This was a quiet, and unfortunately, kind of sad day. Not sad because it was quiet, but it truly was a day where Larry really just couldn’t get out of bed and his awareness is nearly wiped out. We’re basically getting him close to an incapacitated, Alzheimer’s patient now. There’s moments where he can communicate and interact, but for the most part, his hands are nearly useless in terms of holding things for himself, he can’t feed himself, for the bathroom he needs us to get him to the bedside commode and help him wipe, and it’s just exhausting. This all literally happened in the span of a few days. I’m starting to feel numb from it. I can’t though, as when I see him and help him, I know he’s there somewhere.. The poor guy just has run out of time and luck. I do my best to comfort Fran and all three of us work our best to get through this together. I’m just more and more resentful of others and lives that don’t have this. We watched Frozen 2 screener today, as well as Winnie the Pooh and Ratatouille. It kind of seems watching animated or kids entertainment is helpful and something he can watch, but honestly, even those don’t keep his attention for long and he starts nodding off. Dr Fakih had told us he’ll just get sleepier and sleepier, until finally his body fails. I hate that fucker so much but he was not wrong – just a cold asshole. The things he’s said have not been untrue. I’m tired, I know Fran and Joel are tired, and everyone else gets to move on with their lives and whistle by the graveyard relieved they’re not the ones going through this. I hate it. I love Larry so goddamned much and will be there every step of the way, but I’ve realized I don’t think I’ll ever commit myself to another person again. I can’t bear to go through this again.
This past weekend was a wonderful getaway. Larry & I flew up on Thursday night to Las Vegas to meet up with Fran and Joel. They were in this neck of the woods because they were headed to a conference in Phoenix this week, so why not meet up in a fun middle ground? So of course, we were in for that!
We all stayed at the Palazzo, which was unsurprisingly fantastic. It’s a huge hotel and has a smallish casino, to be honest. But it was good enough as I ended up having quite a bit of luck playing there. Well, the first night, not so much: I decided to try Blackjack that Thursday night before going to bed and immediately lost $100. ROUGH. But it was on Friday when I played some craps and holy shit, I had a fantastic roll. I was at the table by myself, which is usually a risky move, but it was $10 and sometimes it’s nice to not have the pressure of others betting on you and your roll. But that morning? I was on fire. I kept hitting the points and rolling 6s and 8s like crazy. Started with $100 and walked away with $450. That’s a nice session. Our first activity that day was walking around the Strip in that area, as Fran hadn’t been in Vegas for over 40 years so it was worth walking her through a lot of it. We walked south from the Palazzo, past the Venetian, Harrah’s, through Flamingo, then past Bally’s and into Paris. We finally took a drink break at Paris and enjoyed the ambience.
After that respite, we crossed the street over to Caesars Palace as that is definitely something that can’t be missed when looking at over-the-top splendor. The Forum Shoppes suitably impressed them, as did the curvy escalators! After that, it was time to walk on back to the Palazzo and past the Mirage, which we’d return to on Saturday night.
Another drink stop back at the Palazzo casino bar area, and then it was finally time to get some Roulette in! I don’t usually play, but it was the game that Fran was up for as Jon had asked her to play some #s. Well, crazily enough, she was able to get some wins in – hell, so did I! The best one was 33 hit, which I had bet on, and on the next spin, it came up again. Sweet, and I had put another dollar on there. 35-1 odds, buddy!
That evening we had dinner at the Lavo Italian restaurant in the Palazzo, which was pretty great. Joel’s boss and wife were also meeting us there for dinner. The food was great, but I ended up unable to finish off my veal parmesan as it was ginormous. But very good!
On Saturday morning, we awoke and instead of having breakfast again at the Grand Lux Cafe, we found Thomas Keller’s Bouchon Bistro – quite a trek to find, but sooo damn good. It’s a French restaurant and oh man, their weekend menu is delicious. I ended up getting one of the specials, chicken with waffles, and it was fantastic. Perfectly cooked chicken…bacon in the waffles….delicious.
After breakfast, that day’s walking adventure was to take the Monorail down to the MGM Grand so we could then not only see that but also see the New York New York casino. We had to show them the fun theming there, even if it is kind of lame. We then walked through the Excalibur and into the Luxor, where we had another drink break. It was a lot of fun to stop there as they were playing music videos and all of them were just a blast to watch. Larry & I could have probably hung out there, drank, and watched videos all afternoon! We did then check out Mandalay Bay before catching a cab back to the hotel in order to get some rest.
We still had a fun night ahead, as we had gotten tickets to see the Beatles’ LOVE show at the Mirage! Yay! Michancy also joined us, so it was a blast. I was excited to see it again (yes, again, I know) as for its 10th anniversary, they changed it up a little. After having seen it, I think I preferred the original version to the tweaks that were implemented. It’s not a giant overhaul by any means, but there did seem to be additions and removals that changed the overall excitement, maybe? Regardless, still a great show and the newbies all loved it. After the show, we then headed back to the Canal Shoppes and got dinner at Sushi Samba, which is quite an experience. Really good food in a fun atmosphere. Michancy suggested keeping going, but both Larry & I were done at that point, so we walked her to her car and then headed back to the hotel.
And then it was Sunday and time to go home. We actually did have a good bit of fun in the morning, as we had breakfast at the Grand Lux again (their beignets were so good and their French Toast is insanely thick) and then after getting packed, we killed some more time at the casino, with Fran able to play roulette for a while longer and I went over and played craps again. It was great as I was able to win some money – although not as much as some guys who were playing one of the particular-table bets I’d not seen before – Repeater bets, in which if you roll two 2s or three 3s or four 4s etc before 7-ing out, you get insane paydays. It’s of course bigger at the 6 and 8 (120-1), but the 2/12 is still 50-1 I think, and it just goes up. For those rolls in which craps numbers get rolled a lot, which sometimes happen, these bets are ridiculous. One of the guys at the table literally won $1000 on those bets alone. But I know full well that those are sucker bets too, as those great rolls don’t come all that often!
Anyway, it was wonderful to see Fran and Joel even if for a little while. They drove off to Phoenix while Larry & I took our brief Southwest flight home. I freakin’ love flying to Vegas now – so much less stressful.
We made it back to Vegas! Â This weekend though we met up with Larry’s sister, Alyssa, and her husband, Jon. Â It was a very quick trip and I could probably have stayed longer but we did put a healthy dent in spending money as we ate at some NICE places. Â We also stayed at the Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas hotel and damn, that was nice, yo. Â As you’ll see in the pictures below, it really was just a spectacular location. Â It was so good to hang out with Alyssa and Jon though, and I think we all had a great time, even if the weather was uncharacteristically cool.
2015 05 07 – Flying out to Vegas
One of the first things that was different about this trip was that we flew out from Burbank airport. Â The drive to Vegas isn’t a terrible drive by any means, but it was kinda nice to just go on a 42-minute flight. Â Burbank is also an especially convenient and easy airport to fly from and has absolutely none of the stress involved with an LAX departure. Â I wish Burbank had direct flights to NYC from there but I’ll take the small wins when you can.
Getting to Vegas / Riding the High Roller
We didn’t get into the city until around 6:30 and into the Cosmopolitan until about 7. Â Jon and Alyssa met us at the lobby and awesomely our hipsteriffic host at the check-in desk not only got us near their room, but also upgraded our room into a 1-Bedroom and DAYUM, that is some fine-ass living. Â You’ll see it in a later set of pictures, but that is some quality shit. Â We had a view looking west so it wasn’t a strip view but the accommodations were just amazing. Â You may have heard the tagline for Cosmopolitan in their TV ads, “Just the right amount of wrong.” Â It’s sort of appropriate for these rooms, as your bedroom has a full on view of the shower and tub. Â So if you’re in the mood for putting on a show, go for it!
Anyway, we then had reservations for dinner at Rao’s in Caesar’s, a very good Italian restaurant. Â So we walked over there with plenty of time although it was a fun goose chase to find Rao’s as Caesar’s is one confusing layout. Â After that delectable dinner, we then went across the street to the Linq area where of course the main attraction is the High Roller. Â It’s a great way to see everything from a unique viewpoint, although I think Alyssa may not have loved the experience all that much. Â It is a very high, enclosed capsule overlooking the strip. Â But I loved going on it for a third time!
Shots From Our Balcony at Night
I didn’t take the following picture but found it on the Wiki entry for the Cosmopolitan and just loved it – so I’m definitely not taking credit for having taken this picture myself:
After that we ended up taking Alyssa back to the room so she could sleep while the rest of us went over to the Aria hotel to see if there was slightly less expensive gambling than $25/table. Â Turns out the answer was no. Â But Jon stayed there to play some poker while Larry & I walked back to the Cosmopolitan chandelier bar and had two drinks and enjoyed the glitz and glamour of that place during a fun night. Â I hadn’t been too buzzed most of the night but after those two drinks, I certainly got that way!
2015 05 08 – Good Morning!
I think we all were a little bit tired so the going was a little slow but we were on vacation so why not? Â Jon and Alyssa had tried breakfast at the Henry restaurant within Cosmopolitan but weren’t impressed, so instead Alyssa had suggested a French place they’d seen while walking around the day before….ha! Â Of course I knew the place they were talking about as it was Mon Ami Gabi in the Paris LV. Â We’d never had breakfast or lunch there so it was going to be a new experience for Larry & me too! Â The verdict? Â Pretty fucking great food!
Daytime Pics From the Balcony!
Mon Ami Gabi, Breakfast-Style
After a great breakfast with mimosas, we sauntered through the Paris casino, observing that some things had changed like the gazebo area which had become a bit more open, part of the Paris Cafe had been turned into a noodle restaurant (note for next visit!), and one of the Italian restaurants in the French Village area got a very modern upgrade. Â Walked through Bally’s also and their “Market” in the front area where before it was just a moving walkway surrounded by lawn. Â Can’t say I was impressed with what they did – very generic and just meh. Â Maybe they’ll figure out what to do to make it a compelling attraction. Â Our destination was O’Sheas today though, as it always guarantees cheaper tables and a laid-back environment. Â We did get to play blackjack for quite a while and we even got Alyssa playing – and she liked it! Â The cards were good for a long time but of course, they ended up turning on us. Â Whatever, it was fun for a while and we got to talk to some fun dealers.
LOVE in the Evening
We had wanted them to see a good show and there’s no better show than the Beatles’ LOVE in the Mirage. Â So we went back to Cosmo to get freshened up and then had a snack at the Holstein’s restaurant there before taking a cab to the Mirage. Â We made dinner reservations for after so we wouldn’t have to rush, as the LOVE show was at 7. Â We did have to stress a bit though as we ended up leaving the Cosmo later than we probably should have! Â We managed to get the tickets and then had Jon and Alyssa get to their seats while we waited in the alcohol line as if it took too long, at least they’d see the show from the beginning. Â Awesomely, we got our drinks in the nick of time, getting to our seats a minute before the show started. Â One of the mimes even asked for my beer and took it for a little while!
After that, we had dinner at Stack, a very nice restaurant in the Mirage. Â These restaurants really spared no expense in their decor and of course pass that cost on to you in the menu. Â Ah well, you’re on vacation. Â By this point, we were definitely hungry. Â We were also “thirsty” and I think I drank quite a bit. Â Not extremely sloppy but highly-buzzed nonetheless!
2015 05 09 – Departure Day
On our last day, it was a little bit harder to get up yet again. Â Once we finally did get up, around 11:30, it was time to check out and have the hotel hold our bags, as both flights weren’t leaving until that evening. Â We met and walked down to the Linq where Hash House a Go Go was, as we thought someplace new would be fun for brunch. Â Turns out everyone thinks that as the wait was 1 hour and 40 minutes!!!! Â Yeah, so we checked if Mon Ami Gabi was a shorter wait and we could get in immediately, so back to Paris LV for us! Â Bloody Marys were on the menu for me this day and they were glorious.
The pool was on deck for Larry, Alyssa and Jon while I kind of stumbled around trying to feel better. Â I played some craps and some electronic craps, and that was fun for a good time as I started to feel better. Â The blackjack that day was NOT nice to me though and we shall never speak of it again. Â 😉 Â But it was a lot of fun regardless and then it was time to have some dinner, and we opened up the Blue Ribbon Sushi restaurant in the Cosmo. Â That’s where we had some good food and also said goodbye, as our flight left before theirs did by about 2 hours.
The Las Vegas airport is a ghost town on a Saturday night as no one really leaves or arrives on a Saturday in that town, so security and check-in is pretty much painless. Â A very quick but action-packed vacation with lots of good food and drink and a wonderful time with Jon and Alyssa. Â Looking forward to another round with them!!!
Larry & I are going to be back in Vegas for a brief few days this weekend to meet up with Alyssa and Jon. Â Definitely looking forward to a small getaway and here’s hoping some successful gambling also occurs!! Â We’ll also be enjoying the Beatles’ LOVE show at the Mirage – this will be my….5th time seeing it? Â Yep…5th time. Â And I’m just fine seeing it over and over…it’s that good.
So last night I went to bed and sent a wish to whoever would listen that there would indeed be a snow day. Not a 2-hour delay. An actual snow day. So I woke up once, in eager anticipation, at 3:45 this morning all aglow – but remembering, through the foggy haze of being actually up at that time of day, that Cheyenne Mountain does not in fact update the Snow Line until sometime around 4-4:30 in the morning. So I went back to happy sleep, listening to the roar of the wind against my house. I drifted awake sometime around 5:30 in the morning, when I normally wake up to go to work. I reached for the cell phone; I dialed the Snow Line phone number; I held my breath….
And these words issued forth from my blue RAZR phone:
“Currently, Cheyenne Mountain Air Force Station is CLOSED except for mission-essential personnel….”
After that, I have no idea what was said. I did the happy dance and rejoiced. Now you may think, well, you still have to go to work tomorrow because the weather is supposed to get better, and in fact, as I look out my window, indeed the visibility is getting better and the sun actually peeked out a few minutes back. But you’d be wrong, foolio. Because tomorrow is an AFSPC Family Day (the one thing that AFSPC does that I can actually agree with…), meaning this Snow Day has inaugurated my Christmas Five-Day Weekend, and nary any of my own (very limited) leave was taken to do it! sweet…. I love snow days.
Snow Day – 21 Dec 2006
So while I’m typing away, I am literally blasting the latest Beatles’ album out, entitled LOVE. If you enjoy their music, then I definitely recommend you picking this up. It’s the soundtrack to the latest Cirque du Soleil show out at The Mirage in Vegas, which is set entirely to The Beatles’ music. It’s not covers of the songs either, this is all original tracks mixed by their original producer, Sir George Martin. It’s an incredible listen, as he has reworked many of their songs into very interesting combinations. And while those combinations are what many reviewers rave about (as they are quite good), it’s just the clarity of the music that really is amazing. It literally sounds like these songs were recorded this year. And there’s nothing quite as fun as singing along to many of these tracks – for me, I absolutely love rocking out to “I Want to Hold Your Hand”, “Eleanor Rigby” (I guess I’m not quite rocking out to that song, but it’s so good), “Octopus’ Garden”, and “Revolution”. There are so many of their great songs here though, I’m sure you’ll find others you like too.
I also watched my favorite Christmas movie last night – “Elf”. Always by the end I’m full of the Christmas spirit when Santa finally gets his Clausometer pegged to the max because everyone believes again. It’s such a great movie.
Before heading to sleep, I started a new book, this one Stephen King’s latest entitled Lisey’s Story. Just a few chapters into it and I’m hooked. It’s got nothing but good reviews from people, and with the promising beginning, I’m sure I’ll be done with it before the 5-day weekend is over. I’ll report on it’s goodness at that time.
Anyways, just wanted to check in again and let you know I’m surviving through the snow. I’m not planning on going outside again till later (when hopefully the roads are a bit better), but I will need groceries soon. Very soon. 🙂
Funny, the song “Here Comes the Sun” from the LOVE album just came on. Appropriate, methinks.