A Las Vegas diary… the group returns in 2008
8 days in Nevada and Arizona…
Days one, two and three


This time, the trip diary is being divided up in a slightly different way. In the past I’ve done it one day at a time… maybe two days at a time… even by theme park. Essentially I’d go over the amount of material I had and try to sort out the best way to present it.

After careful consideration I’ve decided that here, the best way to present it is to split things up by the three phases of the trip… Vegas… Grand Canyon… and back to Vegas.

It all began on a Saturday in April…

Day One ~ Saturday, April 19, 2008

There’s an interesting twist to this trip… one that isn’t so unusual I suppose given the cross-country nature of our flight, or even when some thought about previous adventures reveals that others began in a similar fashion… but we are leaving awfully late on day one.

Ellen and Richard are morning people. I am fairly certain they are involved in making the wake up calls necessary on a daily basis to coordinate sunrise for America’s east coast. I have been at their house… trunk of my car open… on several occasions, in the quiet stillness that is the dark of 4am, waiting to load luggage.

So it is really throwing me off that I actually got to sleep late today. Not really late… I could have slept later… but 8am on a trip day? I really think that’s unheard of.

Around 11am we have united as a group of four, and not long after have eaten at D’Angelos, met up with my parents to drop off our car, and switched our luggage over to theirs for the drive to the airport.

We’re heading out to Vegas on Continental this time… via Newark. And our first real story of the journey comes to us from the Terminal C food court. I am not sure whether our decision to get something to eat was smart or not considering the chronological order of things… but in the end, it definitely turned out for the best.

You know how airlines have cut back on food? I mean seriously… these days unless you have exact change, and that means cash only, chances are you won’t even get a fun size Twix. Oh sure, they tell you… in places like the deepest informational corners of their web sites… that they serve meals on any flight over, well, let’s say 4 hours. What they then hide deeper on their web site is that no plane in their entire fleet is ever scheduled for a flight of more than 3 hours.

We decided to grab something to eat in Newark. It had been three hours or so since we ate lunch… and we figured that if we wanted to go out for dinner in Vegas, we would want to avoid snacking on the plane. So… after landing way ahead of schedule, only to crawl to the gate and arrive there on time… we organize ourselves at the gate for the next flight, then Richard and I wander off to play hunter and gatherer.

Turns out cell phones are a blessing of sorts. Menus are exchanged over the phone (and the girls can’t see us rolling our eyes)… options are discussed… and ultimately we are getting meals from the Wok-n-roll and Greenleaf Grille. (If you want to have some fun when it comes to the need for proofreading and quality control, do a search and check out a page for the Newark Liberty EWR airport. I certainly wouldn’t be upset to find out that Wok-n-roll is spelled differently than I have it written down here. And, having never heard of the Greenleaf Grille before, I could have made a mistake. But on one page I found when originally working on this piece, in the span of a few inches, there was Wok-n-roll and Wok & Roll… and it has Greenleaf’s Grill and Greenleaf’s Grille… so I’m going with my notes about the places and the spellings.)

As we wait in the food court for our meals, I start reading some of the signs and postings and advertisements on the wall. Most of them are telling me of the delicious temptations to be found in Terminal C dining venues. And oh look… there’s one for Continental Airlines! Did you know they are… oh wait… is that right? They are the only ones offering in-flight meals for all passengers on flights just like the one we are about to take?

Gee… how about that? Makes you wonder.

Richard and I take our food back to the girls.

We get on board and Terry is sitting across the aisle from a wonderful young girl named Emma. Don’t really have a joke here or some amazing Emma note, but if you were a very young child named Emma and flew across the country on this day, well, congrats, you are now on the internet.

Looking out the window at the wings of our plane, I see that they end in those new, stylish, sweeping up curves. New plane… neat.

Or… not so neat. Our first announcement over the relatively new address system is that the in-flight entertainment system hasn’t been installed.

I sit there trying to figure out if I can ask for some extra honey roasted peanuts instead of a meal… you know, as a way of apologizing to me for not having the video system ready. On one flight a year or so ago they didn’t serve peanuts at all because of some kid with food allergies. I’m hoping the little brat isn’t on this flight. (Joke people… it’s a joke.) But as I am considering all this, I encounter the first example of the mixed blessings that Continental is about to bestow upon me.

I’m flipping through the in-flight magazine. Turns out the movie would have been P.S. I Love You. Ok… so… a romantic story starring Hillary Swank that involves love letters arranged from beyond the grave?

And I can’t watch it because we have no entertainment system of any kind installed?

Yeah… I dodged that one.

Our meal arrives. Pizza and a salad. Ok… more like hot stale bread with bad sauce and something that could have been vegetables on the side. But it is an improvement, since the stale bread and bad sauce was served hot.

Looks like I dodged this one too. (At least there’s a fun size Twix bar.)

We reach the Rocky Mountains and are they gorgeous. For whatever reason… either because I wasn’t paying attention, it was dark, or something else… I haven’t really seen them before. We also get a bit of a preview of the Grand Canyon… a location we will be visiting in the middle of our trip.

For the second time today our flight lands early. This time we pull to a complete stop in the middle of nowhere in particular on the runway instead of crawling along, and we wait until a gate is cleared for us to use.

A late day arrival has us ultimately deciding to grab a few items for our room, get checked in, and settle down for the night. It almost goes as planned…

My personal Mi Luv U is along for the ride. It’s a Garmin Nuvi 200w unit, and I love the thing. (Don’t go looking for it… they don’t make it now, having advanced to other models. But… by all means… buy a Garmin if you buy a GPS. There is no other brand. Trust me.) The only problem? It takes a little while to get up and running. So, naturally, instead of waiting a few minutes I decide to wander into traffic and end up heading down the wrong street and making a u-turn.

Let me amend that. …end up heading down the wrong street and making a u-turn while both ladies ask if I’m lost. Oops.

Quick stop at Food 4 Less for some groceries and then over to the Grandview. As we check in, Ellen is told that meeting times are filling up fast… which kind of becomes a running joke. Soon we’ll see she can’t get an answer about a problem with her room… but if she wants to meet one of their sales agents, well, there are actually lots of openings available on their booked solid schedule (and, amazingly enough, without even asking we’ve even been placed into one of them).

We get to our room, but I’m wired. No chance of getting to sleep even though it’s roughly midnight here and 3am back home. I decide to wander across the street. Our resort is literally just a few steps away from the South Point Hotel Casino. I figure maybe some blackjack will do the trick.

It was probably the lack of company as I look back on it… Terry, Ellen and Richard all stayed back in the unit and went to bed. But the first impressions of South Point won’t contain glowing recommendations from me… the notes confirm my memory… incredibly smoke filled, waitresses wearing unappealing uniforms that looked like bad bathing suits, and a crowd of younger kids that seemed to suggest a frat house serving alcohol to underage students instead of people interested in slots and table games. I spent no more than 45 minutes on the casino floor and went back to try and get some sleep.

Day Two ~ Sunday, April 20, 2008

An interesting show is developing in our room this morning.

Richard has earned quite possibly the most accurate nickname our group has ever thought of… Mumbles. He has this funny habit, and it’s one I’ve noted before.

Picture yourself driving a van down the road with six people inside. At a red light, you ask if anyone is hungry. The immediate and seemingly unanimous response is no. As you prepare for the light to change, you notice that the sign on one nearby restaurant is bragging about the world’s best apple pie. So you mention it to the group. The response has nothing to do with pie… you’re being told by the back seat drivers that the light is green. But… at barely a whisper… probably inaudible if you weren’t listening for the possibility of something being said… you hear it…

“I like apple pie.”

This morning Ellen is ironing. Richard is supervising. Apparently, near as I can tell, Ellen isn’t that happy with the suggestions of upper management. I’m not sure if Ellen heard Mumbles as he walked away… “Just trying to help. But if you don’t see the wrinkles, iron it any way you want.” (Ok… maybe those aren’t the exact words. I don’t want to get my guy into trouble. But it was close. I’m also pretty sure Richard was lucky he didn’t spend the rest of the day ironing his boxers from the inside as he walked.)

Ellen is also trying to figure out how Terry and I managed to sleep all night through the noise. Apparently, though we tossed and turned on the pull out sofa (not because it was a pull out sofa… I just never sleep well on the first night in a hotel or on a trip), somehow we were unaware of the category 17 hurricane brewing outside the window of the unit’s bedroom. Ellen can’t believe it.

We’ve got the Food Network on… and Robin Miller is running through some interesting recipes with shrimp and pan fried dumplings. Orange juice… lime... ginger… garlic… going to need to remember this stuff.

Finally we’ve got our act together after a slow start to the day and we’re off… across the street so the whole gang can see South Point.

Richard loves it. He’s playing roulette and within 5 minuets he’s up $30.

I’m not quite there yet with my opinion, but I do have to admit I’m liking it more than I did just a few hours ago. Walking around with Tigg we find a full-service movie theater with several screens, a bowling alley, and other interesting corners. We might be spending some time here after all.

All four of us finally reassemble and debate the day. We decide to head over to Ellis Island… a place we didn’t even know of last time that Ellen had heard about when we got back and filed away for the next trip. It’s the next trip… and we’re in the car… and we have to wait for Mi Luv U to wake up. Apparently this isn’t simply her usual slow routine of getting started in a new place… but eventually she locates her satellite signals and all is well.

Parking at Ellis Island is… well… to say it sucks really wouldn’t be fair.

It’s worse than that.

The trash… the signage… the walkways… and heck, you just name me a feature, any item at all of a parking garage that leads to an attached building, and I’ll sum it up here… At Ellis Island, the ____________ is horrendous. In fact, let’s have some fun… sort of an Ellis Island Mad Libs.

At Ellis Island, the way they lined the parking spaces in the garage is horrendous.

At Ellis Island, the lighting in the garage is horrendous.

At Ellis Island, the labeling of the broken elevator so you know it’s broken and you shouldn’t wait for it is horrendous.

At Ellis Island, the walk from the garage into the resort is horrendous.

Funny thing though. We walked into the casino and… as it turns out… the parking garage is one of the most impressive and well-maintained features of the Ellis Island property.

The comedian Larry Miller has a routine where he talks about the levels of drinking. During it, he mentions being served by a waitress with fresh stitches and thinking to yourself that this is the woman you’ll marry. I can’t be certain, but I’m pretty sure that in order to develop that routine he was at one of the later levels of drinking and also very close to a gaming table on the Ellis Island gaming floor.

(Amazingly, in a few days I’ll see a waitress with fresh stitches… at a completely different property.)

We didn’t stay… turned around quickly, made a few guesses as to which way to go to get back to the car, and left. Ellen’s pretty ticked about the whole thing… because the visit cost her time out of her vacation that cannot be reclaimed.

We talk over some options and then head over to The Orleans… another place we never visited on our first trip. And this time, the first experience is going to be very different.

The decision is quickly made to find a place to eat… we’re all starving. After some glances around, we finally pick Don Miguel’s Cantina… a small place featuring Mexican food, but more importantly with a sign promising 99-cent margaritas and half-priced appetizers.

This may have been one of the greatest accidental finds we have ever experienced on a trip.

Settling in at the bar, we all put a few dollars into the countertop slot machines. The raspberry margaritas were great, and the peach and banana were also pretty good. If I wasn’t driving, I would have gone through the entire menu. (A few times.)

Our food arrives, and all of the offerings are really decent. We had stuck with appetizers, but we’re sharing them… and drinking… and playing the lower denominations of the slot machine offerings… and we’re just having a ball. Good food, good drinks, good friends… great time.

And then… the bill comes.

Because we were playing, the bartender didn’t charge us for a single drink. Not one 99-cent margarita on there and we went through more than a dozen. And the appetizers were half price. Heck… we even tipped, generously, based on the full-price costs of the items, and between the four of us it was under $25 for four appetizers and the tip.


The gambling wasn’t as thrilling. Ellen tried her hand at let it ride, Terry went with blackjack and slots, and Richard played some roulette and let it ride. I lost quickly at roulette and blackjack, so I wandered over to keno to sit down for a bit.

Overall though… not much money lost and a very enjoyable stay. If Don Miguel’s is running their happy hour specials… absolutely stop in and enjoy them.

The Palms was our next stop… and I honestly don’t know what to tell you about it.

I was realty excited about going to the Palms on this trip. Part of that excitement was because we also didn’t go to this property on our last visit. Admittedly, most of that excitement was for the Playboy Casino.

Richard and I really wanted to play blackjack with a bunny dealing. We would have gladly paid the cover charge… no questions asked. Heck, short of having Princess Leia in the Jabba bikini outfit dealing… in fact, no, strike that… the Playboy Casino with a bunny dealing would be the top casino blackjack experience.

(And don’t try to say something about a topless casino and how that would be an improvement… because you have to remember, Richard and I travel with Ellen and Terry, and I don’t see how you could get me into a topless casino without my having to eventually answer questions about whether or not I enjoyed it. It would be awesome though.)

Well… the Playboy Casino was closed when we got there. It’s only open in the evening. And most of the tables were full… and we just didn’t feel that comfortable.

Until we started winning.

With Ellen looking for a slot machine, and everyone seemingly intent on hanging around a bit longer, I spotted a blackjack table with a spot open and joined in. After a little more than a half-hour, I was up about $140, bringing Terry and I back to even after losses last night and earlier today.

Richard wasn’t too happy when Vivian the robo-dealer made his stay at third base uncomfortable, but he started doing better after leaving that table… and Ellen was winning a bit on her video poker machine.

In general it became a pleasant stop… but the reality is… I can’t say anything too memorable about the place. Heck, the thing I recall the most about it was driving past Pole Position Raceway… a stop for later this week… as we pulled into the parking lot. You know… and the closed Playboy Casino, because apparently at the Palms they subscribe to a version of FCC rules and bringing out the boobies only in prime time.

Back to the hotel rooms… we are spreading out into our second room this afternoon… and we have tickets for O that night. A quick stop is made for the move and freshening up, and we’re off.

I had heard about Buffalo Wild Wings many times before, but had never been close to one of their restaurants. But on this trip we’ve passed a location, and I think the others agreed to try it for dinner tonight just so I would stop offering it up every time we got in the car.

The result?

Good. Very good. But not awesome. And I think the reason behind that was… a tricky menu. They have more than a dozen signature sauces… 14 to be exact. And all of them are pretty darn good. So as first-timers, we were just being pulled in all sorts of directions about what to order. If we had stopped there to watch TV, drink, and eat at will… awesome place. We were there for dinner and then off to the show.

We got some controllers so we could join in the trivia game. I won’t say who won… but I will tell you who lost. And that would be Terry, Ellen and Richard... and all of the other people logged into the game. Some guy… sitting at their table… had logged in under the name Travis and he leveled them all.

Off we go to Bellagio. I’m really not sure what to tell you about O, except this…


On our last visit, I thought Mystere was ok. Having seen La Nouba in Florida though, I was expecting much more from Cirque du Soleil and Mystere didn’t deliver that. In this performance… I got everything I hoped for and more. And from the conversation, it’s clear all of us enjoyed the performance.

On our way out, we decide to walk through the Conservatory. A favorite for the holiday decorations on the previous trip, we’ve heard they go all out during the year and change up the look. And what we’ve heard proves to be true. The place is decked out for spring, with a floral display that also features live butterflies.

We all leave feeling pretty good… unanimous wild applause from our four impressions of the show… and head back to play some cards on our own.

For the record… Richard and the guy who kicked ass playing trivia at Buffalo Wild Wings got our butts handed to us… Terry and Ellen won without much of a challenge being mounted.

Day Three ~ Monday, April 21, 2008

As this day starts, I’m pretty disappointed. And frustrated too.

When we checked in, we had to go over a list of items in the unit. Kind of a standard thing that many of you may be familiar with, and I’ve had some fun with it on this site before. 4 wine glasses… check… 1 bottle opener… check… 1 glass mixing bowl… “Honey, do you think this is the glass mixing bowl or the glass salad bowl?”… check… flyswatter…

Yeah, flyswatter. I spent some time wondering about that one on the last trip to Las Vegas. Anyway… checklist… and I can’t find one of the remotes for the television sets.

This morning, it turns into a scavenger hunt for the group. Where’s the remote? Is it in one of the night stands? No. How about a secret drawer on an end table? Nope. Do the arm rests on the sofas lift up to reveal some sort of storage container and cup holder? Creative thinking… seen it in other places… but no.

In all of our searching though, we do discover one thing. Happened when Ellen wondered if the bedroom remote would work on the main television set in the living room area. We’re not surprised to find it doesn’t, or that the television sets in the living room and bedroom are different. Different sizes… different brands. Nothing really shocking there. Ahh… but the channels. There’s the surprise… because they’re different. Everything is on a different station, and some of the networks aren’t offered on both.

I wake up this morning and start trying to find NESN. It’s Patriots Day, and that means morning baseball in Boston… which means really early morning baseball in Las Vegas... and we are awake, and moving, but not really moving, here in the early Las Vegas morning. So I decide to watch the game. Well… I would if I could find some form of the game, or even a score, on any of the stations.

I go into the bedroom to check the set in there. And… wouldn’t you know it… no baseball game there either.

But the really annoying part was no baseball score. We all know ESPN stopped being the home of sports coverage and switched over to entertainment a few years ago. Fine. But with only one game being played… and we’re talking a live, in progress game… not a score for it to be found. I certainly do understand people like seeing those extended scores run along the bottom with game details and stats. But when a live game is going on, you’d figure they could work it into the rotation more often than they did.

We gather our things, kick around a few ideas, and then the unexpected comes together. Boris, a friend of Terry and I that works at Bellagio, is available to meet up with us for lunch. We decide to head over to Paris, wander around a bit, and then cross the street to catch up with Boris.

Here’s a strange detail about Paris. I left it and never knew I had left it until I was told I wasn’t there.

Oh… don’t get me wrong… visually I sort of knew it. The steel beams of the Eiffel Tower were gone, and it really felt like I was in a different place. But I had no clue… none… that I had crossed over to Bally’s.

We had stopped in a few stores, made some purchases, and I even went back to the car to drop them off. We crossed the casino floor, played a really short time, and then figured we’d check in at the player’s club to see what was going on. None of us could remember getting a Paris card on the previous trip, and we had no idea who they were affiliated with, and if we were thinking of staying or coming back or investing any real play into the property we didn’t want to miss anything good, so… to the club desk!

I swear I didn’t see any signs saying we had left. We had just moved from one gaming pit to another, wandered around a corner or two, got in line at the player’s club and… wham… the representative welcomed us to Bally’s. In fact, I swear, I even thought Bally’s was on the other side of the building I thought I was in when I found out I was in Bally’s.

Does that make sense? Good… because it didn’t to us either.

We arrive at the Bellagio and Boris is looking great. We head over to the buffet, and it is fantastic. Huge assortment of food, and an amazing variety of desserts.

Now… it’s a buffet. So the idea of talking about it would seem to rest in one of two areas. Either this buffet was really big and I need to tell you it was stupendous… or… after experiencing it in person I need to tell you that it was just like all the rest. One or the other. Right? Well… I think there’s a slight bit of truth in both concepts.

The buffet at the Bellagio is very similar to several others I’ve tried at different casinos, in Las Vegas, Atlantic City, and at other assorted properties. For example, it is very big. I thought the Pharoah’s Pheast at the Luxor was big, with ok food, but by and large unimpressive. On the other side of the country, I remember being impressed by the Epic Buffet at the Sands in Atlantic City… but then again, given the limitations of my wallet and how long ago that visit was, all you can eat for as little as possible was fine dining to me about ten years ago when Terry and I were there. Plus… you know… that place is gone. (Isn’t it? Yeah… the Sands is gone in AC. Been gone a few years I think.) The main idea being… this was not our first casino buffet… this was not our first big casino buffet… we’ve met before. So the variety and the scale and the fresh plates and the amazingly coordinated chaos of people weaving and moving in seventy-five different directions while all thinking the same thing (“How do I save room for as much dessert as possible?”)… yeah… I’ve seen this show. And the weaving around the service areas at the Bellagio is vaguely familiar.

What impressed me about this one, and separated it from those others, was…well… apparently no one told the people at the Bellagio that a buffet is casual dining, where the menu can sound all fancy and such, but you’ll impress people by saying lobster and shrimp and prime rib, but it doesn’t really have to be awesomely prepared lobster. It doesn’t have to be good, it just has to be there.

The quality of the food here seemed a step or two above any other buffet I’d ever seen. And beyond the food quality, even with seating set up to maximize the numbers in the room, the space was divided to give a sense of comfort to the surroundings. This wasn’t cheap food with mobs of hungry tourists. This was pretty darn good food that you happened to serve yourself with mobs of hungry tourists you really didn’t even notice were sitting nearby.

We finish our lunch and Boris offers to take us on a tour of the property and… oh… my… god… is it huge!

No… really… serious here. You go out to a pool and around the Conservatory and through the spa and down into the convention services area and between some ballrooms and you turn a corner and there…

There you find out there is an entirely different list of Renaissance age artists you hadn’t even considered people would think of naming conference rooms after… well known artists… well known artists that the fantastic folks at Bellagio did decide to name conference rooms after. (Oh… I see… you think I’m kidding. After all… how could you run out of names? Ok…)

Our tour starts as we exit the buffet. For perspective, if you were standing on the strip and looking at the fountains, we are in the back right of the property near the O Theater. (The trick being that realistically, to your point of view, we would be off to the right… but looking down from above, essentially we are only about halfway to the back property line.)

Boris takes us across the casino floor and into some of the private lounge areas, eventually crossing over into the Conservatory.

We head upstairs to the spa and salon area, which has a beautiful balcony overlooking the flowers. He takes us through the fitness center and Sensi, and to a point overlooking the massive outdoor pool area. A stunning design of pools, walkways and plants creates an atmosphere quite similar to what I described about the buffet… it is huge on a fantastically unbelievable level, but there are ways to actually consider sections of it as isolated and comfortable.

We come back down stairs near the Da Vinci, Rapheal and Tower ballrooms. A long walk past the Grand and Bellagio ballrooms and… of course… it finishes up with the Monet room. Oh wait… no it doesn’t… wedding chapels are there, right near the entry way that leads out to the opposite side of the pools from where we had seen them a short time ago, and around another corner… well… the Galleria is surrounded by Van Gogh, Renoir, Degas, Gauguin and Cezanne. Heck… look… I didn’t even name them all here.

This property is gorgeous… and immense… and incredible.

Boris has to leave us, so we wander back on to the casino floor and over near some blackjack tables. Finding one with a $5 minimum, all four of us join Sandy and Sylvia to play for a while.

Eventually it’s time to go… we have tickets for Love, and that means a journey to the Mirage. We gather our belongings, get ready to go, and start heading back over toward the Paris and our car. And that’s when Ellen crossed the line.

Anyone remember dirty card day? It was one of the high points of the 2004 trip for our gang.

All over the Vegas streets are business cards… sort of business cards… they are cards… they are for business… so dirty business cards sums it up perfectly… some of incredible beauty and tasteful nakedness… some of quite scary nakedness. On our first group trip to Vegas, I wondered if I could find a full deck’s worth of different cards. And… with Richard’s assistance… I did.

We even managed to find the Holy Grail of dirty cards… two lovely blondes that cared enough for each other to be photographed naked, while each lovingly and admiringly gazed directly at the other’s bum. Brings tears to my eyes that two ladies could share such a wonderful moment and touching bond.

As we crossed the street, Richard spotted Angel’s card on a light pole. And, in all honesty, Angel did look like she was capable of sharing and creating moments with you close in emotion and beauty to those depicted on the Holy Grail card.

Richard smiled… and looked at the card… and then held it up for me to see… and then looked at it again and smiled… and eventually he went to put it in his pocket. Ellen asked Richard if she could look at the card… and try as best I could to quickly scream “Oh Richard no!!!”… he handed it to her.

And… she… tore… it… up.

I left the three of them at the corner… mere steps away from the scene of the tragedy… Terry sitting on a bench with Richard, offering a kind word or two of sympathy. I got the car, came around and picked them up. By the time I arrived, Richard was composed enough for us to continue on our journey.

I don’t recall Richard’s exact words at the time, but in the margin of my notes it says… “Ellen is such a bitch.” It’s possible I said that.

We arrive at the Mirage and we… are… early. Terry and I haven’t been doing really well with the gambling part of the trip so far… losing overall. The Palms helped yesterday, and a few hands of blackjack before the show serve us well in our attempt to get back to even.

Love itself is incredible. The theater is wonderfully designed, and every inch of the stage… and audience… is used to perfection. The music is brilliant, and the experience amazing.

Personally, I enjoyed O a bit more… agreeing with Richard on that. The girls both thought Love was the best. We all agree that in back-to-back nights we have been entertained by two tremendous shows.

We decide to take a chance on seeing the pirate battle over at Treasure Island tonight. It wasn’t running during our last visit, and there is a tram between the two properties. Unfortunately… chaos ensues…

Between Love getting out and several other people apparently having a similar idea… the tram is packed. But, worse yet, the tram lets us out just beyond the theater for Mystere… which, of course, is just sending out the audience from its first show along with having a packed hallway waiting on seating for the second performance.

As we reach the walkway around the casino floor, we start to see a wave of people heading for us because as the final blow to our chances… you guessed it… the pirate show just ended.

We’re tired and not interested in hanging around until the last show of the night. Tomorrow we’re off to the Hoover Dam and the Grand Canyon. We decide to pass on the pirates, figuring maybe we’ll catch it on another night when we get back into Vegas later this week. (We don’t.)

Back at the resort, Ellen is about to finally put the wind tunnel to rest.

(Sort of.)

We’ve been spending portions of days two and three stopping at the front desk for a variety of reasons. Terry and I are expecting a fax… a package… a package of a fax… something. And Ellen is trying to figure out the darn noise that has been keeping them awake all night.

We had figured out it was the duct work next store. The problem was we couldn’t figure out how to turn it off.

Changing rooms?

Would have been a great option. But because of the way rooms are staggered for lengths of stay, the only option that seemed to be possible… and Ellen didn’t explore it long enough to find out if it was possible… was going to involve changing rooms again later in the week. And that was going to mean moving once, moving again, and finally, moving again over the span of the last few nights.

Switching rooms with us?

We suggested it. Ellen wouldn’t hear of it. (She may be a bitch when it comes to collecting pictures of beautiful naked hookers with low self-esteem… but she’s all heart when it comes to the comfort of her friends.)

Sleeping in the living room on the pull out sofa instead of the bed?

She already tried it. Wasn’t happy about it.

On this night though, at least she has some closure. She’s decided they are going to just stay put in the room until the end of the week when they move in with us.

And naturally… once that was decided… the wind stopped blowing. So of course, after a decent night of rest, we’ll leave tomorrow for a night in a new hotel.

If you have any comments or questions, please e-mail me at Bob@inmybackpack.com