Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Beer and Lounging in Las Vegas!

We had a great time in Las Vegas last week and I'd like to share some of that with you.

Donna and I both only worked a half day last Wed. so we were able to get on the road by around 4:00pm. You'd think that on a mid-week there wouldn't be a lot of traffic, but you'd be wrong. Fortunately, it cleared off by around Fontana, CA and we didn't hit anymore until outside Primm, NV (about twenty miles outside LV). We stopped for gas there and were at the MGM Grand and checked in by about 9:00pm that night. We were up on the 13th floor (so much for superstition in Vegas), with our room overlooking the Tropicana, the airport and the Hooters casino/hotel across the avenue. Who knew that Hooters even had a hotel/casino? I joked about going over for wings one night, but nobody else seemed up for the experience. Something about being the only guy in the group, perhaps?

We still had some sandwiches that Donna had packed and other snacks, so we skipped trying to find a restaurant that night. This gave us a chance to meet Fran & Christina Stoffo for drinks at the Rouge bar just off the casino floor (as is just about everything to be honest). Nice to catch up, even though you had to get loud to be heard over the music.

Not going to detail everything but I did want to hit a few highlights. One being the inevitable Elvis sighting, this time in the Food Court after midnight. Where else, right?

Three of us (Fran, Donna & I) had dinner at the Rainforest Cafe on Thursday, which took a bit of searching to actually locate. Lack of signage, plus some renovations being made in the West Wing made it harder than it probably normally would have been. The food was good, with Donna and I both having a steak/ribs/shrimp combo. Service was a bit slow, but the place was packed so I'll forgive them that. To be honest, I think the place is a bit over-rated, despite the food being good. They advertise a 'show' but all it amounts to is them flashing the lights every twenty minutes or so to the sound of thunder and rain. It was more fun watching the tropical fish in all the tanks. I'm sure kids would like it, and the place was packed with families who seemed to be having a good time.

On Saturday evening,the three of us also got reservations to Wolfgang Puck's Bar & Grill at the MGM. I had an amazing Pancetta Wrapped Meatloaf with Mushroom Gravy, Yukon Gold Potato Puree and Buttermilk Onion Rings. Donna & Fran each had the Grilled Flat Iron Steak with Blue Cheese Butter, Red Wine Sauce and French Fries (which were more like quartered potatoes fried extremely crispy). We shared a very, nice Riesling (from their decent wine list) and were all very happy with our meals.

In between, on Friday, we met up with Kristina & Sarah who were staying in town. We met Sarah's family and had dinner at Metro Pizza over on Tropicana Ave. It's Sarah's favorite pizza place and I can see why. The pizza is pretty good (even coming from a Brooklyn guy, like me), the chicken fingers had just enough of a kick and they had a really, nice selection of beer (which we sampled, of course). Everybody had more than enough and we finished the evening by going to a frozen custard place (the name escapes me) where we all had dessert standing outside in the parking lot.

Believe it or not, we actually did things besides eat, although that seemed to involve gambling, drinking or planning our next meal. Did you know that when you gamble you get free drinks? To be honest, that was one of the first things I learned in my first visit to a casino in Freeport/Paradise Island in the Bahamas, when I was in the Navy. I also learned that you can hold a drink in one hand and pull the lever on the slot machine with the other. A skill, I'm proud to say, I still have. :-)

This has gone on longer than I meant it to and I still have a few more things to talk about (some of which may also involve eating and drinking). I'll try to get to that later today or tomorrow. By the way, did you know that it gets hot in Vegas in June?'s a dry heat!
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