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Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Vegas!

They say what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas. Only other people say, "What happens in Vegas ends up on the internet." I'm going for option B.

Fred's Bachelor Party rocked. Yes, I was there. I'm a groomsmaid. I get to do the groomspeople things. So there.

Fred, Sean, and I headed out with what seemed like plenty of time on Friday morning. That was before we went on the grand circle tour of the San Jose Long Term Parking Lot. Never again! Evil bus driver made me throw out my coffee and then drove us around for a half and hour before taking us to a long walk to the terminal. Grr.

Then there was a crazy line to check bags. Some last minute reshuffling and Sean and Fred were ready for carry-on. We headed through security and then said, "Wait... where's Sean?" Something had happened and Sean's boarding pass had disappeared between the car and the security gate.

Fred and I hit the plane and saved a seat for Sean, but it was too late. One passenger came up the aisle and said, "Is this seat taken?" We said, "We're trying to save it for our buddy, but he's having trouble with the long security line." She said, "Is his name Sean?" We said yes. She told us they'd given her his seat. Dangit.

Luckily, Sean made it onto the 12:50 flight on standby. Fred and I figured we'd just go check in. Trouble was, everything was in Sean's name and though Sean had called Hotels.com to work it out, the Hilton didn't have a clue. Ugh. So we wandered, took the monorail, and finally ended up at Quark's to wait for Sean to arrive. Mice arrived a few minutes before Sean, and soon we were checked in and having lunch at Quark's. Lunch was yummy and included the famed Warp Core Breach - a fishbowl full of bubbling pink alcohol and dry ice. It was perfect.

More folks arrived and eventually I snuck off to see Ka. It was a good show, but it seemed rushed, and I was a bit disappointed when it was over in just 1 hour. If they wanted to tell a story arc like that, they really ought to have given it an extra half hour and done some more with it. Oh well.

After that, I walked under the sleeping lions at MGM and met up with the gang heading into New York, New York. Seeing Zumanity again, now five years later, was a fabulous experience. It's a really great show, having grown up from being a "fragile little baby." I really thought it was a better, more complete Cirque show than Ka. I'd recommend it to anyone who could handle adult themes and a variety of forms of love and sexuality. Hot!

We rose the next morning to meet at Star Trek: The Experience. While wandering around the day before, I'd asked about discounts, and the cashier had told me that if I had a Hilton Honors card, tickets could be had for 2 for $42.95. Considering the normal ticket price was $49.95 and the coupon we had was for $10 off, this was a seriously hot tip. We picked up Hilton Honors cards at the front desk and used them for everyone in the group. So first we did the Klingon Encounter, which is still as magical as the day it opened, and then we did the Borg Invasion 4-D, which is pretty decent, and then we retired for lunch at Quark's again. It really is the perfect place for a geek gathering.

We went our separate ways for a bit, some to gamble, some to nap, and some to go on the ride again, and some to arrange our trip to the strip club later that night. I asked about getting to the Rio hotel for Penn & Teller, and the guy (who kept being incredibly helpful) told us to take the monorail to Harrah's and take the free shuttle to the Rio. Woohoo! More monorail!

Penn & Teller were unbelievably great. I love their show Bullshit, and their live act is really well done. I'd cheerfully see them again. They did a number with burning a flag in the Bill of Rights. Then they did it again, only with a Chinese Bill of Rights (a clear plastic sheet) and explained how they did the trick and why it was so important and so wonderful that they could. That to me is the essence of Penn & Teller - they do the magic flawlessly, then they show you what they just did, and you're still amazed, and they also gracefully tipped meaning into the mix as well.

So the limo to the strip club picked us up and we headed to the Spearmint Rhino. Funny thing: you show up in a taxi, you pay for the taxi and the $30 cover charge; show up in their free limo service, you don't pay the cover either. This makes no sense to me, but whatever works, and it was enough of a selling point to get our business. We all made sure Fred had a really good time and it was honestly more enjoyable than I'd expected.

Sunday dawned a bit late and those that had later flights took the monorail to Paris for the Sunday brunch. While the boys waited in line, I trekked down to the half-price ticket booth to find our evening entertainment. Some enterprising young men with ice chests stood on the strip and sold water for a buck. After 3 days of no drinking fountains anywhere and hotels charging $3 for a pint of water, this was a deal. We decided on Bite for the evening since it was one of the maybes on our list and was only $30.

So the thing about vampires is that everyone has their own interpretation based on when and how they first encountered the concept. The producer of this show clearly first encountered them about the same time as his first KISS show, because these vampires were a huge fan of the Gene Simmons style tongue action. Anyway, it was a cheesy Vegas show, but with pale girls instead of overly tanned girls. I'm okay with that part. And the Queen of the Vampires was a lovely dancer.

We headed home Monday with a slight delay. Southwest's no-assigned-seats policy kind of bit them because it was a full flight and somehow there was one more person on the plane than seats on the plane, and that didn't match the stack of boarding passes. They came through and matched boarding passes to people and eventually found the mystery person and we were on our way.

All in all, it was a truly fabulous weekend with a bunch of my dearest friends. I feel like we gave Quark's the proper send-off and gave Frederik the bachelor party he's earned.

1 Comments:

  • Great Trip Report. Sadly, Quarks and all the Star Trek Experience will be going bye-bye shortly.

    By Blogger John, at 1:29 PM  

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