Vegas Wrap-up

In front of the Vdara, a kind of amazing sculpture made of canoes. That's Aria in the background.

Tina arrived without incident on Monday evening.  We had a dinner at Lemongrass at the Aria – it was quite surprisingly tasty and reasonably priced…  Really as good as Thai food I’m used to getting here in SF.  Then, on to the Aria blackjack tables…  I’ve played before, but Tina is a big fan of the game…  And now, so am I.  It was really a lot of fun and we did OK.  Wandered over to New York, New York so I could get my slot machine fix – and had a not-very-good time.  Was there for half-an-hour and the same cocktail waitress passed by at least six times – but wouldn’t get me a drink because I wasn’t in her section…  Apparently, my section didn’t have a waitress, since I never got a drink, despite pumping money into that machine for the entire 30 minutes.  I was so parched, that I actually purchased a Bud Light on my way out of the joint – for $6.50! Needless to say, I’ll not be revisiting this casino…

The original plan was to check out the gay dance club – but since we are old (me far more so) and tired, we decided to simply call it a night…

Tina, waiting for noodles...

Spent Tuesday doing a little shopping and then back to the hotel for some spa time before dinner at Caesar’s palace.  The last time I was in Caesar’s was at least eight years ago and I recall it being tackily opulent or opulently tacky…  Really seemed dated and faux deluxe.  My how things have changed – the Roman theme remains over the top, but the place is pretty darn luxurious and tasteful (by Las Vegas standards, that is).  We ate at Beijing Noodle No. 9 for noodles (duh) and dim sum.  Again, I was surprised at how good it was…  Vegas has really come a long way when it comes to food options, even for less expensive places like this.

Bette Midler at 7:30.  The show was pretty great – an old-fashioned song-and-dance review with chorus girls, the Harlettes and Miss M’s semi-raunchy patter and a still-amazing voice (not to mention that she was actually singing as opposed to lip synching).  Of course, given that when I originally bought these tickets, I thought I’d be going with someone else, there was a bittersweet quality to the show (both Tina and I were all weepy after “The Rose”).  But I was so very happy to be there and enjoying it with my dear friend…


Back to Aria for more blackjack.  Had a great table with a couple of really good and friendly dealers and some fun dudes from Orlando playing along with us.  I actually did pretty well – and would have been up by a good amount had I returned to our room at midnight with Tina.  Instead, I felt it wise to continue playing (and drinking) until 3AM.  You can imagine how well that worked out…  I will say however that the couple hundred bucks I had in my pocket when I arrived on Sunday got me through the entire trip, including meals, gambling and taxi fare…  Not too bad…

What was bad was the intensity of my hangover the following day, combined with a mild case of tuberculosis I’d seemed to have picked up.  Made the prospect of boarding an airplane not so appealing…  But despite an hour delay, all went relatively smoothly and I was back home in SF, sitting in my oxygen tent in front of the TV by 4PM.  Vegas is definitely a weird place – but it was sure a lot of fun.  Hoping to plan another trip soon, next time to see another gay icon at the Colosseum – Cher.

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