Vegas Trip Report I
We are here in Vegas and let’s just say it has been an eventful trip so far.
We packed up the van for it’s first road trip and the amount of room available in this thing is just amazing compared to the old PT. In the PT we would have to remove one of the back seats completely and then it would be jam packed to the ceiling with all of our gear. In the van we stuffed 3 suitcases, 2 guitars, a case of water bottles, a giant bag that Paula gave us to transport, and my toiletry case without even having to remove Shilo’s dog crate AND still had the whole backseat empty AND room for groceries we bought in Bakersfield!
This is where our story goes awry dear readers.
We stopped at an Albertson’s in Bakersfield to get some supplies for the trip. While shopping, Rob noticed that one of the screws in his glasses was loose. He told me to remind him to get his leatherman out and tighten them. We finished shopping and stopped down the street for some gas. I reminded him about his glasses and went into the Subway attached to the gas station to get us some dinner.
When I emerged with the food I found Rob messing with his glasses outside the gas pump. I got in the car and had a couple bites of the sandwich when I realized all was not well.
Apparently while tightening one of the screws Rob had inadvertently stripped the opening, popping them open and resulting in one of the lenses falling out. Because it was stripped he couldn’t get the screw to go back in.
Rob has REALLY bad eyesight so without his glasses he is pretty much blind. He ALWAYS brings a back up pair of glasses for that very reason but last week his main pair had the same thing happen to him so he was in fact, wearing his back up glasses on this trip. He had no other options.
I had thrown an eyeglasses repair kit that I had at work in my purse while cleaning out my desk that day so I gave it to him and he began the very painful and frustrating process of trying to fix the problem. Unfortunately it wasn’t going to happen.
I have 20/20 vision(knock wood) so I can’t even imagine the level of frustration that he was feeling. To basically be rendered helpless when something like this happens. I just can’t fathom it.
Finally he sent me into the minimart(because he couldn’t see to go in himself) to get some superglue and in a last ditch effort we were able to temporarily fix the situation.
The second really big problem happened after we finally got to Vegas.
We booked downtown because we wanted to go cheap…we decided on the El Cortez because we had stayed here a number of years ago when we came on my birthday with my friend Renee. The room was pretty nice and cheap. While looking at their website we saw that it wasn’t THAT much more expensive to stay in their new “Cabana Suites”. The pictures on the website looked nice so we got excited and booked it.
When we finally got checked in and went to our room at four in the morning we discovered a TINY little cracker box of a hotel room. And to make matters worse they had filled the room with GIANT furniture to try and make the decor look more chic. We were shocked. Also, there were no dressers or anywhere to put your clothing. So in a room that small you would have to keep your suitcase out to get your stuff out.
In addition to the incident earlier and the sheer exhaustion, this room just took the cake. We milled around and discussed the logistics of it. It just didn’t work for us. If I were sleeping and Rob wanted to play guitar he would basically have to do it either in the bathroom or at the foot of the bed I was sleeping in.
Finally I called the front desk and asked if we could be moved to one of the rooms we had been in all those years ago with Renee for the duration of our stay. She said yes, I asked if we could see the room first and she said to come on down she would give us a key.
When we got up to the room it was like a breath of fresh air. It was so much bigger with a giant dresser, a desk, a chair, a sofa and a coffee table. Perfect! We switched immediately and it was like a weight was lifted off our shoulders.
We finally got to sleep around six in the morning.
Woke up the next morning with two things on the agenda. We had to hit the marathon expo to get my bib number and also hit a LensCrafters to get Rob some new glasses. The superglue was not going to last the whole week and Rob had a prescription in his wallet for his glasses even though it was over a year old.
Last year we hit the Expo on a Saturday and it was a MADHOUSE. I’m really claustrophobic and it was a nightmare for me. This year we got there on a Friday afternoon and while it was still packed it was soo much better. We were able to actually partake in some of the games and merriment of the affair. There was some contest where you fill out a form and give it to the Prize Center and you can win something. It looked like you could only win things like a beanie, a handkerchief, wristbands….things like that. Well you could have knocked us over with a feather when Rob won us a pair of Brooks running shoes! Over 100.00 value! And just in time for me to replace my shoes! Ha! Things were indeed looking up.
We left the Expo loaded with freebies and headed over to the mall for Rob’s glasses.
The thing with Rob having such bad vision, is that his glasses get really expensive. However, he has some vision insurance so we were relying on that. Yeah, you can guess where this is going…
They didn’t take our insurance and they couldn’t honor Rob’s old prescription so that meant we would also have to pay for an eye exam. We couldn’t afford it. We explained our problem to the woman and she looked at his glasses. She declared that she could just replace the screw. Rob advised that it was stripped and a screw wouldn’t work. She countered that they could rethread it with a bigger screw and off she went. Ten minutes later Rob’s glasses were saved and it was FREE!!! We tipped her a twenty because she basically saved our trip.
Finally it felt like the dark cloud of this trip had been completely lifted and we headed back to the hotel.
As we arrived in the parking garage, I got a text from my BFF Paula that she had landed and was in Vegas. Hooray!!! 🙂
While she waited on her bag and the taxi, Rob and I headed of to Mamita’s. We had discovered this gem of a local Mexican/Cuban restaurant when we stayed at this hotel with Renee. In fact if you happen to be the proud owner of one of my husband’s “Bubble Bath” CD’s, flip it over and look at the cute picture of us on the back. That was taken in the back booth of Mamita’s.
We were waiting on our takeout when Paula called us. She was in the lobby of the hotel, she was checked in but was having a hard time finding her room. I beat feet over to the lobby to rescue her. 🙂
She was in a Pavilion room so it wasn’t in the same tower as us. It was one of the weirdest set ups I have ever seen. Basically it was on floor of outside hotel rooms on top of a parking garage. Not exactly safe looking but I was encouraged that you at least had to have a room key to get up to that floor.
We dropped off her bags in her room and chatted for a bit before heading over to my room to eat some yummy tortas and hang out. After we ate we headed downstairs to get our players cards and play gamble. Got a quick drink at the bar and settled in at a set of slot machines that hated us so we quickly moved on. The machines we picked were pretty good to us. We played for a couple of hours on 20 bucks and Paula was actually winning.
Finally, only getting five hours of sleep the night before hit me hard and I had to retire to my room. I think at that point I was down fifteen bucks and Paula was up by 90 or so.
Saturday morning Paula made me wake up earlier than I would have liked so we could all go to breakfast. Rob got an omelet while Paula and I got what we called the Lumberjack’s Special.
Two eggs, bacon, sausage, potatoes and a short stack with coffee and juice and a side of biscuits and gravy. We made a pretty good dent in it too! I only had enough left of the pancakes to take back to the room with us.
We parted ways with Paula and headed up to our respective rooms for a small nap before reuniting and heading out to the Meadow’s Shopping Mall. Rob had gotten a Salvation Army contact here in Vegas and got a gig outside Macy’s playing Christmas songs on his guitar for donations.
While he got set up Paula and I did what any self respecting woman would do if faced with two hours to kill in a mall. We shopped and ate. Because our lumberjack breakfast apparently wasn’t enough for us we had to stop at Hot Dog On A Stick and get some lunch and Johnny Rockets to get me a chocolate peanut butter milkshake …yeah, it was as good as it sounds. 🙂
Two hours later we were shopped out so we waited for Rob in the car because it was FREEZING outside and then finally we headed back to the hotel where another nap was had.
Around seven thirty I got up and started getting ready. We were meeting our friend Aimee at the Excalibur to go see Thunder From Down Under. We hadn’t seen Aimee in a long time and the irony was not lost on us that we lived very close together and it took a trip to Vegas to have a get together. Aimee was also running the half marathon with me the next day.
How do you prepare for the night before a marathon? We had cocktails and watched a bunch of oiled up half naked men dance. Seemed like the right choice at the time. 😉
We took a cab to the Excalibur. I closed my eyes the entire time because the cab driver was apparently a retired nascar driver or something. At one point I heard Paula gasp and I looked up. She just patted me on the arm and said: “Keep ’em closed honey, keep ’em closed.”
We survived and managed to meet up with Aimee at the bar outside the Thunder theater where there was drinking and laughter.
There were a couple of bachelorette parties in the bar and so this cute bartender jumped up on the bar and announced a free shot for the bride to be. He took a bottle and poured a shot of red liquid into the bride’s mouth and then proceeded to do the same to her entire party. Us girls just watched and laughed until he saw us and walked over to us, still on the bar and demanded we do the shots too. We all said no, no, no…we couldn’t and then of course we did. Heh. I asked him what was in it and he just winked and said he made it himself. He placed a towel under my chin and it was down the hatch! It tasted very fruity and I suspect there wasn’t much alcohol in it since they weren’t charging for it. 🙂 Then it was Paula and Aimee’s turn. The only one that actually got caught on camera was Aimee. Priceless!
The show was to start at eleven and the doors were supposed to open at 10:30 but apparently there were some really horny women from the earlier show still inside refusing to leave. Finally we were able to get in and get our seats.
This would be Paula and I’s third Thunder show. The first one we went to we fell in love with a hottie dancer named Donovan. Planned the second trip and show around seeing him dance again and much to our disappointment he had been on vacation. We were SURE he had to be there this time…Yeah, not so much.
It was still a great show and since it was Aimee’s first time seeing it, her reactions were worth the ticket price alone!! She had so much fun. She had told us earlier that she hadn’t had a girls night out since her oldest daughter was born…and she’s in kindergarten now! I was so glad we were able to provide her with such a fun night!!
To be continued
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