Vegas Vacation

February 05, 2023

I went to Vegas for four days and three nights.  

It's about a 2 hour flight there and a bit longer on the way back to Seattle.  I hadn't been in 13 years, but I decided to go by myself for a weekend.  

I got in about 5pm on Saturday, and Ubered to the Four Queens casino.  When I booked the trip I thought I would be staying on The Strip but it turned out I would be staying in old Vegas, which turned out to be a happy accident.  After I was done checking in I dropped off my luggage in my room and walked out the front.  The vibe was intense.  Loud music, lots of drinking, super crowded.  It was a bit overwhelming at first, it took me a little bit to adjust to the energy level.  

The first thing I did was walk up and down the popular part of Fremont Street.  There were live bands right in front of my hotel, and if there wasn't a live band there was a “Dancing DJ”  I can't be sure if it was the same girl there all the time wearing different wigs, or different girls going by that moniker.  

My first official stop was Evel Pie, which was highly recommended to me.  The name is a tribute to Evel Knievel.  I ordered a Guinness beer and a slice of pizza, sausage.  Both were great.  I asked the bartender what his favorite tequila was and he picked one, poured a shot for me and one for him and we did it together, which he gave me for no charge.  I immediately love Evel Pie after this.  Also the slice was amazing.

After my slice I walked down to find a cigar lounge, but as I passed Lucky Day Tequila & Mezcal House, it turns out I can't pass a Mezcal house.  I ask for the bar tender's Favorite mezcal, I can't remember which one it was but it was a good one.  

After talking to the bartenders there about finding a good Mexican restaurant, I moved on, and saw a giant guy who was a bouncer.  I asked him if he smoked cigars, and he said he did.  I said I had a feeling he did.  He directed me down the street a couple blocks.  It wasn't a lounge, but a shop, and I got there at 8:55 which was good luck because they closed at 9.  I got a stogie and headed outside on the second floor and sat at a table on a balcony.  This place was located in a alley of shops, and at the end there was a band playing, doing about half covers and half their own material.  There were a bunch of kids standing in front of the stage, which they could do for another hour as at 10pm the area become 21 and over only.  I sat and watched them from the second floor as I smoked my cigar and enjoyed them thoroughly.

After finishing my cigar I walked back towards my hotel, and stopped at The Smashed Pig.  I got an amber beer, a scotch, and a pesto chicken bacon sandwich.  It was pretty delicious.  Talked to the bar tenders a bit.  There were two girls working there, one was dark, short and covered in tattoos.  There is something inherently erotic about this, as when you can't help but think about what they look like naked.  Are they tattooed on every inch of their body?  

Walking back to the hotel I saw some girls in the street dressed as showgirls wearing g-strings, and one of them had a particularly ample backside.  It was interesting that it was the girls walking past who were staring the most.  Perhaps guys are just more used to getting a quick glimpse so they don't seem creepy.  

Right before I got back to the hotel, an 80's cover band was playing, the singer had a Devo hat on, the bassist was dressed like Rick James.  They were very good, so I stood there and listened to Raspberry Barret, Into the Groove, and others.  Finally I called it a night and went to bed.  I use a white noise app on my phone when I sleep which was much needed as the outside was loud as hell right outside my window, even though I Was 16 floors up.

The next day I got up, made my 1 serving cup of coffee and went downstairs.  Played roulette for a bit, lost money.  Went out side and was shocked at how cold it was before remembering how the dessert is hot during the day and cold at night.  It's weird to go to sleep when the weather is in the 90's and wake up in the low 70's.  I knew my next meal was going to be White Castle, which was a block away from my hotel but I had hours to kill before it opened at 11am.  I walked down Fremont, and spotted the Mob Museum.  That would be a great way to kill a few hours, and take my mind off that fact that I was starving.  

I walked to the museum, it was four floors and you took an elevator to the top floor and made your way back down.  It had a lot of information about organized crime, not just in Vegas but all over the US.  They had big pictures of Al Capone all over the place.  The guy's face in burned into my brain now.  If I had never seen him before and someone showed me a picture of him and asked what his profession was I would say he was a mobster.  He just has that look.  He probably as a kid looked at himself in the mirror and knew he was going to grow up a gangster.  

The museum was OK, not the highlight of the trip though.  I went back and walked through the Golden Nugget, a hotel right next to mine, and the only one on Fremont with a poker room which is my preferred method of losing money.  As I was walking around I looked at this poker table game and this girl sitting there told me to sit down next to her and play.  Losing all that Covid weight seemed paying off, so I sat down and she tried to teach me how the game worked.  I stayed a while but wasn't grasping it and losing money in the process so I moved on.

Finally I got to White Castle, for the second time in my life, and god damn those little burgers are good.  Especially because I hadn't had anything to eat so long.

The next few hours I spend playing the cash games at the poker room in the Golden Nugget.  

They had a really nice pool and unfortunately the pool in my hotel didn't open until 2 days after I left, which was a bummer because the specific reason I chose my hotel was based on it having a pool.

Eventually I got some tacos, some drinks, and ended up talking to this couple from Texas for a couple hours in the cigar lounge.  They gave me a ton of ideas for new vacations. It's interesting how you can meet a random person and have a deep and stimulating conversation, feel like you are as close as any two people, and then never see them again.  Fight Club calls them ‘Single Serving Friends’.

The next day I decided to go to the strip, so I had to figure out The Deuce which is the bus that goes between Fremont, the Strip and then stops at all the different casinos on the way.  It takes exact change only for a 24 hour pass which is 8 bucks, but if you download the app it makes it a lot easier.  My main goal was to go to In N Out burger so I could take a picture of it and post it to Instagram as is the custom with In N Out burger.  There was one right across from Caesar's palace, down an plaza that eventually leads to The High Roller, a huge Ferris Wheel.  I got my In N Out, which is delicious as always.  This one was actually pretty fast too.  There are some slow as hell In n Outs out there.  There were a bunch of other restaurants I wanted to eat at but you can only eat so much in one trip.

I walked into a casino which led to a walkway that led across the street to a mall that leads up to another mall that leads to Caesar's palace.  I found a cigar lounge in the middle of the mall, they must have had an amazing ventilation system because with all the people smoking inside you couldn't smell a hint of cigar smoke from the outside.  I got one of their wildly overpriced cigars, which was a pretty good Arturo Fuente, and smoked, then walked through the blue sky painted corridors full of shops.  A lot of celebrities have business ventures in Vegas, Sarah Jessica Parker had her own store and line of clothes there, among other celebrities.

I found another poker room in Caesar's palace, and this one had tournaments, which I much prefer to cash games.  If I had realized this I would have come over here much earlier.  One great thing about being alone in Vegas is you can get lost in any activity for as long as you like.  One guy at the poker tables answered his phone and told the other end, “Yeah, I'm just going to be one more hand.”  It was very nice to not have anyone waiting on anything I did.  Around 5 o clock a guy got up and said he had a plane to catch.  I realized what a better move he had made, than me having to get up early the next morning and worry about curbing my appetite for alcohol on the final day so getting up in the morning to catch a plane wouldn't be a nightmare.  

When you're going through the casinos on the strip you can find yourself in a maze of passages leading to other casinos, on and on, I ended up in the Bellagio, which as impressive as the fountains on the outside are, the inside didn't seem as elegant as I was expecting.  

Something I wasn't expecting to happen occurred, it got down to 71 degrees, and the winds up to 26 mph and it start raining.  Unfortunately I had chosen shorts and a t-shirt as I thought I'd be walking outside in the hot sun the whole day.  I found this beer park place, had a beer and a shrimp Caesar salad, went home had a cigar in the lounge at my hotel.

I sat down in a group of loud people watching basket ball.  I sat down, they asked me where I was from, they seemed friendly, then asked me what I thought about the game and I said I wasn't into basket ball and they stopped talking to me for the duration of my smoke.  

Went to bed and woke up at 4am and couldn't fall back asleep.  Caught my plane and headed home.  I will definitely go back again soon, I feel like I just scratched the surface of what there is to do there, hoover dam tours, strip clubs, rides, national parks, etc.  While there is so much to do, I also feel like 3 days in Vegas is about as much as I can handle at a time.


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