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Vegas - Day 5

(Before I forget—a word about Danny Gans. Unless you’ve been to Vegas, you have no idea who this guy is. He is a Vegas-only celebrity. He’s been at The Mirage for god-knows-how-many years and his strength is impressions—over 100 a night, so the ads claim. And he is very good at them, but he’s also incredibly unfunny. And a Christian singer. We’ve never actually seen his show, nor would we, we just know him by reputation. We’ve also seen the commercial, which was more than enough to put us off him for life. I think that he just has a pit bull of a publicist who generates this buzz that Danny is the guy to see in Vegas. As I mentioned before, The Mirage has a ninety-foot billboard of this guy right out front of the building, with a caption like:
Entertainer of the Year
-Danny Gans Magazine
If I’ve piqued your Danny Gans interest at all—given you some kind of morbid curiously—be sure to check out this link. Riot. Anyways, back to it…[This is one of my favourite websites in the world! –S.])

Breakfast is in our resort, at a place called Dishes, which has a beautiful entryway with a dozen flat screen TVs showing champagne being poured, green onions being chopped, the drizzling of oil into a pan. Supercool. We restrict ourselves to breakfast foods and feel good for it. I watch a lady in front of me tong out a huge plate of bacon for herself, because there are things you do in a buffet that you don’t do at home.

This is the only day where we don’t have anything special lined up—no show tickets, and no set meals. We devote the day almost entirely to gambling, and it turns into a ‘best of,’ at least venue-wise (my luck having gone cold by this point.) We start at The Mirage and then move over to TI. Then, more to see it than because we have any intention of gambling there, we walk to:

The Theme: Making you feel poor. [It’s not supposed to have a theme, but we know better…it’s all about Barcelona! –S.]
Why you know it: It’s the Strip’s newest casino, created by Vegas wonderboy, Steve Wynn.
What makes it good: Architectural details inspired by the work of Antoni Gaudi. [I felt like I was spending time at Parc Guell. –S.]
What makes it bad: Absurdly high end stores in the mall—basically, unless you own your own casino, you probably won’t be shopping here.
Just to say we did, Sarah puts a buck in a game called Lucky Seals and almost instantly turns it into ten. Not exactly breaking the bank, but that’s a 900% return on investment. See, now you’re impressed. [I am the St. Francis of gambling. –S.]

We go back to our single favourite casino, The Venetian, and I make a beeline for my single favourite game, Reel ‘em In. I’m afraid that I’ll taint my prior good experience there, but the machine loves me long time. Sarah is just giving money away, so she stops to watch me. Then we tag-team the machine and it pays out well—not jackpot well, but well within the spectrum of payouts we’ve seen to date.

At The Mirage again, we decide to take a little break from gambling and check out Sigfreid & Roy’s Secret Garden, which is a dolphin habitat and tiger sanctuary. We watch dolphins follow their trainer around the edge of the pool like dogs, and in the underground observation area we see a video of a dolphin birth (probably your least gross birth as far as births go.) In the area of big cats, the sanctuary has white tigers, white lions, plain vanilla tigers (which is to say, your orange and black variety), cheetahs, leopards and panthers. [They had an African elephant, but it died at the age of 57 three days before we arrived. In S & R tradition, her name was GILDAH. –S.] There’s only about six feet between the walkway and the enclosures, so we get remarkably close to these animals. Most are just dead asleep in the heat, but some put on a little show of grooming one another or eating leaves through the fence. Money well spent, we concur.

We go back to the room for a drink and Sarah succumbs to the cold that I’ve passed back to her (which will knock her on her ass for the two days after we get home.) She has a little snooze and I get to kick back with a drink and watch Smokey and the Bandit. Feeling a little better, Sarah springs back to life, and we grab dinner at another of the restaurants downstairs, California Pizza Kitchen. Then we go back to Caesars where I get to play Reel em In 2: Big Bass Fishing. I have okay luck, but when we go to cash out there seems to be some kind of general slot malfunction. We have to wait about half an hour for an attendant to come by and pay us by hand. Solace is found at the bottom of a few bottles of Heineken .

We return to the Bellagio in time to catch the fountains go off, which I’ll describe once more as ‘magical.’ After gambling for a short while (my luck has turned to poison while Sarah’s cash gets bled slowly away) we cut our losses and decide to finish up at MGM Grand (where the bad luck continues), then New York, New York. I’m disgusted with the money I’ve haemorrhaged all day, so I vow only to play nickel and quarter machines, one dollar at a time. Then I make the poor man’s discovery of a lifetime—a nickel poker machine—which I play on for an hour with just one sad little dollar. Sarah joins me later, and we play and drink and play and drink. Near three in the morning we try to lose our money so as not to have to collect the $1.75 we have coming to us, but this takes at least half an hour. We take a cab back to our room and crash. The next morning will be spent almost entirely in transit. We’ll get back to Ottawa with a slightly bigger gambling addiction, but fortunately with a drinking addiction no different than when we left.

All in all, an amazing trip. We’ll be back next year for Labour Day, if not sooner! -Sarah


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Jay said…
Wow, how to buy & sell everything!!

Sounds like a lurvly trip if you discount all the bleeding money parts.
Anonymous said…
"Dolphin habitat and Tiger Sanctuary"?

Why does that sound wrong?

Will you be spending more time in Hull now that you have been visited by Gamblor?
Omeaux said…
Hey there, just read through your Vegas trip. Amazing!!! I'll have to check it out sometime.

Q: Do you think that a couple could have a blast without gambling? (motioning to Katie and I)
Dave said…
I think so. You can always just walk the Strip, count the morbidly obese, and to day trips to the Grand Canyon and whatnot (which we never got around to.)

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