Wednesday, October 25, 2006
Viva Las Vegas!
Well, I'm back. One of the fun things about the trip was the drive out there, starting at 0100 Friday. Cruisin' along a desert highway in the wee hours, where our main company on the road was 18-wheelers and billions of stars on a moonless night is hard to beat.
We arrived at the New Frontier hotel at about 0730 and found a nearly empty casino. We had a first-thing-in-the-morning beer at the bar, which was surfaced with video poker machines, then went into the hotel restaurant (The Orchard) for a real breakfast. The cook there actually knew how to fry eggs to order! They have a breakfast buffet there, but Debbie and I agreed to skip it in favor of the menu. All I'd do is eat a whole bunch of bacon, and I don't need that.
The room left a lot to be desired. It wasn't fully maintained--the TV cabinet (which we never used) had a broken door and the bathroom fixtures had a lot of old calcium buildups and corrosion damage. The large window gave us a view of the beautiful Wynn hotel across the Strip, instantly making us wish we were staying there instead.
The few daylight hours I spent in the room were spent watching the construction work on what looks like a second Wynn building going up alongside the first. I can watch construction work all day (busman's holiday), and watching the crews' skill as they lift rebar mats into place and tie them down, and watch concrete crews placing the material is so cool!
Both Debbie and I did a little gambling, with a surprising degree of success--if you define success as breaking even. Remember: the percentage is always with the house. Debbie got a kick out of watching the action at the craps tables and I enjoyed watching the play at the roulette wheels. Neither of us knows enough about the games to be able to bet intelligently, so in the end, all we did was watch.
One of the (sort of) disturbing things about Las Vegas flows from the fact that it's been thirty years since my last visit to the town. Thirty years ago, it seemed like the casinos made their money mainly from the games. Everything else was either free, or very inexpensive. Rooms were cheap. Meals ditto. Shows, too.
Now, everything is its own profit center, therefore everything costs what it actually costs. I guess I don't actually have a problem with that, but it seemed odd to have to pay as much for a steak as it'd cost in LA. I suspect the cause of the change has its roots somewhere in the tax structure. The government extortionists have to get their clutching fingers into the pot, as well!
I can't complain, though (well actually I can, but who's gonna listen?) because Debbie and I had a very good time.
While I attended Liberty's Conference, Debbie did some exploring. She went up and down the Strip checking out a few of the casinos. We did a bit of that together too, after the Conference was over. I'll get into that in a subsequent entry.
'Twas the best vacation we've had in years.
They've killed Freedom! Those bastards!