You know, it seems like I have already done this blog post about six times before…wait, that is because I have! Oh yes, time for another Las Vegas trip recap. I know these trip summaries can get boring to most of my readers but the reason why I continue to report on my visits to Sin City is simply because each experience is different. As I have done in the past I will just point out a few overarching themes from my time in the desert but first some background.
I went to Vegas this past Sunday via Delta and as I compose this it is Wednesday night and I am on my return voyage to Missoula where I am currently sitting in the Salt Lake City airport on a brutal three hour layover. I once again stayed in my favorite property on the strip, the Flamingo. I can’t express what an enjoyable and relaxing time I had this go around. I traveled solo with my only excuse for going on the trip being that my friend, Erik, was down at the same time for a work conference. Basically, I just needed to satisfy my urge to get back down to my favorite vacation spot.
All and all, it was a very low key trip for me. I hung out at the pool and gambled…that is pretty much it. The weather was 100+ degrees each day, just how I like it. Poker tournaments and Blackjack kept me more than entertained. This trip I actually got some sleep too, even if my schedule was a little messed up. For the three days I was there, I hung out at the pool in the morning, gambled in the afternoon/early evening, slept from 11pm to 3am (you know, when the fun stuff happens in Vegas), and then gambled again from the early morning hours and transitioned right to the pool right when the gates opened at 8am. No clubs, no bottle service, no wild stories. So what if I was a loser this go around? I still had a great time.
So without further adieu, here are the three things I am taking from Summer Vegas Trip 2012:
1. So Much Respect For Teachers: I met three teachers over my three days in Vegas. You think that is odd? Well, I did too until they reminded me that it is of course summer and school is not in session. I met one guy this morning my age from Atlanta, Georgia, who is a high school math teacher who also happens to coach football, wrestling, and track. After he found out about my occupation he could not stop talking about the Griz and watching the football team play on ESPN this past season. Playing Paigow while the luck was good for both of us, we found we had much in common despite living on other ends of the country.
I also met a middle school teacher on my shuttle to Vegas on Sunday. From Oregon, she also coached basketball. We talked from the shuttle all the way through the registration line about standardized testing.
Saving the best for last, I made a new friend from Minnesota, a second grade teacher who blogs just like me! Eric and myself met her and her group of friends at the pool. Shoutout to her friends: Wendy (not the fast food restaurant), Molly (she is small but don’t mess with her), and Nicole (Snookie-Pink Panther-Booty contest champ). We got to hang out a couple times throughout the trip and we had a blast as she played Blackjack for the first time! I respected her so much because of the unique classroom composition she has and the fact that she works a different job during the summer. Really cool girl.
Teachers are taken for granted. They are underpaid and underappreciated. I am glad that I became more aware of this over the past few days.
2. Best Blackjack Talk: I definitely did not leave Vegas on the plus side this trip. Interestingly enough, I have never made money in Vegas despite all the times I have gone. But what made my losing bearable was the awesome cast of characters I played with at pretty much every table I sat down at. I can’t even count all the funny, bizarre, and intriguing conversations I had with players and dealers alike this trip. You see, when you are in Vegas and you are playing the low limits that I play, everyone for the most part is relaxed.
There was never a dull moment at the tables no matter where I played, what game it was, or what time of the day it was. I played in three poker tournaments over my trip and all the people participating were champs as well. I just the love the opportunity to banter with people from all over the nation (and world) in a relaxed, fun atmosphere.
3. Economy Friendly/Tourist Friendly: This time around, I noticed something a little different. It seemed like prices for everything from food to drinks to gambling limits to cabana rentals were much lower. I could find $5 tables at pretty much every casino I walked into. Maybe the reason was because it is late July and the city is entering its “slow” season but I was just pleasantly surprised. It is always nice when your buck goes that extra mile.
One thing that hasn’t changed and one of the reasons why I continue to return to Vegas time and time again is because of the great customer service I always receive. I think Vegas gets a reputation for being intimidating and snobby but that is hardly the case. Dealers, hotel clerks, vendors on the street, pool attendants, etc. always treat me like a king…and keep in mind, I am what you would call a “low-roller.” It is amazing what a simple $1 tip will do. I have nothing but compliments for the people who slave away in sweltering temperatures serving us clueless tourists day after day.
Usually when I come back from Vegas I am READY to come back. Not this time. It was just so relaxing and laid back over the past few days that I really would not have minded staying for a few more. But time to suck it up and get back to reality. Can’t wait for work tomorrow and the big news that is to come. Don’t Blink.