I cast my absentee ballot last week, but Phil headed to our poll site this morning before our flight while I tackled some loose ends for work. We were worried we'd face a big flight delay with the wintry mix Mother Nature served up this morning, but we only suffered a minor setback. We weren't able to avoid the de-icer (never, ever a good sign...once on a biz trip with a friend/colleague, we waited in line for an hour for our plane to be de-iced only for the de-icer to run out of de-icing fluid...grrr), but ended up arriving less than 30 minutes later than our planned arrival. And, when you're greeted with 70-degree sunshine, how can one complain?
We had a friendly, informative cab driver who pointed out all of the new construction sites since our last visit to Sin City two years ago. Amy, you'll be pleased to know that he said the Stardust implosion was the best he'd ever seen (he's lived in Vegas since the 50's and has made a point of attending casino demolitions). There's a new hotel/casino in between the Venetian and the Wynn called Palazzo that looks amazing. Hopefully, we can check it out this week. Also, the City Center is a project slated for completion in 2010 that sports a price tag to the tune of $8.7 billion according to our cabbie.
We checked in at the Wynn, unpacked and then I wrapped up some work. Headed out around 5 p.m. to Bally's/Paris (two of our fav spots to play Pai Gow poker) and fooled ourselves with how long of a walk it would be. It's amazing how you can see a casino "right in front of you" and yet it takes 30 minutes to walk there since their size is ginormous and misleading. I lusted after a ridiculously tall drink in a hideous Eiffel Tower glass with a straw (oh, I will have one by week's end), a green BCBG dress and ruched cowboy boots, but Phil kept me on track and we found a Pai Gow table with a low minimum ($10) at Bally's and gambled away.
One of the reasons we love Pai Gow is because you have a good chance of at least pushing (or tying the dealer), so it feels like your money lasts longer. Didn't quite work out that way tonight. Phil started out strong while I kept getting bad hands (this is pretty typical. My favorite part of gambling with Phil is when I run out of chips and he lets me skim off his pile). Then I started getting a few pushes and wins and things looked up as Phil almost doubled his money. Long story short, we played until we were both famished (we hadn't eaten for about 8 hours at this point) and walked away with a combined total of $6.75. No, I didn't leave out any decimal points or digits. Ouch.
Phil and I had a love/hate relationship with our dealer, Lee, tonight and we still remember and reference our favorite (Dolly, Bally's) and detested (Jan, Treasure Island, and Mavin, Paris) dealers from previous visits. We also fondly remember folks we've met at tables (we once played with some guys who kept making $3K bets on my dealt hands, which freaked me out) and the weirdos that are commonplace at the casinos...tonight we met a little person leprechaun outside of O'Shea's.
After our pride-swallowing loss, we hungrily staggered over to Caesars Palace to try its buffet, Lago. Phil looooves buffets. This one was OK, but won't go down as one of our favorites. After we refueled, we convinced ourselves that our luck would change by gambling someone else's money (Kim's), and so we played the Wheel of Fortune slots at Harrah's with the lucky $20 bill she gave us to win her big money with hopes of repeating her $200 win from her last visit. Sorry, Kim, you're a loser, just like us. Hilariously, the only time we won credits was when we scored three lines straight across (basically nothing x 3). That about sums up our luck for the night.My social media conference starts tomorrow, and I am psyched! I start off with a hands-on podcasting seminar first thing. Wish us better luck (and fortune) for tomorrow evening.