Mom, dad and I rolled out of Burbank at 8, picked Toph up at 9, and we were on the way. Our first stop, was a common one on the way to Vegas. I unilaterally made the decision that it was time for tall boys.
Next stop was Primm, where mom went to feed the slots a bit while Toph and I wandered off to the smoke shop and met the first of what would turn out to be many fascinating people on this trip. We sought out some cigars, since those are Toph and my newest thing for kickback time. The smoke shop owner was a total cougar, but had this weird and disorienting speech pattern that was part the crazy chick from Misery and part Lurch. Pretty sure this chick had smoked everything possible and some things that others wouldn't think were possible. We got our cigars and got out as quickly as possible. Back to the bar at the casino for a pair of silver bullets and then back onto the road.
Just when we thought we were headed downhill to Vegas, we
So then, it came time to carry our buzz on to our destination: Vegas. We got to the hotel, kicked back for a bit and then went to dinner with the folks at Famous Dave's...after
The shuttle dropped us off at the Tropicana, and I said goodbye to my friend Brett from Atlanta and Toph and I began our journey. I figured Margaritaville was the most logical place to start a night of drunken shenanigans--except I didn't realize that it was essentially on the opposite end of the strip. So, we stopped by a Corona vendor and got a little something to tide us over until we got there. You'd think that since it was Vegas and it's effing hot, they might have something to circulate the air in bars there? Not the case, as even at the top bar, there was no airflow, so we took our beers to go and went back down the strip.
After wandering for a while, a handful of "Haaaaaaave you met Gabe?" calls, offering an assist to some young ladies trying to all three cram into a picture and catching the water show at the Bellagio, we rolled into Diablos, where we would post up for the rest of the night. We grabbed a couple empty seats at the bar and then went into observation mode.
Across the bar from us were a blonde and a brunette surrounded by guys. Five of them were talking to the blonde. One was talking to the brunette, who had a very clear "seen it all, done it all, not interested" look on her face that I could see plainly across the bar. The one guy in her ear was not deterred. She went to the phone. Not deterred. She poured herself a drink. Not deterred. Because of the setup, Toph and I were looking straight at this and seeing it all.
It was only a matter of time before this girl looked up and I made eye contact with her, glancing from her to him and then back to her with a quizzical look of, "Really? That guy?" She rolls her eyes, shrugs and then laughs and goes back to the phone. The guy stops for a second because she laughed but then gets right back in her ear after she's on the phone. This time when she looks up and I see her, I give a disapproving head shake. She returns with the sad face. I glanced back in his direction, looked back at her and resumed shaking my head.
Now she's intrigued and we proceed to have a 20 minute "conversation" via facial expressions, breaking down everything within our line of sight. Finally the guy figures it out and bails. She grabs her blonde companion, smiles at me and they make a break for it. I had just rained out some guy's game without saying a word. Win.
Once my brunette friend across the bar had left, Toph and I decided to relocate closer to the dance floor. We'd noticed a tall, striking blond (with a very prominent franchise tag) at the bar earlier, and we spotted her again on the dance floor but this time in a large group of girls. She was very clearly the mother hen of the group trying to organize everyone for a picture, so I offered to take it for her so everyone--including her--could crowd around the girl in the tiara and sash and be in it. This, of course, worked perfectly, and Toph and I spent the rest of our outing with the bachelorette party...of girls who were in town from Minnesota.
After a couple drunk calls, the shuttle back to the hotel finally gets there (greatly improving my night, apparently, right Grant?), and we decide it's time to hit the room for a couple more beers to smuggle into the 24-hour bowling alley in our hotel. Once we smuggle our beers past the security guard (who was awesome and had to know we had them but didn't care), we get our lane, get the beers out and realize that we don't have my keys (which contain the bottle opener).
I nominated myself to go back and get them but was unable to find the elevators in my drunken stupor. As I wandered around the casino (all ends of which look EXACTLY the same), I called Toph from my dying phone and told him to keep bowling. Apparently he did and was legit. I finally found the elevators, grabbed a couple more beers and took them down. We crushed all beer involved and split the first two games. Apparently I won the third one. I don't really remember, but Toph was unhappy. We then went out to the casino to smoke our cigars and hit the slots, where I nearly passed out...and lost my hat. Time to stumble up to the room and crash.
Checkout time was noon, so my parents woke us up about 11:45 and we put our stuff together and left. It was only now that I realized I'd lost my hat. Toph and I hit Jack in the Box for some breakfast while mom fed the slots some more. It was puke and rally time, but I can assure you all, J in the B breakfast had never tasted so good. We rolled back to the casino, backtracked our steps and found my hat. And just like that, it was time to go home. Vegas, baby. What a town.