Addam Wassel's Blogging Adventure

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"The night before I left Las Vegas I walked out in the desert to look at the moon. There was a jeweled city on the horizon, spires rising in the night, but the jewels were diadems of electric and the spires were the neon of signs ten stories high." - Norman Mailer, An American Dream

The night before I left Las Vegas I walked - 7.3 miles to be exact - into the Vegas night and early morning. It's become a tradition. Hit every hotel on the strip and return to our original place of rest afterwards. There is nothing like the Vegas strip at 4AM. Nothing. The call girls are headed home either with a smile one their face or propositioning every clearly marked non-local in sight. The janitorial staff is out windexing, polishing, vacuuming or sweeping up the previous nights remnants and clearing way for the same tomorrow. The slot machines are quiet for once. Every once and a while a bust of cheers will interrupt the sound of the vacuum as someone hits on blackjack. There's a calm. And it's our final act in Vegas.

Let me backtrack a minute. This weekend was the annual Vegas trip. More friends, more rooms, more drinking, more gambling, more sun. I think everyone's first trip to Vegas is a bit overwhelming. It takes a couple days to really get into the swing of things. That was us last year. It was the first time any of us had ever been there. We were googly-eyed, fresh out of college kids. The glitz of Vegas was something none of us had ever seen. It was shocking and, as hard as we tried to not admit, a bit intimidating. Things slowly changed as we settled in and by the end of our trip we were veterans. We understood what about Vegas made it "Vegas!"

Our second trip was a bit different. We understood and taught, although the students didn't need much instruction. It started Thursday night. I landed in Vegas and spent the next hour waiting for the good people at JetBlue to release the hostage that was Jeff's bag. Finally they obliged and off we went to the Monte Carlo to start the weekend.

Diver Downs officially mark the beginning of the Vegas Trip. After reading the Sports Guy's Vegas column last year - one in which he explained the dangers of this drink - it officially become the kickoff for us. The joking never ended as we dreamt of the nastiness that awaited. For those not familiar, a Diver Down is a shot of Bacardi chased with Corona. It's just as gross as you are thinking but it gets you wasted quickly. REALLY WASTED. REALLY QUICKLY. Thus, the fitting drink to kick off any Vegas trip. Last year, we waited until the very last night when, Scotty, fresh off his blackjack theft from the Palms, bought us a round (and another aside here, the Diver Downs last year actually lead to the first all-night bender as well. That to come...).

The kickoff was great except for one thing, afterwards Jeff decides it's a great idea to walk to Mandalay Bay, which is a great idea had it been a mile closer to where we were on the strip. It isn't... and our buzz from the Diver Downs left. So we gathered ourselves, made it to last year's place of victory, the Boardwalk, and went onto riches. Half the group broke off after that... Scotty, Cote and I went on to punishment at Imperial Palace.

Our dealer last night was a small, unassuming Asian woman. The kind nicknamed "Black Widow" in 70's movies. Sweet initially but then she goes in for the kill. Within 15 minutes, she'd taken the three of us for $300... and knocked Scotty and myself off the table. Cote battled valiantly and ended up not so bad in the end... up $50. At least one of us won.

I have to say the biggest disappointment was the pool at the Monte Carlo. Not only was the wave pool empty while we were there, but the "lazy river" was so crowded it was like a "freeway of death." It wasn't relaxing like it's meant to be, it was stressful. You were bumping and kicking, being splashed, getting kicking. A real travashamockery. But there was sun, and beer, and some eye candy so all was forgiven as there was just enough to get by.

In all honesty, Friday night was a bit of a blur for me. I know we ended up at the piano bar at New York, New York. And I know we met some ladies. And I probably lost some money gambling. And I know I only slept about 2 hours. And I know Eric, Titus and Kangas finally arrived. And I know I had fun.

Saturday is another Vegas day that lives in infamy as Dave set the "most you should spend at a single bar in a single night" at $920!! Good going Dave! The night started at Samba Brazilian Steakhouse where my stomach was flooded by more meat than it's had in two years combined. 9 different varieties. From there, things escalated. It was a fairly rough night that saw me at the Voodoo Lounge and Studio 54, neither of which was the bar Dave dropped the 920 at. Points were scored that night. The first Vegas points I should say. We all know who got them. I won't go into details.

Sunday was the last full day. Thus the All-Night Bender. This arose last year, as after the aforementioned Diver Downs, Scotty and I weren't tired and wanted something to do. So what happened? Everyone went back to the room. We went to New York, New York and walked. And walked. And drank. And walked. All the way up and down the strip and back to the Rio. We watched the sun rise over the strip. Then walked back to wake everyone up. It was spectacular. This year, seeing as we're not staying at the Rio, we needed to change up the walk. We also had a couple more people. Kangas, who left last year before the bender, joined up along with our first girl, the very tough Alayna, Kangas' friend from Reno whose flight back was delayed and thus, had the time to come along.

I tried to photolog the night with my camera phone but to no avail. All it taught me was that I need a new camera phone and a better memory. Here are the highlights: Putting $2 in a slot machine at the Venetian and winning $30. Getting to play 3-5-7 for the first time. Everyone trying the chicken fries at Burger King for the first time. Kelly Clarkson at the Aladdin. Carrying Alayna behind Luxor. Trying to climb the Luxor. Sharks at the Manadlay Bay.

Some things you can't shake. For me, it's knowing that every year I have this trip to look forward to. I got on the flight Monday exhausted, hung over, hungry and with a planner. Marked next June 22, the first official day of summer. Opening the door for our next visit.

Add your own

#1 Alayna

You should see my feet from those lovely $6 flip flops I bought on the bender...not a pretty sight, but it was definitely worth it! Oh, and thanks for carrying my shoes ;-) Had a great time, thanks for the hospitality!

#2 Alisa Schadt

Hey your blog is getting fancier every day! Sounds like a good time was had in lost wages.

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