Mute in Vegasâ€¦ Destination: Las Vegas Date of trip: March 12 to 21st, 2007 Traveling companions: Daughter Nicky 25, and son Mike 19. Monday, March 12th The title should be a dead giveaway that this is going to be a â€œdifferentâ€ sort of trip report. Certainly not what I had planned. The trip was strange in many waysâ€¦my inability to speak was just one of them. Howeverâ€¦lets start at the beginning, shall we? I was doing my usual attempt to work up enthusiasm among my family members and round up some traveling companions for a trip out in March. My darling son is my ever-ready companionâ€¦..always eager to join me on any of my adventures. The daughter, on the other hand, has to be coaxedâ€¦and cajoled â€¦and begged. For as many reasons as I could think of why she should join us on this tripâ€¦she could think of just as many reasons why she shouldnâ€™t. I had tried for days to convince her and had all but given up. As a last resort I sent in the big gunsâ€¦her little brotherâ€¦..she is always a softie where he is concerned. And lo and beholdâ€¦he talked her into it. QUICK! Before anyone could change their mind I booked the airfare, and it was settled! I was hoping that if the kids had each other, that would allow me some more free time to myself, without feeling guilty. We flew out of Detroit Monday night and had a completely uneventful flight to Vegas. We had the first of many eccentric cab drivers who insisted on yelling at the pedestrians in front of the Mirage that â€œThey smell like COCKROACH!!â€ ???? Donâ€™t ask me what that meansâ€¦I have no ideaâ€¦I just wanted to get out of that cab. Once I had the kids safely settled in the room with drinks and snacks (sounds like they are two, doesnâ€™t it?) I went downstairs to lose my Freeplay from Mirage which I did with amazing speed. I did find, what I think was Pipâ€™s lucky group pf progressive VP machines in front of Canterâ€™s Deli. So I sat at the one on the end nearest the aisleâ€¦just like she had saidâ€¦.and played for the longest time on $20. I went off to bed around 3AM. (Stupid meâ€¦I forgot all about running outside at 2:30AM to see the Stardust come down!) Tuesday, March 13th The first order of the day was to get ready and be downstairs at 10:30 am because LVNorm had been sweet enough to order me some Sugarfree DaVinci Syrup and was dropping it off at the Mirage for me. Mike and I waited for him in the lobby and he showed up right on time. Thanks again Norm! I managed to transport them safely back to Canada but I havenâ€™t tried them yet because I still canâ€™t taste anything! Nicky still wasnâ€™t ready yet ( this will be a recurring theme) so Mike and I walked over to Tickets 4 Tonight at the Fashion Show Mall and got some Vinnie Favorito tickets for that night. Mike always chortles with glee as we walk past all the poor peasants roasting the long line in the sun and we continue on inside to the nice, cool, short VIP lineâ€¦just because I have that stupid printout coupon from the internet! That thing is worth itâ€™s weight in gold! We got our vouchers and went back to check on Nickyâ€™s progress. Ready at last. I had thought that since our beloved Commanderâ€™s Palace was goneâ€¦I needed to find a suitable replacement. So I printed out Rosemaryâ€™s $20 lunch special coupon from their website. The cab ride from Mirage turned out to be $21 dollars but I thought it was going to be more. But then the driver started berating me for not tipping him adequately (That was a firstâ€¦never had one do that before!) so it ended up being $25 after his lecture. LOL Anyhowâ€¦it was worth the trip out West Sahara . The $20 entitles you to your choice of Appetizer, EntrÃ©e, and Dessert. Everything we ordered was excellent. (No 25cent martini though! WAH!) We decided to be brave and bus it back down to the strip. That was a long hot ordeal. Mike wasnâ€™t very fond of being amongst the craziesâ€¦ When we FINALLY got to the strip I had claustrophobia so bad I just had to get OUT OF THERE! Couldnâ€™t bear getting back on another bus to we walked down from the Sahara to the Mirage. Saw the sad little pile of rubble that is now the Stardust. Stopped at our favorite Ross store and bought some new tops. Stocked up on Mudslides and Creamsicles from the liquor store next door. Finally made it back to Mirage around 5 pm. I would have loved a swim because it was HOTâ€¦but they were closing the pool at 5 despite the warm temperatures that week. So we just rested until it was time to go see Vinnie at Oâ€™Sheaâ€™s. Now something odd happened when I turned those vouchers in at the box officeâ€¦because I didnâ€™t pay extra for VIP seatsâ€¦and yet this man at the box office says â€œI am putting you in the VIP sectionâ€ and I thought â€œUH oh!!! I know what THIS meansâ€¦it means you get attacked!â€ Sure enough ..we didâ€¦.but most of the rest of the audience got some too. Vinnie particularly had fun at Mikeâ€™s expense. Vinnieâ€¦Mikeâ€¦.so what do you do? Mikeâ€¦I work at Wal-Mart.. (Audience laughs) Vinnieâ€¦Mikeâ€¦Mikeâ€¦didnâ€™t you go to college? Mikeâ€¦I am in college NOW! Vinnieâ€¦Good! Stay there! Otherwise youâ€™ll end up at Wal-Mart!â€ Vinnie...Mike..Are you a New York fan? (The hat) Mike......No...it was on sale...at Wal-Mart! Anyhowâ€¦they had a riot with my poor Mike. He asked Mike who he was here with and Mike said my mom and my sister and Vinnie said â€œWhich is the mom and which is the sister?â€ (Of course I could have KISSED him right there) Then he went on the make some Your Mom is Hot jokesâ€¦which I loved of course. It was a great night out. The three of us watched a few fountain shows and then wandered back to Mirage. Wednesday, March 14 Today I had booked a Red Rock Canyon and City tour. I have taken this before but my kids never had and I thought they would enjoy seeing another side of Vegas. We went with Showtime tours and our drivers name was Delores. Since Elvis-o-Rama is now closed this tour now does a stop at the Atomic Testing Museum. I only understood about a quarter of what they were saying but it was very interesting and I was amazed to see part of the Berlin Wall and a pillar from the World Trade Center on display as well. We did a stop at Ethel Mâ€™s as usual and the did obligatory buying of chocolate. Had lunch at the Fremont buffet and Delores regaled us with her stories. In the afternoon we continued on to Red Rock and my kids really seemed to get a charge out of this! The weather this whole trip was warm and gorgeous. Nicky took lots of pictures of those red rocks against the blue sky. So pretty! We didnâ€™t get back to Mirage till 6 pm and we had tickets for Celine that night so we just cleaned up and went next door. AND SHE CANCELLED!!! AAARRGGG!!! I come all this way to see her and she is sick! According to the staff our credit cards will be automatically refunded. ( They had better be!) Soâ€¦we had to devise a plan B. Mike enjoyed the Improv at Harrahâ€™s so we ran over there and made it in time for their 8:30 show. Afterwards we split upâ€¦the kids to wander.. and me to gamble. Thursday,March15 Today we are moving down to the Fremont. We had a comped buffet at Mirage before we left and were able to move right into a waiting room when we got downtown. I must say I was very pleasantly surprised by the rooms there. Mike and I stayed at the Fitz last year and Fremontâ€™s rooms were much nicer. They have been redone recently and it shows. The room wasnâ€™t huge but we rearranged the furniture and were still able to fit in a cot no problem. ( I let the kids have the beds and I slept on cots this whole trip. I donâ€™t care WHERE I am sleeping when I am in Vegas!!LOL) The kids went looking in shops and I went to check out how many quarter Blazing Sevenâ€™s machines I could find. I found a nice comfy one that was being co-operative. There was this sweet older cocktail waitress who kept complimenting me on my sparkly top and calling me â€œHunny!â€ Then I hit the Blazingsâ€¦.so I was feeling all warm and fuzzy about the Fremont again! We had purchased vouchers from Tickets 4 Tonight for the Jay White Show (Neil Diamond) at the Riv. So we cabbed over there. He is a dead ringer in looks and sound for Diamond. I enjoyed his show but I canâ€™t believe he didnâ€™t sing â€œCHERRY CHERRY!!!â€ (wth?) We were hungry by the time we got back downtown and I still had a $25 certificate from Restaurant.com for Limerickâ€™s (which they have since renamed) but they accepted it anyhow. We had a pleasant meal there then went out and bought footballs of strawberry daiqâ€™s to wander the street with and watch the light shows. Texas Lynnie had given me her cell phone number to call since she was staying downtown too. But I succeeded in calling a VERY southern sounding man named Don Possum??? OKâ€¦Sorry Mr Possumâ€¦whoever you areâ€¦â€¦!! So then I walked over to her hotel to try calling her on the house phone and that worked. She had plans that night but she said she would see me at the meet tomorrow. Friday March 16 Got upâ€¦waited for Nick to be readyâ€¦..then went over to Main Street Station for their buffet. Ended up only paying $8.50 for the three of us to eat so that was a good deal. Enjoyed that buffet as always. As we were leaving Main Street Station and I had a classic BLONDE moment. One that the children will be talking about for years to come. I think it is one of those things that you had to be there for. .in order to see the humorâ€¦however.. I will tell it anyhow. We were walking towards the Plaza on the street and it was obvious that there was some kind of work going on. There were workmen and tools and such. Apparently my children clued into what was happeningâ€¦but as usual, I did not. I walked right thru wet cement. Of course, as I was sinkingâ€¦I realized what I had done. I turned to go back and apologize to them but they were having a fit. They were cursing in a foreign language and they had whipped the tools in their hands onto the ground. Mike had a hold of my arm and was trying to drag me away because he thought they were going to kill me. I was REALLY REALLY sorry. (Thatâ€™s itâ€¦.end of storyâ€¦it could happen to anyone!) Caught the Deuce to go to the Strip. Okayâ€¦this was awful..I am not sure if it is always awful but OH MY GOD! Even when there was no reason to stopâ€¦no trafficâ€¦no peopleâ€¦this bus just stays parked for like 10 minutes at a time! We left at 2:30 to make it down to Monte Carlo for the meet 4:00 and I JUST BARELY made it! Good Grief! What a slow process! Anyhowâ€¦the kids went shopping and I went to my meetâ€¦. I walked into the Brew Pub and was happy to see Texas Lynnie get up to come greet me! Good to see a familiar face. As I was waiting to get some water, Mappy must have spotted us because he walked up and introduced himself. He and his friend Scott had been kind enough to purchase one of those giant tubey things of red beerâ€¦..in the hopes that there would be a whole bunch of us to drink it. But the meet consisted of just the four of usâ€¦..and although I made a valiant effort to drink some of that stuff (ACK!!!) IT WAS BITTER!! Me and Lynnie couldnâ€™t be of much assistance. We had a nice visit and then Mappy ended up giving away his tube of beer to an appreciative table, and we all went our separate ways. I made a beeline down to the Luxor because I had vouchers for Carrot Top that night and I wanted to turn them in early to get good seats. We were just seven rows backâ€¦.near the center! Great seats! I plinked some money into a few slot machines with no success. Finally sat down at Starbucks and had a coffee cause I knew I would see my kids go by and I did. We really enjoyed seeing Carrot Top again! We cabbed back to downtown and watched a few light shows. To kill time in between we went to check out Golden Nugget's new shark tank and pool area. I didnâ€˜t think they would let us in since we werenâ€˜t guestsâ€¦.but I think since it is new they are trying to show it off. There was a staff member guarding it but he let everyone in for a look around. It is just beautiful at night! Nicky got some great pictures. The nights were so warm and balmy. We brought in our drinks and sat in their comfy lounges and watched the fish swim around the blue shark tank. Kids go off to bedâ€¦I go off and win Blazing Sevenâ€˜s at the Fitz. (Ominous noteâ€¦I have started coughing tonightâ€¦.) Saturday, March 17 Off to a slow start, as usual. LOL Mike and I went to eat at The Fremont buffet with my meal voucher coupons while waiting for Nick to get ready. I told the kids that they were free to do whatever they wanted that day. They ended up seeing the movie Premonition at the Neonopolis theater, then taking the Deuce down the The STRAT . They saw American Superstarsâ€¦(said it was kind of sad) and went up the tower. They were back downtown by 9:30 to enjoy the St Paddyâ€™s Day craziness. I used the day to gamble to my heartâ€™s content. Also met up with Mercin who bought me a meal. By this time my disease is almost full blown and I have lost the ability to speak. So this poor man must think I am crazy. But he seemed very sweet and like a very easy person to talk to. (Croak at? Whisper to?) Maybe someday he will actually get to hear my voice. The St Patrickâ€™s Day festivities were in full swing. They had Celtic Bands and Bagpipes and people dressed up in all manner of crazy costumes. And of courseâ€¦lots of green beverages. (Yuck) From the top of the Strat Sunday, March 18th : Itâ€™s moving day again! (Nicky thinks I am crazy! Tee hee!) At least I have kept the room at the Fremont for Sunday night too so we donâ€™t have to be out by a certain time. (One of her main problems with the moving around idea.) We have another free buffet at the Fremont and then cab down to the TI for the last leg of our trip. We got a nice, high, south facing room. The kids enjoyed the view. We just relaxed until it was time to go across the street to the Venetian for the Gordie Brown Show. As we were waiting for the show to begin a real â€œchatty Cathyâ€ type of woman sat down beside me and began to talk. Now realize that I have no voice at all anymoreâ€¦.do you have ANY IDEA how frustrating it is to be a chatty person yourself and NOT TO BE ABLE to talk back to someone?? I was in agony.!!! Under normal circumstances I would have had her life story out of her in a minuteâ€¦..but all I could do was smile and nod!!!! I was feeling sicker with each passing day. But trying to make the best of things. My daughter really seemed to enjoyed Gordie Brown more than I thought she would. I am seeing everything thru my illness at this pointâ€¦but he does put on a good show. Apparently there was an exciting event in the menâ€™s john at Venetian. Mike went in there to go and came out going â€œ Eddie Griffith is in there!!â€ ( I have no idea who this is but Nicky knows.) So we stood around unobtrusively to catch a glimpse of this guy coming out of the john and yesâ€¦it really was him. This was a big deal for Mike! The kids went off on their own and I went to gamble. I swearâ€¦all the bartenders must have thought I was trying to get fresh with them. Because when they asked me what I wanted to drink I had to gesture â€œcome closerâ€¦no closerâ€¦â€ So I could whisper to them! I whispered my way thru FIVE days in VEGAS and IT SUCKED!!!! Monday, March 19th : Very sick todayâ€¦throat hurts so bad I can hardly swallow. Mike and I bought vouchers for Legends in Concert for tonight. We had a comped buffet at TI and the kids agree with meâ€¦we prefer TI buffet over Mirageâ€™s. Then we just went back to the room and fell asleep again. Mike went down to the pool for a swim. Staggered down the street to the IP but we were disappointed because we had hoped to see the Tempations act again because they were AWESOME last time! But they werenâ€™t playing that nightâ€¦but the show was still enjoyable. Kids wanderâ€¦I gambleâ€¦the usual end to the day. Tuesday, March 20th : My kids love the Cheesecake Factory so they wanted to eat here today. And they also know how much I love my favorite jewelry store Shemoni in the Desert Passage Mall and that if I didnâ€™t make it there this trip I would be disappointed. So this was â€œcatch-up dayâ€. We ate too much, as usual, at the Cheesecake Factory. Mike always ends up so full he is in agony. Then I visited my store and bought a pendant, ring, and earring in clear stones and marcasites. We walked back to TI to rest until it was time for Spamalot. Despite my illness I really loved this. This was my favorite new thing that I saw this time. It is goofy, over-the-top kind of humorâ€¦but I like that. I will definitely go see this again when I am well and can enjoy it properly. Wednesday, March 21th Our last dayâ€¦we spent sleeping and packing. Had to do some creative re-packing of the suitcases in order to fit in the sugar-free syrup. I had no idea the bottles would be that big! But I managed. My son came walking out of the bathroom shortly before we were due to check out of TI and said â€œIf you guys have to go to be bathroom you will have to go downstairs to goâ€¦..â€ Why? I said. â€œBecause the toilet is pluggedâ€ he states. So I walked in to check out the situation. I was wishing I had a plungerâ€¦since I couldnâ€™t do anything elseâ€¦I tried flushing it again. Bad ideaâ€¦.bathroom filled with water. (More stories for the children to tell about me when I get home!) Soâ€¦we checked out then. Went to the airport. Made it thru security with no problems. We were sitting there waiting and suddenly I gasped! Nik said â€œWhat! What's wrong?â€ I realized I had somehow made it thru security with NASAL SPRAY!!! Thatâ€™ a LIQUID! OMG!!! Nick and Mike seemed to find this hysterical. I guess it is a sad world we live in when you find yourself having a heart attack because you have contraband NASAL SPRAY! My last act in Las Vegas was to wander into a souvenir store and buy a fridge magnet. I realized that I hadnâ€™t done that yet this trip. Can you guess what it says? "What happens in Vegas...Stays in Vegas!"