The flight from Santa Barbara (American Eagle) to LAX was delayed by about half and hour and that's when I start sweating. My connecting flight to Vegasis scheduled to leave 45 minutes after my arrival and now I'm down to 15 minutes. Yikes...Finally board and we're off. The flight to LAX is always great, 20 minutes and bam! you're done. (it beats driving 1 1/2 hours, especially on the return ;)...We get to LAX and sit on the tarmac for another 5 minutes. Slow traffic on the runways. Now I'm entering mild panic, ten minutes 'til my next flight leaves...
Finally get to the gate and race outside...only to find that I need to take a shuttle to the terminal where my plane is waiting to leave in 5 minutes. Of course, the driver of the shuttle doesn't care and makes a point of not rushing. There are several of us exchanging looks at each other and our watches PRAYING that we can make it...
We make it!! Only to find that the flight is delayed...I hope this isn't a sign of things to come. Board the flight and sit...for an hour...with no air conditioning because somebody forgot to bring something alongside the plane to start the engines. Cranky travellers, no air conditioning, temperature rising...and I have games that I'm supposed to bet on that start in an hour. (please, please, please let this flight take off so I might just make the start times!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!)
Yee-haw! We are off and flying. Uneventful flight, quick disembark, but no way to make it to a sport book in time. (Oh well, I'll just have to bet double on the later games.) Of course, I beat the crowd and hope into a waiting Las Vegas Limo. First stop the Flamingo, where I disembark and somehow manage to lose my cell phone between the limo and the hotel room (these omens just keep adding up). I spend about fifteen minutes trying to contact LVL and see if the driver hasn't found the phone...no luck. (Kept trying over the weekend but to no avail. Seems that the damn thing just took a walk...)
Chris has arrived and we meet in the room. Pretty straight forward room, tiny shower for tall folks like me, but hey, I'm not here for the room. Time for a quick shower and we're off to the Bellagio sportsbook for some bet laying. The place is packed for the beginning of March Madness and the blood is pumping now. Lay a few bets, grab a couple of beers and it's off to the Monte Carlo to meet with Michael and Geoff. The boys are raring to go, so we down some parety favors and grab a quick bite at the Monte Carlo cafe. The hostess looks frighteningly like one of our friends ex-wives, but besides that the meal is delightful. It's back to the room for a quick pick-me-up (come on, it's a BACHELOR PARTY remember!?!?!) and off the New York, New York to meet some girlfriends of Michael's.
We find the girls, buy them some drinks and then disappear when their attention is more wrapped up in slots than us (their loss). I need to scratch that gambling itch and I sit down with Geoff at a $15 blackjack table. Just me and him and the dealer. Three hands and Geoff is out. I figure I'll go one more round. New dealer and the cards start flowing. Long story short, I win every hand for the next 20-30 minutes. The pit boss is staring, I'm laying $25 bets for the dealer and me, Geoff is staring bug eyed at my luck, Chris is pounding me on the back and telling me to "stick it to them". The cards start to turn and I bail out. The pit boss is immediately by my side, asking if everything is o.k.? Everything's fine, I just took $425 of your money, I've got a great buzz going...and we're leaving. Should I have gotten a comp? Of course...but I'm here for a bachelor party and the kind of comps the boys want aren't served at the buffet.
Back to the Monte Carlo for a refresher. While in the room notice that my three game parlay has failed miserably (0-3). So has my underdog bet. And so has...wait a minute, the guy that took my bet printed me up a ticket for the wrong team...AND THEY'VE WON THE GAME!!!!! I guess we're going to the Bellagio to Cash in. I hand my ticket to the same knucklehead who printed it out and walk out the door $110 dollars richer. Thank you very much! This weekend is starting to pick up something fierce...
The rest of the crew has arrived and we meet them at the Flamingo. Scott hands out a few magic beans and we all head off to the Crazy Horse Too. What a great place, too bad it is packed to the rafters with guys. March Madness weekends are not good for visiting strip clubs as we will find out all weekend. I proceed to spend and hour with the lovely K.C. from Kansas City. What a wonderful....conversationalist. The group is starting to thin out and me, Scott, Steve and Mike head to the Can Can Room. DO NOT GO TO THE CAN CAN ROOM UNLESS SOMEONE HAS A GUN TO YOUR HEAD AND YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO LIVE ANOTHER DAY. The dancers are ugly and the $120 private dance is the ultimate bait and switch. Lasted about half and hour and went home. Collapsed around 4:30.
Alarm goes off at 7:45...OUCH! Supposed to meet the guys and try to get a seat at the sportsbook by 8:30...not going to happen. I drag out of bed at 8:30 grab a shower grab Chris and we head over. No one in sight and all the seat are taken. We grab a bite at the Bellagio buffet. I don't care what anyone says, this place rocks!!! Excellent service, amazing spread of food and champagne by the glass. What's the beef? Beats the heck out of me. I must admit that I couldn't find potatoes to save my life (The 9,000 ton elephant that is trying to squeeze out of my head probably doesn't help matters).
Finish up and do another search for the guys. No dice. Back to the Flamingo we head. Get to the room and find 3 messages from the guys. Must have crossed in the hall. Call Jason and meet in the lobby, he hasn't even seen a bed and I tell him to go crash 'cause he looks like hell. I figure I'll grab a quick game of craps before I get my nap in.
Hit the table as a few folks are leaving. First roller keeps hitting for about 20 minutes. Nice. I grab the dice and proceed to roll for 45 minutes. Money is flying, the dealers are amped and there go those pit bosses, staring at me again!!! I finally seven out to applause from the table and a healthy ($50)tip from one of rollers at the end of the table. The dice cool off after me and I decide it's time for a nap. I'm sure I'll sleep nicely with the extra $675...
Start to nod off when the phone rings!! Steve calling to find out when I want to go bungee jumping. Half and hour!?! Aw what the hell, I can always sleep later...right? Off we head to Circus Circus where I proceed to simultaneously scream my butt off, pee my pants and get dunked in a pool at the end of my first bungee jump. I highly recommend A.J. Hackett Bungee to everyone!!!!!! Back to the hotel in time to grab a shower before our "party night" on the town.
Three cabs full of guys head for downtown..."Fear and Loathing" anyone!?!? Dinner reservations for 10 at Binion's Ranch Steakhouse. Great table, impeccable service and perfect portions. I get the Benny's Cut Prime Rib and barely finish it off. Plenty of stories and alcohol are thrown around and by the end of the meal, we are ready to take on the town. A few more magic beans down the hatch and it's off to the tables.
Downstairs at Binion's. Real gambler's, real odds and no funny stuff. Get on a decent craps table that lights up when the woman next to me starts rolling like crazy. As do the two rollers after her. The table cools and I leave...up another $625. Vegas is looking good. Off to Cheetah's for another round of dancing and then back to the Monte Carlo. Re-meet Michael and Geoff and we proceed to toss back a few beverages in the room. Another pick me up and its down the hall we go. Someone was giving their girlfriend the what-for and we coudl hear it all the way down the hall. Feel sorry for the neighbors...Run into the guy's roomate by the elevators and he's pissed 'cause he can't get in the room. Sorry bro...
Houdini's Bar at the Monte Carlo is full and we grab a few drinks to tide us over. The bartender serves me a 120 proof bourbon and warns me that it "will sneak up on you". Yeah, o.k., whatever. Hit a few more tables and pull in another cool $500 at craps. Off to the Venetian to meet Michael's girls. Quick run-in with them, but they are far too disinterested and far too sober...Another round at the craps tables and another $425 for me. The trip is paying off big.
At this point the bartender's soothsaying kicks into to play and the rest of the night is a blank. Suffice it to say that I returned to the hotel at 6 a.m. and that's all I remember until Sunday at 12 p.m.
Thank goodness for late checkouts...Out of our room and into Jason's. He leaves tomorrow so we have a bag storage for now. Quick breakfast at Flamingo's Cafe. Nothing to write home about. Another quick round at the tables, breaking even. Check-out is painful as we received the $70 in phone charges. (Darn lost cell phone!!) Back into LVL for my return flight at 4pm. Home by 9:30 after another amazing weekend with the guys!!!!
Gambling: UP $535
Total: DOWN $265
Gambling: UP $1725
Total: UP $1525
TOTAL FOR TRIP : UP $1260