Vegas Vacation

Quite possibly the most enchanting yet repulsive city I’ve ever visited.

And by far the strangest.

The world’s first post-modern city whose main attractions are simulacrum of other cities arranged in a mall-like setting. Soon, you will need only travel to Vegas to visit every other city in the world.

Avoid NYC. Visit New York, New York.

Egypt is a foreign land. Instead come to Luxor.

Monte Carlo anyone?

Screw the French. America has its own Paris now.

Is the only Italian you know “pizza” and “Mario”? Visit The Venetian.

Hell, in Vegas, you can even travel back in time to the time of the Roman Empire.

Because in Vegas time doesn’t exist. The Strip casts a spell over you so that you lose days without realizing or caring about it.

Let me detail for you a bit about our trip:
So you know Sa Rah won the Buzz’s Trippin’ Thursdays prize.
The Buzz crew went with us to Vegas.
As soon as we arrive at the airport, while waiting for our collective limo, we see a little munchkin walk out the doors and right past us.
Some of the girls in the group whisper frantically to get Scoops’ (one of the morning hosts’) attention.

Scoops thrilled to have met his American Idol, we cram into a limo bus and head to the Monte Carlo. It’s Monday afternoon.

Sa Rah and I have never been to Vegas nor gambled before. We opted to check out a bit of the Strip first. So we head down to NY, NY, Excalibur, and the Luxor.


(Awaiting the famed Golden Rains of King Tut)

At 7PM Monday night, we were to met up at the Irish Pub at NY, NY, where we got free food and drink.

We get to the pub and shoot the shite for a couple of hours with the Buzz crew and the other winners. Then we went to bed.

Vegas Strip Fact 1: Hotel/Casino ATMs only spit out $100 bills. And they charge you $3.50.

Tuesday morning I woke up early and went downstairs to get a bite to eat. Whoever said Vegas had cheap food is full of doo-doo. We saw nowhere cheap to eat. But the things we ate were generally very tasty.

Tuesday morning – 10AM we meet up with some people from our group to take a tour of the city. This was pretty fun. Took us downtown, to the old Strip, and out to the Vegas suburbs, which looked a helluva lot like Johnson County, only more brown (if you can believe that). Then we went to a chocolate factory. Then we went to a cactus garden and it was visually entertaining so let me throw a few photos of desert foliage your way:

Then…oh yes…we went to the Elvis-A-Rama museum. Lord have mercy.

The one of many – The Simulation Elvis!

Elvis was a treat for me, a trial for Sa Rah. She was kinda wigged out by the thing.

At this point we left the tour and headed across the street to the Fashion Show mall where we had $115 in gift certificates to spend. We ate some delightful tapas and I bought a swank brown, Brazilian blazer and Sarah scored a sweet, Mad-Max-inspired jacket. This was about 4:00. We had a couple of hours to get back to the hotel and get ready for Tuesday’s entertainment, The Blue Man Group. We decided to walk back to the hotel.

Along the way we found this very subtle sculpture:

We get to the show and get the dirt on all the crew’s goings-on in Vegas*. The show’s attendants passed out paper with which we were to decorate ourselves.

Here’s Suzi McDumbitch in bondage mode:

Some other winners, Lonnie and Jen:

And my little Pocahotass:


(Although she said she was a karate master and the guy behind us kept calling her “Rambo”.)

The Blue Man Group was insane and I wish I could present you with a video of the entire show. But I can’t so let’s move on.

We took a tram back to the hotel like N2Deep and Sa Rah cold passed out. I went down to the casino and lost some money.

Vegas Strip Fact 2: There is a walk you are forced to do in Vegas called the Geriatric Shuffle. You will be outnumbered by senior citizens in Vegas 80-million-to-1 so get used to this slow, ambling pace.

The next morning, Wednesday, we wanted to check out some more hotels.

So we went to The Bellagio

The Venetian

(Where we got a gondola ride from and seranaded to by this dapper chap:)

And where Sa Rah faced off against a living statue:

And the Gambler himself, Kenny Rogers:

After several hours we wanted to return to the Monte Carlo and catch up with the Buzz crew to sit in on one of their taping sessions. Lazlo was interviewing the ladies of La Femme.

That evening we had free passes to get into Studio 54…but after gambling away too much money, my ass was too broke and tired so we crashed.

Vegas Strip Fact 3: Don’t look for a clock in Vegas. Time is the enemy here.

Thursday morning we met up outside for our limo trip back to the airport. Everyone looked thrashed. Lonnie and Jen missed the limo. Scoops made it to the airport, through security (they had an electronic bomb sniffer), but then couldn’t get on the plane because he lost one half of his voucher.

Awesome trip. Strange city. Great radio station.

*one of the morning hosts slept with one of the contest winners, a married woman with 4! kids.

Vegas Vacation

Although summer doesn’t officially end until Sept.

All those years of starting school coupled with the onset of ragweed allergies that keep me inside from the end of August through the end of September means that the end of August signals the end of summer to me.Thankfully, we got to have one last blast at the Lake of the Ozarks for a fine farewell to a summer that brought many changes and passed waaaaay too fast for my liking (not to mention that it didn’t hold any summer road trips).

Ah well…summer’s ending for me and here are a few photos of the family enjoying some time together:
Breeze is growing up too durn fast

We rented a wave runner for the day. My first time on one.

We also tubed behind my uncle’s pontoon. The rope was dragging a bit and slowed things down so we had to make the tube a bit more exciting.

Matt was loving the wave runner.

Trav drove like a wild man – almost knocked Amber off.

Trav and Amber zipping around in the wake behind Sa Rah.

Delightful.

Although summer doesn’t officially end until Sept.

STL – 2nd Presidential Debate

The drive down to St. Louis went schmoove.

dipstickin'

And the skies cleared to make way for presidential racing.

beauty in industry

The STL was ready.

Night was nigh upon us.

We made our way to America’s Center for the debate-watching party.
Sa Rah bought a Ketchup Lovers for Kerry Button.
57

And she wondered what a winner tastes like. (Hi, Bean!!! We made it home safe and sound.)
like chicken

For some reason, I hadn’t expected so many folks. These are the lines to get in.

Security was secure.

(They actually warned me that my camera would be confiscated if I continued snapping photos of the guards.)

A lot of folks came out to watch the debates, cheer, hiss, boo, and rally.

There were Vets for Kerry, Gays for Kerry, and even Women for Kerry.
furry women

Sa Rah turned to me at one point to say, “Oh what shall we do if the loony wins again?”
boohoo

Then she saw this hopeful couple
springs eternal
and smiled.

I remained stoic.

No, I didn’t.

I soon grew tired of banner-waving and decided to make my support fashionable.

Never much one for fashion, I try to make my support sexual.

That, too, fails, so I just go for the old, “I’m a crazy mofo and I get to vote” look.

Kerry showed up to rally after the debate.

I’d never been to a political rally this close to election day. The vibe was volatile.

Kerry seemed strong and I marveled at the stamina both he and Bush must have to keep up this schedule (even moreso the President – he’s got to preside during the entire mess).

Afterwards, the evening seemed a little different. Kerry’s a politician. Of that we were sure. But, however illusory, it felt incredible to be involved in the process for a brief amount of time.
gateway
Oh, and STL, thanks for asking such damned good questions.

STL – 2nd Presidential Debate