On Friday I left work early to run several errands. I had to go to both of our banks, then I ran the dogs to the kennel. After the dogs were taken care of I waited at home for about 45 minutes for Stanley Steemer to show up and clean our carpet. Last weekend we decided it needed to be cleaned, so we planned on taking off for Vegas to let the carpets dry after being cleaned, and my landlord agreed to pay half of the cleaning fee.
Stanley Steemer cleaned both bedrooms, the stairway and our den downstairs in about an hour. The carpet looks great now, almost like new, and it just feels better being in the house now. I wish we’d have gotten them cleaned a year ago! The only thing I didn’t like was the hard sell from the knuckleheads that came out here to do the cleaning. It was a two guy team: an older latino guy who couldn’t speak much English but worked his ass off, and a young latino guy who was a salesman.
The older guy was really friendly (smiley) and did all the work, plus he probably lost 10 pounds in sweat while he was here. The young guy told me 4 times that I should get the deoderizer done because of all the health risks involved if I didn’t… Ahh, I live in the most notorious area of our country for crappy air quality, I work in heavy industry, I have two dogs (that shed), and we live just above one of the filthiest countries I’ve ever been to. This ain’t exactly an Intel clean room in the Swiss Alps. I finally was pretty stern and told the kid ‘NO, I DO NOT WANT THE DEODERIZER!”, and then he started in on “well, you really should get your carpet cleaned at least once a year”, to which I snapped and said “look, spare me the expletive lecture and just clean the carpet.” The old guy was already finished with the first bedroom by that point, so I just sat down and waited for him to finish. When they were done I paid and gave them a $20 and told them lunch was on me. I really only wanted to pay for the old man’s because he did all the work, but I figured the young guy probably gets grief from people like me all the time after his hard sell tactics fail.
I laid down on the couch for about 2 hours after those guys left, until Jean and my dad got home, then we loaded up my dad’s car and took off for Vegas. Unfortunately it was around 4:30pm by the time we finally left town. I drove the 4.5 hours to Vegas, while my dad and Jean took mini-naps. We did all listen to the 90 minute presidential debate together. Barack just isn’t the polished career politician that McCain is… Barack kept saying “John was correct when he said…”, while McCain would start every sentence with “What Senator Obama just doesn’t get is…”. I hate politicians and want to leave this country. America needs a revolution, but I’ll go into that in another blog.
We got to our hotel, Four Queens, around 9pm. I was surprised how far away from the strip downtown is. We parked on the top floor of the parking garage and headed into the lobby. There was no line at the check-in, which was nice, but the lady couldn’t find our reservations and said they had the same problem all day long for everyone with Travelocity reservations. We waited while she called Travelocity and then waited some more while they faxed confirmations over. Finally we got our rooms and headed up to the 18th floor. We dropped all our stuff and went down into the casino to find dinner. First we headed to the Chicago Brewing Company, but after sticking our heads in and seeing that the entire restaurant had only 5 tables, we decided to go to Magnolia’s Veranda because they were right next door and had a prime rib special, for $7.95. Nobody working there smiled, we couldn’t understand a word the drink lady said, the guy that took our order spoke fast enough to lead an auction, and the food would get about a 2 on a 1-10 scale with 10 being excellent. The only good thing I can say about that place was that their horseradish was really hot.
After dinner we went back to our rooms. My dad was exhausted, so he hit the sack. Jean and I went back downstairs so she could play the slots (they had her favorite, The Sopranos). The Four Queens is one of about 6-7 hotel/casinos on Fremont Street, and Fremont Street has a gigantic canopy that runs about a half mile long and is really a huge tv. They call this thing the Fremont Street Experience, and I’ve been wanting to see it for over 2 years. Each night they put on a show every hour on the hour. Jean and I went outside and watched the 11pm show. There were probably 10-20,000 people crowded around the street, looking up at this enormous tv about 50 feet over their heads. The music was blasting and it was pretty cool. They played some good songs, like Tutti Frutti a American Pie. Jean sang and danced around to Tutti Frutti, but I just marveled at the screen.
We finally went upstairs and to bed. The next morning I pressed everyone to get up early (7am), so we could drive over to the Monte Carlo and I could collect my winnings from our previous trip and then place some bets. The sports book at Four Queens was ridiculous, 3 televisions, 4 tall tables with stools, and their boards were all hand-written. I looked like something you’d see in the back of someone’s house, not in a Vegas casino. We left the hotel around 8am and I needed to get my bets in by 9am because some games started at 9am (PST) and I didn’t want them to be locked before I had made my picks. I filled out several tickets and collected my $200 from my earlier winnings, then we went to the breakfast buffet at the Monte Carlo. My dad described the Monte Carlo’s buffet as “fast and varied” and said it was a fantastic meal. The price was right, around $12 a person, and they have all kinds of stuff. We both got made-to-order omelettes, hash browns and sausages. Jean got croissants and bagels with cream cheese. I continued filling out tickets for college games while my dad hit the buffet another 2 times.
We finally took off and headed back downtown around 11am. We walked up and down Freemont Street, checking out the little kiosks and peeking into some of the other casinos, like Binions and the Golden Nugget. That got boring so dad and I went upstairs to his room and started watching football while Jean played the slots. After a while we moved rooms because the shower head in our room was missing. We moved to the 8th floor, in two rooms that had a door between them. We got back to watching football and Jean continued trying to make us a fortune down in the casino.
I won’t get into all the details, but I picked a bunch of games and only 2 messed me up – I picked Tennessee over Auburn and UCLA over Fresno State. I was 5 points away from a $750 win (I picked 5 of 6 games on that ticket). In all, I spent $90 on college games. The best part of the weekend game during the first half of the Alabama-Georgia game, when the Tide DESTROYED UGA!! Alabama was leading 31-0 at the half. The second half was terrible for Bama, but they held off the Dawgs for the win. By the time I got home today the new AP polls had been released and Bama moved up from #8 in the nation to #2! ROLL TIDE!!
After the Bama game, we headed downstairs and watched a Freemont Street Experience show since my dad hadn’t seen it the day before. Jean stayed upstairs and watched a dvd she bought recently, The Eye. For the next few hours, we watched Freemont Street Experience shows on the hour (3 shows in total), listened to a live band playing on a stage next to the 4 Queens, drank beer, played some roulette and basically just rocked out. We all had a blast. I got a good picture of Jean with this dude in a wheelchair who was dressed up like a pimped out Uncle Sam, and I won $180 playing roulette. By 11:30pm my dad was exhausted, so I went up to the rooms with him and then hit the sack. Jean stayed downstairs playing the slots with some of my roulette winnings, but she came upstairs to bed by 1:30am. My dad also went back out for a while, but I stayed put – no wandering for me…
This morning we got up around 7am, got ready and took off. We stopped for breakfast at Stateline (Primm), and about 10 miles down the road Jeannie got sick. I felt so bad for her, but she was a tropper. Luckily we had bags from Carl’s Jr or my dad’s car would have suffered because there weren’t any shoulders on the road when her sickness hit. It always seems like the drive home takes much longer than the drive to Vegas, but eventually we got home to our spotless carpet.
Here are some pictures from the trip: