Sunday, January 3, 2010

Our Crap-tacular New Year

And sadly.... that is pretty literal.

So... it's long been the hubby's dream to experience New Year's Eve in Las Vegas. The usual problem is that he needs to be back at work the first Monday (or workday) after the NYE and NYD holiday to do inventory (meaning, he gets to stand outside in the cold January in Chicago weather and count signs and fun things like that). But the way the calender worked out this year and with both of us having a huge Vegas itch from not going for our usual summer trip... the hubby decided to make his dream come true and we booked the trip for the New Year's holidays.

(More like.... nightmare....)

Flight there on Wednesday was fine.... we were a little worried about the "new" security but by the hubby's calculations, it only took us about 10 minutes longer than normal to get through security (lines were long but moving... and they might have moved faster if they bothered to have more than two security screening lines open... c'mon people... this is O'HARE. There will be traffic). No problems with the cab... checked the bags at the Flamingo and then decided to head over to see the proof that City Center is no longer just a construction project.

I was utterly bummed to find out that the Trader Vic's at Planet Hollywood has closed - and has been taken over as a Cabo Wabo cafe (as I said to the hubby... Great. Sammy Hagar goes and ruins another thing that used to be good...). We loved their cocktails, we loved their appetizers. And I'd been planning on us getting our usual fix of duck on New Year's Day (our tradition is that I roast a duck on New Year's Day) with their duck tacos. Since the first time we went there, we've gone at least once, and sometimes twice, a trip. And it's sad to see a place with interesting and slightly different food options be taken over by yet another "chicken wings and potato skins" menu.

And then we ran across Pinks at Planet Hollywood. And we never made it to City Center.

The hubby got the Vegas Strip dog (chili, cheese, jalapenos, guac, and mustard), I got the Showgirl dog (bacon, onions, relish, tomatoes, sauerkraut and sour cream).

I don't know how they come up with the combinations they come up with... but they work.

And I also know that whatever skill it takes to eat a Pinks dog without getting it on your chin, hands, cheeks, nose, shirt sleeves and other places... I do not have. Nor does the hubby. Many napkins were needed for cleanup. But it was worth it.

I did snap a picture of the view of City Center from the Pink's seating area.....

My non-professional opinion? The place is FUG.
After that, we headed back to the hotel so the hubby could stand in the Platinum member line to see if we could get our room yet. Yet again... I am utterly surprised at how being just nice and cordial with the check-in staff can give you a pretty good score. We already had four nights comped, and then we got the hook-up to a "GO" room with a head-on view of Ceasar's Palace.
Some room pictures.... loooove the headboard. I want one...

And the hubby's favorite room feature... the "now it's time to DIE... Mr. Bond...." curtain controls.....

And that black square in the mirror? A TV. Awesomeness.
Overall, I'm pretty impressed at how they've managed to give new life to the Flamingo rooms. Trust me... we've stayed in every style of the older rooms (from the blue ones to the pink ones) and what they did to modernize the space is impressive. The bathrooms are the biggest improvement. The room itself is a bit small, but it's still large enough that it doesn't feel cramped if you spend 48 hours straight in the room trying to feel human again....
(oh wait... getting ahead of myself...)
We gambled a bit in the afternoon, rested in the room, ate dinner in the cafe at the Flamingo, and gambled some more. No big wins to report. The biggest payoff of that day that I had was when I was trying to cash out twenty five cents (I usually tip the cocktail staff with my collective "pitiful showing" cash-out tickets) and the machine flipped out, and while I didn't care I was waiting for the hubby to finish up on the machine next to me, and one of the floor dudes came over and gave me a whole dollar for my troubles. I felt so silly.

Thursday morning, I woke up and decided it would be the day to head to the Bouchon Bakery for pastries. Also got some OJ (they have awesome OJ). Walked back to the Flamingo, and I must say I noticed less bums than usual. I suspect they were moving in anticipation of the NYE celebrations, and they were already setting up barricades all along the strip.
My cheese danish, and apple croissant for the hubby, and two benigets for us to share....

After breakfast, we decided to head over to the Fashion Show mall. When we walked in, I went "oh look! They decorated for Christmas!!" (since it would not occur to me that any mall other than Woodfield - my local mall - would do such a thing). But the closer I got to the decorations, the more they creeped me out in some "Ghost of Marie Antoinette descending upon the populace to bring bloody murder" way.

We walked, we browsed, we didn't buy anything.

Then we headed over to Treasure Island to go to Canter's Deli for lunch.

And that is where it all went, horribly, horrible wrong.

Sure... the hubby's pastrami sandwich was good, as was my half turkey sandwich. But my mug of matzah ball soup? PURE EVIL.

Sure, we both thought it was good. We both ate it, and each had about half. Maybe I had a little bit more.

After we ate, we headed back to the hotel to lounge. And sometime in the late afternoon... I wasn't feeling so good. Very crampy stomach. I changed into some looser jeans and we headed down to the casino. I was playing - and actually winning - but after about 20 minutes of some of the most horrific stomach cramps of my life, I headed back up the room.

I finished the first round of throwing up right before the hubby came back in about a half hour later.

And when my stomach was done... well.. my intestines decided they needed to make themselves known, too.

It. Was. Horrible. So, I turned into a sick, blubbery mess about how I ruined 2009 by being jobless for half of it, and now I was ruining New Years Eve in Vegas, because I was in NO shape to leave the room. I think the hubby thought I was faking a bit - up until that moment in time, he'd never had a stomach cramp in his life - but he sure believed me when he mentioned that I needed to eat SOMETHING for dinner.

Which promptly sent me back into the bathroom for another wonderful round emptying the contents of my stomach.

He went to buy me some crackers and a Sprite, and had a hot dog from the little food stand for himself for dinner. I finally convinced him that yes, he should really go down to the casino and have some fun so at least ONE of us was enjoying the night - I'd be just as miserable without him staring at me as I would with him staring at me. So, he went down.

And about an hour later, he came back up. "I don't know if I'm just having sympathy pains or something, but man, my stomach doesn't feel right....... OHMYGODINEEDTHEBATHROOM!"

And we were both down for the night.

I managed to keep myself composed long enough to run down to the gift shop and plunk down $40 for every med I thought might help either of us.

So, instead of enjoying New Year's Eve among the crowds... we got to stay in our room, taking turns with the bathroom (if you've ever watched Sex and the City... think of Harry and Charlotte and the "cheese cart" scenes). At least we had an awesome view of the fireworks they shot off from Caesar's... but still... not the same as getting to view it outside.

Eventually, after both our tummies were thoroughly emptied, we were both able to keep down a little Sprite and found that Gas-X did wonders to help the stomach cramps that actually had us crying out in pain. I didn't think it would happen, but eventually, we were both able to get some sleep.

Happy New Year!!!

Woke up on New Year's Day still not 100%. We laid in bed... thankful for the Barney Miller marathon on WGN America. By afternoon, I finally convinced the hubby that we really needed to try and eat something besides crackers and Sprite, so we ordered a scrambled egg breakfast and split it. We both choked down as much as we could and it stayed down, but it just wasn't easy to eat.

We laid around some more, and the hubby was making a much better recovery than I was. Eventually, we cleaned ourselves up and ordered some room service again - breakfast food for the hubby and salmon and potatoes for me - and we each managed to choke down about half. The big problem was just not wanting to eat. Oh, and although the hubby was at least 90% by the point... anything that I ate was out of my body in about a half hour. So it wasn't like the food was doing me much good. And water was going right through me, so I was getting more than a bit dehydrated.

We went down to the casino and played a little more... I headed up to the room before the hubby. I did get a royal flush with deuces, which I decided would have been MUCH more exciting if I wasn't playing quarter video poker. With quarter video poker, it was like "ooooooh... thirty whole dollars...." I may be done with the ultra-cheap video poker.

Woke up on Saturday, and I was still not doing too good. I headed down to get some yogurt from one of the coffee stands... I figured the bacteria would do me good. It actually did start doing good. We went to lunch at the Burger place at Paris... hubby just had a beef burger and I had a chicken burger with avocado and red peppers. It was OK, although it would have been better if the avocado was spread around the burger better - rather than two big hunks - since the all-white-meat burger was understandably dry.

We walked around the Miracle Mile shops... which are pretty much totally uninteresting now that the place that sold ornaments is gone. I think the hubby did want to check out City Center at that point, but I really still was not feeling well, so back to the hotel room it was.

Oh, and apparently the World Series of Beer Pong was also happening at the hotel. So there were a LOT of very drunk 20 year olds around for the weekend. They seemed to be centered on the third floor... where the beer fumes would hit as soon as the elevator doors opened. And heaven help you if you ended up on an elevator full of the kids. But, I do have to say, they were all some of the nicest people - always holding elevator doors and making chit-chat and being generally nice. I was expecting a bunch of drunk frat boys, and they were not that.

We just decided to skip dinner.

Headed back down to the casino, and I was actually feeling slightly normal. No big video poker wins for me but I was holding my own. At one point, I was playing a multi-hand machine and a guy sits down at the one next to me. Not only does he put in a ticket that already HAD like 400 credits on it, he proceeds to play for 20 minutes (very nervously) and then I notice about 20 minutes later, the guy cashes out with over 800 credits.

Why, yes, I think I'll move over to that machine.

I was already planning on my response to the Nevada Gaming Commission.... "I just saw the guy was winning so I moved to that machine! Dear Gods, people, just look at my Harrah's card information to see how much I have lost at video poker here over the past four years! If I was going to cheat, I'd have done it before now!"

I did actually have some success at the machine... I started with $30 I had left from the other machine, and by the time I cashed out I was up to $130. I decided to call it a night.

Found the hubby and told him I was headed back up to the room.

And then a funny thing happened on the way to the elevator.

I realized I was hungry.

Like, actually, HUNGRY.

And I really wanted some BBQ potato chips. So, I headed to the casino shop, and of course, no BBQ potato chips, but I did get some munchies and headed back up to the room and it hit me... I was actually feeling, like, NORMAL. Praise be to... um... the non-food-poisoning Gods!!

So... I went up to the hotel room, thankful to at least be HUNGRY and found that liquids were also actually staying in my body. So I munched and waited for the hubby to come back up.

And waited.

And waited.

And he finally did come back up after a massive winning streak at the 3-card poker table... so much so that he pretty much earned back his losses for the vacation.

As for the travel back home today... uneventful. Although - hey food vendors at McCarren - you really might want to think of selling your non-breakfast items at breakfast times. My plane may depart at 9:45 in the morning but I get in at 3pm back in Chicago... and I'll have wanted some lunch by then. We'd have spent $20 at the Baja Fresh if they'd have been able to make us up a couple of burritos to take on the plane (especially since the flight attendants on our flight back apparently just forgot to bother to sell the snack boxes and snacks they're supposed to be hawking). By the time the plane landed, I confessed to the hubby that all I could think about was a beef & mozzerella sandwich and chili cheese fries. So we stopped on the way home - I got my beef and chili cheese fries, and the hubby got a burger, a hotdog and fries. And right now, we're debating if we want to order a pizza now.

1 comment:

Maroussia said...

It will be great to watch Pink, i have bought tickets from looking forward to it.