Day 8 – Las Vegas

Las Vegas dawned and we were probably one of the few that weren’t nursing a hangover (almost all the people in Vegas … ), bemoaning a loss on the casino floor (most others …) or basking in the glory of a big win (very few others …)

Our day was a mixture of chores and relaxation, with the necessary evil of finding a 24 hour Laundromat (what isn’t 24 hour in Vegas ?) mixed with taking advantage of the hotel’s day spa.

With both our clothes and bodies refreshed, we headed out into the Vegas night.

First stop was a show.  I had earlier dodged a bullet, as the only seats left at the opening night of Celine Dion (Jane didn’t tell me she loved Celine before I proposed … ) were in the “astronomical” price category, so with a heavy heart, I agreed when Jane declared those tickets were too expensive (WOO HOO !!!).

As an alternative, we went to the “Blue Man Group”.  Difficult to describe and do justice to this act, but the stars of the show are three guys in overalls with bald heads and perpetually expressionless faces covered with bright blue makeup.

The show is built around percussion-based music, with a twist – many of the instruments are seemingly made out of PVC plumbing pipes.  Mixed with lots of multi-media and (possibly staged) audience participation, they deliver a very different but very clever and unique show.

One which is infinitely better than watching a Canadian diva belt out the Titanic theme song … but maybe that’s just my opinion.  That said, Jane also thoroughly enjoyed the Blue Man Group … I didn’t ask her for a comparison against Celine Dion …  I think it is better that I don’t know …

After the show, we dined at Thomas Keller’s “Bouchon”, the French themed sister restaurant of his famed Napa Valley restaurant “The French Laundry”.  A good dose of red meat later, and we were ready for the casino.

On my last visit to a Vegas casino, I played and won with a roulette strategy of using all of the birthdays in my family, including months (ie 5 for May).  Common sense might suggest that I should adopt a completely different strategy this time around, but when did common sense have anything to do with gambling ???

Jane stayed with me for the first couple of hours, and the size of our stash fluctuated.  When she left me at midnight, the $210 I had changed had gone down to $100.  I stayed with the intention of playing Blackjack for “half an hour”, but the minimum bet on the Blackjack tables had increased since I was last there, so I decided to go back to my winning strategy on the roulette table.

All seemed lost about 20 minutes after she left, with possibly my last bet placed and only $2 worth of chips left in my hand (noting $2 doesn’t buy you a lot in Vegas … ).  I thought very soon I would be slinking back to the room with my tail between my legs.

Lady Luck smiled, and my demise, was deferred when one of my numbers came up (I think it was 8 … Jane’s birthday … ).  The designers of these casinos are masters in creating an environment where time passes by without notice, and suddenly it was an hour later. I realised that the stack of chips the dealer was pushing across the table to me meant my stash now totalled $210.

Sensing the symmetry in cashing in the amount I started with, and knowing that anytime you walk out of a casino with the amount you came in with is a big win (not to mention the free drinks the casino had been kindly supplying me with), I returned to our room to share my gambling success with Jane.

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