Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Vegas Recap - Day 1

*I was going to link to blogs of those I met, but that could triple the writing time. See the roll on the side, or Google 'em.

This weekend marked my fourth time in Las Vegas, and my second blogger gathering. Every time I see Mandalay Bay and the Luxor as we touch down I get the same feeling - I love this town.

The trip started with some minor annoyances. I couldn't complete my web check-in, and my ride to the airport turned out to be more complicated than anticipated, which resulted in my making alternate plans to get there on time. However, my three buddies and I all made it with time to spare and were hyped and ready to go.

Touch down as on time at around 2:45pm, and we were off quickly. Our luck was good as our bags were the FIRST on the belt and we were first to be waiting in line for the shuttle to the rental car centre. This was a lucky thing as there were only eight seats available.

Car rental was smooth, and me and my buddy (last name Husain) even cracked some terrorist jokes with the guy at the counter. Good times. I have to say - Thrifty was by far the cheapest ($12.35/day for a convertible), but they have a ton of sneaky fees that you have to avoid. $6.99 per gallon for gas? $105 for the basic insurance? I'm glad my card covers it.

To Planet Hollywood we did go, and were greeted with no line at all. Check-in was a breeze, and after parking the car we were ready to face the strip. Being in our room about an hour after the plane landed is pretty good time in Vegas.

We unpacked, debated, and went downstairs for food. Pampas Brazilian Grill to start. The unending parade of meat was really good, especially for the $32 price. Even the wine (some Chilean Syrah I think) was decent.

We rolled back into the PH casino, picked up some free slots play and I quickly dropped $60. From there it was to the IP for $5 craps while waiting for the bloggers to gather. The table was up and down and I left while I was even to wander to the Geisha Bar.

Pauly was the first to greet me, followed quickly by his conversation partner - Tragedy. A good duo to start with. I turned to find what was left of Falstaff standing at the bar and said hello. The man has lost 55 lbs this year, and it shows. You look great man. The parade of familiar and new faces continued - Columbo and the Mrs., Schaubs, Jordan, Fuel, Blinders, Mattazuma, Poker Peaker, Buddy, the Asian Jew, Alan, ScottMC, GCox, and the solidly slurry AlCantHang among many others. Kat showed up briefly on her way to her room, and I finally (re)met the HB, even though we all live in the same city. Penner even showed up, which I wasn't expecting.

Then a scraggly-looking fella who had randomly handed my a shot of SoCo earlier walked up to me and shook my hand. "Astin, I'm a huge fan of what you're doing on your blog." (this always throws me) "Uh.... thanks." "I'm Grubby."

Now, please bear in mind that I met Grubby in June. I know what he looks like. This wasn't him by a long shot. Even if I hadn't, I met Grubette as well, and there was no way they were related.

"Hi Grubby, great to meet you."
"What are you drinking?"
"I'm a Greyhound man myself, so I'll be honest. I'm Iggy."

It may have been the shortest period of time Iggy has posed as Grubby. A shame, I was hoping to have some fun.

"Well, I knew you weren't Grubby. [insert explanation why]"
"Damn! You've met him?"

We proceeded to return to the bar, have a couple more drinks with those around us, and that was my first meeting of the trip with The Blogfather.

Many conversations and introductions continued (from the real estate market in Detroit with the Columbos to how much Recess weighs with Schaubs), and eventually I was at Casino Royale with Tragedy, GCox, Al, Scott, Buddy (a craps virgin no more), and Blinders. A great roll by Scott at my table, and Tragedy at the other meant we all left up on the night. From there I somehow found myself in Denny's at 2am with GCox, Tragedy, and Al. We finished up and ran into a despondant RecessRampage on the way back to the IP - it seems LJ and the Vancouverites are total wimps and went to bed earlier. Alan was looking for more craps, but we weren't ready to donate our winnings back yet. After mild debate and complaint, we finally called it a night ourselves and I rolled into my room at 3:40.


CarmenSinCity said...

You know what, I don't think I said two words to you all weekend. right? I don't know how we always seemed to miss each other. I did get a picture of you playing in the tournament, but anyway, hope you had fun and if you come back in June we'll definitely have more time to hang out :)

Astin said...

Yah! I think we actually got about 7 words between us at the tournament, but that was about it. I didn't get to see/talk/hang out with nearly enough people this time around. Which is why I'm going solo again in June... I needs ta see my peeps!

Alan aka RecessRampage said...

I'm gonna read these in order but how the hell did you already post 4 day trip reports!? Unreal.