I’m in Vegas and I’m not coming out.
At a late-night hockey practice nine hours before we’re to board our plane in Tampa, my koala-like reflexes fail to save me from a slap shot that, of course, finds its way to my soft, unprotected inner thigh. I double over and hop around like a one-person mosh pit. “That’s gonna leave a mark,” CCB jokes. Man, is it ever.
The 1778 breakfast: French toast and Sam Adams at 7 a.m. in the
But then, Vegas takes over…
Four hours early for check-in, they give us our room just the same. The Mirage casino, which surrounds a calming palm-tree-filled arboretum, isn’t as loud as I’d expected (the high ceilings take care of that). And man oh man, the blinky lights and pretty, shiny things. Our 15th-floor room is great. California Pizza Kitchen, alongside the TV-filled race and sports book, is great. Putting $20 on the underdog in that night’s UFC bout is great. First impression: Vegas is great. And we haven’t even left the hotel yet.
CCB falls in love with the room’s modern decor.
The view, showing the wavy gold reflection from the Mirage’s windows.
Moments later, my sister meets us. Thing 2 (she’s 11 minutes younger than Thing 1, her twin sister) recommends the dollar margaritas at Casino Royale. From there we’re off, wandering aimlessly through Harrah’s and Treasure Island, under the vertigo-inducing fake-sky ceilings at the Venetian and Paris, stopping at slot machines as the mood strikes. We watch the Bellagio fountains dancing to “All That Jazz” and nearly see a midnight fistfight erupt at McDonald’s.
A San Diego resident, Thing 2 has energy to burn. But the time change and travel have gotten to me, and before I know it—waaay earlier than people are supposed to crash in Vegas—CCB and I are sound asleep in our big cushy bed. Tomorrow brings half-yard mai tais, foie gras, underwater acrobats and the glorious Gold Fish bonus. This is gonna be great.
Just before nodding off, I snag one more peek at the view of the bright lights from our room.