The destination for our little troupe: Las Vegas.
Monday, March 4
I admit I was a little surprised by the announcement as Dave isn’t into gambling at all. On the other hand, Dave had never really experienced Las Vegas aside from a brief overnight trip he took with Mat before the two of them headed off to Japan for the series I entitled “A Journey Beyond Imagination”. With several days, Dave could get the full experience to appreciate the artistry and architecture of the casinos, take in a show, and possibly even join me for a few sites I had wanted to visit, but had not got around to doing.
Monday morning found us piling into Mat’s Nissan and heading off to Sin City after having a quick bite to eat at Jack in the Box. Mat was recording our journey with time lapse photography with his Go Pro 4 camera while Dave and I killed the first hour or so of the drive playing a round of Super Mario Party. I finally got the victory, but it wasn’t quite the same without getting to drive Mat into the dirt.
We arrived at the Linq about 3pm and had a pretty decent room on the 10th floor with a view of the pool. Mat and Dave claimed the beds while I took the couch. We puttered around for a couple of hours before heading to dinner over at the Bacchanal Buffet over at Caesar’s Palace.
Bacchanal Buffet is the biggest buffet in Vegas. If you can think of it, they’ve got it. We all enjoyed a good meal of whatever we felt like sampling before heading back to the Linq. I lost $30 playing Dracula and Ghostbusters slot machines while Mat came out ahead on Casino Royale. Then all 3 of us headed back up to the room for the night.
Tuesday, March 5
I rose early on Tuesday and did a little reconnaissance of the hotel while Mat and Dave slept until about 9am.
Today we were going for a hike. So we got some breakfast at a nearby McDonald’s before getting some water at a convenience store to fill our camel packs.
Mat drove us out to Red Rock Canyon where we would be doing a loop through the La Madre mountains. It was a perfect day for hiking as the temperature was moderate and the sky was slightly overcast. We enjoyed quite a bit of God’s splendor as we gazed upon the mountains and found La Madre Falls and La Madre Spring.
We ended up hiking nearly 8.5 miles as Mat unintentionally led us on a more scenic route than intended. But it was well worth it for a view of the falls and spring. After our 3+ hours of hiking, we headed back to the Linq where we cleaned up and/or rested before heading to Hash House A Go Go for dinner.
For those of you not familiar with it, Hash House a Go Go is known for “Farm Food Done Freaky” and huge portions. I was able to get a smaller meal of the HH Downsized Burger which was quite juicy and loaded with vegetables while Mat and Dave enjoyed wings and Mat indulged in a pork tenderloin sandwich and Dave supped on chicken and waffles.
We returned to our room where I caught a brief catnap while Mat and Dave watched some TV. At 9:30pm, we headed across the street to Caesar’s Palace to watch Absinthe.
Absinthe is one of the most original shows I have seen in Vegas. The theme of the show is that it’s an illegal, underground circus financed and produced by a man known only as the Gazillionaire. The show is actually held in a tent with a bunch of mismatched chairs to suggest they were salvaged or stolen.
The show has a collection of impressive circus acts which change from show to show. Our show consisted of a variety of acrobatics and trapeze artists with an intentionally bad ballet act thrown in. For my money, the two best acts of the show were a group of jugglers called Water on Mars which did some phenomenal team juggling, sometimes from across the room and Shawn and John, an impressive pair of tap dancers that had the crowd roaring.
Acts are introduced by the Gazillionaire, who is a foul mouthed comic, and his assistant, Wanda Widdles, a sex obsessed woman with enough energy to light the Strip. Largely due to the blue language utilized by these two, one must be 18 years old to attend the show.
After the show, we returned to our room and collapsed into bed.
Wednesday, March 6
I slept quite late today, at least for me, not awakening until 8:30am.
Today would be kind of an alone day for us. Dave hadn’t seen Mat in over 2 years, so I made an appointment at the spa so they could spend a little time together.
For my regular readers, you know that I normally attend Qua Baths over at Caesar’s Palace. For a change of pace, I visited The Spa at the Linq as I wanted to try a unique treatment.
The Spa at the Linq is a good spa. It doesn’t have a lot of amenities as it only boasts a gym, jacuzzi, and steam room, but that’s enough to relax for a few hours. For booking a treatment at least $50, I was also allowed to book a session in the Himalayan Salt Cave room for free.
The Salt Cave treatment is simply sitting in a room for 45 minutes while finely ground salt is sprayed inside. The salt helps improve breathing and clears congestion from colds, asthma, allergens, and other toxins like secondhand smoke. The salt also helps to detoxify the skin. It was an interesting experiment and I do think I was breathing a bit more fully after the session.
From there, I went straight to my massage appointment with Theresa who released knots in my neck and shoulders and pepped up my tired feet which were a little sore from yesterday’s walking.
With my treatments completed, I returned to the room where Dave was watching TV and told me Mat was downstairs playing blackjack. Mat had enjoyed a great run for the past six hours and was essentially playing at the casino’s expense. When a new dealer showed up, the table left the game and Mat and I returned to the hotel room where we collected Dave and headed over to Planet Hollywood so Mat could pick up a gift card he had earned.
We wandered around the Miracle Mile Shops where Mat spent his card on a Bruce Lee T-shirt. Then we made our way to Bally’s where I got whipped in a round of mini golf at Twilight Zone mini golf. For losing, I won a free round of golf which never expires.
After my helping of humble pie, we went to the Flavors Buffet at Harrah’s for dinner and enjoyed another good meal before heading back to the room for the night.
Tomorrow it’s back to Phoenix.