Saturday, May 28, 2016

What happens in Vegas....well, you know.

Well....first things first: I'd like to say "Howdy" from Sin-City!

Yep...we are in Las Vegas. Got here yesterday afternoon, and Jeannie's brother John and his sweetie Peggy flew in just a bit earlier (from Virginia).

Las Vegas (Lost Wages)....the original home of decadence and sin and madness and excess. It's beautiful in a mad overkill sort of way. My first thought whenever I'm in town is "if everybody who CLAIMS they 'won' did, this place would be a large trailer-park in shambles. Instead it's the poster-child of wild extremes of excess. I can't even begin to fathom just the electric-bill for one casino/hotel...let-alone the cost of construction and then operations day to day. I'm not much of a I HATE to contribute my hard earned money to their power bill...but I sure like to watch Jeannie win (which she usually does).

Yesterday we went into Wynn, Encore, and the Venetian. After playing blackjack and some Wheel of Fortune slots, Jeannie and John played some craps for a bit (Jeannie had never played craps before) takes a 4 person crew to run a craps table. And for a while it was just Jeannie and John any given moment there was only between $20 and $30 on the table in bets (it's a minimum $10 bet on the table per person). But I guess that's how craps goes...didn't take long before the other side of the table had 3 or 4 guys all placing bets...both Jeannie and John were pretty good at rolling good numbers it seemed, and a crowd gathers when Jeannie starts whooping it up by winning $20. Soon there's bets of all sorts all over the table, and the dice are flying (sometimes leaping off the table). What a crazy game!

Anyway....our babies (both of them) are at home of course. Sophie is farmed out to a friend who is watching her for us, as we didn't want to leave her along with PG (who is still the alpha of the pack). We found out LONG ago that even tho WE are the big-pack-leaders, PG is the "alpha" of the 4-legged pack (or 3 in her case)...however if we go away for too long there is a 'reshuffle' of who's in charge...PG and Sydney had it out LONG ago on one of our trips (surprisingly PG maintained her status as Sheriff). Now that PG is 14& 1/2 years old and only has 3 legs, we don't want to imagine her scuffle with a 55lb bulldog puppy...I think PG would lose fast as Sophie would take her to the ground quick...and that would kill her in spirit for sure. So now that Sweet Pea is running pain-free in the tall green grass with Sydney, PG is truly alone at home for the first time in about 13 years (we have a friend coming over once a day to feed her)...we have doggie-doors and she goes outside whenever she wants for 'business', but I'd bet dollars to donuts that she lies around for the other 23.5 hours a day (which is likely very close to a 'normal' day when we are at work).

But we already got a report last night that PG is doing fine...and ate her dinner all up (we were worried). We'll be here until next Wednesday when we drive she only gas 5 more days to go. As long as she doesn't get sad and go on a hunger strike.

So...ANYWAY...back to VEGAS. Last night we had a 1 night stay in a Marriott Springhill Suites we moved into the Marriott Grand Chateau Vacation Resort for the duration of our trip. I'll only stay here thru Sunday morning, then I'm heading over to Pahrump to spend a few days with my dad, then I'll come back on Tuesday as Jeannie and I are going to our first-ever Vegas show...the Cirque de Solei (there are a few different shows, not sure which one we are going to, but I bet it will be FANTASTIC). We are going to the Marriott Vacation Resort 'buy-in' thing tomorrow morning and they will pay $250 of our tickets for the show (which run over $140 EACH). So after the dust settles, our tickets will cost us $42 for both. Not a bad deal for an hour and a half of our time (and saying "NO" several times).

Here are some pictures...Vegas is always so photographic!

At the Venetian....the 2nd floor has replica waterways of Venice Italy. How cool is THAT!
This is actually ABOVE the casino! 

Here's Jeannie walking down one of the hallways in the Venetian....nope, no money was spent HERE in sirree...boring plain ol' architecture. NOT! 

The view from our Thursday night stay Marriott Springhill suites (22nd floor). The crazy HUGE parking lot in the bottom of the pic is part of the Las Vegas Convention Center. 

Here's a shot of the hotel we are staying the rest of the week in...the Marriott Grand Chateau Vacation Resort....not too shabby...and just about a half block off of the Strip (Las Vegas Blvd). 

 The view from the roof of our hotel (from the pool and Skybar on the 38th floor). Looking towards the MGM Grand, the Luxor, The Excalibur, and New York New York.

 Again from the roof, looking up the strip a bit more, not even sure what hotel/casinos these are. I think the one in the lower right (the funky shaped one, is part of the Aria (but not totally sure).

 Continuing on up the strip (to the east).

 The Cosmopolitan, the Bellagio (in the back), and Planet Hollywood.

And the rest of the view, not even sure what hotel the blue-room building is.

OK....I'm going to wrap this up and go eat breakfast and get on with our busy day.

Happy Memorial Day (weekend) everybody!



  1. Hey Matt, love your write-up & the photos! Hope Jeannie won lots of moola!

    The NBA Finals started last night & 'my' LeBron & the Cavs are playing a rematch with the Warriors. Alas, last night my guys didn't play great (except in spurts) & even though the Warriors' 2 main guys (Steph & Klay) had a subpar night, we still lost by 15. OUCH. Oh, well, onto the next game!

    Hey, did you read about last Friday at the Giro? MAJOR action/shakeup! Nibbles came back from the 'dead', the current leader crashed into a 3 ft snowbank & busted his bike/lost time/the lead AND podium & the guy who'd been in 5th crashed off the road (unseen) but the helicopter later showed him on the ground next to a creek & his bike 15 feet away. He wasn't moving at all at 1st & it looked scary but luckily, he "just" had a broken collarbone & shoulder I think. He had to drop out of the race but it COULD have been worse. NIbbles ended up winning the stage & hauled himself from 4th to 2nd. And then Saturday, the new leader cracked & Nibbles attacked & ended up getting into the lead & won the thing Sunday!

    Anyhoo, unless you're a diehard Warriors fan, can you cross your fingers for LeBron & the boys? :) :)

  2. Hey Susie...I forgot to even LOOK at the Giro the last out of nowhere...amazing finish!

    I can't say I'm a big bb fan in general...but Golden State w/ Step has been pretty good the last few years...I would like to see Lebron get a championship this year I'll honor your request and root against the 'home-team'.

    Too bad Jeannie didn't hit a big progressive jackpot...I'd have mailed my badges n stuff to work and retired on the spot...alas, I'm back at the salt-mine...the world needs more salt. Rats.

    Such is got HOT all of a sudden...trying to figure out where to ride my MTB tomorrow...not into a triple-digit ride if I can find someplace along the coast that's not so hot...we shall see.

    Gotta run..have a nice weekend!

  3. Hey Matt - LeBron & the Cavs won! Whooo-hoooo! Still can barely believe it after we were DOWN 1 game to 3! I hope now that all the "haters" can just shut up about his "legacy". Drives me crazy! Anhyoo, after the 1st two horrible games by the Cavs (did not play like themselves at all), they started righting the ship. But it wasn't until their backs were against the wall in Game 5 (the 1st of 3 straight elimination games) that they really flipped the script! I'm still kinda in shock. Deliriously happy shock, but shock. Thanks for your rooting support! Maybe since I call LeBron "Sweet Pea", you can feel connected too. :)

    Now I can rest for a few days & then starts 3 straight weeks of Olympic Trials in gymnastics, swimming, & track & field, followed immediately by the TDF & then the OLYMPICS! I won't sleep for 2 months! :) :)

    If you purchase the package with NBC-SN now, you can start watching the Olympic Trials stuff too. Some will be on NBC & the rest on NBC-SN. The Diving trials started Sunday & is on NBC-SN every night this week.

    I still haven't seen NBC-SN's Tour TV schedule yet. I keep checking the site every day & nuthin! It's less than 2 weeks away!

    Hey, did you see that Contador may come to the Trek team after this season? I'm glad he's put off retirement for now as I really would like to see him beat Froome at the TDF at least once. Thanks to either no TV coverage or coverage at 2:00 AM, I've barely seen any cycling this year although I DID get to see Spartacus win the Tour de Susie prologue! Yeah! As I don't think he'll be in the Tour, that was probably the last time I'll get to see him race in a pro event. I can't remember if he'll be at the Olympics or not. Gosh, I will miss him! Almost all the cyclists that I really followed/rooted for (during & immediately after Lance's generation) are retiring one by one & there are almost none left.

    How are you doing? Busy as usual? Riding your bike? PLEASE be careful, I worry so much about you & everyone here who rides on the roads.

    Alrighty, gotta scoot. Hope to hear from you (& Rae, Barb, anyone!) soon. :)

  4. Yo Susie, great to hear from you again! I was pretty happy that the Cav's pulled it out...figured if ANYBODY deserved a championship at least once in their career, LeBron is that man. And to pull it out after going down 3 to 1...that's pure sports-history!

    I won't be upping our satellite package to get the Tour until right before it won't get to see any of the Olympic trials. Hard to believe le Tour is SO close all of a sudden...gosh, where has the year gone? I'll be very sad if Fabian doesn't race the Tour...that would just be sad.

    Life is somehow quite busy (as usual). We're still reeling about the loss of our Sweet Pea...still so hard to believe she's gone. I've been pretty much Mt biking only (tho I did take the road bike out about a month or so ago and did a double loop of our local HC climb...40 mile loop w/ a 10 mile 4500' climb in the middle of it...VERY few cars on that loop typically, which is good cuz I'm quite afraid of cars lately (when I'm on a bike). But cars aren't a prob on the Mt bike...but there are cows here and there, and I'm now quite scared of them too. Currently following the 2016 Tour Divide mtb race...the leader (Mike Hall) is at mile 2255, and he's shooting for a 13 day ride (the entire route is 2700 self-supported miles, with over 300,000' of climbing). He's a MANIAC, and is still ahead of last years 14 day record pace. I think he's on day 11 right now (it's almost 3am as I type, and he's STILL moving at this very moment!) I'm working 3rd shift all week, testing some mods to our equipment. Actually it's nice and quiet working the 'graveyard' shift...and I can ride my bike every morning before I go home to sleep.

    Gotta scoot, time to take readings and then eat some lunch (dinner/breakfast?) Later gater!

  5. GUESS WHAT?! Spartacus will ride the TDF after all! Whoo-hoooo! So happy we can all watch him one last time at the Tour!