Well, goodness. That was certainly Vegas-sy, was it not?
Had an absolutely great time with 20 dudes from Austin, Seattle and Vancouver. The rules of Vegas are clear, and in the advertising: what happens in Vegas, etc... And so while we can discuss the trip in broad strokes...
Arrived Thursday night, ate quickly, and then I met Jerry Springer.
That's right. Jerry Springer.
We stayed at Planet Hollywood on the strip, down near Paris and the Bellagio. The "America's Got Talent" TV program tapes there (I think), but while its not currently taping, I guess they hired several of the acts from the show who perform as a live stage show-thing with Jerry Springer as MC.
Anyhow, I'd been at the hotel all of an hour and was having a cocktail with the assembled crew near the Sportsbook, and Springer wandered in (an enormous cigar in his mouth) to check some scores. He was only modestly mobbed, and I asked politely to meet him (he seem amused that I'd called him "Mr. Springer"). Hopefully Matt will e-mail me the picture this week. Anyway, the man was extremely gracious, and I've been a fan since college. No, I don't watch every day, but I watch from time to time when I'm home on a weekday.
(Anytime you want to know what I think America is really like, I ask you to consider how many guests Springer has had on his show over its 2 decades of existence. Also, the existence and popularity of Las Vegas now that its ditched its "It's Family Fun!" angle of the 1990's.)
One oddity of Vegas (or maybe not so odd) was how quickly we all decided 4:00 or 4:30 AM seemed like a reasonable bedtime, and so we were all crawling out of bed at 12:00 or so Pacific time for breakfast.
Friday we headed to "The Gun Store". I have conflicted views on how our 2nd Amendment has been interpreted, but by golly, I was fully in support of SOMEBODY having the right to rent me time with a machinegun by Friday evening.
Shoemaker got a slightly more... bad-ass package, but The League went vintage and got the WWII package, where we got to fire an MP40 SMG, a 1911 Pistol .45, and a Thompson SMG. It was all very Sgt. Rock. And I shot the holy hell out of some paper targets (we're all ace shots at 20 feet, it seems).
I also learned I have no idea how to hold a pistol correctly.
Attempted to play a game called Pai Gow, which was a variation on Poker, and immediately blew through what I'd set aside for the tables in about 25 minutes. I am not ready for much more than nickel video poker, and we've confirmed I'm barely okay at that.
I was disappointed at how expensive I found the food, and never really wound up having a kick-ass meal, but given what I was paying for stuff I wasn't blown away by, I wasn't looking for much better than how we did.
The best part, of course, was an opportunity to hang out with local friends in an environment outside of our day-to-day, catch-up with old, very good friends from out of town, and meet some new guys you can get along with pretty darn well.
Things I could do without:
Being sold on the very hotel I am in, the entire time I am there. You already have my money, casino.
The Strip is very much appealing to the E!/ Us Weekly lifestyle in a way I imagine many would find off-putting. They may not care, but it seems like there's very little between that avenue and hotels which are clearly passing their prime. I just was a little tired of the LA-Couture thing by end of last night. Everyone's a rock star in Vegas. I get it.
Anyway, no plans for pics. I didn't take any, and its probably bad form to publicly post pics from Vegas should any show up in my e-mail.