Oh, they don't have state income tax there? Just sales tax? Jeesh, maybe I should move there considering how much money I've infused into that economy recently. More on that possibility later.
As an avid poker player, I travel to Las Vegas often. In the last 4 months however, I've been there much more than usual. So often, in fact, that I wouldn't remember all the dates if not for the help of all the pictures. Here's recap of the most recent trips there.
Thanksgiving night, just after finishing up an amazing dinner with the Sise family, Sean and I dropped off our grandfather in La Jolla, cut east, and zipped up the 15 freeway. We checked into to the Aria at about 2 am. Nice hotel. It doesn't have a "theme" in the way that most Las Vegas hotels do. I guess its theme is "Nice Hotel". We stayed, we played, we saw the show. It was every bit as phenomenal as we had hoped. I saw Waters do "Dark side of the Moon" about 5 years back. I raved and raved about it being the single best concert experience of my life. Sean had missed it for reasons that he regrets. So when we heard he was doing "The Wall", there was no way either one of us was going to let the opportunity slip by.
I came in second in a poker tournament at Aria the next day to offset the entire cost of the trip... plus a little extra. I ended up putting that money into play for the next couple of days in cash games and ran it up a bit more. I stayed an extra day rather than attempt to drive home on a Sunday. I walked over to Harrah's from the Venetian at about 3 am and asked for a room. "Do you have a reservation?" I was asked. "Nope, just need something for the night." $40 and an elevator ride later, I found myself on the top floor of the hotel in a luxury suite. Huh? I guess the front desk guy just felt like hooking me up nice. It's amazing what a smile can get you. I took a soak in the jacuzzi because... it was there. The drive home the next morning was swift and easy.
The next trip would be just a few weeks later with the Hunter family: Greg, Wendy, Meredith, Eddie, and Bruce the dog. I got a free first class ticket on Hunter Air and deluxe accommodations at City Center.
We had a great weekend. The weather was very cold and rainy, but there is a lot to do and see around City Center. We checked out the mall at Crystals, went and had dinner and drinks the new Cosmopolitan. There is an Irish pub right next to the condo that has a gazillion beers on tap. They also have a gimmick that if you can finish one in less than 7 seconds...its free. When Greg and I heard that, we thought it was too good to be true. Nope... its true, but limit 2 per customer, per night. We chugged the first couple with seconds to spare, and even got so cocky that on the third day we were taking the time to clink our glasses together before downing them. Once again, we stayed longer than planned. This time it was due to poor weather and icing conditions all the way from Las Vegas to San Diego. Its just a little too dangerous to fly a small airplane through that. It persisted for days. We eventually drove all the way back in the rental car.
The weekend after returning from New York, I would be out there once again. I drove again... this time on the inaugural mission of Operation Tally Ho. 6 hours and a crazy wind storm later, we arrived in Henderson Nevada. I bunked with Tim at the Green Valley Ranch. He and most of his soccer team were staying there, so he let me crash in his room. It was another fun trip. It included another trip to the Cosmo, some time at the Wynn, and a stop downtown to a sort of tattooed and pierced up bondage scene, where Bree and Joyce decided to dress up in lingerie and get pictures taken on the balcony. Fun. My back-line betting craps alter-ego "Donny Don't" made numerous appearances at dice tables around the city. When he first arrived the tables were full. Before long... they'd all be gone. Awww yeah. The cooler finally figured out how to win. :)