Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Crème Bru-lay? Recollections of 72 Hours In Sin City, USA

The title was suggested by friends as we spent this last weekend in Las Vegas, part of it devouring buffet sized crème brulees. Yes, I know that possibly the most overused slogan is currently ‘what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas,’ but I’ll let this stuff leak out. The fact that my friends discussed whether our weekend should be blogged about had nothing to do with my decision to write about it. I swear.

It’s been about 7 years since I last stepped foot in Sinatra’s playground and I can’t recall ever having stayed on the strip. Let me put it this way, some people are strip worthy and some people aren’t (wow, that sentence applies to both clothes and Las Vegas Blvd., go figure). I for instance am not strip worthy (I’m still speaking about the street, by the way). This was evidenced by two things. 1. The mumbling I did about how people were still out walking around when we exited the highway at 1:30 in the morning and 2. I am far too under-hip to be on the Vegas strip. I mentioned to one of our friends as we strolled by an in-casino nightclub waiting line that even in my best shirt, my hipness was dwarfed by the people around us. This was further reinforced when my wife and I checked into an off the strip hotel after our friends went home. Let’s put it this way, when a casino markets itself as ‘the place where locals bring their friends,’ you know it’s a lot more relaxed. In fact, we had to be the two youngest people there by at least 2 generations. Although for some reason, we were the only two not smoking! And I’m the one with the heart problem? Who knew?

Need some tips for entertainment when in Vegas (if you choose not to gamble of course)? Well, since a Wayne Newton museum apparently does not exist, I have two words for you: interactive and wax. OK, I guess I had better add a few more words, sorry I thought that would work. I was trying to describe the interactive wax museum. I have no idea who Madame Toussad was or is, but she sure can do wonders with wax. When a museum of waxed celebrities lets you do whatever you want with them, you know there will be photo-ops aplenty.

You can pose in bed with Hugh Hefner (and that’s the guys, not the ladies), pose with the Rat Pack, flirt with Jackie Onassis while she stands with JFK or knee Jeff Gordon in the crotch. Inspired by an old episode of Archie Bunker, I kissed Sammy Davis Jr. on the cheek and shared jokes with a smiling Al Roker. Perhaps our best photo op was of all the guys pointing out something for Stevie Wonder to look at. I realize that’s mean, but it got a lot of laughs. I felt a little bad for the Michael Jackson figure, he was pretty much left alone by everyone who walked by. Even in wax, he’s a scary dude! Of course, the photo of my wife looking up Shaq’s basketball shorts will need to be hidden from Lucy and Ethel for several years to come, but I guess that’s the price you pay for good entertainment. I’m still a little bewildered by the fact that we weren’t kicked out of the place. Regardless, we have the photos to prove we were there.

When your party makes dinner reservations for the time you usually go to bed, you know you’re in Las Vegas. When the restaurant is a Brazilian BBQ serving all you can eat meat, you know that your digestive system will be hanging up its ‘closed for the winter’ sign. I got to talk racing with one of the members of our party and whether it was the great choices in meat or the NASCAR talk, (or both) I got a little emotional. With everyone in our group in possession of a digital camera, I know that pictures of me openly weeping at the sight of all that red meat are bound to surface eventually. The restaurant was just feet from the Beatles’ Revolution bar, which provided a few surreal moments. Let me add another ‘you know’ to the list. When you are dining while watching go-go girls dance in the letters of the word ‘Revolution,’ you know you are in Vegas. Who ever thought that ‘Love Me Do’ would be the perfect song to gyrate sensually to? I suggested that one of our female friends get up and dance in the letter ‘V’ but was reminded how little room the letter actually provides and how inappropriate that might look.

So what about that provocative spelling of crème brulee in this post’s title, you ask? Well, I’ve already forgotten. I guess that like our money at the $5 dollar craps tables, some things are destined to stay in Vegas. Sorry, I couldn’t resist. I promise there will be no more product integration or references to over hyped marketing slogans in my posts. Now, where did I put my deliciously refreshing ice-cold Coca-Cola?


thethinker said...

Sounds like you had a good time.

Welcome back!

captain corky said...

"When the restaurant is a Brazilian BBQ serving all you can eat meat, you know that your digestive system will be hanging up its ‘closed for the winter’ sign".

All you can eat meat! Vegas! I'm drooling pal.

Empress Bee (of the High Sea) said...

am i the only person on the planet that thinks vegas is overrated and boring and hot and yuckky? and we stayed in the bellagio! i know i am in south florida and it is hot here too, but i almost could not breathe there for real. now sarge likes poker but me? i don't like gambling, maybe because i can't win so it is no fun, see? i'll just take a cruise ship any day...

smiles, bee

Josie said...

I'm so jealous. I would love to go to Vegas, even if just to see the ghost of Sinatra, et al.


Abigail S said...

Creme Bru-lay? I really wish you could remember the story behind that! I'm sure it's an interesting one.

Glad you had fun!

Awesome Mom said...

Sounds like you had a fun time. We stayed in Vegas once on our way to somewhere else and I was pretty meh about it. I am more impressed by natural wonders than man made wonders.

Lizza said...

Haha, very amusing post, Michael! Sounds like you had a blast in Vegas.

But, no hooker stories? ;-) (Not saying you patronized them, but wondering whether they came on to you...even though you were with your wife).

Lone Grey Squirrel said...

Entertaining post but I don't believe a word of it! If you have photos, prove that you were actually there. (may I request the one with you and Hugh Hefner in bed?)

Odat said...

LOL...I'm glad you had some laughs in Vegas....and hopefully a bru lay or two. Now you've got to go back to work????? aarrggh!!!!

mist1 said...

After your comment on my blog yesterday, the creme brulee is a little hard to swallow.

Michael C said...

thethinker: thanks!!

Captain Corky: Vegas was nice, but I'll go to all you can eat meat anywhere!

empress: some day I'll take a cruise and be able to make the comparison like you can ;-)

josie: I didn't get to see his ghost, but I got to see him in wax.

Abigail: I too wish I could remember. I guess my memory was affected by all of the food around me.

awesome mom: yeah, natural wonders are better!

lizza: no hooker stories, but I can tell you one about the...oh, I better not ;-)

Lone Grey: Oh, it was real and you'll have to believe me. I downloaded over 100 photos from the trip, but need to protect the innocent who were there with me ;-)
(they know I blog)

Odat: Yep, back to work and believe me, I wasn't much fun to be around yesterday. In fact, I think I saw co-workers going out of their way to avoid contact with me.

Mist1: You got me there.

Natalie said...

i have never been to vegas and can't say I plan on it. I don't gamble and neon makes me want to die. I'd rather go camping and I hate peeing without proper toilets.

Cece said...

I heart Vegas. My husband & I were there in December & we're road trippin' w/some friends next month!

Anonymous said...

You forgot one. When you go to a hockey game and the team is introduced with go-go girls in latex dresses and white thigh-high boots, while the opposing team skates around with their jaws scraping up the ice shavings they kick up as they skate along...you know you are in Vegas.

I'm here on Cece's recommendation. I'm sure she'll have lots to blog about after our trip there next month.