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Vegas, baby!

Kat, her parents and I went to Vegas for the weekend; my first time. Kat and I stayed at Circus Circus, simply because it was the cheapest location on the strip. Turns out, that was a bad call for multiple reasons. Not only was the Circus Circus casino by far the least classy, the hotel room was light on the amenities (including hot water on our last morning!), but most of our destinations were a cab ride away. The flag drops, you already owe $3.20 and the fare quickly climbs. The average cab ride was about $15. Next time, I'm staying in the heart of the strip, paying more per night but reducing travel costs and the hassle of waiting for a cab.

Kat and I arrived on Friday night well after dinner time. We were going to meet up with her parents on Saturday so we had some time to do things they wouldn't want to do. A little fear of heights on her mom's part gave us a chance to go up to the top of the Stratosphere. Getting up to the top carried a $12+ fee but for an extra $2, you could get a drink at the lounge up there. Seemed like a good deal to me! The view from the top was quite nice, but I believe the waitress got a few of our free drink tickets. The Long Island Iced Tea I received was quite sub par, but it was still drinkable. The Cosmo that Katherine received was absolutely putrid! I can only imagine it was an ounce of cranberry juice, a third of an ounce of vodka, a splash of lime juice and then just a torrential pour of club soda. Two sips and we were out of there, free drinks or not!

Saturday morning, we were still free and still exploiting a lack of acrophobia, we headed to New York, New York in order to hit the Manhattan Express. As roller coasters go, it wasn't terribly high, fast or exciting, but it was also the first coaster I've been on in years so I enjoyed myself. We then walked from NY, NY to Excalibur, Luxor and then Mandalay Bay. Sort of an odd pairing, the World Show Association had The Shoe Show on the same day as Super Saturday, the latest UFC. I was amused. Kat and I hit the Shark Reef before heading to Caesar's Palace to meet up with her parents.

Due to a late flight and some complications with the reservations, we were delayed two hours. We decided to hit the Forum Shops before our 6:30 PM dinner at Bradley Ogden followed by seeing O. I decided to go out on a limb and try bison and it was a pleasant surprise! Much more flavorful than beef and better for you as well. Dinner was made a bit less enjoyable by a table of young attorneys nearby. Their loud, misogynist comments made it quite clear they thought they were the only people in the restaurant. I'm sorry, even if you can drop $150 on a meal and not blink an eye, that doesn't mean you can treat the restaurant as if it's a bar. Kat got so angry she yelled at them across the table. They tried to act coy, but they even started to make fun of Dr. Holder. They eventually apologized, but we could tell it was just lip service. Anyway, the meal was great and the show was quite entertaining. It didn't live up to the hype, but I was basically told there was nothing on par with what I was about to see. Yes, it was impressive, yes the engineering behind it all was just as impressive but I wasn't blown away.

We slept in a bit on Sunday but ended up hitting a few more hotels (Treasure Island, Bellagio, Venetian, etc), did more shopping and did a bit of gambling. Thanks to a little chicanery from Kat and her dad, I was given a $150 certificate for Thomas Pink. I chose a fairly sedate shirt, but I think it looked great. Besides the $30 or so I lost on the slots, the only other gambling I did was roulette. I started with $20 and left the table with $94 (minus $10 for a generous tip to the dealer), assisted by 35:1 payout on $3 on red 12 (my lucky number). Gambling is addictive, I have an addictive personality and thus I decided to call it quits before I was pawning my watch for just another hand.

Dinner was at Picaso and it was the nicest dinner I have experienced in this lifetime. Every course was delicious and combine that with perfect wine pairings, I was amazed. We did a bit more gambling after that, but Kat and I needed to catch a flight at 8:55 the next morning, so we turned in early.

I took the DReb with me, hoping for a few good shots. I'm STILL a bit overwhelmed by the camera, but I did get a few good ones.