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Thursday, September 25, 2014

Puppies Get All The Showgirls





“Hi Kenny! LuLU...” I said. “I’m Steve Airport! And welcome to my Airport! I’ve got… easy navigation…”

“Huh?”, said LuLU.

She spells her name that way. To stand out, I guess. I think it’s very sophisticated, in a ‘My Little Pony’ kind of way.

“I don’t feel right,” said Kenny. Good old upbeat Kenny.

“He was cramped on the plane. And he’s a bit bloated. And he’s fussing. I think we both got a touch of food poisoning at Swiss Chalet last night. He wouldn’t even go down for a nap during the flight. And his knees hurt.”

Kenny just nodded. He did look a bit red in the face. And he was kind of grinding his teeth.

“I’m sure you’ll be fine,” I said. I’d never been more mistaken in my life, but whatever. “Just carry-on, right?”

With no luggage to pick up, we headed back to the car. The parkade at Terminal 3 has the best short term parking I’ve ever seen at any airport anywhere anytime. Simply amazing and convenient. It also helped that it was Saturday morning.

I decided to loop around the airport, double back to the strip, and take them right up through all the sights. Unfortunately I kind of got turned around, and after an embarrassing ten minutes during which I refused to admit I was lost, I finally got things sorted.

“I’m lost.” I said. “Sorry… “

Another ten minutes went by, me trying to dead reckon my way back to the strip.

“Can anyone see any casinos? And if so, out of which window. Because that would really help.”

Ultimately… I did manage to stumble onto the strip, In the same way Lewis and Clark discovered the Cook Islands.

“Here’s the strip,” I said. “I feel like Lewis and Clark!”

“More like Lewis and Martin,” said LuLU. “Actually, just Lewis.”

Finally on track, we made our way up the Fabulous Las Vegas Strip, with its over the top casinos, bright lights, and bustle, to Encore.

As we inched through traffic, air conditioning blasting full against the desert parch, Kenny repeated the pattern of claiming that every major casino we saw on the way had not been there on their one previous trip to Vegas, in, roughly, 2005.

“There’s Mandalay Bay, there’s Luxor…”

“Luxor - that’s new. What’s that white one across the street?” asked Kenny.

“Tropicana. One of the only remaining…”

“That’s new since we were here. That wasn’t here last time.”

“Coming up is City Center.”

“That was here last time.”

“Kenny, no it wasn’t. And we stayed at Luxor!” said LuLU.

“The castle thingy wasn’t there then,” said Kenny. “That’s definitely new.”

At Encore, we used valet, and I went up to the counter with Kenny at check-in. At the right moment I piped up that it was their anniversary, and I got them a ‘panorama’ room (aka room with windows) and two free buffets. Score!

We dumped their junk in the room - they were very pleased and impressed with it. The room, not the junk.

“Well, what say we grab a drink in the casino and then some lunch?” I suggested.

“I don’t drink, Royal,” said Kenny.

“You don’t? Okay… LuLU, how about you?”

“I would like to eat. And I do have a spritzer now and again.”

“Okay, so we’ll grab some lunch, and then after we can hit the casino! I’ll show you some video poker and we can have spritzers.”

“I don’t gamble, Royal,” said Kenny.

I smiled at him. Kenny was a pal. People have to make their own choices in life. I respect that. I started to turn a bit red, and ground my teeth. Meanwhile, Kenny looked much better.

“Of. Course. You. Don’t. Gamble.” I said. “That’s. Why. You. Are. In. Las. Vegas.”

Kenny was buried deep  in the EnWynn property map. “What’s a... Zoozacracker, Royal?”

“I think it’s kind of a deli. Let’s check it out.”

So, check it out we did. Lunch at Zoozacrackers. You go up to the counter, order, and they give you a number on a stick. You take the number on a stick to your table after paying, and eventually (or rather quickly in our case), food arrives.

I had a Chickazoozawrappa, Kenny had a Wippazastrami, and Lulu had Bowlzasaladers.

And actually, the food was universally good. I took a couple of really bad pictures of the really good food. They are reproduced below.
This once looked delicious. It certainly tasted good.
Extreme salad close-up.

We forged a plan after lunch - Kenny and LuLU wanted to unwind. I’d head back downtown, play for a while, and then come and pick them up when they were ready.

“Actually…” said LuLU, “maybe I’ll… play in the casino a bit and have that spritzer.”

So, Kenny headed upstairs, and LuLU and I found a slot she liked the look of. It ate twenty of her dollars pretty quickly, and mine ate $40. She’d had enough and headed upstairs.

We said so long, and agreed to meet up later for dinner - I was going to drive back downtown - which I did.

I had a plan for play, and for dinner. I got on a streak and played my ass off at Fremont, then went to see a host and arranged a dinner comp for us all at the 2nd Street Grill.




At the appointed time, I hauled ass back down to Encore, picked them up right on time, and we drove downtown, parking at the Cal. We did a little walkabout, and they really noticed the obvious contrast between Wynn / Encore and the Cal.

“This…” said Kenny, waving his arm expansively, “looks to me like a casino. It looks real. It’s got grit and character.”

I couldn’t agree with him more. The EnWynn is beautiful, and I adore staying there, but it is a little sanitized. It’s a very different experience - one which I do enjoy as much as downtown. I think, though, ultimately, my home is with the grit.
Exotic sports car, California style.
We managed quite a bit of sightseeing in a little over an hour, walking through a number of properties, down Fremont Street, through Container Park, and the ElCo, then doubling back to Fremont just in time for the hourly light show - Heart.

How to meet a showgirl downtown: get a puppy.
“Man, these songs take me back to when we were teenagers. Remember tearing around in the Cutlass?...” I said.

“And we tried to smuggle a carton of Tarreyton’s across the border and got caught, when our parents didn’t even know we were out of school?”

We had a great time reminiscing.
Fremont Street is always hopping. This little guy just got a lifetime's worth of fantasies burned into his seven year old brain!
Dinner at the 2nd Street Grill was wonderful. We shared crab cakes, with a sauce and a salsa.

Kenny and I both had the t-bone special, and LuLU ordered the Bovine Cut of Prime Rib of Beef.


The 2nd Street Grill comes with their famous 'Rude Potato'. It weighs in at over 9 pounds.
They call it a cut of Prime Rib, but dear God, that slab could have fed a platoon. Or LuLU. She did an admirable job of polishing it off. I like a woman that can do justice to a side of beef.

"LuLU, I would never, ever, ever in a million years order a prime rib that big, let alone consume it."

"It's the Paleo diet," she explained. "You want my potato?"

Poor Kenny found his stomach wasn’t feeling great - he didn’t even finish his t-bone. I made quick work of delivering the pair of ‘em back to Encore so they could crash.

I realized I’d made a huge mistake playing on my card for dribs and drabs with LuLU. It was going to screw my daily average. I took the opportunity to play hard for an hour at Encore.

I was dealt four to a Royal twice on triple play, and on two consecutive hands ended up with a Royal scare. I think I saw the ‘almost Royal’ about a dozen times in the session.


 The best part was a dealt quad on triple play. If only I'd had the multiplier!

When it was all said and done, somehow, I had a winning day, finishing up $140.

Maybe LuLU was good luck.

I hauled ass one more time back downtown and crashed.

Royal Flusher: Day +$140 Trip -$1160









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