A couple of weeks ago, Bill and I spent a couple of days in Las Vegas. It wasn’t a planned trip, but one thrown together out of odd necessity…. if there is such a thing. Every year, around this time, our friend Alvin makes the drive from Newark to Las Vegas for his birthday. We call it his annual pilgrimage. It happens to coincide with CES, so finding a reasonably priced hotel room is not easy. Bill got a great deal at the Flamingo so he gave it to Alvin and his friend Carlos. Bill needed to be there to check Alvin in, so he was just going to fly there for a few hours and then fly home. A little later, we found out that Bill’s parents were planning to spend a few days in Las Vegas starting on Sunday. Bill got another great deal at the Wynn, so he gave it to his parents. Again, he needed to be there to check them in, so it became a trip for both of us.
On approach. Vegas should show up any second now…
Of course, Bill was all out of hotel deals for the two of us… so he asked Louie if he had one. Sure enough, Louie had received the same deal at the Flamingo and graciously gave it to us. So Louie and Nicole flew with us Saturday afternoon to Las Vegas. The four of us had lunch at the Cheesecake Factory at Caesars Palace. (don’t get me started with Louie and choosing restaurants…) Louie and Nicole flew back to Long Beach that evening. They didn’t need to stay because they were planning to spend a weekend in Las Vegas in a few weeks.
Bill and I stayed up late Saturday night playing penny slots and doing lots of people watching. Two huge conventions were happening in Las Vegas… CES and the AVN Convention. The electronics geeks convention and the porn convention. Neither of us actually visited the conventions, it made for some very interesting people watching in the hotels and casinos!
Sunday morning we hung around the gardens of the Flamingo to check out their pool area. It was closed for the winter, but was still pretty nifty. You’d think with all the conventions and the fact that we were in Vegas to begin with, I’d have taken some awesome photos. Nope, I got wildlife… and buildings. Yeah, lame.
There’s quite a bird sanctuary with a variety of Flamingos (of course!). Logan would call them “fi-fi-gos.”
There were a lot of ducks, geese and even some long-necked swans that were black. They were too far away to get a good photo. And there was a big variety of colored koi.
Playing with different shutter speeds on the camera… no we weren’t creating postcards for the hotel.
The Flamingo was originally owned by Bugsy Siegel and there’s a little memorial to him in the gardens.
Funny enough, it talks about Mr. Siegel’s preoccupation with safety,
“On this site, Benjamin “Bugsy” Siegel’s original Flamingo Hotel stood from December 26, 1946 until December 14, 1993. The hotel, which housed 77 rooms, including the notorious Mr. Seigel’s “Bugsy Suite” was unique in more ways than one. The windowpanes, for instance, were bullet proof and although there was only one entrance to the top-floor suite, there were five possible exits. This included a hidden ladder leading from the hallway closet to a basement tunnel, which led to an underground garage where Bugsy allegedly had a chauffeured getaway car awaiting at all times.”
I guess it didn’t do him much good as he was killed in Beverly Hills.
Sunday around noon, we met up with Alvin and Carlos at Caesars and had a nice brunch at Mesa Grill. If you’re not a fan of the Food Network, then you might not know the significance of Mesa Grill. It’s owned by celebrity chef Bobby Flay. We actually would have preferred to eat from the lunch menu instead of brunch. But it was still tasty. Bill had spicy chicken and sweet potato hash with poached eggs and a green chile hollandaise. Carlos had scrambled egg chilaquiles with a roasted tomatillo sauce, white cheddar cheese and creme fraiche. Alvin had scrambled egg enchiladas with chorizo, red chile sauce and goat cheese. I had a New Mexican spiced pork tenderloin sandwich with grilled red onion, arugula, ancho-chile mayo and southwestern fries. I really loved my sandwich, I’d definitely order it again. I’d like to visit Mesa Grill again and have lunch or dinner sometime.
Later in the day Bill and I picked up his parents from the airport and got them settled into their hotel room at the Wynn.
The Wynn on the left and its new neighbor, Encore. Yeah, they look the same. The decor inside Encore is noticably Chinese-looking with lots of red. Bill’s dad was saying something about Steve Wynn using the success of his casino in Macao as inspiration for the decor.
Talk about a drastic difference in hotel rooms when compared to the Flamingo! The basic room at the Wynn was gorgeous! Bill found the hotel phone ridiculous, so he took a picture. I can see myself trying to figure out how to make a simple phone call on there…
The room had a giant view. The Wynn golf course in in them middle. To the far right we could watch planes taking off from the airport. Bill and I both wished we were staying a few more days.
The trip was a lot of fun even though both of us felt like we’d been away from home far longer than thirty hours. It took me a little while to figure it out, but the last time I was in Las Vegas was exactly two years ago when Bill and I got engaged.