Martini Mikeâ€™s Vegas Adventure- Summer 2008 Goodness... where to begin?! That was the longest 3 nights of my life. Last trip I had to write three installments. I may have to do the same this time. It’s a little fuzzy still. But I will try to get it out while it’s fresh in my mind! In all it's sorted mayhem here it is in a nutshell. Martini Mike’s Vegas Adventure- Summer 2008. Friday night we arrived with limited fanfare. Our flight was on time. A limo waited from LasVegasLimo.com. The driver was prompt, courteous, had my name right on the sign this time… “Martini Mike”. We proceeded to the nearest liquor store for a bag of items we would mostly give away to the Bellhop at checkout. And let me mention here that $60 of premium booze still left a puss on his face until I also gave him cash! It took an hour to get from baggage claim to the hotel downtown (Golden Nugget). For the first time in nine years he could not even get into the driveway. We unloaded slowly at the curb. It took another hour for us to check in with the rather long line, grab my tux jacket out of luggage & get back across town to The Palms. The Palms. VIP Guest List for The Playboy Club, courtesy of my friend the VP of their marketing group. You can not take a camera in to The Playboy Club evidently. Who knew? Considering we were taking cell phone pics with the girls last time. Not even a VIP. I was just lugging it around (the camera) for 3 days just in case, not really intending to take pics there anyway. But, they made me go all the way back across the casino to the front desk of the hotel & check it in. We had just about enough time to run up and grab the first Vegas Martini. All the table games were dealt by beautiful women except for roulette. Why did I play roulette? “Adam the Cooler” as I have now affectionately named him quickly relieved me of $300 in the span of one cocktail. We ran for the door. Thanks. Dinner at Little Buddha was awesome as usual. My friend Shelly the GM greeted us with open arms. She bought us a round of Lychee Martinis. We had the usual munchies… Chinese Orange Chicken. We also had Spider Rolls and whatever else we had I can’t remember! It was all so delicious as always. Oh, did I mention we had dinner with Carrot Top ? Yah, he was sitting next to us. I think I spotted Kal Penn, of “Harold & Kumar” fame as well. And off we go to our next decadent stop. VooDoo Lounge. I got the two bottle minimum waived by my friend Bobby, Senior VIP Host. Had a great table inside where there is AC! I was given a little tour which included meeting the DJ. I savored the breathtaking view.I did some more marketing with stickers, taking pics, etc. We ended up giving away Â½ a liter of Ketel One toward the end as there were only two of us. I was a little miffed when I saw people sitting at tables for free without any bottle service. This would also be the case the following night at TAO! We eventually made our way back downtown for a little early morning losing at the “Unlucky Nug”. We managed to get to our rooms by 6. Saturday afternoon sneaks up. Painfully slow recovery and we are out the hotel to Golden Gate for breakfast around the crack of 3. I had the famously incredible Cappuccino, Steak & Eggs, Â½ order of fabulous fluffy flapjacks. Say that 10 times fast. Stuffed to the gills we head back to get ready for another night! Limo arrives at 5. We are armed with a sign that reads "Mick Jagger is in this Limo!" It's amusing to passersby. Off to Red Square to be interviewed by www.vegashappyhours.com. The guy became ill & sent two ladies to interview me instead. Kendra and Ashley. We were treated royally by Mike the Assistant GM as my usual contact, the GM, was out this weekend. There were delicious Russian Martinis and lots of Caviar. We got a tour of the Vodka Vault. Loved it! It’s only $5000 to rent a locker there to store your own bottles in for when you visit. Tell them “Martini Mike sent me”! Took lots of pics. Ran out the door for our next stop. Palazzo. Oh the glamour. Fabulous digs for sure. I should stay here some time. With VegasHappyHours.com ladies in tow we locate Dal Toro. Dal Toro is an Italian restaurant with a patio right on the Boulevard, and DJ, and glass wall separating it from the new Lamborghini Dealership next door. It is “Ultra Happy Hour” at the “Ultra Lounge”. From 6-10 ladies first drink is free. I meet up with my friend David Turpin, of the True Management Group, who gives us a little tour & gets me a drink. There are of course pictures, chit chat, and marketing. I would definitely go here for Happy Hour anytime. Now the boys are off to The Steakhouse at Circus Circus. That was the best steak we have ever had. They start at about $42. I want to say. With a nice glass of small batch bourbon… mmmm. Pretty pretty good steaks and service. I was disappointed they let people dine there in shorts & t-shirts and flip-flops! Whatever. They must have been staying there. Ready for lengthy rant #1? We must get to TAO no later than 11 for my excruciatingly acquired “waiving of two bottle minimum” by Marc Rayos, VIP Host. This is the guy I started dealing with after Mike Nagar, VIP Host, wouldn’t get back to me for 4 days at that point. I had sent texts, email, and MySpace messages a few times. So here I am in line waiting. Don’t see “my guy” who I have texted prior to arrival. Some other guy seats us at what was absolutely the worst table I have ever had anywhere in Las Vegas. I don’t fully absorb this until he has gone with my tip money. It was a tiny coffee table in front of a tiny bench behind a giant pillar. It was halfway between the entrance and the bar. Fat drunk foreign people crowd us & annoy us frequently. I’m ready to punch someone. There is no private security person and I think “our” waitress is actually several table’s waitress. So, no one is going to watch our things, that’s for sure. I could go on & on here but I won’t. Yah, right. I must. I am pissed. Let’s just say I spent the entire three + hours between text messages, visits, and empty promises from multiple hosts and waitresses to move me to a better table. Some vast freaking conspiracy?? I never saw the rest of the club because I truly believed that any moment we would be moving and I had better be ready! “Vegas veteran and tough street guy gets gullible, News at 11”. Hey, how about the big cushy sectional, caddy corner to us, that is being occupied over & over by NON BOTTLE SERVICE patrons?! I am of course told that they are sold out on tables at some point. Hmmm that’s strange. Also, strange how the guys next to us also only have one bottle. They said it was no trouble at all to only purchase one bottle instead of two. Eventually I am filled in by a staff member that not only am I not permitted to take my bottle from my table to a friend’s table, they are also not permitted to move it for me! So basically you sit where they put you & shut up & pay them your $600-$1200 because they are “sold out” and you will stand without a drink otherwise. I think I may be done with these big clubs. Some kind soul (staff) pours our Â½ liter of Vodka into a water bottle for us and we thankfully leave around 2:30 am. Taxi Cab driver and I are mildly amused by my buddy with the very loud hiccups as he is passed out in the cab. The rest of the morning is uneventful other than the 90 minute wait for a Bagel & Lox from Room Service. Sunday bangs on my head like a doorknocker at I don’t even know what time. Where did I go? What did I do? Oh, a slice at Uncle Joe’s down Fremont Street. Their AC is broken again evidently, like every other summer. There is Yankees talk, cheap Soprano’s posters, creepy old parmesan. A crazy man dances (or something) near the counter until they throw him out. We run for our lives. Good pizza though. Across the street to Lovo Cigars! Hand rolled best damned cigars you ever had. We pose for pics with Egda the owner who personally hand rolls these babies with either tobacco from the family farm in Nicaragua or a blend from elsewhere. For a special treat some have been dipped in honey & dried, some have been dipped in Amaretto, etc. Some “twisties” are bi-colored wrappers. We laugh and puff away and laugh some more. The walls are covered with 8x10s of her smoking with celebrities like Sly Stallone. Shipping is reasonable for a box of 25. I’m all over it. We make our way about Fremont Street in the crippling heat, sweating out our hangovers. We gawk and gamble and drink just a wee bit less than the previous days. Alas we are back at the Golden Nugget for a rest. Upon reaching my room at this time I found that the door was OPEN. Though this was hours & hours after I called for housekeeping I thought she might still be in the room. Wrong. And for the first time all weekend my safe wouldn't open. This of course led me to believe someone had been trying to get into it! It appeared as though housekeeping made the bed, left some toiletries, then just left, also leaving the door open. No one was around at all... I looked. My ashtray was dirty, there were 1/2 full glasses lying around, pillow on floor, dirty sink, dirty shower, etc. etc. Security came up & explained it away as they "often believe customers don't want things disturbed" so "housekeeping probably just made bed and left not realizing door was open". Safe? "dead battery?" "coincidence". Maintenance came up & electronically picked it. Hmmm… not happy. Nothing is missing so that’s a plus. No sort of comp or anything but an apology in my second call to the front desk to lodge my only official complaint. Security can see I didn’t make this up. Hell, could I make a bed that tight?! Dinner our last night was spent at the corporate Irish Pub that had no “Harp” named “Hennessey’s”. Coupon on Restaurant.com. This is where the world’s biggest fake pint of Guinness is located, down Fremont Street toward the El Cortez. My buddy had Corned Beef and Cabbage. I had Fish and Chips. Meals were big and delicious. We pound a few pints of English beer. Gamble Gamble, the only luck so far is at Fitzgerald’s. I turn $10 into a few hundred between several Video Poker machines and what not. I give it back at the old “Unlucky Nug”. Damn. We are finally heading up to rooms sorta early this night. Midnight? I had just noticed this fishy group of trampy looking ladies. I immediately think these are um “Ladies of the Night”. Just something about them was a little trashier than some Vegas weekend girls. Remember, we are right in the middle of a nice hotel. Well, they are! I’m approached by one who has strayed from the herd so it took me a minute to snap that she was with those others. She pinched my nipple and laughed. Then it sinks in. She offered me a “special deal” “tonight only”. I chuckled and said “no thanks honey, not tonight”. I turn my back & guard my wallet. She looked amazed and disappointed I turned her down. We laughed about them all the way to the unguarded elevator. If I spotted them, why couldn’t security? I sleep poorly again in my tomb of a room with the fake window that does not go outdoors, next to the ice machine, at the end of the hall, by the elevators. I awake in time to pack & get out of this place. We check our luggage & hit the buffet. This buffet has been on my list for s few years. It was pretty good. We paid $12 or so a piece at lunch time. The omelet station was still open. There was pizza, breakfast Chimis, Eggs Benedict, Chinese, Eggrolls, meats, etc. No Cappuccino. We finally stop and glance at the shark tank from the hall. Yay. There is no shuttle. We grab a cab driven by a maniac. I continue to lose gambling money at the airport. We are whisked away just moments after testing the McCarran WI-FI. We are the last two people on the plane. We do not sit together. I get the last seat on the plane right in front of the only screaming child. Between screaming it kicks the back of my seat over and over. This is the cherry on my cake of a weekend. Next Vegas trip we are planning on “slumming it”, other than the hotel room of course. We are going to walk around with no plans. We are not getting any limos or bottle service at the latest “Criss Angel and Britney were spotted here last night” BS overcrowded nightclub. I am not gambling at the Golden Nugget. I am not bringing my laptop. I will wear my anti-hooker repellant. I will not bring a tuxedo jacket. I will pretend I am a tourist and drink cheap beer and see cheap sites and stay up only half the night. I will try to drop minimal business cards. I offer up a challenge to any industry personnel that may be reading this. I challenge you to show me a truly good time or truly good customer service and I guarantee you I will write all about you in my guidebook about Vegas. You have Martini Mike’s word on that. Did I miss anything Nitro Nate? Still recovering? Me too. P.S. There are plenty more pictures to come, so stay tuned! You may find some of my "artsier" ones at http://www.flickr.com/photos/martinimike If you spot yourself in one… email me & I will send you a copy along with any goodies I promised but you forgot to get.