On Thursday night I returned to Missoula after spending the first half of the week down in Las Vegas. I had a wonderful time and I must say, it turned out to be one of the most (if not the most) successful trips I have had down there. How do I count success? Just by the fact that it was probably the least amount of money I have ever spent on a Vegas trip. When it came to gambling, I am pretty sure with everything added in, I actually came up ahead. Of course with all the entertainment and food we indulged in, it made me return home in the red a little but as I was saying it was not nearly as bad as usual. I would just like to briefly summarize my trip.
If you read my previous post, you knew that Glen (my brother) and I stayed in Bill’s Gambling Hall. I said from the onset that it would probably be one of the least glamorous hotels we would stay in and upon checking in my assumption was correct. I got off my shuttle and went to the registration desk. There was absolutely no line at the pint sized check in area. I got my room assignment….floor 1! In Vegas I had always stayed on some ridiculously high floor. Not this go around. I got on the elevator that was ten feet from the check in area and took the shaky one floor ride. The elevator doors opened and our hotel room was right there! Least strenuous trek to a Vegas hotel room ever! I was quite pleased at this because as I looked down the hallway it looked quite dark and scary. The room itself was outdated and weirdly shaped and the bathroom had strange stained glass in it. But we also got a flat screen television and the beds were very comfortable! The room definitely grew on us and it served as a great spot to hang out, listen to music, and gather ourselves before we hit the town. We will never see Bill’s again because it is closing in February but we would definitely stay there again.
My brother and I enjoyed the fantastic weather in Vegas. Especially on Monday and Tuesday the weather was sunny and warm and we pretty much basked in it! T-shirts and shorts were the norm. There was a café/bar right in the middle of the strip that overlooked everything that we enjoyed sitting at and people watching as all the Vegas foot traffic would pass us by. During the night the weather did get a little cool but it was a far cry from the harshness of Montana and Washington.
Glen and I spent a lot of time on the strip and in downtown Vegas but we also spent some of each day at a place called the Stage Door. The Stage Door is a lounge area specializing in cheap drinks, fifty cent hot dogs, and other cheap food. Located off the strip about two minutes from our hotel, Glen and I would walk down and enjoy ourselves with some of the Vegas locals. We made great friends with one of the workers, Brittany, and she treated us very well. With great music, interesting people, and a completely different take on Vegas, we enjoyed our time at Stage Door and have many fond memories.
A really cool part of this trip was that we got to hang with a couple of Glen’s friends who live in Vegas, Brandon and Madison. Glen played baseball with Brandon at Walla Walla Community College and met Madison in the town as well. Brandon and Madison started dating and when Brandon moved back to Vegas after baseball was over, Madison went with him. Two different nights Brandon and Madison drove to the strip and hung out with us. We watched sports together at the Mandalay Bay, laughed out loud as we witnessed people trying to sing karaoke, hung out at the Stage Door, met an old rocker, and had an epic night in downtown Vegas. The couple treated us so well and gave us rides everywhere. Thank you so much Brandon and Madison, we had a great time with you guys!
There are a few highlights from this trip that I will always remember: 1. While we were down in Vegas, the NFR was going on. I have never seen so many cowboys in my life! They had definitely taken over the city. 2. Thanks to my brother’s amazing eye, we saw Jason Aldean up close and personal as he was playing Black Jack at one of the tables in Mandalay Bay. We watched him keep reaching for money and puffing on cigarettes. As other people started to notice it was him, he got up and left. 3. Glen and I had the opportunity to attend the American Country Awards (ACAs). It was a very special experience as we saw our favorite country superstars perform live. It was also my first ever awards show. I will blog about this exclusively in tomorrow’s post. 4. I cashed at a poker tournament!! In my life, I have never finished in the money at a real casino poker tournament. Glen and I played in one at Bill’s. In a field of about 30 players, I lasted until only four of us were left. After about 20 minutes of the four of us taking each other’s chips back and forth, we made a group decision to chop the pot (split up the prize pool four ways). I felt so accomplished! 5. We participated in a focus group! After eating lunch in Planet Hollywood, we were asked to participate in a focus group. We got paid $85 to watch a 40 minute show and then give our opinion about it. This was definitely something I have never done in Vegas and I will also write a post about it soon.
I want to thank my brother, Brandon, and Madison for a great Vegas trip. Of course we have many other fond memories that won’t make it into this post but I think from what I did offer, you can tell that we had a good time. I already miss Vegas and want to go back. Who wants to go with Glen and I next time? Don’t Blink.