People Come Here On Vacation? (part two)

I picked up the room service menu on the desk in our room, just to look at it, see what it had to offer.  I almost choked.  I’d never seen a ten-dollar glass of orange juice before.  I mean I’d heard all the jokes and anecdotes about room service, but never had I seen this.  Oh well it was funny.

“So what should we do?”  I ask my partner, as he’s dutifully unpacking.  I prefer to leave everything in my suitcase and pull it out as I need it…hell I prefer not to even fold what I’m taking since I know it’ll be wrinkled no matter what I do.

“I’d suggest hanging up your clothes.”

“Ugh, so much effort, it’s a waste of time.”

“Well, unless you want to pay ten dollars, I’d hang them up.”

“What?  Ten dollars?”  I’m confused, what does ten bucks have to do with my clothing.  Julius is pointing to something in the closet.  I go and take a look, my jaw nearly drops as I read this tag on the ironing board:

“For your convenience, please call housekeeping should you require and iron.

You will be charged $10.00 to your room to be paid upon checkout.”

“Are they for real?”  I can’t believe that, they want to charge me for the iron?!  What’s next, a charge to have a phone in the room?  A rental fee for the Gideon Bible next to the bed?  I mutter something about how not even in New York City would you be charged for a stinking iron, and hang up my clothes.

“Well let’s get out there, I wanna see Vegas!  C’mon.”

“Ok, ok.”

We trundle down to the Casino in our hotel, it’s all very new and modern.  Brushed steel and wood with indirect lighting abound.  There’s pounding music, different colored lights, and a GIGANTIC poster of Justin Timberlake….a full on frontal angle is clearly NOT his best side.  We decide to wander into the mall instead of gamble, frankly because I’d rather shop than empty my wallet into some shiny, showy, glittery, money monster.  The shops are great, they even have one of my favorite stores, Siselly, which I’ve only ever seen in New York.  Now you’d think the fact that the mall is called the Miracle Mile would tip us off to the fact that, well, it’s a mile long, but no.  We walk and walk and walk, for what seems like forever.

We reach the halfway point in the mall, when suddenly the white, wood and glass affair of absolute modernity turns into Arabian-Freaking-Nights…I swear to you, we went from Las Vegas to an open air market in Islamabad in just half a mile.  Well, I thought, at least I won’t be harassed for being Arabic HERE…this time it’s the whitey’s chance to get persecuted!

Later we found out that this hotel used to be the Aladin…Wayne Newton’s old hotel.  It was weird walking in climate controlled comfort when visually we kept feeling like we were outside…and frankly I would have preferred some warmth, us dark skinned people are dark for a reason!  We decide to eat at an over-priced, Jimmy Buffet knock off called Cheeseburger Paradise….yeah, that pretty much sums that up.

As we continue our walk through the miricle mile, wondering when it will finally end…remember, neither of us put two and two together…when suddenly it began to thunder, and lightening.  The first thing in my head is “great, we’re in vegas for three hours and now there’s gonna be a torrential downpour”  quickly followed by “rain in the desert?  rain inside?”

We turn around to see a fountain “raining” down onto a roped off area in the mall.  Jule and I look at it, look at each other, look at it again, mutter the word “lame” and keep going.  I get a text message from a couple friends, asking where I am, telling me they’re evacuating to Austin, and others asking if we need a place to stay during the storm.  We both nearly forgot that Hurricane Ike was swallowing up the Gulf on its way to Houston.  I let everyone know that we’re out of town and we will be back Sunday night.  Everyone is blowing this storm WAY out of proportion, it’s a Category 2 and as usual the news is going all Chicken Little over it.  Oh well, no matter.

I may sound like I’m poo pooing all over Vegas, but really, we enjoyed the Miracle Mile and our hotel room was beautiful…but enough of that crap, time to gamble!  Our friend Tim let us in on a mathmatical formula that ensures a win while playing Roulette, we’re dying to try it.  It’s noon, and there are no open Roulette tables for us to play on, so we walk next door to Paris.

The weather is FANTASTIC.  Granted, yes, it’s like 400 degrees outside, but it’s not like Houston is.  When it’s 400 degrees in Houston you can literally feel the humidity suffocating you, here in Vegas it’s just the opposite, I love it….except when I realize that between the hours of noon and two it’s just hot, no matter how you break it down. We’re walking the block to Paris…which Jule keeps calling Paris Paris.

“So everyone says I gotta see the Belagio and it’s fountains.”  I have to speak up a bit, Sarah Brightman and Andre Bocelli are blaring across the street.

“It’s right there.”  Jule says pointing across the street.

I turn, excited to see what everyone says is THE thing I have to see in this city…..I’m greeted with a pretty building and basically an oversized water feature.

“That’s it?”

“Yup.”  We’ve stopped to look at the splashing water….I think about seeing the Grand Canyon flying in and how I have infinitely more interested in that.


“What?”  Jule implores.

“I guess I’m the only person in history to not be impressed by those fountains.”

“I’d say so.”  We continue on to Paris.  It’s beautiful and inside it’s another faux outdoor…what is it with this city and the faux outdoors?  We look around, walk the floor and finally we see it.  Speed Roulette.  Basically a bunch of computer stations around a Roulette table.  We sit down, throw down our money, almost sure we’ll never see any of it again.  Jule dumps in 100 dollars, I’m conservative at 20 bucks, and we’re off…no….WAIT!  It’s 1 pm….I need a drink damnit, I’m on VACATION!

I stop a short cocktail waitress that, to be perfectly frank, looks like she could snap at the waist.  She’s nice, brings us two beers…ok, I am READY.  Let’s have some fun!



  1. T…I love the way you write. You have to look into writing a book! I hope there is more to this story! Hear you are coming out to NJ in a couple of weeks. Looking forward to seeing you.

    Love ya,
    Aunt Marie

  2. Hello? Whats the secret to roullette?

  3. Ah, wait for the NEXT installment in this series to find out!

  4. The fountains go off at certain times of the day they are pretty at night im not sure when you saw them. Paris is a beautifu hotel and the crepes for breakfast are great not sure if you had any. You can get a cab right outsid the airport to your hotel for 7 bucks. You should have aske first I could have given you the run down.

  5. This was the FIRST time I went on a trip and didn’t do a massive amount of research before hand. I think I’m slipping!

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