Wednesday, August 22, 2018

It was a long, wild night on the Vegas strip

We returned to Vegas on Tuesday night, after spending half of our day in Phoenix. We had three items on our Phoenix agenda prior to departure.

Woody likes to tour state capitols, so we did that in Phoenix. The capitol has a self-guided tour of its original footprint, built more than 100 years ago. The current capitol offices, as well as the house and senate chambers, are on the capitol campus, but were built decades after the initial capitol. The current capitol offices are attached to the original footprint, but the original space has not been repurposed. Instead it is a museum of state history. It's free to tour, and worth an hour of your time.

This is the original Arizona House of Representatives chambers.

Following the capitol tour we headed back to the ballpark. Yes, we returned to the ballpark. No, there wasn't a day game. We toured the ballpark early in the afternoon. The Diamondbacks offer tours of Chase Field for $7, with the proceeds benefiting one of their charitable efforts. The tour includes the standard building history and fun facts. Some ballpark tours include a tour of the press box. Some include a clubhouse tour if it's not during a team home stand. Chase Field offered neither, but we did get to visit the Diamondbacks dugout.

I look like a member of the grounds crew, not a member of a professional baseball team. 

Beef played the part of an outraged manager in the press area of the stadium.

Our final stop in Phoenix before departure, late lunch at the downtown Tilted Kilt. It's not on my bucket list when we travel, but it has decent food and is reasonably priced, typically. Yeah, it's a breastaurant, and not a place I'd take children, but I've never felt like I've overpaid. Woody suggests it when we travel. I'm not about to say no.

We took a different route back to Vegas, traveling north out of Phoenix. This was a more scenic drive into the mountains.

So Wednesday morning rolls around and we don't do much. Beef is thinking about and researching possible tours he wants to do, Woody was up bright and early and put in more than an hour in the fitness center. I woke up, made my simple breakfast, put in 30 minutes at the fitness center and returned around lunchtime. Woody walked with me to drop off postcards at the lobby of Grandview, and showed me where the hidden fitness center is. We chatted while I began riding the exercise bike, and we both speculated that Beef would not shower before I returned from my 30-minute workout, despite the fact he could have, and knowing that we were going to lunch at some point after we both cleaned up.

Sure enough, I return to the room and Beef is working his phone, contemplating tours of the Grand Canyon. So I shower first, at his suggestion, and sometime after 1 p.m. we finally head out for lunch. We decided to go back to Ellis Island, where my Las Vegas Advisor coupon will get us a free meal in the cafe. Beef, Woody and I all ordered a giant beer before our meal, and Beef and I had the prime rib dinner for our late lunch. Woody opted for chicken-fried steak, or something like that. Our waitress was fabulous, and comped one of the more expensive prime rib dinners, despite the fact she should have comped Woody's cheaper meal. It ain't fancy, but I love Ellis Island.

Lunch at Ellis Island. Woody is on the left. 
Woody wanted to do more strip exploration, so we dropped him off on the back side of Flamingo, the hotel where we stayed in 2000 when Beef and I crashed his room while he was there for work. That was the last time these guys had been to Vegas. Me? I've been there about 25 times since that April 2000 gathering.

Beef and I returned to Grandview so I could finally put in a little time at the pool. Beef decided he wanted a massage. A real, legit massage, not one of those "happy ending" massages at the 24-hour joints. So I turned over the SUV to him and headed to the room at 4 p.m.

I headed down to one of the pools to soak up a little sun, with a beer in hand. There are several pool areas at Grandview, and our room looked down upon one. Unfortunately it was the children's play pool, not the place I wanted to hang. So I walked a couple of buildings over for a regular pool area. I parked my butt and slathered on sun screen, despite the fact it was mostly cloudy at the moment, and rather dark to the south.

I had been at the pool for about 15 minutes when a few light drops of rain started to fall. I didn't worry about it. I figured it wasn't really going to rain. The wind picked up a bit, but again, no worries. Then a security guard and lifeguard announced that the pool was closing, and that we had to vacate the pool area. I was not happy.

So by 5 p.m. I was back in our room, not sure what to do with myself. It never rained, by the way.

I toyed with the idea of going to South Point to play poker, but opted instead to use the laptop to write the previous installment of this blog. Writing is an enjoyable recreation, despite the fact I do it for a living. Since I don't usually have a computer with me, I took advantage of the fact I dragged the company laptop with and wrote a mid-trip update. I goofed around for a while before I sat down to do so, and Beef came back to prior to me sitting down to write.

He rolled in after 6 p.m. and I expected to hear he had found a local spa to get a massage. He considered going to the spa at South Point, but that ain't cheap. I figured he could find a local, non-casino place that wasn't all the way up near the strip. But I was wrong.

According to Beef he drove around looking, stopped to make calls on his phone and finally decided to book a 7 p.m. service at a Massage Envy in Henderson. So he returned to Grandview at approximately 6:15 to tell me he was getting a 60-minute massage at 7 p.m.

At that point I knew I had time to write, so I gave myself an hour to pound out all the details I could, starting at 7 p.m.

So I put a wrap on my writing about 8 p.m., expecting to receive a text from Beef that he was on his way back to pick me up. I thought we were going to have dinner at the Palms buffet, using my Las Vegas Advisor coupon, but that clearly wasn't happening on this particular evening. No big deal, I figured.

I finally received a text from Beef about 8:30 p.m., 30 minutes later than I expected. According to Beef, the woman on the phone was hard to understand, and seemed confused. Despite the fact he wanted a 60-minute massage, she penciled him in for 90 minutes. Beef, always the sucker, shows up, finds out there was a mistake and decides a 90-minute massage sounds like a nice treat. It was an amazing massage, he claims.

Woody and I have been in contact by text while I'm waiting to head back to the strip. He doesn't seem bothered that we haven't returned to fetch him. The dude covered a lot of ground. He was up at the Venetian, over at Cosmopolitan and made stops elsewhere. I thought he was nuts, but he likes pounding the pavement and seeing places he visited many years ago.

He had returned to Flamingo and sat down at a bar to have a beer. That's where he made the acquaintance of a woman from Ohio. She was friendly, our age and wanted to meet Woody's friends. I wanted nothing to do with the strip, honestly, and I didn't want to have to park on the strip, purely on principle. When Beef finally returned to Grandview I met him in the parking lot and we headed straight to the strip. Things were about to get interesting.

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