Sunday, August 21, 2011

What Happens In Vegas Stays On Blogger

Just came back from my first trip to Las Vegas. What an incredible trip it was! Three days of fun shared with my wonderful wife. And how else should I commemorate the trip than create a playlist of memories, another Playlist of Pooh!

Gram Parsons - Ooh Las Vegas

To get psyched up for the trip I thought I should listen to Ac/Dc's "Sin City" or ZZ Top's "Viva Las Vegas" but I never did, instead I played this song on my Ipod repeatedly in the week leading up to the trip.

Journey - Raised On Radio

We listened to the radio on the way to the airport, I had no idea that Steven Seaweed and his Hot Lunch program was still on the air. In high school I loved listening to that show on the now defunct KRQR radio station. The weed man wanted folks to call in requests with "radio" as the theme, I would have called this in if I had time to hear it before arriving at the airport.

The Beatles - Ticket To Ride

It was a long wait for our flight at the airport, it was delayed by about two hours. I have an extreme fear of heights and flying, so even though I watched plane after plane take off the runway without incident I was still going nuts. I tried to think of how many of my favorite entertainers have spent decades flying all over the world without problem. Or the other times I had been on planes and safely gotten from one place to another. Unfortunately, all these rationalizations didn't help much so my wife bought me a magazine about The Beatles to distract me.

Asia - The Smile Has Left Your Eyes

Our trip to Vegas was off to a bad start, the flight was delayed and then it took another 30 minutes for our shuttle to leave the airport because they were waiting for other passengers. Except they didn't tell us that, they sat us in the shuttle and left us there to the point we considered just walking to the hotel. Our hotel was The Luxor, a pyramid shaped place that reminded me of the Asia Alpha album cover.

Ohio Players - Love Rollercoaster

Once we dropped off our stuff in the room we decided to walk around. The New York New York section nearby so we went on the roller coaster. It was a great coaster with huge drops and loops throughout. Easily the best roller coaster we had been on in ages. My only problem was I rode the coaster wrong. How do you ride a roller coaster wrong? On this one you have to keep your head flat against the headrest or else it bounces between two neck bars like a ping pong ball. I didn't know that going in, the sides of my lower jaw are still sore. But what a great ride!

Sammy Hagar - I Love This Bar

We had a drink at a bar, I think it was called Diablo. There are tons of restaurant / bars on the Strip including Sammy Hagar's Cabo Wabo and another owned by Toby Keith. I was sort of interested in going to Cabo Wabo since Sammy Hagar is as close to a prophet / philosopher that I can think of in the world. But when I heard their music system pumping new wave music I thought "ehhh". In Sammy Hagar land there should only be Saint Sammy's jams on the speakers!

Quarterflash - Take Me To Heart

The next morning this song was running through my head for no apparent reason. Just seemed to fit the mood of relaxing opulence at The Luxor.

Bruce Springsteen - Atlantic City

Vegas is all about tourism, for many living there it is working in the service industry but for others it's sales and promotion. There is this place under construction called The Grandview which will eventually be 20 towers tall but only has six built right now. The Grandview has hired an army of blazer wearing folk to offer package deals of show tickets and gambling money in exchange for going through what I assume is a lengthy presentation to get you to buy into a timeshare at the new establishment. While the sales people are perfectly pleasant, they're planted like ant farms all over Mandalay Bay, The Luxor and The Excaliber making their repeated "Do you have any plans for a show this evening" or "How long are you in town" queries irritating beyond belief. I actually preferred the porn peddlers waving their leaflets in my face up and down the strip to The Grandview reps. At least those guys and gals understand my shaking my head and hands at them means "no" and don't try to overcome my objections. It doesn't quite fit, yet "Atlantic City" came to mind when dealing with these people. I don't blame the salespeople themselves they're just people trying to earn a buck just like me, but damn...

Bella Notte

We had a nice romantic gondola ride through an indoor area that is designed to be like Venice, Italy. The...I guess maybe they're called Gondalier? Anyway, the guy that moves the boat with a pole was friendly and an excellent singer. One of the songs he sang he prefaced as being from The Lady And The Tramp which was this tune.

Ray Lamontage - You Are The Best Thing

While spending time with my wife looking thru the mall stores, this song came on which fit the mood perfectly.

Kool & The Gang - Too Hot

Did I mention it is hot in Vegas? The temp was over 100 degrees every day until when we left, when it was a cool 97. Even at night you feel like you walked into a broiler. After walking much of the day we were exhausted and took a hasty cab ride back to our room for some rest. Then we met with some of my wife's relatives for a very pleasant dinner.

Queen - Body Language

Won't go into too much detail, I'll just say seeing provocative dancing to this song was the first time I enjoyed hearing this forgotten track. Thought "Body Language" overdid the dance angle of the band following "Another One Bites The Dust" in terms of Queen's music, but in this context it was the perfect tune.

She And Him - You Really Got A Hold On Me

In a rare quiet moment in this very exciting city, I sat down with my Ipod and listened to some She & Him while reading the hotel magazines. This song really popped when I heard it.

Duffy - Mercy

If there is a song The Luxor likes, it's definitely "Mercy". Heard this play throughout the hotel multiple times every day. It's amazing how these hotel / casinos are designed, they're like mini cities within themselves with tons of food, shopping and entertainment at your disposal (at a high price of course). Oh, if you're ever in The Luxor I recommend having the fried rice at Rice & Co. upstairs, it is insanely good!

The Heights - How do You Talk to An Angel?

It's my wife's birthday! We had a delicious breakfast at the Mandalay Bay, it was a fancy place with a great view of other buildings and palm trees. I had a Norway Benedict while she had smoked salmon with bagels. It felt like the setting for a scene in a tv show with rich people, like 90210. A wonderful time with my wonderful, beautiful wife.

Styx - Mr Roboto

After breakfast I took her to The Fremont Street Experience. The magazine in the hotel room promised shopping and art and a good time. What actually was there was old Las Vegas, the original Strip. The Fremont Street Experience was fascinating, a sort of land-that-time-forgot. A place that emphasizes the "loosest slots in town" and offer prime rib dinners for $4.95 on posters. The older casino / hotels retain much of the 70s style sense of glitz with tons of light bulbs flashing on signs everywhere. Signs you could easily imagine having held the names of legends like Sammy Davis Jr or Dean Martin at one point in time. There weren't many people there when we went, adding to a ghost town effect. When I told my wife the magazine said Fremont Street was 80s themed this year, she jokingly said that was the reason I took her there. The topic came up when "Mr Roboto" blasted on the Fremont St audio system while we looked at a kiosk selling 80s t-shirts saying something like "Vegas says Relax" (for those too young to remember, the 80s had a lot of "Frankie Says Relax" t-shirts. Right up there with oversized "Choose Life" shirts).

John Waite - Going to The Top

My wife has always wanted to go to France, so I took her to the Eiffel Tower in the Paris section of Las Vegas Blvd. The view was really awesome, I just wished my fear of heights could have subsided so we could have enjoyed it more.

Elvis Presley - Viva Las Vegas

In the early afternoon we made our way back to the Bellagio / Ceasar's Palace part of the Strip. It was there on a private balcony we witnessed the famous water fountain show at The Bellagio. Done to the tune of "Viva Las Vegas", it was truly a spectacular show. So glad we got to see this.

The Simpsons - Monorail

We rode the monorail back towards our hotel afterwards. I love monorails!

Black Crowes - Share The Ride

That evening we saw Cirque Du Soleil Ka which I will write a separate review on. Once that ended we tried to catch a cab back to the hotel, but the cab stand line was too long so we footed it. Before Vegas, I had taken maybe two taxi cab rides in my life. In Las Vegas it was a daily necessity. It is so hot outside you have to find other ways to get around. Most of the taxi drivers were friendly and amiable, others not so much.

Nearer My God to Thee

The next morning we went to see the Titanic exhibit at the Luxor. On the one hand, it may not have been a good idea to delve into one of the greatest disasters in modern travel on the same day as catching a flight. On the other hand, it was a well done exhibit. It is solemn, informative and involving. To see the personal effects of the travellers and remaining pieces of the ship is so sad. The recreation of the grand staircase is impressive. But what really stuck with me is the facsimile of the side deck at night, it makes you feel like you're really on a ship. A feeling of calm and beauty, unaware of the disaster looming before them. Violin music played in the background, which I believe included this song that may have been performed while the boat sank. After Titanic we walked over to the Shark Reef to see an impressive display of animals and sea creatures.

Gym Class Heroes - Cupid's Chokehold / Breakfast In America

To cope with the flying I had to drink a lot before the flight. While downing a beer this song played in the background at the bar, my wife hadn't heard it before so it caught her by surprise. I had to break the news that yes, even Supertramp is not immune to sampling. Can't say I dislike this tho, it's Supertramp with a modern beat.

Led Zeppelin - Fool In The Rain

We sat in rush hour traffic through San Francisco to get home. The radio played three Led Zep songs in a row, after "Fool In The Rain" we talked about our trip matching the cadence of the verses.

Smokey Robinson - Being With You

Thank you for the trip honey, I loved being there with you :)

Weezer - Memories

While driving to get some food today, the radio was all advertisements so I threw in the Weezer cd I had in the car. This song was perfect for the moment. All the memories make me want to go back there...


Rock Brigade Blogger said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rock Brigade Blogger said...

That's awesome! Me and my wife are planning on a first trip to Vegas in 2013 for our 10th wedding anniversary. Feel free to send any tips - haha. Cheers!

Mr. Mike said...

Enjoy your trip to Vegas, it will be awesome! We hope to go back in the future too. I'll be happy to write down some tips, it will be good to do that now while I remember just for my own reference too.
1. You will do a lot of walking and standing, maps don't do justice to how large these hotel casinos are so it is a long walk just to get from one to the other. And then you will stand in line for something. Many of the street intersections have overhead walkways and the escalators work just part of the time.
2. Stay hydrated, 'cause it's hot. I once lived in Sacramento where it was 100 degree weather in the summer, didn't even come close to Vegas heat.
3. If you need a taxi, go to the front of a hotel and wait at the taxi stand. It was hard to get a taxi without going to the stands where they're waiting in line. You don't have to be a guest at the hotel to use the taxi stand. I recommend learning the tram / monorail system to save on money.
4. I recommend getting a smartphone if you don't have one, we just got one last month having mobile internet access made a world of difference.
5. If possible, choose a hotel in the middle of the modern part of the strip (bellagio, ceasars, planet hollywood, ballys, etc) they're likely more expensive but are clustered together with a lot of stuff to see (the fountains, the volcano, eiffel tower, etc).
6. If you go to the Fremont Street Experience I recommend trying it at night, I've read it's better at night but not sure how.
7. Although it is illegal to drink in public areas (sidewalks, parks) the law isn't heavily enforced on the Strip. But remember your chances to be arrested for disorderly conduct goes up.
8. You don't have to dress up for most shows, which I appreciated because dressing up makes you hotter temperature wise.
9. If you print your flight boarding passes from one of the internet access/printer rental machines, be aware the printer may be just about of ink. Ours was we had to have the tix reprinted at the airport.

That's all I can think of for now, enjoy your trip!

Rock Brigade Blogger said...

That's awesome! I have copied and pasted and filed away for future reference. Thanks so much!!