Friday, July 29, 2005

Me too Weary Traveler

Thursday morning the boys decide to do the Circus Crcus Adventuredome for the "day". I drive them down there (point of reference...we are staying at Excalibur) at about 10:00 and Sue agrees to meet me there for gambling in about an hour. I am gambling til about 11ish when Sue calls and say she decided not to take a taxi but to drive down herself and will be there shortly. No worries, I have found my new favorite machine (Keeping Up With the Jones) and can sit there all day. 11:30 she calls back and says she is in bumper to bumper trafic around the Mirage and they are diverting traffic and that the strip is closed. I look out the window and see some police activity, I think maybe there is an accident. Sue drives (slowly) up to Paradise and then over to Circus Circus Drive. She calls me and between myself and a security guard we get her directed through and into the valet parking at 12:15. It has taken her over an hour to drive down the strip on a Thursday morning. An hour before she left it took me exactly 6 minutes!

The security guard at Circus Circus says he doesn't know what the police activity is but that the strip is closed from the Stardust to the Circus. I had had enough of Circus Circus and suggested we walk over to Slots O' Fun next door. They have a side entrance connection so that was no problem. Believe it or not they have no Penny slots! We decided to leave immediately and headed to the front to go next door to Westwartd Ho. We had had breakfast there on Tuesday and I remembered seeing some pennies that looked like fun. Lo and behold we couldn't get there from here because the strip is locked down. It's easy, a man in a suit with an ear piece says. Just go up the alley to Industrial Road and then next door to Westward Ho. Sue says to the nice man "Is that gonna be a 10 mile walk?" "No", he chuckles, "Not at all". So we are troopers and not ones to shy away from a little walking and we head on out. Did I mention the horrible sunburn I got the day before at the pool, or the flip flops I was wearing, black of course to match the black capris? We are walking, and walking, by the way it is approximately 105 degrees at this point of the day. We take the shaded route through the parking garage.

When we finally reach Industrial Road (everything looks so close together in Vegas), we go next door and see a sign the says westward HO (no that's not a typo), thinking we hit the day's jackpot we go in. Sue says, "Adrienne, Andy and I come to the Westward Ho for breakfast evertime we come to Vegas, this doesn't look familiar." "Well, maybe you just never came to this part of the casino." I am just enjoying the air conditioning and the free soda. In the meantime I have called mom and told her to check out CNN for me to see if they say anything, we have heard various conversations to the effect of suspicious packages found in or around the Riviera.

Digression- Cell phones are a wonderful thing, we wanted to take the boys to Sams Town the night before for bowling and I called mom to verify my directions. Sams Town didnt have open bowling so I called mom to get directions to Gold Coast. Mom's are a pretty wonderful thing!

Back to the westward HO...we notice when trying to cash out that the machine is a hand we venture further. When we notice there is no further that this little casino we wandered into is just a off shoot of the gas station. We go out the back door and are confronted with the back of the Westward Ho motel. Bigger than it looks, but just as dumpy. Although as we were walking through it and noticing the hourly, daily, weekly and monthly residents, we did see 3 very clean pools and two hot tubs. To get to the Casino we had to walk all the way back up to the strip. Finally we arive, ahhhhhh air conditioning and look there's that nice lady with the free diet cokes. We sit down and play some penny Match Game (which was lucky for me the day before at Harrahs). I run through my $5 pretty quickly but Susan is hitting bonuses and keeps on playing. I go to do some reconassaince and check out the rest of the machines. Not much! Sue decides to quit while she's ahead and pushes the cash out button. What do you think happened? "Hand Pay Required. Please Wait For Attendant." AARRGGHH! In very small letters it says all payouts by attendants. If we hadn't been delirious by the heat we would have noticed. Oh well, let's look around. There was a nickel machine that we decided to play, I don't even remember what it was. When Sue cashed out (my money was eaten by the mchine) SURPRISE nickels came flying out of the bottom. What the hell are we supposed to do with those?!??!?!

At this point the boys called and they were ready to leave. We decide to call a cab instead of hoofing it. We explain to the boys that it will be a while before we get there and explain the circumstances. After waiting 30 minutes for the cab we decide to just suck it up and walk back. By the time we get the boys, get out to the valet, drive up to Industrial Road (I clocke dit on my speedometer, it is oer a mile) and over to Tropicana Ave. (yes, mom Industrial goes through on that side of the freeway) and into our hotel room, it is now almost 3pm!

After a relaxing dinner at the hotel, Sue and I remember that we haven't gone yet to the M and M store and we are leaving the next day. So we walk over there. That is over the walkway to New York, and over the walkway to MGM. ( Did you catch the part of me going OVER the walkways?!?!) And then down the broken escalator and down the two blocks (Vegas blocks) to the store. Oh yeah, I haven't changed my shoes yet. I know! We do our shopping with a first stop at the soda fountain a the Coca COla store and get me a big ass diet coke! We finish our shopping and start to head outside...CRACK...big thunder and lightening and HUGE rain drops! It is 110 degrees and the end of July in the desert! Sue goes back in to the Coke store and buys an umbrella. I think, Im not a wuss I don't mind getting wet. We leave. I make it the first block to the Grand Canyon store and I realize that big raindrops hurt on a sunburn. I duck in and buy an umbrella also. The sidewalks are so slippery I have now discarded my shoes and am walking barefoot back the way we came.

What a way to end a great trip. More about the Jones later.


  1. Why do your comments look different from everyone else's?

    Did you ever find out what the heck was going on? I don't remember hearing about anything big in Vegas, but I don't watch the news much anymore either.

  2. It turned out to be 3 backpacks left by the valet at Riviera. Probably form the Youth basketball teams from all over the country. 5 hours they had the strip closed.