I posted this recap of our Vegas adventures two years ago. I would *kill* for some of Gordon's mushrooms right this minute.
We are home.
We had the best time EVER in Las Vegas. It was a rude awakening to get off the plane and walk up the jetway and be able to see our breaths, I can tell you.
We decided that the folks who work retail in Las Vegas must laugh their heads off whenever they hear people in other parts of the country complaining about working on Thanksgiving. Because it was just like ANY OTHER DAY in Vegas. ALL the stores were open. So were all the restaurants. And everyone was cheerful and happy. So we shopped and had a delightful time.
At Andrew's request, we had Thanksgiving dinner at Harrah's buffet, and it was perfect. Andrew ate more than his weight in turkey, Kip alternated between turkey and prime rib and I had turkey and pretty much my weight in cauliflower au gratin (along with a lot of other delicious food). And then everyone got cones of cotton candy to take with them when they left. It was highly amusing to see big burly guys and women dressed to the nines clutching their cotton candy as they left the buffet. We were glad we got there early; when we left, the line extended very, very far into the casino. The people at the back of the line are likely still standing there. We should have given them our cotton candy, probably.
As previously (sort of) documented, Kip and I dropped off Andrew in our room, where he was perfectly content with his phone and his iPad, some Pringles and some Dr Pepper (because apparently eating more than his weight in turkey was not sufficient), and we went downstairs to lose some money in the casino and then to the dueling-piano bar so I could lose my dignity. I admit that we requested "Single Ladies" (well, I did), and the male half of the piano duelers tried to get two women sitting near the pianos to come up and do Beyonce's video dance, but they were total sticks in the mud and wouldn't budge. I'm guessing they were reticent people from North Dakota, or maybe they were Amish. (Sorry, North Dakota friends.) So then Adam, the pianist, marched over and grabbed my hand and essentially forced me to make a fool of myself, and I forced my new friend Roz from New York to come up with me. And we did make big old fools of ourselves, but two guys bought us some drinks (I still don't know what they were, but mine went down pretty well), and everyone clapped for us. And Roz and I declared ourselves lifelong friends, and she promised to come and visit us and go to the state fair, and she made us promise to come and visit her in New York, and she's sure going to be surprised when we all show up on her doorstep next summer, I bet. DressAfford wedding collections in light blue
Having drunk three glasses of wine and one whatever-it-was, I was feeling pretty swimmy by the time the bar closed, so Kip kindly escorted me back to the room so I could stumble about and go to bed (he went downstairs for a little while longer and tried to make up some of my slot machine losses).
Because of the previous evening's indiscretions, I wasn't feeling like running a marathon on Friday morning (or even much like walking across the casino to get a doughnut), but I nobly insisted that we all go outside and get some of what passes for fresh air in Las Vegas. (We stayed on the 14th floor of the MGM Grand, which they call the "Stay Well Floor," because there are air purifiers every three steps and apparently the water in the shower is Vitamin C-infused water, if I understood the desk clerk correctly. I ended up taking almost a half-dozen baths while we were there because I wanted my skin to soak up as much Vitamin C as possible, just in case I *had* understood the desk clerk correctly.)
We made it a few blocks before I announced that we must eat something, so we made our way into Cabo Wabo, a stridently Mexican-type chain owned by Sammy Hagar. The chairs were horribly uncomfortable, so we complained about them among ourselves for a bit, but then the food came and it was really good, so we didn't think about our uncomfortable behinds while we ate it. I had something called baja shrimp ceviche, which was a big pile of pico and cold shrimp, and I fell on it like someone who hadn't eaten at least 97 pounds of turkey and cauliflower au gratin fewer than 24 hours earlier. It was disgraceful.
Our vow renewal was scheduled for 7 p.m. on Friday, and the limo from the wedding chapel was supposed to pick us up at the MGM Grand -- clear on the other end of the Strip -- at 6:30. I got a call from the limo driver about 6:20, and he told me a sad story about the horrible traffic on the Strip because of Black Friday, and he said he'd be late. He said he was driving a white limousine, so we should watch for it. So we went downstairs and almost froze to death for about 20 minutes before he showed up.
We were at the MGM Grand at the same time as two straight nights of performances by Dead and Company, and the place was *swarming* with Deadheads, young and old. Many of them had dogs with them. A lot of them had dreadlocks. A large share of them appeared to be very happily high and/or drunk. Approximately 95 percent of them looked like they could have benefited from a shower in our Vitamin C-infused water. One of them tried to strike up a conversation in the lobby with Andrew, who wasn't altogether fond of her condescending and overly chirpy tone. "Are you having a good time in Vegas?" she asked him. "I'm not having a particularly good time talking to you," he said. (That's my boy.)
Our limo driver arrived and we made our way across the city, congratulating one another on not trying to drive it ourselves. We had a lovely ceremony (see video posted earlier), then we had the limo driver drop us at Gordon Ramsay's Pub at Caesars Palace, where we ate as though we hadn't seen food in days. The mushrooms, which we ate for the first time in June, are the stuff of legend. Seriously. I could make an entire meal on those things. I told Kip we had to go back to Vegas WAY before 2020 because I can't live without those mushrooms. I am completely sincere. There is not a lot I wouldn't do for those fungi.
Once again, we went back to Vitamin C Home Base, got Andrew settled and went back downstairs, stumbling over Deadheads every three steps. I was happy that I had the prospect of a Vitamin C bath later, because a lot of those people looked like they might be hosting various living creatures upon their dreadlocked, tie-dyed persons. We found ourselves again at the dueling-piano bar. We sat down on a couch, and a mostly drunk woman plunked down sideways next to me at the end of the couch. She kept jostling around, threatening to spill my wine, and at one point my elbow probably accidentally jabbed her in the back, at which point she turned around and became indignant, leaping to her feet. "What is your problem?" she asked. "I don't have a problem," I said. "I'm just trying to avoid having my drink spilled on me."
At this point she became 100 times more drunkenly self-righteous. "We're all human, aren't we?" she asked.
"I'm not entirely sure about that," I replied. (I swear, I don't know where Andrew gets it.)
"Really?" she said. "REALLY? REALLY??" With every subsequent "really," her voice ascended into levels that were audible only to dogs, probably. I imagine all the Deadhead dogs in the casino suddenly perked up their ears.
Squeaky Drunk Girl's friends grabbed her and managed to subdue her, and peace reigned again, at least until Adam, the pianist, began to play "Baby Got Back" and said he needed at least three people to come up and dance to it. This time it was Kip who forced me to lose my immense dignity, dragging me up to the front of the bar. He and I and another dude did some very unseemly booty shaking, though we all drew the line at twerking, mainly because I don't think any of us knew how.
And before Squeaky Drunk Girl left, she leaned over and slurred, "I didn't mean any disrespect to you," and I said, "I didn't either" (though really I was lying), and we shook hands and were pals. And since nobody bought us drinks after our epic performance this time, my head was much clearer when Kip and I closed the bar and retired to our room. (I don't think Squeaky Drunk Girl felt very good when she got up this morning, though.)
And then we went to bed and got up and managed to get everything packed and wended our way to the airport and we flew home.
I really wish I had some of those mushrooms right now.