How I Spent My Vegas Vacation (With Pictures!)

As you recall from my last two posts, my wife and I went to Las Vegas to attend my brother-in-law's wedding. This was the second time we'd been to Vegas. Last time we told ourselves next time we should come at night, see the glowing city on the horizon and watch it grow bigger. But then we'd miss a great view of the Grand Canyon.

Ah, yes, our seats were right beside the wing. Which isn't the greatest feeling when you look outside and see the wing shaking up and down like it might snap off at any moment. But anyway, we landed safely, and there were of course slot machines in the terminal, but they weren't nearly as interesting as one of the ads that greeted you as you went down the long corridor out of the airport.

Alas, we never did get around to shooting a real machine gun, but there's always next time. And so from there we eventually made it to our hotel, which was Treasure Island, which, in case you're planning to visit Las Vegas anytime soon, it should be noted charges a daily resort fee of $22.40, because apparently the regular high cost of the room isn't enough.

Maybe the reason Treasure Island charges that daily resort fee is because people are stupid enough to pay it without complaining. I mean, people would have to be pretty stupid otherwise the hotel wouldn't see the need to point out that the sprinkler system is not an ideal place to put hangers.

And for some reason I always thought drinks were relatively inexpensive in Vegas. I mean, they want you to gamble as much as possible, so cut people a break on beverages, right? Guess not, as at one casino that first night my wife and I ordered a Captain and Coke (me) and a Cosmopolitan (her) and the bill came to $23. Seriously!

The next day, Thursday, was the wedding day. The guys and girls split up and did their own thing. The bride's brother came up with the idea of getting the guys tuxedo T-shirts which we wore around town. Walking through one casino, we passed a group of guys wearing suits, and one of the guys said, "Man, we should have done something like that."

We took the monorail up the strip and stopped at a bar called Diablo's for drinks. It wasn't even noontime yet and we threw back Tequila and had Slurpee-type drinks mixed with heavy liquor. I hadn't had breakfast yet and was feeling buzzed almost immediately (it also didn't help that we were walking in the 100-degree temperature outside), so it was good that our next stop was for lunch at a place where a giant biker rode his hog through the wall.

Then it was a lot of wandering around, and we happened past this giant stripper. We did not venture any closer for fear that others of her size might be lurking inside.

Back to the hotel then, where I took a relaxing nap, and then it was wedding time. The ceremony was short but sweet, and it was recorded online for all the groom's and bride's family and friends back home to watch. Afterward, we went to dinner at the Venetian across the street.

Aren't they a good-looking couple? Of course, my lovely wife was looking as beautiful as ever.

The next day was a free day. My wife and I had breakfast at Denny's, then walked up and down the Strip. Caesars Palace, I must say, has the nicest casino around. It just isn't about the games with them; the overall structure and decor is amazing. And yes, I will admit that I succumbed to the siren song of a few of the slot machines, but there were a few that I did stay away from.

Later that day I caught up and had drinks with Jeremy D. Brooks, where we talked about writing and publishing and all that good stuff. Later that night, my wife and I had dinner at Paris, right there on the patio overlooking the sidewalk and street. We had a pretty good view of the Bellagio despite the pesky trees, and watched five different sets of their famous fountain show.

That night everyone but the parents went clubbing -- or, more accurately, we went to one of the clubs in our hotel, the kind that has a velvet rope that you have to wait behind. Yeah, it was that kind of classy. And ... well, the night was kind of a blur, but we ended up outside on the deck and I do remember hearing police sirens but didn't think about it much as, come on, it's Vegas. But as it turns out, Paris Hilton was arrested that very night, across the street and less than a block away. Last time my wife and I were in Vegas, O. J. Simpson was arrested. Coincidence? Perhaps. Or maybe we're just bad luck for celebrities. Watch out, Mel Gibson!

The next morning I managed to drag myself out of bed and meet the legendary David B. Silva for breakfast. Now if you're a fan of horror or dark fiction, you should be reading Dave's work. He's one of my favorite horror short story writers. It was a pleasure and honor to meet with him and talk about writing and books and publishing and just about everything. One thing we talked about was the shifting price of e-books, something I hope to at some point bring up here on this blog. But then breakfast was cut short as we needed to check out and catch our shuttle to the airport. Which, I should add, has probably the strictest security in the world. Seriously, God forbid you forget to take a bottle of water out of your bag; you'd think a SWAT team was going to bust out of the walls. My wife wasn't lucky with the metal detector, though, and got the extra pat-down.

Then it was a two-hour wait for the plane to arrive and take off. We saw what it probably the coolest T-shirt ever. In fact, we were almost tempted to buy it, but then we realized that this was one of those T-shirts that, while it's awesome, is something you would never seriously wear in public. (It's a Hangover reference, for those of you scratching your heads.)

And then, before we boarded the plane, one last goodbye to the Strip.

Now having returned home safe and sound, it's time to dive back into this Y. A. novel. Talk to you all soon.