Addam Wassel's Blogging Adventure

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Oh god it's hot. But at least it's not "Vegas mid-July" hot.

It was 6 months ago, in Tampa, where the first mention of "Vegas?" was uttered and, after 6 months of planning, it has come and went.

I was one of the "early arrivers," along with Vinny and Craig on Wednesday morning, when we set off to the hotel. This year it was a condo, off the strip, but extremely roomy (and full of the 1980's favorite father, Jason Seaver). In fact, roomy doesn't quite do it justice. It was a spacious 2 bed, 2 bath, 1 and a half-kitchened playground. Granted, the resort was full of families and - *ahem* - older persons, but we made the best of it.

We started slowly, Craig and Vinny sleeping off the night before while I did the much needed beer run (our resort was conveniently located near numerous restaurants and a liquor store) and getting caught up on my SportsCenter. Around 4 we headed down to get the first glimpse of our pool.

It was a smaller pool than expected, but luckily it wasn't nearly as full as last year's "Freeway of Death" fiasco. In fact, we were the only ones there, sitting around, drinking, joking and catching up with one another. We stayed out there as long as the sun allowed then head to In-n-Out for a little deliciousness.

If you know me, you know I LOVE In-n-Out. I can't make a trip out west without getting it. We order and get our food. We're still hungry. We go get another burger. Oh. My. Goodness. I was in heaven. Until we decided to walk back to the condo, which was about a mile and a half walk. As we hit the Orleans, we're reminded on why it's called In-n-Out. You know the saying "My stomach was doing back flips?" Well, mine had the entire US Trampoline team in there. Whew boy... I've never been more relieved in my life. After the quick pit stop, we get back to the room to get ready for the arrival of Scotty and Jeff.

We rolled up to the Flamingo, Scotty's hotel, around 10:30. Scotty was greeted with the "Zidane handshake", a full round of headbutts to the chest. We all met Tara for the first time but quickly were saddened when we learned of her sickness and "non-going out" ability. Luckily, between Jeff and Scotty, they had nearly polished off a fifth of Vodka by the time we arrived. Looks like a guys night out.

We left the Flamingo and headed north up the strip. Walking past the usual places, knowing already they won't have the tables we're looking for - the $5 blackjack tables. At this point of the trip there would've usually been no doubt where to we would've gone, theol ' Boardwalk, it's just that MGM has decided to throw a mega structure there and bulldozed the stomping grounds. We ended finding what we wanted at the "oldshithole" (as described by our cabbie) that is the Frontier.

Scotty went on a run. Hisey, Jeff, Vinny and I didn't. It was a sign of things to come.

The next day we woke to a free all-complex lunch of burgers, hot dogs and potato salad. Solid! Luckily, the BBQ was in the pool area so we just sat around drinking all day in the sun, jumping in the pool and let's not forget the 7-year-old goggle-toting lad (let's call him Greg Boygaynis) who kept trying to give uswethead in the pool, and Hisey's subsequent beating of said boy with his giant purple noodle.

We make it down to the MGM just in time for a little horse racing and Tiger baseball watching. We sit around The Book for an hour or so. Vinny and I place afebets on the ponies. We lost on the eighth race, I had Allan's Trasure, and on a dog race - Roger Cumming just couldn't pull through. But our shining moment happened when Fastnloose came through in the 9th race at Charles Town, putting Vinny and I both up for the hour. Winning money and free beer. Now THIS is Vegas.

Vinny eating ParisWe wait for Scotty and Tara to finish up their dinner. While we wait in front of the Belligo, Vinny and I take some fun pictures. We head out for another strip walking adventure where Vinny gets yelled at by some midget (I had a picture of this somewhere but lost it). Good times.

We end up at O'Shea's playing blackjack. Vinny and I bring a little karma to this table, and the good kind of karma. We sit down and the table loves us already. I'm making small talk with the guys next to me, wishing the luck on the aces, they're pulling for us, we're cheering for them. Maybe the best table I've ever sat at. I hit a little run and end up $200 for the trip which, after last night's beating, is a big win. I end up tipping the guy sitting next to me (hey, he knew DC so I reminisced with him all night), walk away hammered and with money in my wallet. It seems everyone was winning tonight. Vinny finished up $50 or so, Scotty came away up another few hundred, Hisey wins about $30, Jeff won like $5.Ohhh poor Jeff. A successful outing even still.

The next day was much the same. Get up. Get breakfast/lunch. Pool. Finally, Dave arrives fresh off his flight from Atlanta. We all get ready and head out to the strip. We ended up that night at our old favorite, the Piano Bar at New York, New York. We had some luck there last year so decided this would be an appropriate place this year as well. We danced, we sang Journey - "Born and raised in south Detroit!!" - and Vinny got maybe the most obnoxious line I've ever heard. It was all fun but we're in Vegas, we need to gamble.

So we head out to the floor to play a little Blackjack. Vinny and I make a quick pit stop and come back to Dave, Jeff and Scotty already at a table. So Hisey, Vinny and I stand back to check out the table when Vinny and I have this conversation:

Vinny: "Dude, I don't sit with with Asian dealers."
Me: "Yeah, I know. Good rule. Let's look over there... It's a non-Asian dude."
Vinny: "Sweet! And there's three seats open! Let's go."

It was about this moment that the pit boss called for the righty, an unassuming Asian woman. Literally, we walked over to the table, pulled out the chairs, see the switch and turn around. It was unreal. Something only you see in the movies. It was in this exact moment that the other three people at the other boys table got up. Awesome! Free seats for us to all play at the same table... except it was an Asian dealer. We dismissed the rule and sat down at the table anyways, thinking the table karma will turn and we'll start winning again. Well, we were...

WRONG. W-R-O-N-G. Effing wrong. This lady, in a matter of maybe 15 minutes, cleans the 6 of us out for nearly $1,000. No joke. We all lost. Majorly. It was a fun table... for the time it took for us to walk up to it. Night not ruined, we head back to the Piano Bar and drink away our sorrows.

Singing at Piano Bar in New York, New YorkNumerous characters present themselves to us. In fact, too many to list but the night was fun. We roll out of NYNY to head to Drai's - well, at least I think that was the plan - for some post-bar/club action, when we're stopped by Vinny who, apparently, has made best friends with some girls from Iowa. It was during this little interlude we meet the coldest girl I've ever seen. Which turned out well that we sat Dave and Hisey next to her, as they finished off her dinner. OK times were had and we left.

Some gambled later... others of us just drank. It became a rule that I will never gamble in NYNY again (just another reason for me to dislike that city). We head back to the condo and chill out. We had a big day of drinking and eating tomorrow.

We awoke on Saturday excited about the things to come. My dad arrived early that morning and so did the 4/5 of the Sladewski clan, which meant Eric has replaced Kangas as the honorary "High School Friend" on the trip. Sorry Kangas, this is what happens when you're on the other side of Earth. It also meant that Eric's dad had bought my a ticket to the Vargas-Mosley II fight Saturday night. A little problem arose as we already had a dinner reservation at Smith & Wollensky that night for 2.5 hours of eating, drinking and laughs. It was too late. I had to pass on the fight. Really a gut-wrenching decision. I passed on a great fight in Vegas. It still hurts me to say that.

Ahhh dinnerThe day was full of pooling and drink, per usual. The night, however, lead to a DELICIOUS dinner at the aforementioned Smith & Wollensky.Hisey set us up with the "drink all you can in 2.5 hours, eat five courses" meal. Amazing. Just amazing. We had our own little private corner of the restaurant. We drank. We drank. We ate. We drank. Did I mention we drank? I know what you're thinking and yes, we did shots at a steakhouse. I should mention here that Scotty was dressed properly. As we all know, there's usually that one guy in the group that dresses like a slob, and in this group, when it's not Scotty, it's me (902 Love!). We were all pretty nicely dressed and actually looked pretty good if I do say so myself.

Well, dinner ended and everyone heads to the club. I, however, go meet up with "broken foot Eric" and Brian (I'll get into the broken foot in a later post). Sure to be some good times with these two. We walk up to the Wynn and sit at the bar. We grab a table on the outside to check things out, Eric's foot by this time is throbbing. He's needs alcohol, STAT, yet there's no waitress in sight. I mean, there are waitresses in sight, just none of them are coming to our table. Eric's getting more upset by the second... I can see it. After about 20 minutes, a waitress comes over and tells us just a second.Ok cool, service finally. Well, 10 minutes after that, our waitress finally comes to take out order. Eric's visibly upset at this point. It's been a half hour and we still don't have drinks. So we order and she goes away. Alright. Drinks. Not even two minutes later, she returns, not with drinks, but with a question for Brian "What's in your drink?" she asks. Without missing a beat, Eric slams his hands on the table and announces "That's it. We're leaving" and proceeds to get up and leave the bar. It was comedic genius at it's finest. Although, Eric wasn't joking. Brian and spend the next few minutes trying to figure out what's happening and decide we should go after him. That's it for the Wynn...

We walk over to Pure in Caesear's to do a little clubbing but soon decide that on a Saturday night, at 1am, trying to get into one of Vegas' best clubs is not a smart idea, unless you want to stand in line for an hour. We end up in a sidebar in Caeser's, drinking my usual Tanqueray and tonics, joking and turning the overall feeling out the night around. Eric's foot "healed" we start venturing off in one of those drunken Vegas stupors when Eric eyes a cute girl walking by herself. So he leaves with her, letting us know he'll call in a few minutes. I sit down and start playing a little bit while Brian frets over his brother's previous actions. Eric calls as promised and we head to yet another sidebar in Caesar's.

Upon arrival, I meet this girl, shake her hand and immediately know she is a hooker. It's funny, two years ago, I would've never known. It's become sort of another sense in Vegas though. You can weed the hookers out from the normal girls almost instantaneously. Back to the situation at hand, I walk to the other end of the bar to order myself a drink and call Eric and Brian over, as if asking drink orders. It was at this point, I fill them both in and we take off. The rest of the night is a bit blurry. I think we were at the Imperial Palace playing Keno (?) for a long while but I'm not quite sure.

Sunday was the last day and didn't involve much. We went to the Orleans for a little more blackjack then took off for my redeye back.

All in all, a pretty tame trip. At least I thought. On Tuesday afternoon I get this email from Eric, "Addam, hope you made it home safe and sound. We ended up at Pure on Sunday night and afterwards me and this girl got bounced from the Flamingo's pool @ 430AM...naked...ahh Vegas!"

Ahh Vegas indeed...

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