Monday, December 3, 2012

A Little Vacation Side Story- Part 2

Now onto the next part of my lovely story… the big Thanksgiving buffet dinner.
So it’s late on Turkey Day, like at least 8pm or so. We’d decided to eat at the Palms as we’d previously tried eating at the buffet and it was pretty darned good. Coming into the hotel, we passed the LONGEST LINE FROM HELL on our way up to the room. Right then and there we agreed to take shifts, hubs would wait in line downstairs first, then I would come down and stand in our “spot”, then hubs and daughter would join me when I got closer to the front. Here’s a shot from my spot in line once he’d already been waiting for about 40 minutes… the arrow indicates the final destination...

And I know what you're thinking... why yes, I am rather tall. I was wearing 4" heels and held the camera up high... I think I was scaring the poor balding man with the bad gold chain necklace in front of me the whole time I stood there. 

Our best estimation was that it would take about 1.5 hours total. But guess what? By the time we got to the front of the line, guess what I found? A lovely little sign in front of a different line with about 3 people in it that said “VIP and Hotel Guests Enter Here”.

Ummmm, what?
You’ve GOT to be kidding me. 
Steadying myself at the cash register, I asked one of the employees “So, that sign right there? Does that mean if we are staying in the hotel, we wouldn’t have needed to stand in the long line we just stood in forever?”
Cash register chick: “Yup.”

Oh. My. Freaking. Gawd.
I turned around to hubs and immediately started blaming him. 
Hubs: “ME??? What about YOU? YOU passed by that sign just as much as I did!”
Totally insignificant.

Flash forward to the next day… woken by construction yet AGAIN.
“These guys SERIOUSLY SUCK!” I muttered under my breathe as I flew out of bed.

Hubs made another call to the front desk. This time they offered to move us to a different room as they still weren’t “communicating well with the Engineering department”. Ummmm, no. We don’t want to spend 2 hours of our day packing up our shit and then unpacking it in a different room when we are leaving the next day. Forget it man. 
Somehow he managed to pull another 2 room fees out of them, but still, hardly enough.

Now on with the day, first up, the Hoover Dam!

Back story: a good friend from high school had emailed me the week before we left to talk about all the different things we could do that were “family-oriented” in Vegas. In her email to me was a mention of the Hoover Dam, and how their 3 kids really liked it because it was suddenly acceptable to drop the word “Dam” here and there in casual conversation. 
“This is a great dam tour!” 
“That wall is DAM big!”
Etc. You get the idea.

Now, obviously, if you’ve been reading my blog for any length of time, I’m sure you’ve figured out that I swear like a sailor. As Miranda Lambert says in her song “Only Prettier” (seen here) “I’ve got the mouth of a sailor and yours is more like a Hallmark card…”

Yup, that’s me. Raised in a print shop and yacht clubs… I guess I’m the true byproduct of my initial surroundings. (And now being forced to read shitty resumes all day long... can you blame me? Hardly.)

That being said, the kid knows she’s allowed to cuss, but for some reason, chooses not to. (As a matter of fact, she once even apologized to me for texting the word “Biotch” to me one day.) I guess if reverse psychology has ever worked, my cussing and my daughter choosing not to would be a test case for an argument in FAVOR of that theory.

So while my sweet childhood friend thought she was being helpful in suggesting that Becky would be super excited to use the word “dam” at an unprecedented rate upon arrival of the massive site, I had to email her back and tell her that “unless they suddenly renamed it the Hoover Fuck Tour, I doubt she’ll be interested in unleashing the profanities.”

Once we finally got ourselves to said DAM, we were in for some kind of super brainy tour. I’ve been there before a couple of times, so I knew what it would be like. The part I was secretly most looking forward to was the part of the tour where they take you underground and then tell you about all the guys that died on the site and were actually BURIED ALIVE in the walls. Guess what? They are so “PC” now, they LEFT THAT PART OUT. I was SO upset they didn’t bring that up, I had to tell her myself.
The other thing they’ve done since I was previously there was build this magnificent bridge, pictured here:

We parked and walked out onto the west end of it. Not for the faint of heart for sure… standing there with traffic whizzing by you at 70 mph and a death drop on the other side of you, I can’t imagine the plethora of panic attacks on that narrow sidewalk over the massive gulch.

Here's a pic of said wall with dudes inside it:

I swear they are in there. The tour guide said so when I was 12. It has to be so. 

Once we headed back into town for the night, we knew we wanted to hit the strip some more. Surely there was more lunacy and debauchery to experience! The night was young!

Next up: the pirate show outside Treasure Island.

If you’ve been in Vegas at all in the last 20 years or so, you know of which I speak. There is a lagoon outside the hotel with a massive pirate ship planted at the back of it, pictured here:

A 15 minute show plays at the top of every hour once the sun goes down.
The last time I was there they had cool looking pirates dressed up in true Deppster/Jack Sparrow style, having swashbuckling fights while swinging from the elaborate rigging and the crow’s nest. It was actually a GREAT show. So I was kind of excited as we headed for it as seeing as how I am convinced I was a pirate in a past life, I LOVE me some pirates and big ships.

And then the show started.

With fluorescent lights flashing here and there with great aggression, what comes out on deck? A bunch of dressed up female strippers sporting hooker gear with some serious “international flair”.

Now, just to be clear here, I’m not a prude. As a matter of fact, as most of my very close friends know, far from it. But my mommy-like spidey senses kicked into gear and I knew immediately the show wasn’t going to be PG-13 or “family friendly” by any stretch of the imagination. Wanting to grab my daughter’s wrist and RUN, I instead leaned over to whisper into her ear to PLEASE, NOT RETAIN ANYTHING she was about to see or hear. Just then, a short Asian woman shoved her way past us with her 2 year old on her hip. There were children EVERYWHERE. I was suddenly worried for all of them.

Enter the token hot male and commence female hookers singing, dancing, and all but engaging in coitus on the ship’s deck.
Seven cheek-flushing, all-the-males-in-the -audience-are-truly-riveted-and practically-drooling minutes later, another ship from across the way “sails in” (on a rail that runs down the street I’m supposing). Suddenly there are about 20 hot, (and obviously gay) males on board the other ship. And then out of the mouth of the lead hooker comes one of the most horrifying sentences I’ve ever heard:

“Hey there seaman! Why don’t you come park your rig in my cove?”

Okay, now I’m a SAILOR and have been since 4 years old, but seriously? I wanted to die. Daughter turns and glances at me with this look that says “REALLY MOM?”
So thank you from the bottom of my heart, Treasure Island. 
Thanks to you, my teenage daughter now knows at least 5 specific sex-type dances AND how to talk dirty to hot gay men. 

As soon as we could, we high tailed it to the Venetian to show her the beautiful inside illuminated sky that looks like this:

She dug that.
Then we passed these beautiful trees outside the Venetian, lit up in alternating blue and green colors:

OOOOO Blue!!!

AHHHH Green!!!

Then we hopped in the car and passed more neato stuff such as the Eiffel Tower that’s an exact 1/3rd replica of the real one:

Our next destination? Zip lining on Fremont Street. 
Or rather, the “Fremont Experience” as they call it.
And what an experience it was.

Touted online as one of the “funnest zip lining experiences” around, what the online reports failed to mention was the fact that you’d have several near death experiences before you were actually CLIPPED into the zip lining system and sent reeling down the steel cable line dangling hundreds of feet above certain death.

And here's why: the people on Fremont street were either hopped up on drugs or drunk beyond drunk (even for Vegas) or both.  
In a terribly skeevy and questionable neighborhood, a shitty band was playing random 70’s psychedelic crap while drag queens marched up and down hollering out at me insinuating that I “wanted a piece” of what they were offering. Ummm… not so much but thanks for thinking of me!

Once we got through the very disturbing crowd, we stood in line for another freaking hour, and then they WEIGHED us right before we signed the obligatory “I promise not to sue your asses should I plunge to a very asphalt-y death when the cable snaps” consent form. 

Now I don't know about any other women out there, but being weighed after eating and drinking in Vegas for a few days is NOT my idea of a pleasurable experience, by any stretch of the imagination. I knew I’d “partaken” a little bit too much, but I hardly thought the extra 10 lbs reflected on the magic number they bestowed me was warranted. (Turns out my daughter verified their scale was off because she had recently been weighed at the doctor's office and she said it was 10 lbs. too high. Phew!)

Grumpy and now forced to endure a shit load of cigarette smoke coming from our douchecanoe, lunatic-shenanigan-pulling line “buddies”, by the time they clipped us into our “strap diapers” at the top of the platform, I was seriously ready to go. Just get me the fuck out of here!

Here's the platform we stood on before they pushed us.

One push and we were all off, zinging along together, random strangers below snapping pics of our crotches and the soles of our shoes. Just like these poor folks that went right before us:


On the verge of possibly plunging to my death for what seemed like an eternity, I decided while we were swinging along that we were decidedly safer UP THERE than down in the street below. 

The landing was anything but graceful and I was SURE all the discs that hadn’t yet herniated in my spinal region were now bulging with vulgarity. Hurriedly placing a short ladder underneath my dangling feet, one of the teenage helper dudes grabbed me by both my shoulders and asked "Are you okay ma'am?" Uh yeah, I'll be fine once you stop addressing me as a shaken 82 year old woman, thank you very much.

Narrowly escaping muggers, homeless muttering bums and alcohol reeking taxis, we found our car and quietly drove back to the hotel to crash for the night. 

We'd had enough.


Our final day there, I suppose as a parting gift, Becky got a bad sore throat and I got... wait for it... the flu!! Running back and forth to the bathroom in between packing our bags seemed to be the ideal way to end a whirlwind trip to the Shitty Sin City.

Once we'd checked out of the stupid Palms and gotten our whopping $60 removed for our troubles, we drove through the industrial park-ish, run-down area of the famous Gold & Silver Pawn Store seen on the History Channel's "Pawn Stars". 

Contemplating going in with the hopes of seeing Chum or the Old Man, here's a pic I snapped of it as we pulled up to see the absolutely horrific line that wound around the building like a snake on crack:

For those of you that noticed, yes there's a crack in our windshield. Yes, we should fix that. Thanks for pointing out the obvious. Now stop focusing on the crack! Look at the massive line below the sign for goshsakes!

With the collective "condition" Becky and I were both in, we decided NOT to stand there for hours hoping to get in and look at the over priced junk in their cases. (Although hubs said I'd make a nice "Counter Babe" should they be filming that particular day. What's a Counter Babe you ask? A floozy wearing a low cut top pretending to be riveted by the stuff in the glass cases of course. At my age, and in my condition? I'll take that compliment, thank you very much!)

Onward and upward, time to go home. 
Enough of this crap.
Until we meet again Vegas... which will be like, never. 
EVER. (Said me and Taylor Swift.)


  1. Girl. Next time try San Diego. Way less cigarette smoke & more boats. Tho maybe less buffets but better drag queens!

    Are you going to come up to SF for any of the America's Cup? Now that seems like a good vacation for your family.

  2. Wow, that Treasure Island show is WAY different!! Then again, I think when I saw it many years ago, Vegas was still in the throws of that whole "family friendly" thing they were trying for a while. After they abandoned that, I guess they decided to go back to the smut. Shame.

    How was it ok for you to zipline but not go on rollercoasters? I would think that would be bad for your shoulder as well.

    Nothing like trying to pack with the flu. I had the flue on a leaving day a couple years ago down the beach. Not pleasant for anyone, since I basically passed out on the bed covered by 18 blankets while the hubs had to pretty much do everything.

    Oh, and I think I remember the bodies part of that speech as well. It was quite a few years ago, but yeah. Wonder if they got sued for scaring the chilluns or something. Huh.