Fabulous Las Vegas

We've been to Vegas a few times over the years.  In fact, we got engaged in Vegas.  We love it and have enjoyed every trip we've taken together (as opposed to the vegas i Hated when i went alone).  People who know us always seem shocked to find out that we enjoy going...i'm not sure why exactly but do know how excited we were to be on our way.  It seemed the perfect answer to the "someone is renting our house, what do we do for a week" question.

We land in vegas after a bit of a weather delay.  Apparently storms brought in a barrage of rain for about 3 hours and everything on the strip flooded, including a few casino floors.   In all of our trips here, and all the things i've seen- i'm not sure rain is one of them.  Much less something that could cause flooding.

We hop in a cab to our casino and head straight to our room to catch the end of the game, and then it's straight to the casino floor to find the craps table.  Its been our game for years.  Ever since i got the courage once in new orleans to walk up to a table with $30 and ask how to play (and somehow walked away with $1300 in my pocket) Ive been hooked.big chip macdonald sculpture1 macdonald sculpture2For several years of gambling after that day I just never seemed to lose, which means i would find every excuse to play.  Stop at a casino on the road home from seattle, make a couple 100 dollars and dodge traffic.  Go to vegas or new orleans and go home richer...perfect.  I almost started to believe i should gamble professionally (but now see why that could have been a horrible idea).  Sadly, our last few trips to vegas haven’t been quite as lucky.  In fact we’ve had a pretty bad dry spell.  Combine that with the fact that we've been under a very strict savings plan and it just hasn't happened for a while.  

We find the tables and watch for a while trying to get the vibe.  I strike up a conversation with another gentleman from the northwest and decide to join the game.  Next time around the table, he and i hold the dice for a long while and rack up a sizable winnings for most players.  We are both betting small but most are less cautious and are winning thousands while we win hundreds.  It's a fun night to say the least and jen and i start our trip up a grand.  Winning is so much more fun than losing.

The next few days are up and down, but we dart between walking the strip, checking in on various craps tables and slowly spending the money vegas gifted us on the first night.  On our third day we hit the pool and realize there's a volleyball court.  Vegas just got even better!  The sun and heat are intense but we cant help but throw our hats in the ring.  We play til exhaustion and then float the lazy river for a while before heading back inside and to our room.photo 1headvball jen1

Neither of us can really put our finger on why we love this town.  We aren’t deep enough in the pockets to enjoy it the way many do with shows and luxurious meals, but we have a blast every time we come.  The table games are amazing, the people watching fantastic and the plethora of new things to see each and every time we come seems endless.  Sure vegas has its seedy underbelly, but much like new orleans, or even mexico- you can make it what you want it to be.  We choose for it to be fun and exhilarating, and it usually is. 

It's also an interesting lesson in how different we all view money.  To watch someone walk up to a table and put a thousand dollars or more on a one time roll is mind numbing to me.  Yes, we watched it time and again.  Yes, we saw it work and cheered while the casino counted out stacks of chips for them.  Yes, we also saw fail and watched people walk away with nothing.  I don't have the stomach for big gambles.  Its simply too easy to know what each and every one of those dollars buys in real life.  To know you have no control over the outcome.

This was our first time visiting Vegas midweek and certainly our first outside of winter.  We enjoyed the smaller crowds and the cheaper hotel rates (and lower table minimums).  Every time we would hit the table we would see someone we had played with before, and like the dealers, we started to know people by name.  Those crowds changed dramatically on friday when hoards flooded into the casinos like the rain must have done just before our arrival.  What were $5 tables were suddenly $25 and what was a small leisurely crowd turned to tables without an open spot to be found.  We eventually figured out that there was a big fight night scheduled for saturday.  No wonder we couldn’t find cheap rooms for the weekend!

We probably spent 6-10 hours a day standing at the craps tables, and much of the rest thinking about going back to try our luck again.  Other than a minor altercation with a pit boss after my lucky rolling privileges were taken away...it was all good times, winning or losing.  Definitely the beauty of winning big on our first night and gambling on house money.  All in, we ended the trip up (even if just barely). 

Thanks vegas- we’ll see you soon enough.pariscollumnsice sculpturecrapsscreen door