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An unusual tour of Vegas November 30, 2007

Filed under: friends,NaBloPoMo,Vegas — airingdirtylaundry @ 3:03 pm

This post is for TheAngelForever, who had an opportunity to visit many bathrooms in Las Vegas early on in her pregnancy with her oldest son, NHL.  There are many astounding bathrooms in Vegas–the tile in some of the bathrooms at Wynn is just breath-taking for example.

But I bypassed the beautiful views and instead took pictures of some unusual things I saw in the bathrooms so that I could do a photo post of them.  Unfortunately, I didn’t think to write down where each of the bathrooms were and now I can’t recall. 

Many bathrooms had all the bells and whistles you could ever want.  We have cupholders in the stall for your drink (and look, you can have TWO at a time!):

cupholder in stall.

And some have ashtrays in the stall, you know, for when you just can’t wait a few more minutes to light up:


Some are beau-ti-ful—from the glossy marble walls and floors to the granite countertops to the classic light fixtures:


And some are nice on the outside and then seriously lacking updates to the most critcal feature:

pink toilet?.

A pink toilet?  Come on . . . the pink bathroom era is LONG over!

And my favorite?  This little sign on the inside of a stall, which was sooo handy:


You know why?  The door opened IN.  So if I would have opened it quickly, I could have knocked myself out!  Apparently they got sued before for not cautioning bathroom users.


Vegas 11/24/07

Filed under: NaBloPoMo,Vegas — airingdirtylaundry @ 1:06 pm

Almost done . . .

We woke up early Saturday morning, went downstairs to play the slots for awhile, and then Mike stopped in at the VIP desk and asked if we could check-out late since our flight wasn’t until 5:45PM.  They graciously accommodated us (even though we’re the two most un-VIP people you’ve ever met), and we headed upstairs to our room to pack up.  Quite a project, but we packed pretty quickly when you take into account how messy the room was (DEFINITELY no pictures of THAT mess!).

We went to the Spice Market Buffet at our hotel, which we had been looking forward to the whole time we were there.  On principle I don’t really care for buffets, but I do look forward to trying new things that I wouldn’t order at a restaurant for fear of not liking it.  I especially enjoyed the dessert area and had my first chocolate in a month, which tasted like heaven.  (Since then, I’ve devoured the whole bag of Peppermint Patties that TheAngelForever sent me.  Gotta get back on that strict diet, but I definitely enjoyed the time I was OFF of it!)

We went back to the casino floor and did the free slot pull by the players club area.  You know, that giant slot machine where you can win some kind of huge prize that you suspect that no one has ever won anything?  Mike went first and won something!  Sadly it wasn’t the $2 million, but he did get a set of dice that were actually used in the casino.

I went next and since he had won something, I didn’t expect to get anything at all.  But up popped one seven.  Then another.  And then a third!  The attendant kept saying “We have a big winner!  We have a big winner!”  I was utterly confused and was looking at the top of the giant slot machine to see what she meant by “big”.  It turns out that I would have originally won 2 tickets to STOMP OUT LOUD, which was at our hotel.  Mike and I had already seen it and wouldn’t have paid to see it again, but with free tickets (and if we were staying longer) we would have definitely gone.  BUT, they were out of STOMP tickets, so she told me that I had won 2 free admissions to the buffet (you know, the one we had just come from) and $10 in free slot play.  We explained that we were leaving in an hour or so to catch our plane, and Mike talked her into giving me two sets of the same dice she had given him.  I guess he plans on getting a few craps games going in our basement or something.

We redeemed the $10 in free slot play and quickly blew through that without winning anything.  Next we headed over to the free slot tournament, and we both ended up winning a STOMP keychain.  And, I beat Mike by one point (which I was very proud of for some reason!).  It seems we were lucky all around that day.

It was time to go, so we collected our luggage from the room and caught a cab to the airport.  Waiting in the airport was excruciating.  We both just wanted to go to sleep and it seemed like boarding time would never come.  Once we got on the plane, I fell asleep while Mike dozed in an out.  Once I woke up, we started talking about our favorite parts of the trip and how much we would have liked to stay longer.  Or go back again soon.

We’ve been to Vegas together four times in the past 3 years and have stayed at the Aladdin/Planet Hollywood 3 of those times.  It’s been so neat to see the hotel morph from the Arabian-themed Aladdin to the movie-themed Planet Hollywood.  Even the slot machines that had little magic lamp logos were covered up with Planet Hollywood decals.   The rooms have changed and now each one has memorabilia from a different movie (our room was the “All the Right Moves” room).  The only hint that the hotel was once the Aladdin?  The plumbing fixtures:



Vegas 11/23/07

Filed under: NaBloPoMo,Vegas — airingdirtylaundry @ 9:31 am

Yeah, yeah, yeah.  I know you’re sick of the whole vacation saga that really only consists of us walking around, drinking, and gambling, but this is more for me than it is for you, so feel free to skip over it.  On a cold winter day in February when we’re buried in snow and ice and I feel like it’s been years since I went away anywhere, I’m going to need these posts to look back on and pull me through.

On Friday morning, we went downstairs and played the slots for awhile before heading over to New York New York.  Once we got there, we fought our way through the crowds and went to Sirrico’s for a slice of pizza. (OK, I admit it.  I had TWO slices.  Diet had fallen to the bottom of my priority list and was a distant memory by this point.)

Mike was able to get on one of the new Star Wars slot machines at NYNY,

star wars

i heart yoda

and I eventually got on one of them too, but lost money in the blink of an eye.  I watched Mike finish playing and cash out, then we headed back to Nine Fine Irishmen.


I love traditional Irish pubs.  No TVs and there are divided areas at the bar so that you can have an intimate conversation and feel like you’re the only two people in the place (or be wild and rowdy and not disturb your neighbors!).  We got our last Guinness to go (although Guinness in a plastic cup is sacrilegious) and started walking.

outside nyny

We walked through Excalibur and on to the Luxor, stopping to check out the advertisements for various risque events.

thunder down under


We spent some time at the Luxor’s sportsbook and then continued on to Mandalay Bay.  After we left there, we decided to stop in the Tropicana, since we had never been in there before.


It was, well . . .disgusting.  It smelled old and musty.  But that didn’t stop us from hanging out in the casino for awhile.  Definitely an “old Vegas” feel to that place.

We headed back towards our hotel and got sidetracked by the Glacier Bar.

glacier bar

and also an outdoor band (bad picture, I know).


By this point I was getting cold and of course didn’t have a jacket with me, so we hightailed it back to Planet Hollywood and had another sandwich at Earl of Sandwich.  I had the grilled cheese sandwich again and Mike made fun of me.  We stayed dowstairs in our casino and gambled until the wee hours of the morning, at which point I had ANOTHER grilled cheese sandwich and Mike CONTINUED to make fun of me.  Shut up.  It’s my vacation.  I will eat 46 grilled cheese sandwiches if I want to (and wonder why I can’t lose weight). 

We headed up to our room, sad that our last full day in Vegas was over. 



We interrupt our regularly scheduled program . . . November 29, 2007

Filed under: friends,NaBloPoMo — airingdirtylaundry @ 5:01 pm

Quick hiatus on the Vegas saga.

Check out this awesome street soccer video:

This is from a soccer skills DVD that one of Mike’s co-workers is involved with.  As uncoordinated as I am, I have quite an appreciation for people who have such fancy footwork.

Next post we go back to Vegas . . .


Vegas 11/22/07

Filed under: NaBloPoMo,Vegas — airingdirtylaundry @ 1:57 pm

Early Thanksgiving morning, I woke up and couldn’t get back to sleep.  I decided to go downstairs by myself and wander around for a little while.  I played the slots and also spent a lot of time people-watching.  Vegas HAS to be the #1 people-watching spot in the world!

A few hours later, Mike made his way downstairs and we headed over to the sportsbook to check out some of the football games.  Our plan for the day was to make our way up to the Mirage and see if there were tickets available for LOVE.  Mike likes the Beatles, and I thought I would like cirque du soleil,  so we thought it would be a good show to see that we would both enjoy.

We headed across the street to the Bellagio, which never ceases to be amazing.  If it wasn’t so crowded, I could have spent days staring at the glass art in the lobby (of which I took poor pictures).

glass art

I was also excited because the hotel was still decorated for fall.

fall decorations


In an effort to get away from the crowds, we took what we were hoping was some kind of shortcut by going down an empty hallway.  We once again got ourselves lost.  We got lost every day, but this time it was excruciating because we were both so hungry and we couldn’t even find our way out of the hotel. 

We found our way out through some kind of employee-only area (along with a lot of other people who had directional problems too!), and headed over to Caesars.  I was not in a picture-taking mood, so no visuals of our travels.  It had probably been close to 24 hours since our last meal, so I was dizzy and cranky.  And when I get cranky, no pictures get taken.

Going through Caesars we saw a little food court area and immediately headed towards it.  Mike and I split up to go to different sections and then met up at a table in the center.  I don’t think either of us spoke a word to each other for 10 minutes while we were shoveling food in our mouths.

All of a sudden I looked at him, smiled, and said “I’m having Kung Pao Chicken for Thanksgiving dinner!” 

After eating, I was so tired from all of the walking and only a few hours of sleep that I seriously considered curling up in a chair in Caesar’s sportsbook and taking a nap.  Mike talked me into moving on, so we headed to the Mirage.  I was no longer cranky, so here’s a picture.


We went into the Mirage and unfortunately Thursday’s LOVE shows were sold out and there were only single seats left for the remaining shows that weekend.  We were kind of disappointed, but it was our own fault for not booking in advance.

We continued up the strip to Treasure Island, although the siren show was under construction for a few weeks.  We still got to see the pirate ship, though.

pirate ship

We crossed the street and headed back towards our hotel, stopping at the Venetian and the Imperial Palace along the way.

Right around 5:00 (where did this day go?) we found ourselves back at Bill’s Gambling Hall and caught the first few songs of the Big Elvis show.  Seriously, we can’t get enough of this guy!

We went back to our hotel and went up to the bar on the second level near the high-limit room.  There are some penny slot machines by the bar that it seems like not many people knew about, and we had a fantastic waitress while we were there.  We did really well on those slots, and it was nice to pretty much have the whole area to ourselves.  Mike found a monkey slot machine that he really liked (and IT liked HIM too!).

twice your monkey

We ended up eating at Earl of Sandwich in our hotel that night and I had the best grilled cheese sandwhich ever made–3 kinds of cheeses, diced tomatoes, and applewood smoked bacon.  We had originally intended on eating at a buffet that night, but were afraid we’d be stuffed and end up wanting to go to sleep.

Kung Pao Chicken and grilled cheese on Thanksgiving is a little non-traditional, but definitely no regrets on my part.  And Mike had a turkey sandwich, so at least one of us had some turkey on Thanksgiving!

Only a day and a half left of our vacation (told you I was milking this for NaBloPoMo)!



Vegas 11/21/07 Part II November 28, 2007

Filed under: NaBloPoMo,Vegas — airingdirtylaundry @ 6:38 am

Where did I leave off? Oh, we had just finished seeing the fantastic Big Elvis show.  After that, we headed to Bally’s to get back on the monorail.  We had to wait a few minutes for it to come, so Mike decided to swim with the fishes.

mike swims with fishes

How can you tell if someone has had too much to drink?  They lay on the ground in the monorail station for a photo op.

We got off the monorail at the MGM Grand and stopped to see the lions.  They were so drugged they couldn’t get their heads off the ground.

drugged lions

It was sad.  I liked the fake lions better.

fake lions

Mike, well, he preferred the elephants.


So we moved on and crossed the street to New York New York.  Here we are on the walkway that goes across the street.


We can’t go in New York New York without stopping at Nine Fine Irishmen.

nine fine


We caught an awesome Irish band when we were there,

irish band

and of course we had to have a Guinness, because, you know,

125 cal.

Next, we headed over to the Monte Carlo Brew Pub,

monte carlo brew pub

where we saw an awesome Prince cover band called Purple Reign.  We even got to hang out with “Prince” for awhile!


Oh, and of course, Morris Day too.

morris day

Unfortunately, they had technical difficulties between sets and couldn’t finish up, even though I had convinced Mike to stay there for the second set.  He was pretty tired by that point.

sleepy mike

He’s not really passed out–he’s just pretending.  And hiding his anger at making him stay there for hours longer than he wanted to.

We walked back to our hotel after getting lost and ending up behind the Monte Carlo (are you seeing how bad my sense of direction is?).  It was probably about 2:30AM by this point and it was cold–maybe 35 degrees or so.  It was quite a long day and we were ready for some shut-eye.  Stay tuned for more adventures tomorrow.  And more pictures.  Of us in different clothes.



Vegas 11/21/07 November 27, 2007

Filed under: hungryhungryhippo,NaBloPoMo,Vegas — airingdirtylaundry @ 7:43 am

We woke up early on Wednesday and headed downstairs to eat breakfast at Planet Dailies in our hotel.  I stopped keeping my food journal at this point when I realized that I had a beer BEFORE even having breakfast.  My original intention was to at least keep track of what I was eating and drinking when we were there but not to keep to my diet.  Less than 12 hours after arriving I realized that I didn’t even want to be bothered with even keeping the food journal.

After breakfast we played the slots in our hotel for awhile, and then headed towards the monorail.  I knew which direction it was in, but wasn’t exactly sure where the nearest stop was.  We ended up one block off of the strip walking behind all of the hotels, while Mike was getting progressively madder at my horrible sense of direction.  And it turned out that you have to go through the hotels to get to the various stops anyhow.  A very nice Bally’s employee took us through a maze of restricted-access hallways and pointed us in the right direction. Crisis averted.

We hopped on the monorail and got off at the Sahara. 


Walking through the Sahara, Mike got in touch with his cousin from Florida who was in Vegas visiting his in-laws for the holiday.  We had hoped to meet up with his cousin at some point, but once we realized that it just wasn’t going to work out, we hailed a cab and made our way downtown to Fremont Street.  Our first stop was the Golden Nugget.

golden nugget

We were amazed and a little bit upset that so many of the hotels were already decorated for Christmas on the day before Thanksgiving.


But that certainly didn’t stop us from having fun.  We saw a tiny sign that said “dive bar.” Hoping for some kind of non-touristy local beer-and-shot joint, we followed the sign.  We were wrong.  When we got there it was a pool with a shark tank and a bar–a dive bar. Duh.

dive bar

waterfall at dive bar

We got a very expensive beer and continued on our way.  I think we went in each of the casinos on Fremont Street, and we spent a lot of time at the Las Vegas Club, where we met Mike the casino host,

mike the casino host

who is also a Steeler fan.

mike the casino host's tatoo

I think it was this casino that also had a sport memorabilia hallway, including Jerome Bettis’ college jersey.

bettis jersey

We gambled more than I thought we would downtown.  Rumor has it that there are

loose slots

at the casinos downtown, and they didn’t disappoint.  I especially liked that they had cheaper table games than they do in the casinos on the strip.

Although we stayed until dark, we left before all of the overhead lights came on.  We weren’t sure what time they came on and we knew we needed to get back to the strip to see Big Elvis at Bill’s Gambling Hall.  What a fantastic show!  I even got to perform with him

me with big e

and have the certificate to prove it!

big e certificate

 And the night was young–we still had quite an adventure ahead of us!



Vegas 11/20/07 November 26, 2007

Filed under: NaBloPoMo,travel,Vegas — airingdirtylaundry @ 11:18 am

One of the good things about going to Vegas during November is that I can totally milk it for NaBloPoMo for the rest of the month.  The bad thing for you is that you’ll have nothing else to read on my blog other than every excruciating detail about our trip.

I went in to work last Tuesday at 7, anxious to get out of there by noon.  Amazingly it was pretty quiet all morning and I was able to get the most critical things done.  At noon I headed home, quickly changed, and set the automatic cat feeder so that Giz was taken care of until Mike’s sister could get over to our house to take over the cat feeding duties.

Off we went to the airport about 40 minutes away.  We expected to get caught up in the earliest of the Thanksgiving rush, but much to our surprise there were no lines.  None.  We had already checked in online but still had to go upstairs to check our bags.  On our way up the escalator we looked down and saw that the security line wasn’t too bad.  We walked right up to the counter, checked our bags, and then headed to the alternate security checkpoint.  We were the only two travelers there.  We were stunned.

We made it to where our gate was, saw that the flight was still showing as being on time, and headed back to the Irish bar to have a Guinness–our vacation tradition.  After that we went back to our gate, saw that we were still scheduled to leave on time, and went to another bar to have another drink.  (I slept like a baby for about an hour on the plane.)

We boarded on time and were able to chase the sun as it set.

chasing the sunset

We got into Vegas on time, about 6:45.  Our luggage came down immediately (another shocker!) and we went to stand in the line for a taxi.  But there was no line–none at all.  When were were out there in March, we stood in the line for a cab for probably close to an hour in 90 degree heat.  This time it was 75 degrees, breezy, and there was no line.  We couldn’t have asked for things to go more smoothly.

We got over to our hotel and since Mike had talked with a casino host about our hotel room, we were able to bypass the lobby and go straight up to the VIP check-in.  Once again, no line.  We went up to our room and had a great (if somewhat blurry) view of the strip.

strip at night 

We threw our bags in the room and immediately headed back downstairs to go to P.F. Changs, which is our traditional first Vegas meal every time we go. 

After dinner we just wandered around our hotel, played the slots for awhile, and crashed relatively early.  I had been up for over 20 hours and was pretty worn out. We knew we would have a long day ahead of us on Wednesday.



Recovery November 25, 2007

Filed under: NaBloPoMo,Vegas — airingdirtylaundry @ 12:09 pm

Mike and I made it home a little after 2AM this morning.  Although I slept for about 3 hours on the flight, I was still very very tired.  We went to bed around 3 (you know, after I uploaded the pictures from our camera and started the upload to flickr–first things first).  I slept until 9:45 this morning and the only thing that got me out of bed was hunger and the desire to start the laundry.

Thankfully we don’t have much to do today and the one thing we want to sit down and do is make a timeline of what we did and when we did it so that we don’t forget a thing.  I’m excited to rehash everything.  We had such an incredibly good time.  It was great to get away–the two of us haven’t gone away by ourselves since our honeymoon 8 years ago.  Coming home last night this morning was bittersweet–we were so sad to reach the end of our trip and yet happy to be home.

So until I get my thoughts together and can develop a coherent post, here are a few teasers.  Oh, the things you see in Vegas!

A bride at P.F. Chang’s on Tuesday night:

bride at PF Changs

Construction on a HUGE scale:

new hotel

No words for this one:

drag queen parking

Women in various states of undress:


That’s all for now–gotta finish up the laundry!


Heading home November 24, 2007

Filed under: NaBloPoMo,Vegas — airingdirtylaundry @ 1:13 pm

We come home tonight and get to Pittsburgh in the wee hours of the morning.  Can’t wait to tell you all about our trip!  I’m tired–I think I need a vacation from my vacation!