Monday, January 30, 2006

Las Vegas Trip Report, Day 1

It was our first trip to Las Vegas in nearly two years, and the first for Punky. Jenny and her mom were going to see a concert by Hong Kong star Paula Tsui on Saturday night, leaving me to babysit the boys. I was really looking forward to doing a little gambling at night when the Fabulous Brewster Boys were asleep.

For Russell, air travel gives him the opportunity to catch up on his reading Posted by Picasa

At the airport, Punky contemplates his first trip to Las Vegas (technically his second, with his first trip taking place as a 4-week-old fetus) Posted by Picasa

We stayed at the Paris Las Vegas, a nice hotel where we had stayed two years earlier with my parents. Centrally located on the Strip, we could take either the monorail, walk, or go on a short cab ride to every hotel on our itinerary. The boys were well-behaved that first night, when we visted the MGM Grand for dinner and then stopped by the Bellagio to check out the Conservatory (indoor gardens).

At the Paris Las Vegas hotel, Russell could hardly contain his excitement while Punky seems less than enthusiastic Posted by Picasa

Punky signs off at the family's plan to visit the MGM Grand and then the Bellagio Posted by Picasa

On the monorail to the MGM Grand, Russell checks out the Las Vegas showguide with his grandmother Posted by Picasa

At the MGM Grand Wok, Russell decides what to order while Punky spoons his brother Posted by Picasa

It was Chinese New Year, so the casinos were packed with Asian gamblers testing their luck in the new year, the Year of the Dog. Every casino we visited had decorated with a Chinese theme, in particular the high-limit salon areas. We were pleasantly surprised to see the Chinese theme carry over to the Bellagio Conservatory. Russell is on a flower kick, so he really enjoyed seeing the displays of Chinese characters and a giant dog.

Russell and his grandmother visit the Chinese New Year's display at the Bellagio Conservatory Posted by Picasa

Russell stands in front of a Chinese boy made of flowers Posted by Picasa

Russell to Punky:"What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas!" Posted by Picasa

Punky seemed out of it from the start--at dinnertime, he hardly ate anything at the Golden Wok, MGM's Chinese restaurant. Russell was more enthusiastic about everything, especially the gardens at Bellagio. Unfortunately, we did not get to see the fountain show. Jenny and her mom wanted to get to sleep early that night.

After a long day of travel and casino-hopping, Punky and Russell take a hot bath Posted by Picasa

I was pretty tired myself from all that walking. I headed out to Bally's, which is connected to Paris. For some time, I looked for an open spot at a $10 craps table, but nothing opened up. Finally, I looked around for a "Reel 'Em In" slot machine, a favorite of my parents from two years ago. At the back of the casino, there was a row of new "Reel 'Em In" machines in the penny slot area. I sat down and gambled away for about 30 minutes. During that time, I hit several bonus "fishing" rounds, and I ended the evening up $5.76. Take the money and run, I thought.

I ended up playing this penny slot version of the "Reel 'Em In: Big Bass Bucks" machine at Bally's Posted by Picasa

In the bonus round of "Reel 'Em In", I ended up winning $8.10, which pushed my winnings into positive territory ($5.76 to be exact) Posted by Picasa


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