I usually don't write TR's, mostly because I figured if I did, that it would become a full-blown novel. It's long....FYI. Thursday, 8/7 Leaving Savannah was eventful, it just so happened that the usual afternoon showers arrived just as we were looking to leave the gate for our on-time departure of 2:19pm. Pilot announced a ground hold in Atlanta, and 15 minutes later we de-boarded the flight since there was no ETA given on when we would get our "wheels up" time, and it was pushing 100 degrees with 99% humidity. As we de-boarded, one of the torrential wind and rain storms hit the Savannah airport. We were given a wheels up time of 3:45pm, but that was quickly cancelled. We then were given another window of opportunity for 4:30-ish. Everything was being held up in ATL due to the ground hold that was lifted at 4:30pm, so there was no real cause for alarm concerning my ATL-LAS leg. Wheels up at 4:45pm, took 38 minutes in the sky before we were at the A terminal by 5:35pm. LAS leg was to leave the B terminal at 6pm, made it between terminals in 10 minutes, only to make it with 10 minutes to spare. As I board my ATL-LAS, I notice I was put in the back 1/3rd of the plane, with 3 drunk Mexicans behind me. I tried my very best to ignore them, but could not ignore one situation. Before we even pushed away from the gate, the rowdiest one out of the three asked several times for 3 Miller Lites. Snickers abound from everyone, including one of the flight attendants. The flight attendant (a male), said, "well, we do it a bit differently here in the US. No drinks until we get off the ground." I couldn't help but laugh at that one. Basically, he called him an illegal to his face. He did continue that if they didn't knock off their attitudes and rowdiness, that they would be sucking on water the whole flight. I quickly made the comment that Miller Lite is glorified water anyhow. The back 1/3rd of the plane rolled in laughter, and the Mexicans, who seemed to understand that most of us were serious about having a good flight, all took siestas. Landed at 7:05pm local time, a 15 minute delay from our original arrival time. Heard about the torrential downpours I had missed a few hours before, and just giggled it off. Kinda like the temperature getting below 40 degrees here in South Carolina. People literally jump out of their skin and look to stock up for days without having to leave the house. Contacted Andy from lvcabbiechronicles.blogspot.com; I know him through another website where we share the same tastes in music. He was busy but told me to proceed to Bill's and he would call me. Bell Trans. was used for my airport shuttle service, and they did not disappiont as usual. Arrived at the desk @ Bill's by 8pm. Check-in was uneventful; asked Jeanne if she had a strip view room since it was my birthday weekend. She offered the "happy birthday" line, I said "I know you probably hear it alot but here is my ID"....blah blah blah. Knew full and well that people elsewhere have complained about the noise factor with this type of room, so no $20 was offered since I figured I was doing them a favor. Advised that I needed 2 keys since a buddy was coming into town on Friday. Room was booked as a King when I had specifically asked for 2 Queens. Made sure my buddy's name was on the room too so he could pick his key up later. Jeanne assisted with a free rollaway (usually $20 extra). Thanked her and moved along to my room. Now, I figured that the dialogue between Jeanne and myself was just lip service, and that I was probably not going to get a strip view. I was wrong. Get up to my room and it is very nice! Spacious room, nice bathroom, 42" flat screen, and a *perfect* diagonal Bellagio fountain/lake view! Rollaway came within 5 minutes of taking a few pictures, and then moved on to getting ahold of Andy. Andy had made a few other commitments, so I told him to give me 5 minutes before he showed and I would meet him where he needed me to be. Walked down to the Stage Door, which is a 24-hour liquor/water/beer/quickie mart connected to Bourbon Street/Battistas. Picked up some Fat Tire, Jack Daniels, bottled water, and a 2-liter of Coke and continued on. Their liquor was expensive, everything else was reasonable. By then Andy had a free moment, so we finally connected. Picked his brain about a few things I was looking to do, and caught a ride to Orleans. I know, I know, the free shuttle runs from Bill's to Orleans, but I was happy to spend the money to get some ideas on how to ring in my 30th. Went up to the Prime Rib Loft, met Ronnie the bartender working that night. He was from Albuquerque, my birth-town. We struck up some good conversation and then I moved on to my table. I ordered the 24oz. bone-in beefeater cut since I had not eaten all day. Delish! Afterwards, Ronnie sent over the waitress to take my after-dinner drink order, which he picked up the tab for. It caught him off guard when I ordered B&B straight-up. lol I guess he didn't get many 29-30 year olds putting in an order for it on a regular basis. Personally, I love the stuff. Headed back to the room, well, more like waddled to the shuttle and room. Called it an early evening while taking in my view of the fountains with a few beers and some Jack. ------------------------------ Friday, 8/8 Got it together at about 8am, felt as if I needed some Victoria Room breakfast before I make my daily plans. I'm a pretty simple person. Food of any kind unless its not cold or overdone when it reaches my table is fine by me. The Victoria Room hasn't disappointed me yet. Had the Eggs Benedict (eggs cooked to perfection), and loaded up on the water. I remembered this from the last time where I drank myself into a 3-day dehydration spell. Decided that I had not walked around yet, nor had I seen downtown. So, I wanted to walk as far as I could before needing the Deuce. Got to the Wynn, and decided I needed a Red Card and wanted to gamble a bit. I didn't bankroll myself as much as I would have liked, I had a few things come up before I left, and decided that I didn't need to spend an ungodly amount of money. Played some slots to get my points up, was given 2 rounds of $10 free credits, and from there felt like it was time to move on. Spent $50, walked away with a $75 voucher. Cashed it in and moved on. Got to the Riviera and decided it was time for the Deuce. Just too hot! Got on the Deuce and just about every rider that got on wanted to argue with the driver. He wasn't taking any crap from anyone, so every load turned into an argument. Gotta love those who have zero people skills. I just turned my head and enjoyed the air conditioned ride. Got to the Fremont stop, and decided that I would walk around before getting tugged into any casinol taking some pictures along the way. Got about as far down as LA Bayou, and decided I needed a drink. I came to the right place, because their specialties were New Orleans style daquiris and a 52oz. football glass filled with Red Bull & vodka. I was looking for a good kick in the pants, so Red Bull & vodka it was. Back tracked to the 4 Queens for 2 reasons. One being the Chicago brewpub, and second being I wanted to start donating to the local economy. As I was deciding on which slot machine to sit at, I came across an eBay slot machine. Dropped $20 in and within 15 minutes, my credits showed a $200 profit. Thought against pushing my luck, cashed out and moved to the brewpub. Sat down, ordered a tallboy Blueberry Vanilla Wheat beer and played some 5 credit video poker. Don't let the name fool you, it was a very good beer. Not sweet either; all the flavors were present without being overbearing. About 20 minutes later, my beer was empty and I was $100 up on the VP. Again, decided to move on. Talked myself into another Red Bull & vodka football, and then walked into the Golden Nugget. Did more walking around than gambling. Was going to start in on BJ, but I liked keeping the money I had been winning. At this point, my judgement was becoming clouded, so, I just went with the flow. Plus, I was getting hungry, it was pushing 5 and my buddy was coming into town this evening from Phoenix. He is a vegetarian, so I decided that red meat was going to be indulged upon before he got there. Walked down to Jillians to assess my options. Jillians gave me that Dave & Busters feel, except for the large Midway/game floor. Instead, that portion was filled with a large music venue/room. Very cool place, talked with the manager for a while about franchising, etc. 5 Jack & cokes later, I decided it was best to call Andy, who told me never to hesitate when I needed a ride. 10 minutes later, he picked me up on a cul-de-sac next to the Golden Nugget & a little stage that was part of the Fremont Experience. Off we go! Decided that a nap was in order over red meat. That's what I get for drinking those football Red Bull & vodkas. Woke up at about 10pm, my Phoenix friend had not called, so I tried to put together where I was going to eat. Still not being fully sober, and not wanting to splurge on a $40+ meal quite yet, I figured that The Earl of Sandwich sounded good. Walked down, got The Original 1762 (roast beef, cheddar & horseradish), it was pretty good. Came back to the room and downed a few more Jack & cokes. Must have been tired, or pretty drunk still, because I didn't even finish my drink. Came to a little after midnight with my buddy standing over me in the room, slapping me in the face screaming something about 30-year olds don't pass out. It was finally my birthday, so you know what that means.... -------------------- Saturday, 8/9 My buddy had proceeded to bring a bottle of Mescal with him from Phoenix. So, of course, we indulged. With the bottle a quarter of the way gone, and us feeling 10-foot tall and bulletproof, we decided beer pong at O'Sheas was in order. Being pretty good at beer pong, and feeling like working some folks over, I decided to use the veil of my drunkenness to my advantage. We purposely lost a few games as I bobbed and weaved, received the sign from my buddy, and then got down to brass tax. Started betting on some of the games, $5's and $10's at first, a few side bets along the way, finally working up to $50 per game. The more I drink, the better I play. Unfortunately, the opponents did not understand this and felt that buying me shots would distract us. Wrong! Walked out with $200 in bets at about 4am. Another Victoria Room trip was the next plan of attack, and then we would go from there. My buddy passed out at the table, so I took our food to-go and went up to the room, with my buddy on my shoulder. Time of pass out: 5am. Napped until 2pm, and then got going again with the Mescal, Jack, and the rest of the beers. Even if it wasn't my birthday, this would be the norm between me and my buddy. I reserve the right to turn into a crazed lush when I see him, which is only about twice a year. Hit the strip again and decided upon BLT Burger at the Mirage. They had a Vegetarian Falafel burger, which my buddy liked; I had the American Kobe (Waygu) burger. Sweet Potato fries were a very good accompanyment. Asked for medium, didn't try to come off like a cock, but I needed reassuring that it would not come out gray. Cooked to perfection. Service was good, we were not forgotten on our water refills or when we needed something. Made trip #2 downtown, since my buddy had not experienced Fremont. Did a bit of walking around, some slots, and just general hanging out. Went back to LA Bayou for football RB & vodkas. Got back on the Deuce, and headed back to the room. Buddy nodded off on the bus, and he never does that! This being pass out session #2 for him....a sign that things were going to get fun tonight. As we walked back into Bill's, I spotted my eBay slot machine and proceeded to gamble. My buddy went up for a nap. 2 hours later, and $250 heavier, I decided to shower my buddy with my new found money. He woke up to a stack of ones slapping him in the face. lol This was payback for him waking me up when he arrived. Quite the sight to see. By now it was pushing 9pm, I called Andy and told him that I needed a ride somewhere so we could spend these ones. Free ride to Spearmint Rhino; Andy got his pay from the club as well. I told Andy to hold on a bit since it seemed that it was SUPER busy, and it was. He circled the block and came back so that he could keep his payoff, and we left to go back to Bill's and walk the strip. Andy was over apologetic, but what do you expect for a strip club on a Saturday night? No worries, it was to be expected in a way. Went to O'Sheas for some more beer pong. It wasn't my night, I must not have been drunk enough. Found some chicky who heard it was my birthday, so she came over and laid one on me. Her bf came over and decided he wanted to start something. My buddy threw up a screen until security interviened. He got 86'ed, I ended up with arm candy. That was, until we stood in line at Carnival Court and she proceeded to hurl fruity drinks on the security guards. Exit stage left for us, security took care of her for us. I decided I had experienced an eventful 30th birthday, and at 3am, we staggered back to the room. ------------------------ Sunday, 8/10 My buddy woke up at about 8am, and felt like meeting his 5+ drive head on, so he left at about 9:30. Felt like some buttered toast since I had a bit of the sour stomach. Hit up the Victoria Room and by now they know me by name and room number. Good and bad I suppose. I was taking the red-eye home, so I had A LOT of time to kill. Went back upstairs and laid down as NBC replayed the China/USA basketball game. Checkout was at noon, and I got the "last call" knocking on my door somewhere around there. I asked for a few minutes and made my way downstairs. Dropped my bags off at the bellhop desk, and made my way to Bally's to call Bell Trans. and advise them of my planned time to depart for the airport. Went down to the Sports Book, and put $100 on the Cubs to win the WS - 2/1 odds. The way they're playing, I wouldn't have been suprised to see 1/1 odds. Watched the Brewers fail miserably at offense, but somehow they eeked out a win in 15 innings. It would have been fun to see them lose, too many Cheeseheads in the house. Grabbed a New York Pretzel and continued to waste time. Found myself being hungry since toast and a pretzel is not much of a meal for me. Walked past Paris' buffet, you would have thought President Sarkozy was eating there. Settled for the Le Burger Brasserie. Had the "Le Bleu", skipped the avocado, and had carmelized onions instead. Burger was good, it hit the spot. Had to ask About the $777 Kobe & Maine Lobster Burger. If I was a high roller, I guess I would have tried it. Wait, $777 would be another trip back to Vegas. Nevermind. Wasted the rest of my time walking around or at the Sports Book at the Flamingo watching the Cubs own the Cardinals. Started with $600....after taxi rides, random football drinks, tips and parking when I got home, I counted $850.