by Bob Sparrow
It was Monday, mid-morning, work was slow, the guests we had coming for dinner on Tuesday had canceled due to illness and I knew the answer to the question before I asked it, so I wanted to make sure I was ready when I said, “Hey, Linda, wanna go to Vegas?” Without missing a beat, she said, “I can be ready in an hour.” She was ready in half an hour! I had just filled the car with gas the day before, so off to Vegas we went. Linda had called for reservations at our favorite hotel, South Point, but had rooms only for Tuesday night, but nothing for Monday. She called around and discovered that this time of year was ‘convention time’, so not only were most of the hotels filled, but those that weren’t were charging exorbitant rates, but I assumed the ‘Ms Bargin Hunter’ would find us a place.
As we headed to Vegas, I was excited about placing a ‘real’ bet on the Monday Night game, since my brother and I place ‘pretend’ bets on both college and pro games every week – this year we’re making some ‘pretend’ money. It was the Bills against the Jets, I liked the Bills to cover and the over, but called Jack on the way out and asked him to ‘research’ it and call me back with what he found. We were about an hour out of Vegas when he called back, “parley Buffalo to the over”, he said; we were on the same page. This was going to be fun!!! We stopped at South Pointe to place the bet and watch the game, plus had a gourmet dinner of a hot dog and a beer. Jack & I were definitely on the same page, but we were in the wrong book! Jets won and the score was under. After the game we head further down the strip to Circus Circus, the only hotel with vacancies and a reasonable rate.
Recommendation #1: Don’t ever stay at Circus Circus. It is very tired, the circus left town years ago; after waiting 40 minutes to check in, we had to walk across the street into a low-rise, low-rent building with no elevators to our second floor room. Our room was possibly where they kept the elephants before bringing them across the street to the ‘Big Top’ during Circus Circus’ hey day. We played some slots (they still had the kind with handles!). then retired for the evening.
On Tuesday morning we could not get out of Circus Circus fast enough, although we felt like we were abandoning the cockroaches that we had befriended there. So far, our ‘spur of the moment’ get-away had included a hot dog dinner, a bad room at a bad hotel and $200+ in gambling debt. A Denny’s down the street seemed like the appropriate place to stop for a gormet breakfast!
Checking into South Point felt like checking into the Ritz. I found a craps table and had great fun and very nice winnings before we noticed a show in the South Point theater featuring The Bronx Wanderers, and thought how bad can they be after our Circus Circus experience, so we bought tickets.
Recommendation #2: If you ever get a chance to see The Bronx Wanderers – do it!!! They are a father (Vinny Adinolfi, 65 years old) and son (Vinny Jr, 35 years old) band, both play the guitar, keyboard and are lead singers; they also have a great saxophone player and the group has awesome harmony. They do rock and roll classics from the ‘60s, ‘70s and ‘80s and do it very well – they killed Bohemian Rapsody!! Vinny, the dad, was a successful record producer in New York and worked with, and had great stories about, most of the popular recording stars of the day. We finished the evening with a nice dinner at the Silverado Steak House, gambled a bit more and retired to a much nicer room.
While this spur-of-the-moment escapade started out as a disaster, it ended with me thinking I just might ask Linda again, “Wanna go to Vegas?”