Saturday, April 21, 2001

*Viva Las Vegas* Part Two:

As we peered up at the massive tower the excitement began. Shanna was all dumb and scared as usual, but we went inside and bought our tickets. It was like $11 bucks. Whats up with that? So we get in the elevator and begin our climb up and our ears being to pop. What a suck job that must be to run that elevator all day. Once were at the top its pretty much night allready and the view is insane. Last year we were there during the day and it was cool, but at night its hella cool. We notice theres a big line for the Big Shot ride so we get in it and wait. As we are standing till we notice the room swaying. This wasnt exactly a comforting feeling, but it was weird cus we seemed to be the only ones who noticed. After another elevator ride we reached the top and Shanna began whining. "I change my mind!" "I dont wanna go!". Bah I say!! I force her to get in the seat, even though I know shed never waste the $11 and go back down. So its kinda like a Freefall ride where youre strapped in to a seat that shoots you up the side of the building and then drops you. I didnt really know what to expect cus usually these arent too scary, but this one was pretty crazy. They were playing cheesy ass music which was lame, but once we were strapped in, they just count down and it blasts you off super fast. So you go up like a couple hundred feet at least, not to mention you are allready like 1000 feet off the ground on top of the tower. And right when you get to the top, it stops for like 2 seconds, just long enough for your brain to realize how high you are. And the scary part is, at the very top you cant see any of the building below you, so its kinda freaky. Then all of a sudden it drops you and you see all the lights getting closer and closer and your ass actually leaves the seat for a moment. Pretty cool. Then it hits the bottom and you sorta bounce back up, but not quite as high. They shoot you up and down a few times, but its not a freefall so its not really scary.But that freefall in the begining is definetly worth the $11.

So we get off the ride and this is where the comedy begins. We walk around the outside for a while. Stop to pay our respects in the spot where Heather B. once bungeed on the Real World Challange. To think I could have stepped where her perfect and beautiful feet had once stood. Siiiiiigh. Anyways we see this sign that says "Ride Again" so we walk over to this booth with a man selling tickets. He is an elderly man, with cold blue eyes and a long wild beard. (Picture that old man in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade who has to guard the Holy Grail) "How much is it to ride again?" I ask. He says $3, with a bit of an attitude. We look around and see people waiting and begin to ask if we have to wait in line again or if we can just get on the ride, only he doesnt let us finish the question. He interjects in a thick, mean toned english accent, "GO THROUGH THE GLASS DOORS BEHIND YOU THAT SAY RIDE ACCESS!!!!" This is great but we wanna know if we have to wait in a line. I ask again, "But is there a line to ride again?" He replies with even more anger and hostility, actually yelling at us, " TURN AROUND WALK THREE STEPS BEHIND YOU AND THERE IS A GLASS DOOR THAT SAYS RIDE ACCESS!!! GO THROUGH THAT DOOR TO RIDE AGAIN!!!!" All with a Sean Connery like accent. So I just start laughing cus hes obviously gone nutty, perhaps because of the altitude, and Shanna gets pissed and we decide not to spend the $3 just cus this guy is such an idiot. We walk away from his little table, but close enough so he can still hear and see us and we laugh and make fun of him so he can see. For the rest of the trip, the catch phrase remains, " TURN AROUND AND WALK 3 STEPS BEHIND YOU THROUGH THE GLASS DOOR THAT SAYS RIDE ACCESS!!!". Hah.

So we head back down to ground level and hop back on the bus. Granted Las Vegas busses are alot nicer than L.A.'s, but we just happened to get on one that was like an episode of Jerry Springer realized. It was straight up white trash salad. This family, who were all so closely related in age it was impossible to tell who was mother - father, or brother - sister, sat in front of us and we watched the mother/sister pick her nose the whole ride home. And i dont mean a casual nose brush here or there, I mean legit digging for burried treasure. Like for minutes at a time. We also saw the father/brother scratch his balls a few times. Las Vegas public transportation rules. This time we get off the bus a little early and go to the world largest gift store. Let me just say this place fucking rules!! We went here last time too. They have so much cool cheesy vegas stuff its insane. They have everything from golden dice with bling blingin diamonds to tacky turquiose jewelry in any animal shape imaginable.I got a crap load of cool stuff...A green plastic Las Vegas Visor, 2 gigantic plastic goldfish, a hat that says "I lost my A__ in Vegas,and some really cool monkeys wearing fez's salt and pepper shakers. Vegas gift shops rule.

So as for the rest of our time spent in Vegas nothing too exciting happend. I mean it cant really get much better than the worlds largest gift shop. We visited a bunch more hotels and the Mandalay Bay was by far the hippest. They had all these cool resturants, one called Areole or something thats all neatly designed and has this massive glowing wine tower in the middle. And another cool one called Rumjungle which was also a hip club. We actually broke our no buffet rule and had thier buffet but it was actually really good. We also checked out the Gameworks arena down the street which was kinda crazy. They had this cool indoor rock climbing wall that I wanted to do but Shanna wouldnt do it with me. She also wouldnt do thiis cool video game where you stand infront of this blue wall and do kung fu moves and you actually fight each other on screen. What a loser. But we did play knock hockey.

For our last day we decided to have a day of relaxation and we both got massages. I think this was my favorite part of the trip acutally. It was all relaxing and the two minutes they rubbed my feet were quite possibly the two greatest minutes of my life. After our massages and hours spent lounging in the saunas and whirlpools we checked out of the hotel and went to do some last minute shopping before our flight home. We went back to Mandalay Bay for lunch where Shanna found some great wooden chopsticks and bowls. Only Shanna would go to Vegas and come back with wooden chopsticks and bowls. We also went back to the Virgin Megastore because when I had bought Stephen Malkmus, which rocks by the way, it came with this Virgin Mix CD which was seriously the coolest free CD ive ever seen. It has Stephen Malkmus, Hooverphonic, Old 97's, Black Eyed Peas, Badly Drawn Boy, American Hi Fi, The Donnas, At the Drive In, and this cool band I went back to Virgin to buy, called Sigur Ros. Im not sure how you pronounce it, but they are really really cool. Theyre playing Coachella with Weezer and the Dandies, but Im not going. So after Virgin we went to this M&M store that has all the worlds tackiest M&M merchandise available. We got some weird colored M&M's like beige, turquoise, and grey, and a few Chupachup Lollipops for the plane ride home and the n got our bags and headed to the airport. Because this is us, and this had been a good vacation, something had to go wrong, so our plane was delayed 2 hours. We sat in the Las Vegas airport and watched Ally McBeal and blind date with strangers and then finnally got home. Jandk picked us up, what pals.

And so you have it. My Spring Vacation. I think weve all learned a few valuable lessons here. #1) gambling is for suckers, #2) dont fly Southwest Airlines, and #3) nothing is funnier than crabby old englishmen with beards. Viva Las Vegas.

Tuesday, April 17, 2001

*Viva Las Vegas* Part One:

Actually I should call this "Viva Lost Wages" cus I have ultimately decided that gambling is for suckers. I didnt win jack. I didnt lose much because fortounetly I came to this realization early on but still, I have no luck whatsoever. Anyhows, after our extremely turbulent flight our stewardess sang us this little song over the speaker about Lost Wages which was pretty funny. Shanna and I then took a cab to our hotel and managed to stiff the driver on his tip cus we didnt know how much to give. It was an $11.50-something ride so I gave him $13 bucks. Then we asked the check in guy at our hotel and he said apparently this was way to little. Oh well. So we stayed at the Flamingo Hilton which was straight up Miami Vice. Palmtrees, Flamingos and neon pink everywhere. Our room was straight out of 1985 but pretty nice. Not pretty nice was the buffet. We were starving when we got there so we decided to shell out $15 for the Flamingo Buffet and this was a major mistake. Theres nothing worse than nasty mass produced low quality food on an empty stomach, and I payed the price. Needless to say we then implemented the "NO MORE BUFFETS" rule for the rest of the trip.

The coolest part about our hotel was that it was right in the center of the strip so we were right in all the action. Oh and there was rumored to be wild Cooters running about around our hotel but we didnt see any. So we checked out the strip and first went to Ceasers Palace which was right across the street. They had this whole mall inside with crazy moving statues and cool stores. There was a neat FAO Schwartz with a bunch of cool toys , a Diesel store, and a great big Virgin Megastore. We had gotten a coupon for 20% off at the Virgin store so I got some cool CD's. The new Steve Malkmus which I havent even listend to yet but I hear is really good, and I also found the Garbage single for You Look So Fine. I think I previously mentioned my recent obsession with this song so I was pretty psyched to find the CD. So eventually we made our way back into Ceaser's Casino, which is where Shanna developed her new addiction. It actually started the last time we were in vegas, but she has a slight obsession with those Pusher machines, where you drop a coin in and it lands with the rest and little arms go in and out pushing them all forward, and the ones that fall over the edge you win. Its always "so close" that "just one more" will make you win. Just ask Shanna. After about an hour I finally pulled her away from the machine and we went galavanting down the strip. We ended up at the MGM Grand where we gambled for a lil while and drank a bunch of free cocktails to keep the glasses to keep as souvineers. Then we went to Fat Tuesdays and had some beverages and cherry bombs and tipsly made it back on the trams to our hotel.

The next day we mosied...(or is that moesied?) down the strip and checked out a few more hotels and ended back at Ceasers for lunch and of course more Coin Pusher machines. After I was able to pull Shanna away from the machine, kicking and screaming we hopped our cheap asses on the bus and went down to the Stratosphere. The moment of truth had arrived......