Saturday, August 20, 2016

So Long, Las Vegas (part 1)

In the past two weeks, I have packed up all my belongings, crossed several sights off my Vegas bucket list, driven across the country for four days, and taken an impromptu trip to Cleveland. That's far too much for one blog entry, don't you think? Therefore, I shall divide my epic fortnight into three parts.

Part 1

The madness began when Shaun and I had a joint goodbye party that doubled as his birthday party. Actually, it could have been madder, but I developed a bad headache and had to leave early. Despite the premature exit, I still managed to join friends for dinner at Stake Out, which will forever be our favorite dive bar/restaurant in the valley. (Stake Out is a recurring theme of my final week in Vegas.) Then we headed over to Champagne's, which isn't quite as good since its unfortunate Bar Rescue makeover, but is still okay--mostly because the wallpaper survived. And because it continues to host weird, half-live-band karaoke nights, of course. I managed one song before my head really started pounding and I left for home, but from what I understand, everybody else had a late night. Very late. Probably too late.

I know this because of the hangovers I witnessed when I went to play the final game of our summer Marvel-themed RPG campaign the next day. It was a rousing afternoon/evening full of slaughtering imaginary supervillains. I must tip my hat to Shaun, who is an extraordinary GM. Consider yourself lucky if he ever runs a game for you.

The following week, my days were consumed with packing, and my nights were consumed with pretend tourism. On Tuesday, after yet another Stake Out dinner, Sean, Natasha, and I went to play Bingo with LeeAnn and Jon out in Henderson. For those of you who have never played Bingo in a casino, it's actually kind of stressful--they call the numbers so quickly that it's easy to miss some, especially because you're playing across six cards (at least) at once, and you're typically searching for other formations instead of a traditional one-line bingo. Nobody in our party won, unfortunately, but we did witness one woman win close to $1,000 because she got a bingo on G49, the special number for the evening. She was positively giddy, and rightfully so. At any rate, I'm glad I found one more opportunity to use my hot pink dauber.

LeeAnn's lucky sweater had an off night.

On Wednesday night, my darling roommate Lulu used her magic powers to get us on the High Roller Ferris Wheel for free. And by "magic powers," I mean her Caesars properties staff ID. The High Roller is currently the tallest ferris wheel in the world, and I have to say, the views were spectacular. 

So many hotel rooms.

Did I relax on Thursday night, knowing that I had a long road trip in just a few days? Of course not! During my three years in Vegas, I had somehow never visited Circus Circus. I corrected this travesty by playing Skee-Ball with Joe and Tim. I received way more tickets than they did, probably because I'm awesome at Skee-Ball and definitely not because I played more games than they did and also because their machine was broken. Nope. I'm just that good. We also watched some death-defying circus acts, and Joe was kind enough to purchase a gaudy Las Vegas t-shirt for me so I can proudly represent my former city wherever I end up. 

Skee-Ball champions.

After Skee-Ball, we headed to the lounge at the tippy top of The Stratosphere, where we were joined by Shaun, Austin, and Jesse. We drank overpriced drinks and watched bungee jumpers bound past the windows, and then we took pictures on the observation deck. 

All the young dudes. And also me. 

Friday was my very last day in Vegas, so I wanted to ditch the tourism act and just have a relaxing night with my friends doing what we would normally do. And what do we normally do? Stake Out. Stake Out is what we normally do. We ate and drank and played pool (poorly, in my case), and all too soon it was time to say goodbye. I held it together until I exited the building, and then I became a puddle of tears. 

Group hug.

Hey, Vegas friends: I miss you an awful lot. <3

On Saturday morning, LeeAnn and I embarked upon our cross-country adventure. But that will be covered in part 2...

***

To read Part 2, click here.
To read Part 3, click here.

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