Who Am I?

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A nobody; a nitwit; a pilot; a motorcyclist; a raconteur; a lover...of life - who loves to laugh, who tries to not take myself (or anything) too seriously...just a normal guy who knows his place in the universe by being in touch with my spiritual side. What more is there?

26 February 2009

Viva Las Vegas! Part III: Friendly Advice

The weather in Vegas is very dry. If you’re coming from a relatively humid environment like Florida, the difference will be immediately apparent. Luckily, Matt, Jamie and I went in the winter, so temperatures were mild. Also, it was quite cloudy for most of our trip, which actually was nice. I didn’t have to wear a jacket or sunglasses or a baseball cap. Can't beat that!

But one afternoon the sun was out. As Matt and I were walking up the strip enjoying the day he turned to me and said, ”You know, I feel like we’re always being ripped-off here.”

Welcome to Las Vegas, where they’ve perfected the art of fleecing the tourist. Everything is expensive in Vegas. Whaddya gonna do, leave?

Want to go up and see the view from the Stratosphere tower? That’ll be $14 please. Oh, you want to ride the “attractions” too? Then cough up $28 for admission plus all three rides, or $24 for just two if you’re a cheap ‘fraidy-cat like me.

Food wasn’t all that bad...I suppose...figure $30 - $45 for an entrée. Actually, one night we ate inside the Rio Hotel at the All-American Bar and Grill and had unanimously fantastic steaks for $26. Unassuming name, great steak place.

But they kill you if you drink.

We were in the Playboy Club atop the Palms towers. I ordered three drinks – my usual Rum and Coke, and a couple of Vodka/Red Bulls for the guys (it’s the “hip” drink with the kids these days, evidently). The drinks were not big, nor were they strong. I handed my credit card to the bunny behind the bar. When it came back with a charge of $35, I nearly told her that I wasn’t buying a round for the entire bar. Ironically, although the place was jammed it was easy to get up to the bar. Then we figured it out. People do their drinking before going to such establishments. Duh. (I wish I could say that $35 was the cheapest I paid for three drinks but it was not.)

Prior to going up there, we’d paid $75 each for admission to a show at the Playboy Comedy Club on the main level. That fee also supposedly provided us with VIP admission to the aforementioned Playboy Club upstairs. In this case, “VIP admission” meant that we just waited on a line that was only slightly shorter line than the one used by the unwashed masses (i.e. non-VIP’s). The security guys were just as surly to us as everyone else. I mean, hey, weren't we supposed to be VIP's?

Well see, in Vegas every-goddam-body is a VIP. Or thinks he/she is. Everybody.

So here are three pieces of advice if you’re planning a trip to Las Vegas: 1) Bring Chapstick and plenty of it; 2) Bring money and plenty of it - in fact, it’d probably be a good idea to bring all of it; 3) And unless you actually are Mick Jagger or Paris Hilton, plan on waiting in line for everything.

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