Thursday, December 14, 2006

Vegas, Casinos and 1/2 Marathon

So now is the overall Vegas Trip recap. (Its kinda long so if you don't want to read jump down to the Final Recap)
Just so you know there was a total of 8 that went on this trip. Me, wife, daughter, mother/father in-laws, aunt, and brother/sister in-laws. All staying with my parents in there 3 bedroom house with air mattresses in the living and dining rooms and an extra bed in one of the bedrooms. So we left on Weds the 6th. Check in was fun with all of us under 1 name and all the luggage. Bro in law, Gerado, got caught in security with a bottle of smelly calougn, more than 3 oz, which he forget to give to me before we left the house as he knew he couldn't take in through security. Anyway, they took him to the back and I guess they did the white glove finger check or something because he finally met up with us with a big smile on his face and his shirt untucked (kidding) I actually waited for him while the others went to boarding gate and then we downed a beer while walking to the gate. Got on the plane and starting drinking some more. My ear/sickness was still letting me know what I was not better and my ear canal was causing me some serious pain on the descent. Landed and made our way to luggage claim and meet up with my mom and buddy Mike (who will be in trouble in a while if you didn't read race recap post) Got all the luggage and headed to the house. My mom and I were talking and she said that she didn't know Mike had gotten married. I said "WHAT!" He didn't tell me either and I just asked how his girlfriend was and he said she was great. Oh, I was so gonna tackle him when he steps out of his car at my parents house, I even started driving faster just to get there quicker. As we pulled in and I got out I waited for the attack. Mike got out of his car and came around the back of the car and there I was, BAM! I grabbed him in a big tackle move and said "buddy, your in so much trouble!" He was like why? I said you know why, you didn't even call me or tell me and now I know! He was still like what are you talking about, so I said YOU GOT MARRIED! Oh, yea, he replied calmly. I said when, why, where, invite? Hello? As he informed me I didn't know to finish tackling him or if I was just so happy for him! (your still in trouble for that one Mike!) We finished up and went inside the house with all the luggage and just got situated and went to bed after Mike left. The next morning (Thursday) it was up at 6am! (wait a minute, I'm on vacation!) We were out the door around 7 for breakfast and headed to the Hoover Dam. After sight seeing the dam we headed towards the Grand Canyon. What a drive! After stopping for breakfast, lunch and Hoover Dam we were now behind schedule and realized that the sun was going down and to set at 5:15pm and it was like 4 pm and we were still not there. Finally, arriving at the Canyon it was windy and freakin` COLD! I mean it was like 35*. We all bundled up and starting running around taking pictures before the sunset. Even after the sun went down the Canyon has a glow from the light that is just unremarkable! The view is amazing to the eyes and is a must see if you have never been there. I must admit I was apprehensive about driving all the way out there due to the time and distance and felt we should just stay in Vegas but I am glad we did go because it was something amazing to see. I will recommend that if anyone does go there from Vegas, leave early and go straight there, enjoy the sights, have lunch and then head back unless you want to watch the sunset, if not, you can then stop by the dam and see that. We did it backwards and almost ran out of time. We got home about 11pm and everyone was beat except Gerado and I so we went out to the Red Rock Casino and got home about 2am. Friday, we were out the door about 10 am and went to the Luxor, Mandala Bay (shark reef was cool and packet pick up) New York New York (roller coaster is good and lunch in the Village Eateries is always good too) then MGM to see the tigers, very cool to be that close to them. Headed back home for dinner and then we went back down to the Mirage (neat water/volcano show, nice hotel/casino), Treasure Island (Sirens show (the new pirate show) was not running, Damn it, I wanted to see the lady Pirates!) so went went to Venetian which is super nice! Love the hotel, casino and shops. Saw the gondola's and a newly married couple taking a ride. Also got this totally huge Texas style drink and walked around. Got home about 11pm and went to bed. Saturday was out the door my 9 am and we went to the Harley Davidson Cafe, M&M World, local gift shops, Bellagio (just totally beautiful hotel and awesome Fountains of Bellagio water show), Paris (Eiffel Tower Experience was cool, nice hotel), and Aladdin (lots of forum shops) and met up with one of my wife friends who moved there from Houston, David & Johana. We then headed to meet up with my parents at Fantastic Dave's restaurant where we had some great food and headed home as the race was the next day. I was asleep about 10:30 am. Woke up at 3:30 am and started getting ready. I felt pretty good and was not nervous. I really should have prepared better for eating something before but only grabbed a snack pack of crackers and a snickers marathon bar from the expo out the door we went. The race was fine as I said most in the race recap. Got home about 10:30am got cleaned up, ate and rested. I was watching the IM Florida when I feel asleep for about an hour and then went downstairs to hang out and watch a movie, Pirates of the Caribbean, yes, I know I just finally watched it, good movie. My mom planned dinner for 5:30pm and Mike and his wife, Tris, came over and we all just hung out, ate and then headed to the Stratosphere Casino (Big Shot was totally awesome! Nice views from the observation deck) Gerado got on the X-Scream which he said was OK. No I was not about to get on that thing without a parachute, the damn ride slides you back and forth over the edge of the tower and who knows if the stoppers are going to stop you, if they don't its have a nice ride to the bottom head first. After we went to the Sahara Casino but the ride was closed already so we would come back another day. Then we split off and some went home and Gerado and I went to the Rio (where he won some money, good job) Wynn (very nice place as well but didn't stay long) and The Plaza downtown (ok but it was really dead and smokey). Got home about 3 am. Monday, we got out about 10 am and headed from Primm, NV where the Buffalo Bill's Resort/Casino and Desperado Roller Coaster. The darn thing didn't open till noon so we had to wait around for it which was ok as the others got to do some gambling and we played some video games. Then we went across the street to the Primm Valley Casino where the Bonnie and Cylde car and exhibition was. Pretty neat to see the original car where they were gunned down and some other artifacts. The Desperado ride was totally awesome as well with a huge 225 ft drop, speeds close 90 mph and G-forces close to 4.0! What a ride! We then headed back into town and stopped at the new Silverton Casino where the Bass Pro Shop is. Orange County Chopper had some bikes there so that was one reason to stop. Nice place with lots of hunting/fishing stuff. We then headed for home as everyone was tired again. I dropped the family off and Gerado and I headed to the local Honda motorcycle dealership to see if they had any goodies but they didn't so we then went to one of the Harley Davidson stores near my parents house, then headed home. After my mom making dinner again (thanks Mom!) Gerado, Brittany and I headed back to the strip to pick up a few more goodies and finish riding some rides. We went back to the Sahara to get on the NASCAR Speed the Ride. Great ride as well with speeds up to 70 mph, 3.5 G-forces and 0-45mph in 2 seconds. Right after that awesome ride it was a mad dash for Fremont Street Experience to see the light show which is always cool and neat to see. It's amazing how all those lights are working together. Once there we stopped in at Binions and the Golden Nugget Casino's and then went to the Circus Circus to see if the Adventure Dome was open but it had closed earlier so we were able to catch the overhead Circus trapeze act and have a Krispy Cream. Then headed home about 11 pm.
Tuesday, was up with my lovely mom bringing me coffee in bed! Dang how spoiled I am, thanks again Mom, I love you. Once up, it was a mad dash to finish packing and emailing photos that I had downloaded to mom's computer to be ready to leave the house by 9:30 am as the plane left at 12pm. We got there in time and I had time to go to the gift shop and pick up totally sweet coffee cup and thermos. We made it back home a little early, which was nice, basically threw everything down in the house and headed out to dinner with my wife and daughter. Then some last minute Target shopping as my daughter needed supplies for a school project. I must give it up to her as she not only took 5 days of school off 2 days before Finals, worked on her homework while in Vegas, and stayed up late on Tuesday night to finish a project due Weds! Very proud of her for working so hard and being able to enjoy the trip. Great Job Brittany!
Wednesday, was back at work and good thing it was slow as I needed to rest. I basically sat around for about 6 hours and checked out marathon pictures, blogs, emails, did some paper work and thought about the next 4 weeks till the Houston Marathon 1/2. I totally crashed last night at 9:30 pm after the Biggest Loser Finale, Congrads to Eric, the guy who won and lost 214 lbs.!
Overall, I totally loved the Trip, the run and the sights. I ended up going to 22 different casinos and walked more than I ever had any other time I had been in Vegas and got to see the Grand Canyon! Everybody else had a great time as well and it was nice, as always, to see my Mom and Dad and friend Mike and his new wife Tris.
Thank you mom and dad for letting us all stay in your house as cramped as we were and cooking dinners and letting us use the van. I love you all very much and miss you already!
As for training, I will wait till Saturday to get back on the road. I have 4 weeks till Houston 1/2 so I have time and the fitness, just have to stay healthy.
Final: Vacation - 6 days, 2 states (AZ, NV), 22 Casinos, 1/2 Marathon, Family, Friends and a totally Awesome Time!

1 comment:

Steven said...

Wow. What a packed trip. It sounds like it was fantastic!

And I agree on the congrats to Eric. -214! Incredible! That is a great show.