Woke up, and saw myself in the mirror over the bed. I’m sure that might be more interesting if my wife were with me on this trip, but individually, waking up to see my own groggy head wasn’t the most exciting experience. I had to call Kim (a.k.a. “AAl’s mom”) and thanked her for the great room, which is very nice, aside from the shower head which seems placed for persons of much smaller stature than I, but the lovely view of the strip from my window more than makes up for having to bend over to wash my hair.
I stopped to eat at the cafe restaurant downstairs, and while waiting for my food to arrive, saw a few people gathering on the lawn outside the window. There was a guy in a tux, a blond girl in a strapless white dress, an older gent in a grey suit, and a few hangers-on… and pretty soon the ceremony commenced. So, lucky me, I got start my first morning in Vegas watching a very cute couple get married. (Congratulations, whoever you are!) Soon after, my food arrived, and I got to enjoy them being posed in awkward positions by their photographer while I ate. I was supposed to meet Kim’s casino host when he came on at 3pm, so I killed a little time (and money) gambling while I waited for the appointed time. Eventually, I saw Harry, the casino host, and he gave me some free tickets to the shows here at the Tropicana, which was nice. As Kim says, “free is always good,” especially if you’re trading off of someone else’s good name with the casino to get it.
Afterwards, I went exploring for a bit, and noticed a few things were a bit different from the last time our gang was here. Some old construction was done (except for the Wynn hotel still nearing completion, which had just broken ground last time), and new construction had started (Caesar’s Palace is building new shops). The second big difference was the much more aggressive selling of sex. Small armies of hispanic guys are on every street corner, making flicking noises with their pamphlets while they jab them at your eyes, and wearing bright orange T-shirts that say GIRLS DIRECT TO YOUR ROOM with their phone number. Big billboard trucks roam the streets with ads for escorts, and most curious of all is the existence of what I can only describe as Hooker Trading Cards, rubber-banded to every light pole, stuck in every chain link fence and laid out on every available flat surface. I wonder if they’ve become a collector’s item– sort of a Pokémon for adults.
Pretty soon it started getting dark, cold and windy, and I noticed lots of shivering people in summer dress heading back to their hotels. I decided to follow suit and go get my pullover before continuing on. I thought I might go to a movie, but when I got back to my room, the Vegas promo magazine had an ad for Wayne Brady at the Mirage, so I called and got tix. In my time remaining, I walked around, eventually found a good deal on a new camera (which I had been intending to get before I left), and took my purchase to the show. Wayne was awesome– he basically did a live version of Whose Line…? with a few other guys. The hour and a half show was hilarious, and I walked back to the Tropicana a sleepy, happy man.