Friday, July 26, 2002

Leaving Las Vegas - With apologies to Walt Disney, I’ve come back from Las Vegas once again convinced that Sin City is truly the happiest place on earth. I really enjoyed this latest trip with my parents and my Aunt and Uncle, who are visiting the US from China.

We arrived in Las Vegas on Tuesday evening and checked into the Monte Carlo Hotel & Casino. Along with the Luxor and Treasure Island, I find the Monte Carlo to be one of the most friendly and unpretentious places in Las Vegas. It was dinner time, so we all went to the newest casino on the strip, the Aladdin, to check out their highly-touted dinner buffet. At $20 per person, it wasn’t cheap, but the food was great and my Aunt & Uncle from China gave the Spice Market Buffet a big thumbs-up. The dishes we ate are too numerous to mention, but I would like to give my seal of approval to the chocolate-covered strawberries and the lamb shish-kabobs. The other restaurants/buffets that we patronized aren’t worth mentioning.

After dinner, we spent some time looking for my parents’ favorite type of nickel slot machine called "Reel ‘Em In". We found a cluster of these machines towards the back of the casino, and we basically played on these machines for the duration of the trip, along with the "I Dream of Jeannie" slots. One of the reasons why I enjoyed this trip is because I started playing the nickel slots, which are interesting to play because they often have an amusing theme. Even my Aunt and Uncle became hooked on the machines.

Aside from brief excursions to the Shark Reef Aquarium at Mandalay Bay and to the Stratosphere Tower, our whole trip centered around eating and gambling on the nickel slots. Altogether, no one won any money, but no one lost more than $40. I personally lost $25, which for me is a pretty successful Vegas vacation.

During the trip, I found myself missing Jenny and baby Russell, so I’m glad that the trip lasted only 2 nights. Now, it’s time to plan for the next trip by convincing either Guido Sal or Freddie the Fireman to meet me there for a weekend.


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