When I don’t blog for a week it’s usually because I’m traveling. Last week I was in Vegas and came back with a few observations as well as a story or two. Traveling in Covid world is not ideal, and it even though it dilutes the experience, I’m still managing to make the best of it.

I’ll start with the airlines being a mess. I originally booked a non-stop from Philly to Vegas only for American to move me to a connector in Phoenix. I didn’t think much of it and checked a bag with my toiletries in it. Turned out the pilot showed up 2 hours late for my flight to Phoenix and I missed my connector to Vegas. This made it so I had to get a hotel to stay the night in Phoenix. Well, when you’re sitting near the back of the plane, every other passenger who misses the connector visits the American service desk and it gets to be 100 people deep. That’s just to get the hotel & taxi voucher. I had no clue what was going to happen to the bag as it didn’t show up on the Phoenix baggage claim which would have been convenient (it arrived on the plane to Vegas the next day). I’m bagless, not wanting to wait in line because it’s 10pm, and decide to book a hotel for the night (this would be hotel #2 as my room in Luxor was already booked for Monday). I got the hotel to give me a smidge of toothpaste and a toothbrush, as I had nothing (not even another set of clothes), and had to sleep in my contacts because there was no solution in their mini store. Great start.

I get up at 5:30 the next day and head to the airport for the early flight. I slept terribly and wasn’t too excited for the day. I get to Vegas and take a taxi to my hotel and chat with the driver. She says that the Luxor is a shithole ($70 a night) and that youth, degenerates have overrun the city and she had to switch to working day shift because it was too dangerous at night (11 shootings on the strip I’m told). I give her an extra $20 for good karma as she needed it more than I did. I go to my mandatory mask hotel (they all are) and go for a quick run before going to the convention I’m attending. The day went according to plan and I was happy to get a good night’s rest.

I woke up at 6 and went for a run down the strip which awakened me to the sad mental illness that plagues the city. People are sleeping in bushes, begging for money, and groups are huddled together Mad Max style. I ate a good breakfast, did some reading, and went to the show for my allotted time which was terribly attended. A fun part of my trip was starting as I had a ticket to the LIttle Big Town and Darius Rucker concert which had an open bar. I’d never heard of Little Big Town but they put on a hell of a show. Hootie was ok but it felt like the “only 80’s Billy Joel”, as he kept wanting to play his new songs. I left the concert and got some wings at a nearby bar and the wildness began.

This is what a concert for middle aged roofers looks like

I start talking to a 25 year old at the bar and he’s telling me about how Todd Gurley is his cousin, he’s a Tik Tok influencer, yada yada yada. I was being cordial when a girl sits right next to me and tells me it’s her 38th birthday, she just came from the Thunder Down Under show, and she’s by herself. Alarm bells are going off in my mind as she tells me her parents are dead and she has an estranged sister. The only reason she keeps living is because she has a tiger cat that she loves. She orders a straight shot of Tequila and eats a few bits of a Caesar salad. I’m hearing all this playing the psychiatrist who doesn’t know anything about psychology. The bar closes and I’m not sure if she suggested it, but we end up playing Blackjack together.

I withdrew $500, let her play $200, and we play a continuous shuffle shoe (never play a continuous shuffle shoe). I lose a bit where I have to withdraw another $500. We move to a multi deck shoe and I start killing it. She’s drinking a Pina Colada, which I didn’t even know you could order, and at one point I had 2k in front of me and this girl’s eyes were bulging out of her head. I write this because she min bet every hand and listened to my instructions for how to play never really going up or down much whereas I’m betting $100 a hand splitting and doubling as often as possible. We give a few hundred bucks back playing roulette and it’s 3:30am and I have to work a booth the next day. I tell her that she can stay in my room because “it’s not like I’m going to kill her”. She luckily declines and I give her my # and these text messages came over the next few days. It’ s a 3 hour time difference which isn’t shown in the time text.

She kept partying until at least 4:45am after I left. I also can’t figure out why she keeps hitting enter on her keypad like that.

This was the next day after my Mandalay Bay session which I write about at the end of this post. I was probably 8 beers deep which prompted me to drunk text her. Purple is $500 which I’m sure she had no idea.

There are 5 more texts sent to me the next day which I can’t bring myself to reveal. They are a combination of her wanting more out of the situation where there isn’t anything more out of. This is partly why I’m single because I don’t trust her story. I told her to keep the money she played with (I truthfully can’t remember if she did, but I believe she gave it back to me – which doesn’t mean she didn’t take any throughout) but what are doing at Excalibur at 4am? Why are you calling me Dan? She was a sweet girl who has life issues, but they’re unfortunately not my life issues. It makes me sad (this isn’t the right word) if she were to read this post and wonder how I can spend that night only to reveal to my blog readers how I view this scenario. I liked talking to her when I was 10 beers deep and gambling, but there isn’t any us.

I suffer through the tradeshow on Thursday and have a few more hours to kill before my 9pm flight back to Philly. I start another BJ session at the Mandalay Bay and get super hot again turning $500 into $1,500. It sounds like I won more than I did but I tip like a madman to the dealers, give $5 to servers for free drinks, and pay for cabs and such. I would say I took $1,000 from the house total and paid for my incidentals. I felt terrible getting back on Friday from the red eye and needed some time to recover. Today is Sunday, and I’m back in shape, but that was a rough stretch…although I did manage to play 2 rounds of golf relatively successfully this weekend, so it’s not so bad. I hear Gourlay is “good” now.