The Vegas Trip That Wasn’t

As I’m starting to type this I could be in Vegas right now, but I’m not.  It would be 5:25pm right now, and I’d probably be thinking about what to have for my last dinner before heading to the airport and getting on the red-eye to come back home.  I’d had this loosely laid plan which has been a moving target with various factors contributing to if I could go, when I could go, as well as in what style could I afford to go.  Without getting into all that, I’ll just say that it didn’t work out.  It was probably for the best.  My son was really sick this week with a fever, and he has been a handful for both my wife and I.  I’m sure she would have been cursing me to the blazes of damnation if I was in Vegas right now, and she’d be right to do so.  If you’re going to go to Vegas, you need to leave your guilt at the door, or don’t go.  Unless it’s a Stag….. then you have to go!

The truth is that this blog has been suffering a bit.  When I first thought about doing it, I envisioned eventually going back there to take some pictures to use.  I have lots of Vegas pics from the 6 times I was there, but they’re of people with Vegas in the background.  I don’t really want to use pictures of myself, my family and my friends for privacy reasons.  I haven’t been back since I started writing this blog, and the way things are shaping up, I won’t get there again until next year.  I know, I know…. First world problems, right?

So this isn’t a complete bummer, I’m going to list off a few things I haven’t seen or done yet that are on my list of things to see next time I go, (or if I want to stay in a negative space, I’ll call it ‘things I would have done in the last 3 days’).  Maybe some of you have seen/done these things and can tell me if I’m on the right track or not.

SHOWS

I kind of want to see Jabbawockeez at the Luxor.  I think that would be cool.  I like any kind of comedy.  Maybe something with rotating comics.  Brad Garrett’s comedy club at the MGM maybe.  Not too into magic, but I think my first pick would be Penn & Teller at Rio.  Gotta pick a Cirque show too.  I’ve only seen the Beatles LOVE show so far.  I think I’ll go with KA, although there’s a new Michael Jackson show at Mandalay Bay which might be interesting.  Always check the Tix4tonight booths around the strip to see if you can get some cheaper tickets for shows.  I always do that first.

EX-BEER-IENCE

Don’t even think about stealing that word from me 🙂  There are a few bars I’d like to try for different beers.  Near Fremont there are a couple of micro-brewery pubs I’d like to go to.  The Triple 7 which is at the Main St. hotel, and the Chicago Brewing Company at the Four Queens hotel.  Near UNLV I need to head back to the Freakin’ Frog to see if they still have St. Bernardus Witbier which I swear is the best beer in the entire world (at least that I’ve tasted), and I can’t find it anywhere. It’s been almost 3 years since I had one.  I also saw that Gordon Ramsay opened a pub in Caesar’s Palace which is supposed to have a great beer menu as well.  I’ve still yet to set foot into the Nine Fine Irishmen pub at New York New York.  So many left to tick off the list.

RESTAURANTS

Bobby Flay’s MESA grill at Caesar’s.  Holstein’s at the Cosmo.  Yellowtail at Bellagio.  Countless buffets at countless hotels.  There’s a million of them, and no point in me even trying to list them here.  If you go to www.vegas.com they have 867 of them mentioned, so if you’re there for 3 or 4 days…… they’ve got you covered!  Maybe in a future blog I’ll list off my 10 favorite Vegas meals so far.

As far as other stuff goes, I just take it as it comes.  I do a bit of gambling, a bit of shopping, a lot of eating, and if I’m there long enough, I just might take in a tourist attraction or two.  If you don’t know what to try, I can’t recommend the www.tix4tonight.com booths enough.  Get a good price if you’re gonna take a gamble on a restaurant or show.  I’ve almost never been let down.

Bellagio fountains

Bellagio fountains

NBA Finals in Vegas???

I wish…..

I’m sitting in my condo in Toronto which is finally getting some good summer weather.  I’ll be watching Game 7 from the comfort of my own couch.  I’m cheering hard for the Spurs. I really don’t like the whole ‘let’s get all our buddies together and create an unbeatable super-team’ thing that the Heat has going on.  Now that they’ve already won, I guess I don’t care, but I wanted them to lose soooo badly last year.  Guess where I was???

VEGAS BABY!!!

We went to Town Square the day of the deciding game.  This is about a 5 minute cab ride south of Mandalay Bay.  Don’t try to walk it…. that’s another story for another blog.  We ate dinner at Kabuki which is an excellent Sushi restaurant.  We were there in the late afternoon because we wanted to finish before the deciding game started.  This worked out well because they have a Happy Hour between 3-6 pm where a selection of sushi and specialty rolls are discounted, not to mention cocktails.  I have a picture (which I’m not posting here) of my with an unreasonably sized can of Asahi Extra Dry (which is my favorite Japanese beer).  Kabuki was awesome…. it really got the night going in the right direction, well before it took that awful turn. \

Speaking of Happy Hours…… First let me tell you why Happy Hours in Vegas are the best. If you’re a sports fan like me, and you’re used to watching the games in the Eastern Time Zone, then your favorite team probably has a game at 4 pm Vegas time.  With most of the Happy Hours being around  3-6 pm, you can go have reasonably priced drinks while you watch your favorite team, and the night is still young when the game is over.  I’m tired of all these people telling me that Vegas is just sucking all the money out of us….. if you know where to go and when, Vegas can be the most reasonably priced place around!!

Speaking of Happy Hours, we moved over to the Yard House to watch the first half of the game.  They have an absurd selection of beer from all over the world, and even though it’s a chain and there’s quite a few of them, I’d never been to one before.  I wish I had more time to spend there because there were a lot of different beers there that I wanted to get acquainted with.  Since we’d already eaten at Kabuki, and who can remember how early in the day I actually started drinking, I was no match for Yard House.

We decided to go back to the Cosmopolitan to watch the 2nd half in my friend’s suite.  The Cosmo is a gorgeous 5 star hotel, and this suite was really nice.  I love that they have balconies at the Cosmo, because most Strip hotels do not have them.  I’m not sure why, but I would suggest that liability issues are at play.  We had beers in the fridge that we had purchased at the new Walgreen’s earlier (the Walgreen’s on the corner outside of the Planet Hollywood hotel has a walk in beer fridge with excellent selection, so we weren’t stuck with Bud Lights), so it was just a matter of drinking away the pain of the Miami Heat beating the Oklahoma City Thunder for the 2012 NBA championship.  When I would get upset at the game, I could go out onto the balcony and watch the Bellagio fountain show.  We were so high up that they looked like lawn sprinklers, but if you’ve seen them up close you know how massive they are.

Early 2012 317

I’m hoping and praying that San Antonio wins tonight.  I don’t have ‘chillin in an elaborate suite at the Cosmo with a breathtaking view of the strip in Las Vegas’ to take the edge off a Heat championship this time.