People Come Here On Vacation? (part 1)

My partner won a trip to Las Vegas through work for being the top in sales for the month.  I was excited, I hadn’t been to Vegas before and I was looking forward to seeing what the hubub was.  My position at work concluded a week prior to our leaving, both my partner and I were very stressed out so a vacation was just what the doctor ordered.  We were scheduled to leave on September 12th, and the timing just continued to work out because as it turns out a HUGE hurricane was covering the Gulf of Mexico and heading right for us.  Luckily, we were on one of the last flights out of Houston before the airport shut down.  We figured we’d be out of town long enough to miss the storm- the weekend – and return home Sunday night, not having anythign to worry about.  What follows is the unmitigated disaster that this trip was.

September 12th, Day One

The first sign that maybe this trip wouldn’t be so hot happened around 10am while on the flight.  I make it a point only to fly an airline who’s tagline is “Meals At Mealtime, What A Concept.”  Well the AirMattress…I’m sorry, Flight Attendant, gleefully informed us that “No, I’m sorry, for some reason they didn’t give us any food for this flight.  But I have peanuts!”

Lovely, peanuts, just what I want at 10am, thirty minutes into a flight.  By the way, has anyone else noticed that flights have become more and more like herding immigrants in 3rd class across the Atlantic?  I wonder when they’ll start offering us the option to pay for clean air in the cabin.  Anywho, that’s ok, I have a drink ticket.  It’s 10am, I’m on vacation, gimmie a damned screwdriver.  I read through most of my car magazine, get bored with a movie they show on the plane and bing bang boom, we’re in Vegas.

After waiting 30 minutes for our luggage in an airport which one can only describe as an optical insult of a neon orgasm, we go outside to grab a cab.  Don’t get me wrong, there’s some really cool looking neon signs in Downtown Vegas, but this airport looked like it should have an Auntie Anne’s and Tiffany singing “I Think We’re Alone Now” outside The Limited.

So there are these busses we can pay 10 bucks to take us to the hotel, that’s fantastic, I wanna get to Vegas as soon as possible!  We pay for our ticket and go to get on the bus, after our luggage is tossed into the back.

“No room.”

“What?”  I ask.

“There’s no room, you need to take another bus.”

“Well why’d you take our damned luggage?”  I ask.

The guy gets out, gets us our luggage and we walk back to the next bus.

“No room.”

“Oh you’ve GOT to be kidding me.”

“Well one of you can sit up front with me.”

My partner looks at me.

“Get on the damned bus.”

I was just getting warmed up in the dry Vegas heat when I stepped into an artic tundra of a Ford F-450 which was imbued with the scent of an 89 year old smoking jewish grandmother.  Whatever, we’re on our way….again.

“First stop, The Mirage.”

“NO!”  Sounds out a chorus of portly, and obviously drunk, businessmen in bad outfits and sandals with sox.  Jesus, Mary Iceskating Mother of God…get me off this bus.

“Sorry guys, I gotta go in order.”

“We’ll give you fifty bucks to take us to the Excaliber first!”

Excaliber?  Sounds stupid, maybe he will drop them off first.  We drive and drive, the airport is literally right next to the city, odd but yet conveniant.  Finally all of the drunken businessmen get off the bus at Excaliber.  My partner and I comment on what a dump it looks like and how we’re glad we’re not staying there.  We get dropped off at Planet Hollywood.  The hotel is fresh, new and beautiful…and also, very “us.”

We walk into the lobby, which is changing colors thanks to some hidden lights and sounds like I just walked into a warehouse club in NYC.  The check in line is quick and we get up to the counter.

“Hi, we’re checking in, the name is Meyer.”

“And did you pay for this using your Starwood points sir?”

“My company paid for it, I won the trip.”  My partner goes on.

“And your name sir?”


“Oh. Ah.”  The pregnant woman hems and haws.  I’m already in a not so nice mood because I’m hungry and far from buzzed.

“What.”  I say.

“Well we have a reservation for a JULIE Meyer.  Who’s Julie.”

“There is no Julie.”  I say.

“What?”  She asks.

“His names JULIUS not Julie.”  Internally I’m laughing since the Vietnamiese place we eat at calls him Julie.

“Oh, well we have J-U-L-I-E.”  As if I can’t spell the damned name.

“Well clearly someone made a typo over the phone.”  My partner chimes in.

“I’m going to have to get my manager over here.”  She pregnantly waddles away, her business suit looks painfully uncomfortable.

“I’m gonna be pissed if it comes down to a typo.”  I say to Julius.

They come back, she stands by as he punches away at a keyboard.

“Where’s is Julie.”  He asks.  I feel like I’m in an episode of Law and Order; WHERE’S THE GIRL!  WHAT DID YOU DO WITH HER!

“There is no Julie, it’s a typo.”  I don’t get how Julius remains calm…then again, I’m hungry at this point and I don’t like people.

“Can’t you just change the name on the reservation, how else would we know the name of the company, who it was booked through and when it was supposed to occur?”

The two suits don’t say anything, finally he turns to the human incubator and says “give them the room anyway.”

Lovely.  The hotel is very nice – not my ideal, BUT a fantastic substitution.  We get up to the room, completely forgetting Planet Hollywood’s modus oporandi.

The key doesn’t work.  I’m ready to go home.  Julius tries the other key, which does work, we walk in.  The room is modern and clean with  beautiful and comfortable beds with Hotel Collection linens.  I drop my bag, Julius begins unpacking.


“Yeah?”  He shouts from the bathroom.

“Why is like a hundred year old lifejacket on the wall?”


“Come look at this!”

“What the hell?”

I go over to it and read a plaque next to it. “This Prop Was Used In James Cameron’s Titanic, blah blah blah.”

“We’re in the Titanic room?”

“The room’s are themed?”

I walk over to the window to get out of his way so he can see, and I trip on an oddly heavy endtable.  I look down.

“Oh look, china!”

The table isn’t a table, it’s a cylindrical case with a set of china from the film placed inside and lit up.

“I guess it’s the Titanic room.”  Julius says.

“Which would explain why there’s a huge picture of Leonardo DiCaprio over there.”  I point out the framed picture, which we missed before.

“I’m telling you, if this hotel starts to go down or flood, I’m not waiting for the call of women and children.  Maybe this is an omen of our vacation.”

We both laugh.  For now we laugh.