Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Vegas Day 3 and 4

So we woke up without walking the strip at night yet again.

We took showers and decided that we should try and make the champagne brunch buffet. As we approached the entrance, we noticed the line was WAY TOO LONG. So instead, we found that the Bellagio has dim sum at one of their restaurants on the weekends. We decided to see how long that line was. There was no wait. We got a table right away.

While eating, we met a very nice couple sitting next to us. I ordered Gai Lon, which is Chinese broccoli. The couple next to us were from San Francisco and said that we were doing the great and healthy route while they were doing mostly fried stuff. They loved dim sum and could eat every meal with chopsticks if possible.

Then, they noticed that the wait staff also brought us hot sake for brunch. Hey, it's Vegas. As we were sitting there, I noticed a familiar face sitting a couple tables down. I realized it was a guy that I had seen on TV on the World Poker Tour. After we finished eating, we went back to our coffee shop. This time, we had the Mexican. Coffee with tequila. We walked around the pool area and sat for a few minutes. I called an old high school friend of mine who lived in Vegas, Sara. Sara and I were both honor student/jocks in high school. I played basketball. She played basketball and soccer. I remember our senior year when she was "confused". She noticed that she was attracted to women instead of men. After high school, I lost track of her until my wedding. She brought her girlfriend to tell a few of our high school friends about her sexuality. I had kept her secret for years. Needless to say, our high school friends were shocked. However, my college friends (the guys) were all staring at 2 hot lesbians with their mouths wide open. To me, Sara is much more like a sister than anything else.

Anyways, Sara picked us up at the front of the hotel and drove us off the strip. We got to meet Sara's new partner, Adele. Adele is the sweetest person. She's very soft spoken and funny. Sara took us to some center with the Ritz Carlton as the hotel. We had coffee and caught up with each other. It had been 10 years since we last talked. But, it seemed like not a day had gone by. In the evening, they asked if we liked seafood. The best seafood buffet in Las Vegas is at the Rio Rio. So off we went where I challenged Adele to see who could eat the most in crab claws. I think it was a draw by the end of the night.

Afterwards, Sara drove us to another part that Christina had mentioned to us, the Fremont Street Experience. It was incredible. There were so many lights! We saw the Golden Nugget and the famous Vegas cowboy. Then, she drove us to New York New York hotel. That's where we caught the last show of our little trip, Zumanity.

After the show, we decided that we should finally walk the strip at night in order to pick up souvenirs. We stopped by a magic shop to get the kids a few magic items. We walked back to the hotel and it was 1:50 in the morning. Unfortunately, because of daylight savings time, 10 minutes later would be 3:00 in the morning. Our flight was 6:30 in the morning. So, we decided to stay up, pack and leave. Because we had 2 stops before we landed back in Houston, we got in about 5:00pm. The first flight out, we had kids behind us kicking our seats. We have't slept at all and now we have fucking parents who can't control their kids while on a plane. We drove out to my parents' house and had dinner with them. Then, I drove back to New Town. It was the longest drive I ever had to make. I was constantly stopping to pick up energy drinks, coffee, etc. I slapped myself silly a few times to make sure to stay awake. Zelda slept the whole ride home. When I pulled into the driveway, I woke Zelda up. She then told me to go straight to sleep and she would get the kids and everything else into the house. Needless to say, I crashed like a boulder.

Tuesday, March 10, 2009

An anniversary in Vegas: Day 2

So we slept 12 hours instead of 2. Well, we needed it. So this day would be it. This was the day that Zelda and I were married 10 years ago.

"Happy Anniversary," I said as I kissed her in the morning. We were so going to do this day up right. Zelda hopped into the shower as I called the concierge to see if there was anyway possible to get a reservation for a patio dinner that overlooks the Fountains of the Bellagio. They have a water show every 15 minutes in the evening. I told them it was our 10 year anniversary. They told m that they would see what they could do and would get with me to tell me whether or not they could do it.

After we got ready in the morning, we walked down to the little coffee shop in the Bellagio. We each got special coffee for around $10 each. By special, I mean that they put some high quality XO bourbon in it. Then, we found a few slot machines. Keep in mind that neither Zelda nor I are much gamblers at all. We were told before we left that the machines no longer take actual coins. So, I took out a dollar bill and put it into a slot machine. I told Zelda, "I guess now you pull the lever." We pulled the lever. Nothing happened. "I guess you have to push the buttons that are lit up." We pressed around. Then, the screen started spinning. "What the hell?" We put $2 more into the machine and pressed more buttons. Eventually, the spinning stopped. "I guess that's it." We can now say we've gambled in Vegas....$3.00 worth.

We decided that we should make the most out of the day. We went to Todd English's Olive because they have a patio. We ordered appetizers, lunch, and cocktails at 11:00 in the morning. Why not? We're in Vegas! Afterwards, we decided that we should get tickets for the monorail and pick up our tickets for the show that I bought on our anniversary. We decided that we should really see a showgirl show while we're in Vegas. I read a few reviews and decided on Fantasy at the Luxor. I checked out the prices online and the cheapest tickets were not very different from the best tickets. So, I decided to purchase front row tickets. I have to highly recommend this show for everyone (over 18 of course). It's far more modern. The women are super hot and their dancing was absolutely hypnotic.

We picked up our tickets early and bumped into people advertising a time share that was being built. They told us that they would sell us tickets to any show we wanted to see for $20 if we listened to their selling points for this new time share. Zelda and I talked it over and said that we had heard great things about another show called Zumanity. We've been talking about purchasing a time share for awhile now, because of the deal that her mom had gotten. However, we wanted to see the bottom line: The cost. We agreed to listen to the selling point. After 2 and a half hours, we got the bottom line. Holy Shit! Far more than what we were willing to spend. So, we thanked them and got our tickets. They did manage to get some vital information about time shares though. It's just another way for us to work the time share system to our favor. Once I get the clinic up and running on its own, we will be able to take more vacations. Not now though. So, we got our tickets and left.

We got back to the Bellagio and I realized that the concierge never called me back like they promised. I went to the concierge to ask what happened. If it's one thing I have to credit the Bellagio, they will fix any mistakes they make. They told me that none of the restaurants take reservations for patio seating, but since no one called me back, they will do what they could. Seconds later, the concierge told me, "They have one table at Olives for you and they will hold it for you, sir." Even though we had already eaten there for lunch, I had no problems going back. It was a great atmosphere plus the dinner menu was different. We got there and the table was ready for us. We sat down and a new water show was just starting. The song in the background was "Fly Me To the Moon." This song was sung to both Zelda and I by 2 of our friends, Corin and Tom, on our wedding night.....ah, memories....We got pictures while the fountains played.

I mean, look how close we were:

We started with Foie Gras as the appetizer. I ordered the Kobe beef while Zelda got their scallops. The water show went off every 15 minutes. Oh yeah, we did this up right.

After dinner, we went upstairs and got dressed for the show, Fantasy at the Luxor.

We sat in the front row when the curtains came up. The singer came out first. She walked into the crowd and would occasionally drop the microphone down to a member of the audience. No one would say anything. Then, she circled right back down to the front of Zelda and me. She ended her song and dropped the microphone to me. I figured, what the hell. I screamed into the microphone, "VEGAS, BABY!!!!!! Woooooo!!!!!!" She did it again. I screamed again, "We're going to Vegas, baby!!!!!!" I think I turned 3 shades of red. But, I didn't care. I was having fun. She then asked Zelda if she could borrow me. She pulled me up to the stage where she tried to get me to dance for the crowd. Now, I'm not quite the dancer like Trashman. So, I just laughed and sat back down.

Next, came out Sean Cooper. He's the comedian and impressionist. After he did an impression of James Brown, he said, "Where's my boy that was screaming 'Vegas, baby'?" Just then, a bright spot light shown right on me. "Holy.....Shit....," I muttered. My hands were in my face. This is not happening. No way in hell. "Why don't y'all give him a round of applause to get him up here!" I'm thinking at this point, "Oh shit...oh shit.....oh shit....." Well, I got on stage (thanks peer pressure.) Sean asked me, "Who is the guy known to gyrate his hips and is known as the king of rock and roll?" I answered, "Elvis Presley." Sean asked, "That was easy, huh?" I leaned in and said, "yes." Then he said I was leaning in too far and that this was not a brokeback kind of show. I decided that I really should play along. I put my arm around his shoulder and gave him a kiss of the cheek. The crowd roared. He cracked up and said, "Holy shit. This is like Rush hour 4." He fell to the ground cracking up and I almost doubled over laughing. He then told the beautiful girls to take me back stage. So, I went back. It was dark back there and one of them tied a cape around me, put a wig on me, sunglasses, and handed me a guitar. "It's okay. We're going to dress you up like Elvis. You don't have to do anything. We'll do everything for you, okay?" I answered, "Okay."

Then I hear, "Here's Elvis!" They walked me out on stage. I'm pretty sure I'm 8 shades of red now. Sean complimented me on something. So, I responded with my poor attempt at an Elvis impression, "Thank you very much." Then, the girls did a dance around me as instructed by Sean. I looked at Zelda to see her laughing her ass off.

I eventually sat down and just started laughing. I couldn't believe that had just happened. Out of the entire crowd, they picked me. For the rest of the show, you couldn't tear the smile off my face. Sean did more impressions of course. And each time he did, he ragged on me. It was great! I will never forget this moment.

At the end of the show, I got his autograph. I wish I could've gotten the girls' autographs too. That is the only regret I have of Las Vegas. We went back to the Bellagio and said that THIS TIME we would take only a 2 hour nap and wake up and walk the strip.

We woke up 10 hours later.

Monday, March 09, 2009

An Anniversary in Vegas: Day 1

Wow, what a weekend. Let me just add that I had the best 4 days of my life this past week. I'll have to do this in several installments to get everything in. Several months ago, I was trying to decide what we should do for our 10 year anniversary. I eventually booked us a hotel in New Orleans. Zelda loves New Orleans. For me, I love the partying and the eating. So, when I told Zelda that I got a hotel booked for New Orleans, she asked me if I was merely doing this for her or for us. She said that I was always wanting to do things for her. And, she wanted to do something that I wanted to do for a change. I told her that I enjoy going to New Orleans. She then suggested something we've never done before. I asked, "Like what?" She answered, "I don't know. Vegas or something." Then I thought, "oooohhhh. I've always wanted to see Las Vegas." So I looked up the internet and found a good deal for hotels and flights. When asked for hotel preference, I typed in "Bellagio". It was the only name of a hotel that I've ever heard of in Vegas. I think a patient told me about it. I also heard the name in movies. Turns out, the Bellagio is a pretty posh place. Still, I got a hell of a deal for it.

So, we left New Town and drove back into Houston to drop off our kids with our friend, Jen. We had it arranged where the kids would get to have a couple sleepover nights. Then, they would be with my family to make things easier for picking them up. We got to Jen's house after midnight. We slept maybe a couple of hours before leaving for the airport at 4:00 in the morning. We flew to Phoenix for an hour layover before flying to Vegas. We got to Vegas around 9:00 in the morning. We picked up our luggage and headed for the shuttle buses. Then we got to the Bellagio. Typically, check in doesn't occur until 3:00. We were starving so we asked the concierge if they wouldn't mind watching our stuff so we could get something to eat. The concierge said that we could just go and check in. If there are rooms available, there is no wait. Sweeeetttt!!!! So, we checked in at 10:00 in the morning. We then called Christina LMT to tell her we had arrived, but that we really needed to grab something to eat. We decided that if we were that hungry, we should do the buffet.

After stuffing ourselves silly, we called Christina back. We had originally told her that we planned on getting a couple of massages. Since we was a massage therapist, we'd throw her a little business. She insisted REPEATEDLY that there was no charge since we were there for our 10 year anniversary. It was a gift from her. She picked us up at the front of the hotel. Then, she drove us up and down the strip. There is nothing quite the sight of the Las Vegas strip. I was just in awe. Christina then took us to the famous "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign where Zelda and I had our picture taken with my iphone.

Afterwards, Christina gave us each massages. I require more deep tissue as opposed to Zelda who likes more the Swedish massage. If any of you ever make it to Vegas, I would HIGHLY recommend you look up Christina and have her give you a massage. It is exactly what we needed. We also got to meet Christina's daughter, Silver. Zelda was absolutely mesmerized because she was a mirror image of Zelda at her age. We chatted up such a storm while we were there. It was as though we had known them our entire lives. When we were done, we invited them to dinner. They took us to a nice little restaurant called the Black Bear. Again, we chatted the whole night away.

When dinner was done, I picked up the tab because it was the least I could do since Christina made my neck and shoulder feel nicely loose again. Oh, and eventhough she told us the massages were a gift, I figured we'd still leave her a tip in a way that she couldn't refuse. We hid it in her microwave and refused to tell her about it until we were out of her car and she couldn't bring us back to her place to give it back. She drove us back up and down the strip again. This time, the sun was down and the lights were up. It was quite a sight.

We were dropped back to the hotel. We only had 1 hour of sleep before arriving in Vegas. So, we said we would take a short 2 hour nap then we would wake up and WALK the strip. Christina did a really good job with the massage because TWELVE hours later, we woke up.

Day 2 to be continued.....

In the meantime, here are a few pictures from inside the Bellagio:

These were numerous multi-colored glass umbrellas hanging from the ceiling in the lobby.

The ceiling down one of the wings of the Bellagio

Zelda inside the Bellagio next to a huge vase drinking a nice "special" cup of coffee. (Bourbon infused coffee)

Zelda has more pictures of the incredible botanical garden inside the Bellagio. I'll let her post those pictures.

Monday, March 02, 2009

The Crying Game

Y'all remember that movie, The Crying Game? Somehow over the weekend, I remembered this story and I told it to Zelda. She told me that I had to post the story if I get some down time at the clinic. So here goes.

Back in high school, I was discussing movies with a few friends and a professor of mine. Some of these friends had seen The Crying Game and there was all this buzz about the shocking event in it. No one would say what it was. Even my professor told me, "I can't say anything. You just have to see it."

So a buddy of mine, Spencer, decided that we should check out what all the buzz was. We got on our motorcycles and rode to the movie theater. It started just like any typical movie. Then came the part when you find out that the "girl" that the main character was with was a guy. You know, the scene with a full penis shot. Spencer and I looked at each other in horror. Then, we moved to opposite ends of the theater. At the end of the movie, I mouthed the words, "You leave first. I'll leave later." He then shook his head and mouthed back, "No. You leave first. I'll leave after you." So I mouthed back, "Fine. But, we're NOT leaving together. I'll see you at school tomorrow."

It turns out that he wanted to leave afterwards because he didn't want anyone seeing him leave the movie. I didn't even think about that. I just wanted to get out. I got on my bike as fast as I could, put on my helmet, and left.

Next day at school, we told our professor that we saw the movie. He laughed, "Wasn't that unexpected?! Wait, did you see it together?" We answered, "No. Of course not."