As you prepare for Christmas and all the holiday traditions, take a moment to reflect on the true meaning of the season. And nowhere is that more present than in Vegas -- Bethlehem with slots. Here's my holiday travelogue from a few Decembers ago. Gather up the whole family and enjoy.
and I just got back from a brief weekend in Las Vegas, or, as I like to
call it, "Three Card Monty for the Red States". Many big attractions
there this holiday weekend. The annual rodeo, the Anti-Aging conference,
the Jose Luis Castillo/Joel Casamayer title bout. But we were there to
see Linda Eder. Ms. Eder is a spectacular singer -- Barbra Streisand but
at affordable prices and you never have to suffer through "Evergreen".
We've become friends with her manager, Dave, who graciously invited us
to join him for her concert. Since we likely would have gone to Vegas
for Christmas anyway, we gladly accepted.
Stayed at the Mandalay
Bay. Dave is also a VP of something for the House of Blues (who knows
more about the blues than the Jews?) and arranged for us to get a room
on the "House of Blues" floor. It had the two things Debby and I require
in a hotel room -- a fabulous view and voodoo decor.
joking about the annual Anti-Aging conference. But am I the only one who
finds it odd to hold an Anti-Aging conference in the one place where
people stay up all hours drinking, gorging, smoking, and enduring the
enormous stress of losing their money? I guess it's held there out of
respect for Joan Rivers. My feeling is if the President of the
Anti-Aging organization isn't 117 then it's a sham.
Friday night at Rumjungle in the hotel. Very classy. Girls dance in
cages above your head. To me that is classy. To Vegas it's positively
Interesting crowd at the hotel because of all the
special events. A lot of shitkickers (I assume for either the rodeo or
"Mamma Mia") and the prizefight attracted several hundred Ruben
Studdards decked out in jewelry and Oakland Raider sweatsuits. Rode in
an elevator with one -- a mean looking dude in black sunglasses. He
said, "you here for the fuckin' fight, man?" I sheepishly had to say
"No, the Linda Eder concert". I'm lucky I'm still alive.
This week a boxing title match, next week an ice spectacular featuring American Idol loser Diana DeGarmo.
The headliner at the hotel was Larry the Cable Guy. If Shecky Green were dead he'd be rolling in his grave.
as I said, a full Broadway production of "Mamma Mia", not to mention a
separate "Mamma Mia" STORE. Someone had a great line about Abba. It's
like being hit in the head with Ikea furniture. You appreciate the
craftmanship but it hurts.
I won $20 in blackjack. Debby lost $.55 in the slots. I doubt if we'll be comped the next trip.
I think there were Christmas lights and decorations up all over town. Who could tell?
waitresses were all attractive with massive chests. If there was a
flood on the casino floor they would float to the surface.
most beautiful girl I saw there was a parking valet attendant bundled in
a heavy coat. If she got a boob job I'm sure she could get an inside
job. Maybe Santa will be good to her.
Next day we hit the beach.
Yes, Mandalay Bay has it's own beach. Unfortunately, the ocean was
turned off. No waves. But Debby and I took a long walk along the grid
that serves as the shore and gazed out at the horizon to see the Lance
Burton Magician billboard on Las Vegas Avenue.
there we hotel hopped. Had to stop in at the Excalibur -- a casino in
Sleeping Beauty's castle. This is home to the black socks, shorts, and
wife beater shirt crowd. You know you're in trouble when they have a
special parking lot just for motorhomes. Handing a pair of dice to one
of these idiots is like handing a gun to a monkey.
Then on to the
Bellagio, where Debby and I checked out the Monet exhibit at their fine
arts gallery. (How can you go to Vegas and not stop in a museum??) I
imagine when most of the tourists saw the ad for the exhibit they said,
"Hey, they spelled money wrong!" The paintings were glorious and it was
just nice to be in the only room in Las Vegas where everybody voted for
Kerry. I can only imagine the paintings Monet himself would have made
had he been to Las Vegas. "The Imperial Palace as seen from the Luxor".
highlight of the trip was the Linda Eder concert. It's the third time
I've seen her. I realize that if I see her one more time I'm officially
gay. But I don't care. That will happen in March when she performs in
Northridge. The only problem was that her concert hall was impossible to
find. It's somewhere on the UNLV campus -- the Jerry Tarkanian Music
Hall, or something like that -- and even cab drivers have no idea where
this is. Dave and I set out for the sound check. The venue is five
minutes from our hotel but we wound up somewhere near the Mustang Ranch.
The only map on how to get there was on the ticket envelope you pick up
at the box office. But we ultimately found it and the concert was
wonderful. Celine Dion can't carry her Chloraseptic.
early this morning. McCarran airport is the worst in the country re
security checks. You actually DO have to allow two hours. It's bad
enough you have to remove your shoes, but the spurs must come off too
and that takes some time.
And now we're home, shopping for voodoo wallpaper.
MERRY CHRISTMAS EVERYONE!!
This and other travelogues can be found in my book, WHERE THE HELL AM I? (TRIPS I HAVE SURVIVED) available here. Ebook only $3.99. It's the perfect gift for anyone who loves to travel or stay home.