So about a month and a half ago, my boss, Jack, walks in and asks "When are we going to go to Vegas?" To which my co-worker replied, "Whenever you want." Well, he had me booking the trip by the next day. Woo hoo! Free trip to Vegas! I'm the manager of a restaurant, and the owner (51 years old) is freshly divorced with a new 28 year old girlfriend. She's super cool and he doesn't act his age anyway. So on the guise that he had to go to an auction (he collects old memorabilia like signs, games, etc.), I booked a flight and hotel for a friend of his, Mitch, (also freshly divorced) and him to leave on the 13th of October. His girlfriend, May and their mutual friend, Meg were leaving early Sunday morning, and me and three other co-workers were leaving Sunday at 8:40 pm (we all had to work on Sunday morning). I can now add amateur travel agent to my list, as I had to book directly with the Hard Rock for the first two nights, direct with Alaska Air for Mitch and Jack's flights, and then book through Expedia for the rest of the flights, but myself and Liz were staying till Thursday, Mitch was leaving on Monday morning, Jack, May, Meg, Jan, and Amy were all leaving on the same flight on Tuesday afternoon. Whew. Sunday morning, I got all my work stuff done and went home to finish packing. Watched the Seahawks game (we won!) We all met up at the airport at 6:30 pm. Smoked a bunch of cigarettes and drank some coffee. Then proceeded through security and to the bar. Jan hasn't flown in a long time and was nervous, so we figured a bloody mary might do the trick. Well, I sucked down mine and got a bit of buzz and went out to check on flight (delayed by half an hour). Oh well, we ordered another round. I had to give half of mine to Jan as I drink maybe 3 times a year and two of those times are when I'm in Vegas so I'm a bit of lightweight (more on that later). We finish up in the bar and go stand by the gate with rosy cheeks and excitement on our minds. Little did we know. Amy and I have been to Vegas together a couple of times in the past, but we act like old ladies when we go (I"m 34 and she's 39), playing slot machines and roulette all day long trying to win a fortune on the penny machines (which I know doesn't happen, but she's a frugal gambler and I just play along). Jan (also 39) has only been once for a day and a half to be a bridesmaid in a wedding so she's never really "experienced" Vegas. Liz, my assistant manager and 22 years old, has been a few times, but she had family living there so her experiences are different. Plus, she's young so she's more into the club thing. Her and I decided to stay a couple of days extra to get a "real" vacation from work. We are good friends outside of work too, despite the age difference. Needless to say we were a bit of a motley crew. We finally board the plane at 9:30, and immediatly notice the sound of a whimpering (no make that crying) baby. We noticed that sound until about 20 minutes to landing. Which we did at 11:15. Before we even get off the plane, Jack is calling Liz to tell us that he is picking us up. Liz tells him that we need to get the rental car. He tells us to forget the rental car, he's got a limo. We insist on getting the rental car telling him to take Jan and Amy and that we'd meet them at the Hard Rock. He still insists, and well, he's the boss. So finally we decide that we can go get the rental car in the morning. Liz and I had checked our luggage, but Amy and Jan hadn't so they meet up with Jack, May, Mitch, and Meg where the limo was. Jack calls again and tells us to look for Mack, our CLS limo driver (wonderful man), I find him and he tells us where they are parked. As we are waiting for our luggage, Amy (who is a bit uptight), call me and says, "guess where we're going?" "To the Hard Rock?" I reply. "No, to a strip club." I could hear the disdain in her voice. I just laughed. Liz was tired as she had gotten up at 5:30 AM and the baby didn't let her sleep on the plane, so she just gave me the eye roll when I told her. Oh well, we're in Vegas what harm could it do? We get our luggage and head out to the limo, where a bottle of Patron was thrust into my hands. Well, ok. I don't usually drink tequila because it gets me in trouble, but this was good tequila, so I might as well. I took a small swig and piled into the limo (which wasn't big enough to fit 8). That's when I noticed that Jack meg, may and Mitch were already ahead of us on the drinking. Not bad, but ahead. We arrived at the "Peppermint Rhino". I know it's Spearmint, but Jan kept referring to it as the Peppermint Rhino for the entire trip (and she still likes boys, she insists) so that's what we called it. Mack, or driver got us into the back door so we didn't have to pay a cover. We were ushered into a "VIP" sitting area, but they all looked like that so I don't why they called it that. So, here's my boss asking us (four of his female employees) what kind of girls we wanted. We all just shrugged. Liz, Amy and I sat in some chairs and just watched as a couple of girls (I drank a shot of Patron).....censured......Mitch went off to room with one of the girls (Another shot of Patron)....censured......I saw things done to my boss (make it a double)......censured.....and his girlfriend.....censured....with his girlfriend (time for another).....censured......with his girlfriends friend (whoa, this time with lime)....censured....(another shot)....I haven't eaten yet today......censured......."no more for you, get that glass out of her hand".........censured......"Do you have a food menu here?" "Club sandwich"........"Have another shot." "NO, don't let her have anymore" Time to leave. I left the Peppermint Rhino wondering how their skin is so soft. And knowing that I am probably one of the few women in America that has sat on the floor of a strip club in Las Vegas, eating a club sandwich. "Don't eat it on the floor." Amy said to me. We pile into the limo and head off to the Hard Rock. As we were checking in I stole my boss's Corona. At least I was told I did. We get up to our room, and I realized they gave us a handicap room. I will always wonder if they gave us that room because I could barely stand up and they figured I might need some handrails to hold on to during my visit. Who knows. Liz decided that I needed some coffee so we wnet back downstairs, I think it was around 3 am, but I"m not sure. I don't drink very often, as before mentioned, but I didn't black out (I should of considering I drank a half of a fifth of patron to myself), just parts of it went missing. We get to the center bar, and the bartender cards me for coffee. Alright, I do look all of my 34 years, but ok. I left Liz and kept repeating my room number over and over in my head til I found it. Probably one of the harder things I've ever had to do In my life. I get my purse and go back downstairs and get my coffee. As I'm drinking it, this guy approaches Liz and I and tells us we look like a couple of church goers. I said, "really?" Then he says somehting vulgar that I can't repeat here, and told us if we needed any meth let him know. Wow. That was disgusting and disturbing, we both decided after that to go to bed. We get up to our room and ordered some room service. Best damn pepperoni pizza I've ever had in my life. It probably wasn't but we tried it agian sober a couple of nights later and it was still pretty good. I looked at the clock and it was 4 am. Woke up the next morning and Jack called to let us know that he had a bed by the pool and that we needed to come down and have breakfast. We still needed to get the rental car and I had four hours sleep and a massive hangover (could still be drunk, don't know) but it was hard to eat breakfast on a bed in the sunshine when you feel like I did. I got a few bites down and drank some cranberry juice. Liz and I decided that it was time to go get the rental car. We were supposed to get dolled up to go out to dinner that night and we needed to find Jan a dress so we planned on doing some shopping that day. We left the pool and hailed a cab to Dollar. Got the car and headed back to the hotel. They are doing all this road work on Paradise but I finally figured out how to get back. Picked up Jan and we went to the fashion show mall. 4 hours later, Jan, who never wears dresses, bt insisted on looking at every dress in the mall, fianlly decided on some black slacks and a black tank top. (Her everyday uniform) Now I'm tired. But we get back to the hotel and decide to meet up at the front door at 8 pm. We get all dressed up and Mack is out front with our limo. This time we only use him to get us to the Paris as we were going to Mon Ami Gabi. Back story: My husband and I got married in Vegas in 2000. In 2001, we went down for our 1 year anniversary on September 26 (right after 9/11) it was a strange time in Vegas, but we enjoyed ourselves nonetheless. On the night of our anniversary we ate at Mon Ami Gabi. It was the best steak I had ever had in my life. Thick cut steak, service was great, we were seated outside with a great view of the fountains. Very nice and romantic. This time, big disappointment. We get there and there is wait, no biggie, we get our flashing coaster and head off into the casino. Jack, Meg, May and Jan head off to Ceasar's (I have no idea why, the Paris has alcohol) for drinks and Liz, Amy and I head off to do a little gambling. I lose about $40, but so far it's been almost 24 hours and I still haven't gambled yet...so I'm doing alright. An hour or so passes and our coaster starts buzzing. We call the others and they are on their way. We finally meet up at the entance andare shown to our seats. We chose to sit outside when we first got there but it was now 9:30 and no one was dressed appropriately but sweaters are passed around and drinks are ordered. We can brave the wind. The bit...I mean server...very snidely asks us if we wanted to move inside. " If yu want to go inside you better tell me now" Exact quote. Jack says we are fine and we order some cocktails and a bottle of wine. After being ignored for about 25 minutes after we got our drinks, she only had 4 tables, she finally came and took our order. Well the skinnier people, not me, in our group were starting to get colder and getting uptight about it. So after we'd been there for about 45 minutes Jack got up and politely asked if we could move inside. He was told, "I told you so, that's why I asked at the beginning." Ok. She let us move and after sitting inside for about 20 minutes she walks up and tells us that because she thought she was going to have to pass the table on to somebody else she lost our order. Even if she was losing the table to another server she still should of had our order in the computer. You don't tell that to a table full of restaurant employees. So she retook our order. The frenc onion soup was divine. The steak was flat and flavorless. She earned not one penny of her 18% gratuity. If she had treated us better we would of left a larger tip on top of it. We thought about complaining but figured it was so corporate that it wouldn't make a difference. Terribly dissappointed in the whole experience. It was suppose to be the highlight of my trip, guess the club sandwich is going to have to be it. We head back to the hotel and I head back to the room for some TV and rest. The next morning, we wake up and decide to have breakfast at Mr. Lucky's. Nothing spectacular, just bacon and eggs, but the service was better. Jack had a cabana by the pool but he decided to come gambling with us and left May and Meg there. I sat down at the roulette table and bought in for $100. I started playing $6-10 on the inside and kept hitting, so I got braver and started spreading out all over the board. I won the dealer $72 and myself $140 on number 14. I kept hitting, it was strange. I ended up up around $350. I had black chips! Woohoo. I decide that I was going to play $1 Wheel of Fortune. Only played it a couple of times in my previous trips. Usually play nickels, or quarters sometimes, unless I'm with Amy then it's pennies. I put in a hundred and get down to 25 and hit the spin...$100! play a few more credits and get the spin again...$200! Play it down to $300 and cash out. Hang out with Amy on the penny slots for awhile as they all had to leave around 3 to catch ther flight at 5pm. After they leave Liz and I decided to go to the Stratosphere and ride the rides. I'd been on the big shot but hadn't done the one where they shoot you down over the edge. It wasn't as scary as I thought it was going to be. The big shot is by far the better of the two. The swings were closed due to the wind. Afterwards we head back to valet to pick up the car, as we are edging on 10 minutes and still not seeing our car, I look up and see a sign that says "Fastest valet on the Strip" . Um, fifteen minutes is not the fastest, but we weren't in a hurry to get anywhere and it made for a good chuckle. Finely got the car and off we are to In-in-Out Burger. Yummy. It's the whole reason I get a rental car, and I hadn't gotten a chance to go yet. (My boss brought to my attention that $135 for a burger was a bit ridiculous, but I pointed out that I do use it for other things, it's just the MAIN reason I get it. It ended up costing me a lot more than that but more on that later.) We eat our animal style double double's and head back to the Hard Rock. Liz, who is still going to school, has some of her homework to do. Homework, in Vegas. But, she is dedicated and I ended up reading a bunch, which saved me money. I decided not to go gambling alone too much, as that is when I end up hitting the ATM. So I read my book and watched a little TV. We ordered some room service around midnight and got to bed early. The next morning, we wake up Liz and I decide to go to Primm and ride the big roller coaster that's down there. Exciting. We get coffee and off we go. It's very desolate south of Las Vegas, which is kind of cool. I've always liked the desert. We pass Jean and then near Primm. We look at the coaster, which doesn't seem that tall to me (supposedly the tallest in North America), and I it doesn't look like it was operating. "Maybe they are waiting for people". Which I highly doubt but we pull into Buffalo Bill's and go inside. We find the arcade/ride area and the sign says closed Tuesday and Wednesday. Sigh. Oh well, I can now say that I've been to Primm and gone to Buffalo Bill's. I-15 was doing some construction and they had the left lane closed, so I was driving in some tight traffic in the left lane and the car in front of me swerved suddenly and all of a sudden there was one of those orange construction things that look like barrels right in front of me. I kind of jerked to the right a little bit but I couldn't go too far because there was an SUV next to me that I would've hit. So I ended up hitting the barrel (which was slightly flattened so I think a semi might of hit it). I immediatly get over into the right lane and keep driving, I'm shaking and going 45 miles an hour. I see the exit for Jean and pull off into an RV lot and get out and see a dent in the front left quarter panel. It's cool, we call Highway Patrol and as we're waiting for the officer to arrive I call my husband and get my insurance info from him. No sweat, right? Wrong. The nice lady at my insurance company tells me I'm only covered for liability. So I joke that theyre going to have to pay for the barrel. I guess it wasn't that funny, but she wised me well. Ok, well my husand always told me that my credit card would cover it. So, no sweat again. I'll deal with that when I get back. The officer arrives and fill out the report and he wishes me well, and we call Dollar and they tell me to bring back the car to swap it out. So we do, and now I'm filling out another report for Dollar. (Yes, I waived the insurance they offered me, which I regret. More on that later.) I get my new car, which ends up being a downgrade so the nice guy at the counter tells me that I will get a free day and that I can return the tank empty. Well that's a win, I guess. As I'm standing at the counter I tell Liz to call the Hard Rock and book us spa appointments. I need a massage. We get in the new car and head back to In-n-Out for another burger. It was delicious. I hadn't eaten yet that day. Then we head to the hotel and immediatlely go to the spa. Deep tissue massage. Feels great while it's being given, but about two hours later I was in pain. Liz kept telling me that by Friday I'd feel great. I ended up taking a pain killer left over from some dental work I had done on Thursday night because I thought it would never feel good. Anyway, we get done with the massages and head out to the casino for a little gambling. I certainly hadn't stretched my gambling budget at all so far this trip, so I decided that I was going to keep playing the $1 WOF machines. Liz was tired so she left me down there. I was down $300 at that point, but I decided to stay. A few minutes later I get the spin and it goes around and I'm thinking it was going to hit the $25, but it landed on the $1000. "Yes!" I look around and this guy is laughing and smiling at me. Happy day. I play a hundred more and then go upstairs. Grinning from my good fortune we order more room service and watch TV. We had to be at the airport at 11 AM, so I didn't sleep well, knowing that I had to leave in the morning. So I was up a 6:30, showered dressed and went downstairs and cashed in my big ticket. Decided to play some more WOF and started at one machine in the same row as the one I won on the night before. I ran $100 each in two machines and then I sit down to the right of the one I had won on. I insert a hundred, play it down to 45 and the I get the spin and, well, I thought it was going to be $25 again, but it landed on the $1000. Wow. I cash out. Move to the machine to the left of it (I was waiting for the cocktail waitress to bring me my coffee) and lost $100 in that one but I tipped the waitress $20 and she was very happy. I knew I needed to go pack so I head back upstairs. Shared my good fortune again. It was the most I had ever won before and because we had to leave in an hour I was actually going to leave Vegas with more money than I left with. Happy day. I called my credit card company who patched me through to claims (or so I thought) and I told them everything and she gives me a website to go to when I get back. Great. They will take care of it. Liz needed to return something at the Fashion Show Mall so we did that and headed off to Dollar. Shuttled it to the airport. Checked in, ate some breakfast, and then went to smoke and gamble a last $20 each. Liz and I sat down at the quarter WOF and she hit the spin for 300 credits. I keep telling her to take it and run, but she decided to play it down to an even number and then hit the spin for another 100 credits. Now i'm really telling her to run, because it is the airport after all. She keeps playing and hits 7 5x 5x! $800! Everyone in the lounge was congratulating her. Happy day. As I'm waiting in line I say, "there better not be any babies on the plane." Well one sat down right behind us, but this one was quiet and I was in a great mood anyway due to all of the winning. We get back and it is cloudy and grey. I miss the sun already. Something that I learned: Always check with your insurance company and credit card company before waiving the rental cars insurance. As it turns out, I went to fill out the online form and it wouldn't let me get far. The initial call that I had made, they had patched me through to Visa. Well, my card's a Mastercard and the lady on the phone told me I wasn't covered. I'm a little pissed and I'm in the process of trying to figure out why they patched me through to Visa in the first place. They had my CC# on their computer when I called. Other than that it was probably the most fun I've had in Vegas in all of my 13 trips. I had to share. Thanks for reading my report.