Well, I have returned to Jersey from my vacation in Las Vegas with a little less of my liver, tons of new photos and only 33 cents lost to the gambling gods. Of course, I spent a whole lot more money on food, drinks and a fantastic hot stone massage - BUT only 33 cents on the slots. Since I'm still working off some of my red-eye flight's jet lag, I figured I'd offer my trip high (and low) lights here in a condensed format.
FRIENDS: I managed to see all the ones I had made plans with during my trip, which was totally awesome! Thanks to cell phones we met up in various locations throughout the city for drinks, laughs and pics.
BOOZE: My first night in town I discovered a stellar drink special in the most unlikely of places - Wolfgang Puck's Chinese restaurant in the Caesar's Palace Forum Shops offers $3 Fat Tire beers during happy hour! Then, on my way out of the mall, I stopped some gentlemen sporting badass grills and bottles of Fat Tire. They told me that the Tourneau watch store was inexplicably offering free beer and food. Score!!!! Besides the opportunity to enjoy my favorite brew at a reasonable price, Vegas offered some solid buzzes, but no major binges.
FOOD: A lot of mediocre and overpriced crap, but also some redeeming meals including super tasty tuna at a fancy steakhouse and animal style veggie burger at In 'N Out.
GAMBLING: A friendly dealer gave me a brief craps lesson that sorta cleared up the intricacies of the game for me, but it still doesn't really make sense. Ultimately, I bet $6 on the slots and won back $5.67.
DIGS: We stayed at the Planet Hollywood Resort which is conveniently located across from the Bellagio and next to the Paris, but costs a lot less. However, the hotel lacks the nightclubs offered by many of the others on the Strip and isn't as big or as glamorous. Also, since it used to be the Aladdin, the rooms still feature magic carpet decor elements and genie-esque lamps. But the price was right and who spends that much time in their hotel room in Vegas anyway?
SIGHTSEEING: I gotta give it to Steve Wynn, the man designed a fucking beautiful hotel. I loved the floor tile, it was so fabulous. Props also to the Venetian for major glam without typical Strip excess. I liked it better than the Bellagio, which is only cool for its Chihuly ceiling and dancing fountains. Thanks to everyone who offered tips in this arena - they were much appreciated and put to good use.
BOYS: The trip started slow with no discernable prospects, and honestly that was OK. Then on our last night in town, a pre-partying excursion to a Mexican restaurant revealed a very cute guy. We began chatting across the bar and when he and his friend got up to leave, we exchanged phone numbers. Myriad text messages later and we made plans to rendezvous in the Planet Hollywood casino since both of us were staying in the hotel. We hit the bar and settle into a black leather banquette with a few beers. However, rather than swap spit, I manage to pick up the one guy in Vegas who only wants to talk. Apparently, he likes me for my intellect, which at home would be flattering but in Sin City this is beyond frustrating! He leaves me with a quick peck at my hotel room door and my conquest is over.
All in all, a great trip and a definite fulfillment of spending Sukkot the way G-d intended - in the desert.