Thursday, December 15, 2011

Four Days in the Desert - Day 2a

The alarm in the Aria is a curious beast. From bedside you can program how you want the room to wake you up. I opted for lights on, blackout curtains (but not sheers) to open, and the TV to turn  to CNN (although I found myself turning to FOX news for the pure entertainment value). I also set my phone to make odd noises at the same time to force me to cross the room and shut it off.  After all, I wanted breakfast before heading to the Neon Boneyard.

Everything worked as planned, I fired out a tweet along the lines of "anyone want brunch in an hour?" and promptly crawled back to bed for half an hour. At which point I got the first reply, followed by more. Excellent. 4 of us (Maigrey, BrainMC, Alan, and myself) would be heading to Wicked Spoon at the Cosmopolitan - a buffet I'd been looking forward to since I'd heard about it earlier in the year.

So I rushed around, got presentable and went out the door in search of the buffet. For those who didn't make it out there at some point (and shame on you), Wicked Spoon is on the 2nd floor of the Cosmo, towards the taxi/valet area, past the death rays. Seriously. Death Rays. Cool steampunky Flash Gordon-era death rays mounted on podiums in the hallway.

I found 2/3 of my dining partners in line with Maigrey texting that she was on her way.  I paid for myself and Maigrey and waited for the table to be ready.

Eventually we were all around the eatin' slab and ready to grab some grub.  Wicked Spoon is unique in its presentation of buffet.  Most of the items aren't presented in troughs of goop, but put out in individual servings. A small bowl of salad, a mini-pan of eggs benedict, fruit cups, dessert shots, cup o' sweet and sour pork, etc.. And the carving station is plenty impressive too. Slab bacon, tri-tip, sake marinated turkey in a black pepper glaze, and more.  I never even bothered with the omlette station, but have no doubt it would have also impressed.

I asked for a cappuccino and was told "it costs extra".  Okay, how much? "I'm not sure... around $5?" That's a bit steep, but I wants me my foamy milk on espresso dammit! It was a perfectly serviceable capp that didn't offend. Which is saying lots for a buffet. We never saw a bill though, so I tossed an extra $5 on the tip to cover the cost. Looking back, I probably got hustled for an extra $5 on the tip.

Three or four plates later we were plenty stuffed and Brian and I had a boneyard to visit. Tweets and texts back and forth with PokerVixen and OhCaptain had them wrapping up Vixen's Canadian treachery by becoming a US citizen (totally not part of our continuing plan to invade the states slowly via immigration), and she wanted to get home and change before wandering around a dumping ground for Vegas signage. So, Brian having a car, and standign rigth next to me, I opted to ride with him. OhCaptain would meet us shortly.

But first I needed to swing by my room and grab my camera. Plus, Brian, who was staying at the IP, wanted to see the fancy Aria rooms. He was duly impressed by the geegaws and whosamawutzits in the room and we went in search of the cap'n.

Here was the problem after we found him. Brian's car was at the IP, we were at Aria, and the tour started in 30 minutes.

To the cabs!

A quick ride to the IP and we were doing not terribly on time. Then came the search for the dog tracks.

See, Brian might have been a touch tired when he parked his car the previous night, but he made a point of remembering that there were dog tracks leading him to his parking spot. The problem was, he couldn't remember where the tracks started. So we spent 5 or 10 minutes wandering around the back of the IP looking for dog tracks before finally asking the guys at the oxygen bar/water massage area. Tracks found (they lead to a sqaure of dog bathroom grass because the IP is pet-friendly), we then found the car and were on our way with about 5 minutes to tour start.  That's when we hit highway traffic. Three cops, cars pulled over, multiple arrests.

Luckily, OhCaptain called the boneyard and told them we had no sense of time due to me being on Canadian time or something, and they completely understood his thick Minnesota accent enough to say "whatever, we're starting without you."

We found our way thanks to Google maps and Cap's having been there before.  The tour had indeed started, but was at the "so this is the place we stand to start he tour" phase. Plus the woman in the wheelchair still hadn't made it, so we weren't last. Yes, we were able to beat a wheelchair-bound guest, I'm so proud. Not beat as in battery, but beat as in get there before them.  We clear? No lawsuits? Good.

Welcome to the Boneyard

After the spiel about how they're totally building an indoor museum, we started the tour in the middle with this guy:


Here he is in 3D.  Cross your eyes funny 3D. It's better if you click on him and visit the larger image.

Shooting in 3D

They have lots of piles of letters.


And occasionally even some neon.


Neon is apparently billed per bend in the tube. That thing up there must have cost a fortune. But not as much as this car rental joint's mascot:


The high cost of neon means that a lot of the signage is actually good ol' light bulbs.

Sassy One

We wrapped up at gigantic skull, from the old Barbary Coast, which must have had MASSIVE signage.

Skull in the Desert

For perspective, here's the Googly map of the Boneyard, complete with skull. You may need to turn off 45-degree perspective to really see it.

The Boneyard is a worthwhile way to spend an hour or so of your time. You get plenty of Vegas history stories from the guide and see some cool abandoned signs, if that's your thing. If you have a camera, it's a great place for shots.

From there it was back to The Strip, via Las Vegas Blvd this time, to see the "sights". Man, what a depressing drive that is.  But in many ways, it's a more accurate representation of Vegas, without the veneers and fa├žades that The Strip puts up.

This is, once again, long. So I'll split up day 2 here. Up next - how to combine and epic feast with a roller coaster.


Memphis MOJO said...

awesome photos, awesome post.

back to The Strip, via Las Vegas Blvd this time, to see the "sights". Man, what a depressing drive that is. back to The Strip, via Las Vegas Blvd this time, to see the "sights". Man, what a depressing drive that is.

I took some photos. Pawn shots, signs offering to buy your car, and other sleaze. I never got around to making a blog piece of it, but probably should have.

BrainMc said...

Man, I felt so bad about losing my car. It's one thing for me to miss out but I was dragging you guys down with me. Effin cops every 12 feet on the interstate didn't help either. I glad it worked out OK and we didn't miss any of the tour. Thanks again for an awesome weekend and I hope to see you again before next December. Enjoy your return trip in January and keep Pete in line with the dealertainers.