Sunday, May 13, 2007

What Happens in Vegas....

In 1997, a bunch of my friends met up in Las Vegas for our 30th birthday celebration. We gambled a little, ate a little, drank a little, saw a show or two and walked the strip. Real "average Joe's". We decided that we would do it again for our 40th birthdays and, lo and behold, this was the year.

Scott and Gary put the whole thing together and, believe me, they made sure that this time, we would not go as "average Joe's"....

Websters defines "decadent" as: "marked by excessive self-indulgence and moral decay". I think this describes the 4-day Vegas getaway just perfectly.

Now, I am not going to give much away because, well, you's Vegas and all. However, I will toss some innocent pictures up and mention a few interesting facts from the weekend here.

The trip started with Gary flying in for his first taste of Salt Lake. He arrived on Wednesday night after a 4-hour delay and almost immediately went to sleep. We left town early on Thursday in the Audi and drove the six hours to Vegas. We had dubbed the drive "The Aural Ride to the Immoral Divide". I drove - Gary DJ'd. He chose loud music. No...let me rephrase it...he chose music that would drown out a 747 engine. We rocked for 6 hours to a playlist that Gary called "Greatest Hits from Our Past". We heard RATT, Judas Priest, Dio, Motley Crue, Zebra, Warrant and dozens of others...all at 11 on the volume rocker. "This one goes to 11."

By the time we hit Vegas, I was deaf and we both were anxious to check the 10th floor of the Bellagio. For our 30th birthday trip, we were all content to stay at the Monte Carlo and eat at McDonalds. Now? The single most awesome hotel room I've ever stayed in. The first thing Scott told me was not to even BREATHE on the items in the wetbar because they charge you if the SENSOR activates. There were candy bars and other assorted goodies, all sitting on individual sensors. I have to admit, I did tempt fate...I flicked a Peanut Butter Twix on Friday night. I wonder if we were charged?

Gary had taken charge of booking us for dinner on the three nights. Asking Gary to book a couple simple dinners is like asking Donald Trump to build a simple casino. Gary started planning our reservations in November. He did 100 hours of research and even went as far as quizzing us about our food tastes. When all was said and done, he made a bold statement. He told me that dinner on the first night would be excellent, the second night would be fantastic and the third night would be one of the best meals I have ever had in my life. He was right on.

We had dinner on night #1 at Todd English's OLIVES right there in the Bellagio. By stupid luck, we landed a table directly on the edge of the outside eating area literally on top of the famed Bellagio fountains. You can see our table in this picture - it's the one at the umbrella on the far right.

It was an excellent meal of Chestnut Ravioli and a couple of bottles of wine.

Wine. When Gary was in high school and college, he would not care to even be in the same ROOM with wine. It's his passion now. He studies the winelist for several minutes, makes his selection, swirls the fluid in his mouth for 15 seconds and then happily nods to the waiter, as if to say, "Yes, I will donate $100 to your establishment for the privilege of being able to consume some of this grape concoction." It's insane. 10 years ago, we were ordering Diet Coke and Big Macs. This time, $100 bottles of wine and Potato Crusted Dover Sole. What's happened to us?

I am not much of a gambler. As a matter of fact, I hate it. I did manage to find a game that I enjoyed in Vegas, though. It's Pai-Gow Poker. Click for an explanation. It's a slow death. Instead of losing $2oo in 15 minutes at the Blackjack table, you can lose the same $200 playing $10 Pai-Gow in two hours. Gambling is one thing in life that feels better when getting tortured slowly. I lost $180 for the weekend but I enjoyed it.

Dinner on night #2 was at FIX. It's a trendy place in Bellagio with an extensive winelist. My choice was Seabass in a lobster broth. Just typing that out here cost money. I don't usually order a $38 main course. Come to think of it, I don't think I have EVER done that before. It was worth it. We celebrated Sandy's big announcement that he was accepting a job at Northwestern in Chicago. Sandy popped the cork on another $100 bottle of something fruity and we toasted. I am telling you I had more wine in 4 days in Vegas than I have EVER had combined in 39 years of life. No joke!

Gary, Sandy and I toured a number of casinos on the strip during the days and, every 15 minutes or so, one of us would utter a phrase that we used to say in 1983. We made absolutely NO SENSE and if someone were to have recorded our conversation, we would probably we suspected of being terrorists using some made-up language....

"Jawdy, I loff ya Jawdy"

"That's sweet. Smob, OK?"

"Heinshkablinka. Jordashio peppermint stick"

"That's it. I'm going to beat'n the shit'n outta you'tn"

Basically, that means "I'm hungry, wanna go get a $400 bottle of wine and some creme brulee?"

The final dinner on night #3 was something I will never forget. Unfortunately, Sandy was not feeling well and could only sip on ice water at Tableau, the signature restaurant at the only 5 star rated resort in Vegas - the Wynn. Wow. Just. Wow.

My appetizer was so good, I had to take a picture. It was the single best tasting appetizer I have ever consumed. Yellowtail sashimi with warm olive oil drizzled on it. Just friggin WOW.

My main course was the aforementioned Dover Sole and I swallowed that down with TWO $100 bottles of the best red wine EVER. Even Gary was in agreement. Dessert was a coconut sorbet that was phenomenal.

Gary was right. It was one of the most incredible meals of my life....maybe the best. Nice job, Gary. Even Bradley, who was whining earlier on about these dinners, loved it.

Sandy recovered and was the first one to leave on Sunday morning. Gary and Scott left at the same time I got in my car to drive the six hour journey home. Just like that, it was over.

It was a weekend I will never forget. Thanks guys, for completely removing me from my everyday life and transporting me to another world for four days. You are the best friends in the world. See you at 50 in the Penthouse at Wynn.......


Anonymous said...

And I wonder what did you bring home that great wife of yours after savoring all that great food and wine. I know your Mom taught you that is the right thing to do!

mizkylie said...

aww, Jawdy your posts are always so fun to read, I am glad you had fun!! Thanks for stoppin by... jk... Thanks for the hospitality when I crashed your house the other night:)