Mom, Aunt Wendy, Joyce and I were up and ready before anyone else, so we decided to head downstairs (really it’s down elevators – I really wouldn’t want to use the stairs for that many flights) to Roxy’s Diner for our last breakfast at the Stratosphere. We got there early enough to take part in their breakfast special: a one pound ham steak with 3 eggs (again!), hash browns and toast. Mom was willing to split one with Aunt Wendy, but she was adamant that she didn’t want to share. Until it arrived at the table. Those ham steaks were huuuuge. In the end, everyone (except me – I finished mine) made sandwiches for after with their leftover ham and some extra toast that was ordered. Not sure if they made it to the plane or were eaten beforehand.
Shelley and Bonnie had a flight later in the evening, so they stayed back at the Stratosphere while I drove Mom, Aunt Wendy, Joyce, Kim and Diane up the Strip one last time on the way to McCarran Airport. Thanks to some not very clearly marked lanes, we soon found ourselves on the freeway heading back into Las Vegas. Good thing we always leave plenty of extra time for this sort of thing. Got turned around and to the airport in plenty of time for them to make it through security. On the plus side, it also helped me figure out things for when I dropped off Shelley and Bonnie and where I had to go to drop off the van. All good.
Even though we’ll be seeing each other in a few months when I fly back to ON for my summer holidays, Mom started crying before she said goodbye to me. That set off most of the rest of them. Diane apologized for not crying. I’ll let it slide this time.
I went back to the Stratosphere to pick up Shelley and Bonnie and all of our luggage. I had an extra night in Vegas and was switching to Planet Hollywood. I thought if I was going to spend an extra night, why not pamper myself with a 4.5 star rated hotel with a room that had a soaker tub. I really, really need to look at the map for Planet Hollywood and figure out if there’s an easier way to get to the hotel from the parking garage. The way we went required walking for what seemed like the entirety of the Miracle Mile of shops. Even though we arrived early at the hotel, I was allowed to check in early (for a small $16 fee). We stowed our luggage in my room and figured out our plan of attack for our last day.
For a 4.5 star hotel, I’m going to have to say that I wasn’t terribly impressed. The Stratosphere was much, much better. The carpet in the hallways was worn out in places and the lighting left a lot to be desired. My room had a couple of props and a poster from a movie with Rutger Hauer, called Crossworlds. Haven’t heard of it? Me neither. It was a direct to video gem from 1996. The knife in the picture to the left was one of the props. The other was a sword in lucite case that was sort of encased in this entertainment center. The lights for the cases didn’t work and the entertainment center thingy was barely held on to the wall, with several screws already popped out on the one side. I didn’t get a usable picture of the sword or the poster. You can see in the picture of my room the picture on the wall. That’s the same as the poster as well as a larger version of the picture over the soaker tub. More on the tub later.
I had a threesome with my cousins. Get your minds out of the gutter… After having followed one of the mobile signs the day before for half of the Strip advertising a place called Stripburger, that was our first stop. One of their appetizers was called the Threesome. Fried pickles, fried onion strings and french fries. Tasty. I couldn’t decide on what burger to get, so settled for their slider trio which had two of the ones I wanted to try. Their blue cheese burger was rather tasty, but I’d have to say that their Jack Daniels bbq burger was my favorite.
Shelley met up with a friend that was in town while Bonnie and I went back to my room. Despite trying to read, we both ended up napping. For me, it was the half week of only getting 3-4 hours sleep a day. Not sure why Bonnie needed a nap.
When Shelley returned, we spent some time at the Halo Bar at Planet Hollywood. Drinking ensued. The Ottawa Senators were also on tv in the bar, getting their asses handed to them. Heh.
We were going to go to the Premium Outlet Mall again, only the South ones. Time was running out though, so we skipped that. Good thing too, because I had it marked improperly on my map. Not sure where we would have ended up. We decided to go for supper at Famous Dave’s BBQ, a place that I’ve been to before (only in Washington). It was a bit farther out of town than it looked on the map, but worth the drive. We sat outside on the patio and that had both positives and negatives. Positive: awesome evening. Negative: almost as windy as the top of the Stratosphere, dude at the next table with plumber’s cleavage (that Shelley kept on trying to get me to look at). Our server didn’t show up very often either, but she eventually came with the food so I was ok with that.
I got the awesome Texas BBQ Brisket. -drool- Bask in the awesomeness that is this picture. Every bite was tasty. Good thing the nearest Famous Dave’s is almost 3 hours away from where I live. Not just for the brisket, but for the bread pudding they have for dessert. I wish I could make that at home. Any of it. Bonnie wasn’t as impressed with the bread pudding as I was, saying that hers is better. Well… I’ll need to be the judge of that.
With time running out quickly, we hustled back into Vegas and I dropped the girls off at the valet entrance to go get their bags while I waited for the valet to park the van. That didn’t actually happen. No valet ever came up to try to park the van and I ended up just moving it a little further along and waited for the two of them to get back. Another strike against Planet Hollywood in my books.
Thanks to knowing where to go this time, I got Shelley and Bonnie to the airport in good time, then went in search of a gas station. I needed to have a full tank of gas before I dropped off the van in the morning.
I opted out of going anywhere else because I had plans. Plans to have a long, hot soak in the soaker tub (one of the selling points of the room for me). I started to read in the tub, but when I started drowsing off and my tablet started bobbing up and down, I decided to put that on the counter. I got out of the tub, pulled the plug and started drying off. Nothing unusual there. I noticed that the tub was taking an awful long time to drain though. I brushed my teeth before bed and the sink wasn’t draining either. Awesome. I didn’t feel like dealing with it so just went to bed. Everything was drained by the time I got up. Still… so glad I spent the extra money on the 4.5 star hotel room.
I was a bit worried when I was dropping off the van because when I picked it up, I had to inspect it myself for scrapes, dents, etc. In the dimly lit parking garage where I picked it up, I missed a nice horizontal dent on the driver’s side passenger sliding door that was only visible in direct sunlight. Didn’t matter in the end though. The guy checking me in didn’t see it either.
I had an awesome time with my family (you too, Diane) in Las Vegas and wouldn’t mind doing that again. There are some plans to do that for Shelley’s and my 50th birthdays in 5 years (Jane too!), but wouldn’t mind if it happened sooner.
People reading this might have noticed that I didn’t mention gambling much at all. Yeah. That part of what happened in Vegas, stays in Vegas.
I’ll leave you with two pictures. One is of all the girls with their matching bracelets they got before I arrived and the other is from the Bonanza Gift Shop that gave us quite a few laughs (although not as many as the wall of cocks).