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Sunday, December 23, 2018

The Trek to Aria 51

I like to play with words and make shit up. Aria 51 is a natural. I like that one.

The Trip Out With Drama probably always receives way more wordage than it needs, but it's so hard to summarize sometimes...

Worrisome Drama #1 - with a huge unexpected dump of rain in Flusherville, the sump pit was filling and getting dangerously close to the top. There's a float switch in there that (supposedly) will run the pump automatically.

Stupidly, I put a camera on it so that I could tend to Worrisome Drama #1 alllll the way to Vegas. This consisted of checking the camera every 9 minutes to confirm that a) the water was getting higher and higher b) the pump hadn't run yet.

Worrisome Drama #1 - we ordered a taxi to take us to Flusherville Junction. It didn't show up on time. Meanwhile, it had snowed overnight. Then it arrived at the wrong house, across the street - Jackie Moosereiner's sister's place, actually. This led to me running through the snow chasing a taxi. Elegant!

Worrisome Drama #1 Cam
Worrisome Drama #2 - a game of Find the Niece at Union Station. The Quad Queen's brother arrived at Union to pick up his daughter - I managed to find him, and then we managed to find her. It was nice to see them before heading off.

Minor Worrisome Drama #3 - approaching the UP train to take us from Union to Pearson airport, the sign flashed DEPARTURE IMMINENT. SIX SECONDS TO BELLUS. WASTE ANYTHING BUT TIME. We ran up and the door closed in our face. Faces. Made up for me being on the other side of that fine line last trip. Next train, 15 minutes, not a biggie.

Worrisome Drama #3 - we got aboard our United flight to Denver on time, but sat on the tarmac (why is it always tarmac??? Do they still make tarmac?) for an hour while one guy fucked around loading half a piece of luggage at a time. The concern was that we had a tight connection in Denver for flight #2 on to Vegas. We took off a full hour late, but we had enough time and made our connection easily.

Worrisome Drama #4 - getting the chatty Dutch lady next to me to shut up. I spent some time explaining all the circumstances around all of the family deaths over the last 18 months with gusto and in tremendous, finicky, detail. That did the trick. My fatal error was admitting that, yes, I knew where the town Kincardine was, and had been there.

Shifting our departure time to Vegas time, we got up at about 3:30 AM and left the house at 5:30 AM. We got to McCarran around 9:00 PM. Any way you slice it, that's a long trip.

We made a quick stop at the Library to borrow a couple of bottles, and then headed for the ride share pen.

Pro ride share tip - if you arrive and have no luggage checked, you may have a choice of taking the shuttle to either Terminal 1 or Terminal 3. For ride share, take Terminal 1. You end up way closer to the strip, it's easier for your driver to get in, and easier to get out and onto Paradise or Tropicana.

I'm pleased to report that we had probably the best Lyft experience ever. No tunnel, smooth ride, nice driver, efficient route, deft crossing of 8 lines of Vegas Blvd traffic in preparation for the left turn into Aria 51. $14 fare, $10 tip.

It's always great to start a trip with a little time on the Las Vegas Strip. No memory can prepare you for the bright, bright colors, the energy, the exuberance of the place. No other establishment on earth is more cheerful about stripping you of your money, and possibly, self esteem.

As we rolled by Park MGM, I remarked to the Quad Queen, "I think I heard that when Lady Gaga is playing there, she'll get $1,000,000 a show."

"What's she showing?" replied the ever-hilarious Mrs. Flusher.

I've only just walked through Aria maybe twice, so walking through those doors was a little like the first time we ever came to Vegas.

You get hit with that casino buzz of energy and smoke, everywhere you look there are sparkles and spritzes of light. Everything you see is nothing like you've ever seen.

We got checked in and found our room. It's pretty nice, not super big and not super luxe. The finishes and stuff are on par with Wynn and I think actually the Wynn rooms have the edge. We'll see.

Our view is of... nothing much but glass and steel towers, with a peek-a-boo view of Bellagio.

We settled in to the room a bit and enjoyed a few cocktails. It was a pretty nice way to start the trip.

The Quad Queen put on a pair of jeans and she's definitely lost a few pounds - they were completely loose around her waist.

"You know what you need?" I said.


"A rope for a belt. And a chimpanzee."

We planned our careful onslaught of the casino, and then got ready to do battle.

"C'mon, Ellie May!"

I wish I could tell you about all the wonderful victories we had. Instead, I will recount the stupid things I did instead.

We were looking for some particular machines and wandering around and finally, QQ had had enough and plopped down at some machine and started to play.

I sat down next to her and stuffed $100 into a machine. I got to play a total of five hands of $25 a hand video poker. Unlike all those incredible winning pictures you see on the internet of huge hits for huge sums, I got this.

OK, lesson learned, don't drink and gamble.

We played a few other things and ended up settling into some nickels. It went really badly. Really, really badly.

QQ had one quad and I had one. At least mine had a multiplier. We played maybe an hour and a half of ten play and that's all we managed.

It was a bloodbath, which meant... punishment rations, featuring punishment cheese. We headed to CVS to buy cheapish sandwiches and snacks, to foil the expensive Aria 51 establishments.

Here's the record of that pathetic degeneracy!

The second best thing to happen, was that on the way back to the room, after having bought $3.49 worth of mustard, I found a secret stash of unattended condiment packages (including Mayo!), salt, pepper, napkins, and so on. For good measure I obtained some Mayo and napkins.

The best thing to happen, was that on the way back to the room, we got in the elevator and in there was me, the Quad Queen, a thin Asian guy wearing a robe and slippers, and a girl with a jacket on.

They'd arrived with the elevator and did not get off. I asked him what was up and he said they were trying to get back to the 14th floor, but had no key with them.

I tried it but my key wouldn't work for that floor.


"Thanks for trying."

"So... how's your night shaping up? What have you been up to"

"Well, we're just chilling and left the room..."

We arrived at our floor and I said, "Well, stick with it, sooner or later someone's going to 14."

"It was great getting to know you both," he said as the doors closed.

Vegas, baby, vegas!

We chowed down and hit the hay around 1:45AM, both out all of our day's budget. And me an extra hundy besides.

And the stupid pump at home hadn't run yet.

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