Las Vegas, Jackpots, Drowning Flamingo and Scary Fish!

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June 15th 2006
Published: July 2nd 2006
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Enough said - FOF - Fear of fish!
I have come to the conclusion that it is next to impossible to take a decent, normal photo in a casino. I must've tried 1,000+ times to get some nice photos yesterday at the casino's we visited, but for some reason I just couldn't get the camera setting's right. So -- I dedicate this blog to bad pictures and special effects! LOL! For each photo viewed, you can be assured it was taken at least 10 different times and the color was fooled around with so that the entire image wouldn't appear black.

ANYWAY - now to the inside scoop! I won $450 dollars yesterday! Woo-hoo! This makes me extremely happy because that is (just about) the entire amount I spent on gambling, food and silly crap since I got here Sunday! :-) It all happened at the Powerball machine next to Isle Mexican Restaurant at Treasure Island. Man, these machines are smoking! April did really well too. She won $250 (or around there). These .25 machines are so much fun! If you get the bonus round it goes tick...tick...tick...tick until it stops on an amount on top and twice I got $200+!!!! Not bad!! April was faithful to her

Enough said - FOF - Fear of fish!
ONE machine -- but I kept going from machine-to-machine and kept getting the powerball bonus spin! Hehehehehe -- a'hem! April even tried to "sweet talk" the was hilarious. I took my winnings and ran...well....walked fast to the cash stand. To me (and April) anything over $100 is an awesome win. We are easy girls. It doesn't take much to impress us. We felt like high rollers on our slot machines. We must've looked insane...OK....we did look insane. It was fun though.

Yesterday we visited Harrah's Casino to have lunch at Toby Keith's new restaurant - I Love This Bar & Grill. This themed restaurant was very cool. I am a Toby fan anyways - so this was a lot of fun for me. The inside is like a sleek, honky-tonk bar. Think - NYC country bar. It has a red-white-blue theme - Americana. Lots of video screens, a huge dance floor and stage (they have live music & dancing every night from 9pm-3am). Everytime they play "I love this bar" they give out FREE shots! LOL! I am not a drinker, but I did try to coax April into getting some -- but when she saw the bartenders

Fish "mocking" me at Silverton Casino.
on top of the bar, pouring liquor into the mouths of strangers - she got a bit - shy, shall I say? She then saw a silly (cute) guy on a mini moped thingy with a chicken hat on driving around the restaurant (wow, that is a sentance I never thought I'd write in my entire and took his picture. Since her sister loves chickens she thought MAYBE this could be her soulmate? Hmm? The food was really good as well. Many times theme restaurants are just OK for food, but this was "down home" cooking and was quite flavorful. I had the rotissorarie chicken with sweet mashed potatoes and April had a burger. I couldn't even finish 1/2 my lunch - the chicken was huge! Woah! The staff, decked out in biker-babe/redneck fashion, were very nice and down to earth. One thing I did notice was that many people dining looked like they were from the midwest or waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay down south. Think farmer jeans, john deere cap and flannel -- and those were the women -- just kidding! That was just me --- NO, seriously...LOL! You know the look. The men are like 62 and dressed like they

April studying the fish she will soon torment we with!
just came from the farm OR Sunday mass.....better yet......Sunday mass AT the farm? And their wives are in turquoise/polyester shorts...wearing a white t-shirt with butterfly's on it and big ass eye glasses from 1982. They have short, (usually grey) hair and barely speak??? Am I making sense? I'm not making fun -- I am just describing "the look". Ape and I stuck out like sore thumbs or at least lesbos. I felt like getting up and asking how they'd vote on gay marriage -- but ate my chicken instead. Oh yeah, I also dropped the bread bowl. No, that isn't a metaphore....I literally dropped the bread bowl. Every set of Mr. & Mrs. John Deere eyes were on me, well April, as I acted as if she did it and shook my head. April gave me the look of death. I laughed so hard I almost fainted. Vegas, baby.

After lunch we walked next door to a really old, smelly, scary casino named CASINO ROYALE. It was voted (by the Travel Channel), the # 1 place to STRIKE IT RICH in Vegas! Um, maybe for the OWNERS, but not for us! LOL! The reason we went there was because

April laughing at my fear of fish and me retaliating by getting her to pose near a hog! LOL!
we both had a free coupon for $50 in FREE slot play!! Hey, we'll take free money any day! Even if it means we'll smell of pipes and cigars for 13 hours -- exactly. They have designated machines you can use the "free" $50 on (a.k.a. rigged machines that you will never will .1 on! LOL!)! After we pushed the slot buttons at Casino Royale for 1/2 hour -- we felt dirty -- yucky -- and had to wash our hands -- hell, I think I washed other parts too! LOL! BUT, HEY -- FREE MONEY is FREE MONEY PEOPLE! Walking away losers (no jokes please) -- we headed back to Harrah's, got our car, and drove to The Silverton Hotel & Casino.

The Silverton Hotel & Casino is what they call a "locals" casino. A lot of tourists don't know about it since it is off the strip. This casino, decorated like a log cabin, is very pretty -- but very tight! We were there for an hour or so and didn't win .1!!!! The coolest part was checking out the SHADY GROVE LOUNGE which is a smaller version of the original (a restaurant) located in Austin, TX.

Entering the Shady Grove Lounge at Silverton Casino. I want my backyard to look like this!
This retro-looking lounge is AWESOME!!!!!! This is what I want to decorate my yard/house like! There was this awesome Airstream trailer with a bowling alley inside and a very cool sitting area with a map of the US made out of license plates!!!! It was sooooooooooooooooooo freakin cool! The members of Hootie & The Blowfish own this lounge (not the one in Austin). I know, I didn't care Anyway, we hung out there a while and then went back to Treasure Island. OOOOH, I guess I should mention the huge ass aquarium as you enter Silverton casino. Holy mother of all things filetted and fishy!!!! As MANY of you know, I have FOF --- FEAR OF FISH! I hate them. They scare the living crap out of me. I find it hard to breath near them. I start to twitch. Cringe. Maybe even, OK not that bad! Anyway -- APRIL, of course, had to take advantage of this and positioned me right in front of this HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE tank. The brightly colored fish started staring at me. All the pics came out dark -- and for some reason 1/2 my face is cut off -- LOL -- but I

Shady Grove Lounge - Bowling Alley.
did manage to lighten them with a special effect so you can get an idea of how I felt. Fish belong in the ocean. Period. I belong in therapy.

Back at Treasure Island -- we gambled -- I lost $100+ dollars (this is before my $450 win) and April was up $200+!! Feeling defeated and hungry -- we went for dinner (it was almost 7pm at this point) at Kahunaville. This tropically themed restaurant is located right in the casino and although it looks like a poor man's version of Rainforest Cafe, the food IS very good and the colorful ambiance is enough to give any Jimmy Buffett parrothead a good dose of Caribbean glee. April, feeling like she just won a million dollars, paid for dinner. She ordered pecan crusted chicken and I ordered teriyaki chicken stir-fry. Both were delicious! We actually shared the stir-fry! We had coupons for free drinks which was cool -- however my (virgin) pina colada (a.k.a. princess marigold....seriously) SUCKED! OH MY was so bad the fake little pipe cleaner flamingo (as if it would've been a real one)...drowned itself in the drink! I turned around one second and POW! The poor bastard

Shady Grove Lounge - Bowling Alley.
stuck it's head in the frozen muck and ended it's pipe cleaner life. It was traumatic. April on the other hand LOVED her VERY ALCOHOLIC drink --- a strawberry, mango margarita! WOAH! Red cheeks alert! Her's even came with an extra shot of something. She drank it in record breaking time.

After dinner we went back to "our" powerball slot machines and that is when the magic (for me) happened! About an hour and $450 (up) later -- I was out of there and back in my room with a huge smile on my face! I am lucky that I WALK AWAY when I win (usually). I literally have to hit the cash out button on April's machines as she gets into a ZONE and CAN'T WALK AWAY! She then gets all cranky wondering why she is DOWN $$!! LOL! Ummmm??? Hmmm.....but we had a great time playing.

We went back to our room, did some work and then went out again. This time we "cruised" the strip. Las Vegas TRULY comes alive at NIGHT! The strip takes on a whole new FEEL! It is almost otherworldly - surreal. Everything is lit up in a neon frenzy that

Shady Grove Lounge - How cool is this place?
gets your blood pumping. It also brings out the characters. I think I saw that girl from American Idol, the one that kept swearing and being bleeped out, dressed in White?? Monika? Shanika? Anyway -- this woman looked like her -- dressed in army greens -- with high heels and a gold purse -- swearing at people as they walked by her. She was near "the world's largest gift shop" - Bonanza - and was very cranky. I also saw two people have a drag race in their wheelchairs! Seriously. Drag race. Where are those "shots" when you need them?? We drove up/down the strip and downtown Las Vegas. It was a gorgeous night...maybe 69/70 humidity and a breeze. Perfect. We got back to our room around 12:30am!! We had wanted to stop at the Tangerine nightclub but were exhausted.

Today -- who knows? LOL! I am hoping we do stuff OUTSIDE the casinos. That will assure my $450 winnings stay put! Maybe we'll check out Lake Mead beach or take a drive up to Mt. Charleston. We'll see! :-)

Until then....

Happy Travels!

Additional photos below
Photos: 42, Displayed: 29



Shady Grove Lounge - I need to make one of these!

Shady Grove Lounge

Toby Keith's - I Love This Bar & Grill at Harrah's Casino.

Toby Keith's - I Love This Bar & Grill at Harrah's Casino.

Toby Keith\'s - I Love This Bar & Grill -- VIP Room.

April enjoying her mason jar water!

Me, in a black hole, wondering why I look so cheeky?? LOL!

Guy on tiny moped, with chicken hat, driving around restaurant, giving people free shots. Yup.

April pointing at.....

This, of course!!

Well, we know where we're going!

Oh boy! It's getting better!

16th June 2006


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