggy jeans, 3 shirts, some gold chains, bandannas, and lots of general bling. All of the most ghetto people you have ever met multiplied and infiltrated the strip. I'm half black, so I know ghetto black people...they are in my family. They were hitting on EVERYTHING that moved. We were walking behind girls and you could just see these Decatur fools get ready to pounce. "Yo baby, where you goin, take me with you, I wanna get on some of that." This continued for the whole weekend. We get into Empire free. I'm not into house/techno/trance whatever the hell it was but I did like one of the dancers. I make S buy me drinks because he's into this music. We crash around 6am. We put S on the floor. I enjoyed my bed. It would not last... We wake up Friday and decide whether life is worth being awake for or not. We had brought a substantial amount of red bull, water, vodka, tequila, rum, vanilla cognac...so getting up was a little rough. I vaguely remembered yelling "Cross the damn road you swine!" at slow people at crosswalks. I have this tendency to turn into Hunter S. Thompson when I've been drinking. We decide to hit Max's Cafe at the Aladdin mall because they have $3.99 lunch specials and 3 for 1 drink specials. SCORE! So we make the trek BACK to Aladdin and hit up Max's. I was not that impressed by the drinks but we ended up getting 9 for $30. Food was alright. The goat cheese salad was tasty. You know how some girls where pants too tightly and there ummm saddlebags roll over the top of the jeans? Well those are known as "muffintops." Well there were 3 of them at the bar next to us. We hit the bathroom before we left and the 3 had left and had been replaced by 3 that were even more overweight. It was getting to surreal for me. We get out to the strip and the wind is HOWLING. I remember talking to my friend on the phone and yelling, "woman, i can't hear you! i will call you later! hooray cheap martinis!!." We head back to the room and I call my buddy who is coming in that day. He says, "It's gonna be me (J), Rod, Brandon, and E. Adam and L are coming tomorrow." Ok, dudefest. We dude the usual gambling/drinking/snoozing for the day and then get dressed. Drinks in hand, we wander to the Aladdin and meet with the boys. We do a ton of prepartying in about 15 minutes...I found that Crown has a tendency to destroy my motor skills. Oh well. We go downstairs to get taxis to go to the Hard Rock so we can club at Body English. In line in front of us is a 12 girl bachelorette party. Score! But they are going to Pure. Weak. But they want us to call them tomorrow. Score! We get down to Hard Rock but the line isn't open yet. We hit the desperately needed bathroom and get into line. We manage to do the VIP line but still have to pay cover. Body English is my new favorite club. Side note: The guys had been telling us that we needed "to pull our weight, and pull chicks." All night they were telling us that we'd better "pull chicks." Keep this is mind for later. Body English is my new favorite Vegas club. I like the layout and all. Anyway, basically all the guys except for S and I are TRASHED. Half of them are useless and hitting on all the girls. I talk to a couple of girls that they talk to but I'm not really there to hit on women. I get a drink and head down to the dance floor. Ok, I'm 6'3 and about 205...I don't fit that well into small spaces. I'm trying to lean against the railing and not have my drink knocked all over me when this girl looks at me from about 15 feet away and snaps her fingers twice and points at the ground in front of her. I'm barely smart enough to realize, "I think this young lady would like it if I went over and danced with her." Little did I know that I would be dancing for the next 4 hours straight with occassional bathroom breaks. She was a sweetheart and was a great dancer, especially seeing as how she was from Iowa. I can't find anybody but S who manages to be with 2 girls at the same time. I leave with the Iowa girl (W) and S says he's staying with the other 2 chicks. I haven't seen any of the other guys for hours. Turns out that S and I were the only ones to leave with girls. J left with one who proceeded to puke all over his hotel room. W and I go back to the Trop so I can change shoes. We then walk the strip and end up sitting on a couch in the Bellagio. We spend hours out and about and then go back to the Trop. S is passed out on my bed so I guess she won't be staying over. W said she thought I was going to try to sleep with her when we first got back to the room. She didn't think i really wanted to change shoes. I guess there are no gentleman anymore I walk her back to her room and say goodnight. S is not sure if he ended up having a 3some or not. That's always a good sign Saturday is kind of hazy. S and I met up with W and her girls at the MGM pool. We spent a good five minutes laughing at the guy who was reading a Sports Illustrated and ummm pitching a tent. We leave the pool and W says she will call me to let me know if they are going to go to Tao with us that night. I don't remember the rest of the day much. J calls and says that the bachelorette party is coming over and so are three ladies they met at the pool. We get dressed for clubbing and hustle down to the Aladdin...again...to find that the girls had just left. We need to meet them at Tao. We pound some drinks and taxi it over. The girls are already in the club and their ringleader needs them all to come out to show that we are actually there with 12 girls. We STILL had to pay cover. Ok i'm going to say this now: I really really really REALLY dislike Tao. I hate the layout and the dance floor is pretty stuffy. One of the girls supposedly likes Brandon but seems to be paying an awful lot of attention to me. Bad situation. W texts and says they are going to Pure. Lame. Somehow I end up with a pink feather boa on. Note to guys: Put on a pink feather boa and go to a club...I've never had so many girls come up and talk to me. We meet with the 3 other girls from the pool that the guys met. We take a lot of pictures and I do a lot of wandering out of boredom. And drunkeness. I meet another bachelorette party who averages about 5'11. The actual bachelorette was my height. After a long night, we all leave. S and I head to Empire again for his sake. On Sunday we pack up and head to Kahunaville. We have a Restaurant.com gift thing so we use that. Tasty drinks there. We hop in the car, get some gas, and make fun of the strange strange people that wander the strip. It takes us about 6 hours to get home. Damn traffic. Things I learned: Iowa girls can dance. Feather boas rock. Tropicana is the bane of my existence. Body English also rocks. Never will I go to Tao again. Meukow Vanilla Cognac and Coke is the best drink ever. If a lady asks your age, 23 is never the right answer. I will always feel awkward dancing with THE bachelorette. Limit the number of guys you go to vegas with. Do not hug your waiter. If you manage to decipher any of the proceeding paragraphs...congratulations.