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Monday, November 5, 2012

I Love Le Thai - there, I said it.

Carry-on luggage...

A couple of days ago, I was extremely excited to find out that my clean clothing inventory was in pretty good shape. I had two pairs of clean Mark's Work Wearhouse Stay-dri Ballsnappr(TM) underwear, and I still had a clean shirt, with one evening and one long day to go.

I'd showered ahead of the redeye trip home and when my trip got extended due to Sandy I immediately took action.

I put back on the dirty shirt I'd had on before the shower, even though I'd worn it for 2.83 days already. This was an Emergency! I had to preserve my resources!

As mentioned, I coddled myself with one of the two spare pairs of gotch, but the sock situation was bad. I'd already burned through my last pair of socks.

Doing my best Survivorman impression, I improvised. I located the least disgusting pair of casino/bar/men's room mistake socks, and placed them over the A/C unit, which I then cranked up as high as it would go. They floated there on a cushion of freshening air and I'd felt pretty smug.

And so it was that on my last full day, and last Sandy Bonus day in Vegas, I thought, yeah, I deserve better. I should take better care of myself.

So I went with a lower budget ($260) to keep the trip from going on tilt and becoming a $1000 loser, and headed for breakfast at the Main Street Station buffet. I used points to get in and loaded up a plate with a healthy mix of things including.... FRUIT.

Yes, fruit, healthful fruit - a banana on top of a single waffle, lightly buttered, with non-sugar syrup, some strawberries, and fried potatoes with a dollop of country fried throw-up gravy from their conveniently placed self-server 'vat o' throw-up' right next to Manny's egg station. ("Hey rock star, I was just theeeking about you...")

Everyone should start the day with a pint or so of throw-up gravy!
Norbert had managed to screw up some more things on the size 77 Euro-grommet line back home at North American Veeblefetzer. He was pretty mad apparently, having gotten scalded during the steam cleaning that Jimmy Poon recommended to get the all-purpose heavy-duty grommet line grease off of his little norbert.

So, it was a quick shot at Double Double Bonus for me (-$40) and a $20 Keno ticket and back on the phone to the plant from my room.

I took time out to meet up with some fine folks from the Las Vegas 4 Ever message board. They were in the process of a downtown casino by casino all-day stumble, which in my view, is extremely admirable. One of the ideas was to do a group high-limit slot pull at the Golden Nugget with everyone putting in $25. I got there too late to participate, but its just as well - they'd gotten blown out, unfortunately.

I got to meet a nice fellow, goes by the name of Rambler. Rambler shook my hand and said it was great to meet me. I gave him one of my patented business cards and he shook my hand and said thanks. We chatted for a while and I said I was heading out, maybe grab a Starbucks on the way back to the room. Rambler shook my hand goodbye, and then said, hey, I'll get your coffee. And he did.

He got me a really tasty tall Starbucks latte with a shot of vanilla, and I got to meet a few more of Blonde's board folks. We all sat down and Rambler introduced me around. We all shook hands. Including Rambler. Sadly, soon it was time for me to get back on the phone to the plant. Rambler shook hands with me goodbye - for real, this time - and I was on my way.

I have to say, honestly, it is a treat to meet folks like Rambler who enjoy the words I spout on this blog and have the good heart to tell me so, with a big genuine smile, and treat me to a coffee. There's no need to do that, of course, except just wanting to, and wanting to be a generous fellow. I gladly accepted the hospitality. It was one more little pebble on the scale that was tipping towards a total Vegas heart reboot.

I told Rambler that there were a lot of other things I needed, and maybe he could also buy those things for me, but I think he didn't quite hear me, as he sort of edged away and was lost in the crowded din of Fremont. Those folks had to continue stumbling, and I had to get on the goddamned Flusher Fone.

I managed to get Norbert straightened out - again - and it became lunch time. I scooted straight down Stewart Street on a beautiful day - just stunning, sunny, maybe 77 degrees. Checked out the ex-Lady Luck and hey - they were doing something. Yes, they had gutted the casino. Finally things are really happening, and I'm excited about a new downtown destination coming on board.

Clearing the casino of the Downtown Grand
I was lucky enough to bump into one of the management team of Fifth St. Gaming - the VP of Marketing, no less. We had a great chat about the prospects downtown and we both agree that the tone of the place is about to change forever, and for the better. He understood that downtown needs to maintain feet in two camps - that value oriented vintage vibe, and a new, fresh, youthful, enthusiastic, more upscale appeal. When Zappos comes in, and other changes happen, things are really going to be different.

As you may recall, El Cortez has been stiffing me with casino rate offers, when I used to be comped up front. So, I stiffed them this trip. This was my one and only visit, and I used my freeplay and the other freeplay/points play available to me (ahem) and I'm glad to say, left the building $20 richer than when I went in. Honestly, I love the El Co and I'm sure we will make up soon.

Just as soon as they start sending me offers for free shit again.

Lunch on the back terrace at Le Thai, just kitty-corner from the El Co.

I can't say enough about the food here. It was a perfect afternoon, and I ordered their exotic delicacy which the Thai call 'chicken satay' - loosely translated this means, in English, "Meatsicle".
Chicken Satay - for 8.
There was easily enough clucking protein for an entire meal, but I'd also ordered one of the lunch specials - which the Thai call 'chicken with green curry'. Loosely translated, this means, in English, 'chicken with green curry'.

The meal was excellent as usual, so excellent that I brought it back to the room to join the (now) 4 day old chicken with penne pasta in the in-room fridge.

But enough of that... my last night in Vegas beckoned like one of those buffet seating persons. "Over here! Yoo hooooo.... Table for one, loser!"

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