Saturday, April 12, 2014

Everything but the Strip

“Everything” is a GROSS exaggeration, but it was the most fun I’ve had in a Vegas trip yet. I was called by a company I thought weren’t too impressed me, but that’s how you land last minute gigs. I happened to be at a grocery store when I got the call for a next day departure last October. We drove out to Red Rock Canyon. A new group of colleagues I just met that morning. Interesting dynamic always. I’m ecstatic when they seem normal and the only odd thing was the boss’s penchant for “limited edition” junk food. And that seems mighty normal. We went to Walmart and he walked out with $40 worth of cereal and candy e.g. cereal that changed the milk neon colors and tasted like cotton candy. Okie. But these guys were cool. Both laid back and both really into photography. We went to the Hoover Dam one day. Dammmmmmn it’s hard not to make a mess of puns here. The history of the dam and building the dam is all pretty interesting and you should read it there rather than expect me to explain anything about it bc this is about me, dam it. Also, I don’t remember much, but the community that was built to house the workers on the dam is still there. Imagine a community thrown together. What do you do after work? Was it like college where everyone is there for one reason? Were there one or two bars that were hopping every night with workers and their families and gossip and did they all know each other and TELL ME ABOUT YOUR LIVES! I wonder this about Chinatown in the city. What goes on there. What the heck goes on there.

Anyway, we took a tour of the place, went into the caves and saw the big turbines. The day before one of the guys and I went to Red Rock. This was around the time I had some guy do work on my car in the parking lot of a Wendy’s after he stopped me at a traffic light to offer his services. Ya, ok, this seems legit. I digress…I told him this story and we were belly laughing in the car on the way home. Both hungry to the point of desperation, while talking about our picky almost snotty eating tastes and favorites in NYC we stopped at a gas station and ate Mexican food. It was--bad. It wasn’t terrible, but it wasn’t good. When we got in the car we confessed that we felt sad. Hours earlier we were also talking about his wife's healthy eating habits and my interest in nutrition. And then we exploited our will and ate Mexican food from a gas station. Ole.

That night we ate at this place they love that makes enormous portions of home cooked favorites. No clue what I got, but at the table we split the tip we earned earlier and had $100 left over. Instead of splitting it $33.33 each we decided hell we’re in Vegas, let it ride! roll? Let it go!!!! Neither of them was a fan of gambling, but we still put a collective $100 chip on 18 Red at a Roulette table at some sad restaurant/casino off the strip. Just before the ball LANDED on 18 the lady pulled our chip off the table and told us that it was $50 max. These guys were scarred from gambling even further. (I know I know! We should have made them give us the return for $50 winnings, we just left defeated). We went to Bellagio buffet to drown our sorrows the next night. I’d never gone to a Vegas buffet and I ate like I had never gone to a restaurant before. Sushi, sole, brownies, sweet potatoes?! Yes! All in one pile! And for round two I’ll have an ice cream sandwich and smoked salmon canapes! After the buffet we went to fountain show that times the fountains to songs and is actually pretty cool. I remember hearing it the last time I was in Vegas having dinner with TBones at the SugarFactory across the street. My first trip to Vegas I was lucky enough to be there when one of my best friends and a gaggle of his best friends were there. That one trip was all I needed with walking the casinos, gambling nothing, getting a milkshake at midnight before passing out. Gah, it was a wild one!

We walked around a bit more for the guy who likes limited edition stuff to collect more street cards and buy souvenir Eiffel tower thermoses bc duh. We left the next day, the guys still destroyed over losing a grand or two. I didn’t understand why this was such a big deal. It was tip money.

“Where did the bug go?” ----- this is written in my notes from this trip. No clue what this means..

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