We’re staying at the Excalibur. After getting up to our room on the 18th floor, the kids looked out at the strip and saw one of those mobile billboards drive by. Frank yelled, "Dad! There's a sign that says 'Hot Babes' and has naked ladies on it! What kind of town is this?!!!"
It’s Vegas, kids. What happens in Vegas... stays on Facebook.
People complain about the silent guys who try to hand you hookers' numbers as you walk down the strip. At least they aren’t pretending to be anything other than sleazy guys handing out call girl info. What REALLY grates my crank are the people crawling all over the hotel lobby trying to sell you a time-share.
They ask “Just get into town?” or “where you from?” or “How many days you here for?” The fact that they're dressed as hotel employees gives them just enough credibility that the first time it happens you answer them. Then they corner you, talking quickly about the great deal on show tickets they can get IF you spend the next morning listening to a time share presentation. They use high-pressure sales tactics ("these tickets could be gone in a few minutes, so better buy them now! If you go back to your room to check your schedule you'll probably miss them!") that make car salesmen look tame. Even more irritatingly, they try to get your kids involved “Hey, kids, I can give you some free stuff if you can get your parents to listen to me”.
After checking in we headed down to Circus Circus.
The Planet Hollywood hotel has a big "ph" sign at the top. With my chemistry degree all I can think of is the measure for acidity.
We passed signs advertising the “Frampton Comes Alive! 35th anniversary tour," showing his iconic picture from the 1976 album (but no updated ones). I found myself thinking that perhaps the tour should be called “Frampton Still Alive!” and imagined how his previous hits would sound today in Las Vegas:
“I want yoouuuuuu
To show me the waaayyyy
To the $9.95 all-you-can-eat early bird buffet.
“I want yoouuuuuu
To show me the waaayyyy
Back to my room 'cause I forgot where I stay."
We spent most of today at the Circus Circus AdventureDome park, which was a lot of fun. The hotel has seen better days, but the amusement park is still pretty good, with a decent rollercoaster, log flume, and other rides. It’s $27 for all day rides, which is a helluva deal when you consider the 2-minute roller coaster at the New York New York is ripoff-priced at $14 per person per ride (admittedly, if we went to a time-share presentation they could have given us tickets for only $10/person).
After I’d had enough of the roller coaster I bought a beer and sat down to watch the kids on a stomach churning ride. As I relaxed a homeless guy who’d somehow escaped security came up to me. I assumed he was going to ask for money, but it was even worse:
Homeless guy: “Hey!”
Dr. Grumpy: “Yes?”
Homeless guy: “Can you pour some of your beer in my cup?” (holds up unwashed coin bucket- with a few quarters in it!)
I told him he didn’t want my germs and walked away.
Craig and Frank wanted to play laser tag with me, and so we went in. It was the usual darkened room made to look like a seedy alley (granted, this was on the strip, so maybe it really was a seedy alley). To keep your nerves on edge during the game they blasted high tension-music overhead: Phil Collins’ & Duran Duran’s greatest hits of the 80’s. (REALLY!). Because nothing makes you want to shoot at another person more than listening to “Invisible Touch” at 200 gigadecibels. That and having Craig stop shooting to ask if his hair looks okay.
Right now the buzzword in Las Vegas (instead of artisanal) is “ultra”. Drives me nuts. The MGM has an ultra-lounge and ultra-pool. A local magic act is billed as an “ultra-magician”. If this catches on nationwide I’ll be ultra sick of it.
One of the funniest rip-offs here are the oxygen bars in the lobbies, where you see people paying $10 and up to breathe oxygen. Considering I've been inhaling it for free for over 4 decades I didn't see the point, but they sure had plenty of
They were also selling plastic bracelets that claimed to shield you from cell phone radiation. When Mrs. Grumpy wasn't looking I asked the girl if she had some data to back up the claim, and she said "because my boss told me they do."
And that's the way it is.