Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Hiking the Las Vegas Strip and other Labor Day adventures

Oh, I love having a day off! I haven’t walked the Strip in ages; like most locals, I try to avoid it. It's funny, I rarely go to the Strip, but I like knowing it's there. Plus, you can never get lost driving around town because you can always see it as your reference point.

Yesterday morning I was in the mood for some urban hiking and there I was, on the Strip by 8:15, before it got too hot (we’re still hovering around 100 here). I parked in New York New York, and headed north from there. As (almost) always, it was a beautiful sunny day.

As you can see, there’s still a lot of work to be done at City Center.

I know that’s supposed to be an amazing place (opening in December), but I have to wonder if it’ll meet its expectations and what kind of impact it will have on the other properties. Vegas is already hurting; I was in New York New York a couple of weeks ago on a Tuesday evening and it looked like a Twilight Zone episode, it was so empty. It was hard to tell if the Strip had a busy Labor Day weekend; there were a few people are out, but it was still early, so who knows.

Here’s some typical Las Vegas trash. You mean tourists actually throw those little cards away?

Whenever I see those ads, I think somebody’s mother must be so proud. I remember when Courtney was about 8 years old, she waved the JC Penney ads from the Sunday paper in front of my face, open to pictures of women modeling bras and underwear. “You couldn’t pay me a hundred dollars to do that!” she cried. From then on, I knew that was one thing I’d never have to worry about.

This is what the Flamingo looks like these days. Can you believe these two are still around?

Have you seen Donny on TV lately? Dude, easy on the Botox!

I had yet to check out the Palazzo, so I made that my destination. I wasn’t that impressed, really.

It’s nice, it’s okay, it’s fine… but to me there’s no place like the Wynn. I love the colors in the Wynn, and the fact that everyone can enjoy the beauty of all these places; people can walk in the lap of luxury no matter what their own checkbooks look like. I didn’t make it up to the Wynn yesterday, though; after I went through the Palazzo, I headed south again.

At a quarter to ten, I stopped at the race and sports book in Planet Hollywood and bet a couple of exactas on the first race at Saratoga, which my sister and her husband were watching in person. This is the first year in a while that I haven’t been able to get to Saratoga, but I’ll be there next year, for sure. No luck on the exactas, and only the VIPs get their own personal TV monitor in Planet Hollywood’s race and sports book, so points off for them.

I made it back to New York New York in time for the second race. No luck on that exacta, either. By then I was pretty hungry—I just got up, threw a baseball cap on, put on some lipstick (duh), and left without eating breakfast—so I had a delicious big-ass piece of greasy New York style pizza in the Greenwich Village section of the casino. Yum!

I was back home by noon, and headed straight for the pool. There were a couple of 25-year-olds lying around in bikinis who made me think maybe that big-ass pizza wasn’t the best idea and that I should really pop in an exercise video when I get back up to my apartment. Then I thought, “Jesus, Linda, you’re comparing yourself to 25-year-olds,” which is all I needed to talk myself out of doing Buns of Steel on my day off.

After I had enough of floating around the pool reading Artie Lange’s memoir, Too Fat to Fish, which by the way is very funny and well written, I made a dent in my freelance work and then went to the movies. I almost saw Taking Woodstock, starring the beautiful Courtney Blackwell Rice as an extra playing a recorder on a porch (yep, she was spared the cutting room floor). Now see—when she went to the casting call, the casting people asked her if she’d do a topless scene, and she said, “Hell, no!” Totally consistent with her stance on modeling underwear.

Anyway, I figured the Woodstock movie would be around for a while, so I opted to see Adam, an independent film that could be gone in no time. It was a worthy effort, nothing great. Afterward I came home, made myself a big-ass plate of ravioli, worked a little more on my freelance stuff and then met Hurricane Mikey for an end-of-a-great-long-weekend Guinness.

When I lived back East, I used to dread Labor Day weekend. Summer was over, and I knew what was coming--in a short time I’d be whining about being so goddamn cold and the whining wouldn’t stop for about six months. I’ve been living in Las Vegas for over six years now, and I still have to pinch myself sometimes—it’s just a great place to live. There are only two things I don’t like about it—the job market is one—and I miss my kids and grandson like you wouldn’t believe. But man, this place is the tits. No pun intended.

How about you? Did you have a fun weekend?

Would you ever consider moving to Las Vegas? If you live here, do you like it?


Hurricane Mikey said...

I'd never live in Vegas again, having discovered how nice Henderson is.


Julie said...

Oh you know I'd consider moving there, sister! I love me some Vegas. And in 4 days I'll be loving it a lot more!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

classicrockforthesoul said...

What a fun weekend!
It's funny that you post a picture of those ad card things -- I was in Vegas in April of 2007 (of course I was underage, but we went to see my cousin in Monty Python's Spamalot) and I remember just walking on the sidewalks and having these creepy men mutter something while shoving those little cards in your hand. Too funny.

We stayed at the Bellagio and it was fabulous.
Don't think I'd ever move to LV though. Way too hectic for a gal like me!

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Yeah, Mikey, I agree--Vegas may be the tits, but it's the fake tits. Henderson is where it's at. Unfortunately, it's also where the Henderson cops are, too.

Julie, I can't wait to see you!

Classic Rock girl, I know what you mean. The first time I came here was by way of the peace and tranquility of Sedona. I thought Vegas sucked! But living here is much different--it's wonderful! I always joke that, "Vegas is a nice place to live, but I wouldn't want to visit it."

Danica said...

I'd totally live there. It's almost like home to me anyhow with my dad living in Laughlin for the last 18 years. I miss it terribly!

Love the porn on the street...made me all warm and fuzzy inside.

The Peach Tart said...

Sounds like a great day for you. I would so be down with living in Vegas when the economy bounces back some. I wish I was gonna be there in a few days when Julie arrives.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

OMG, Peach Tart--that might be TOO much fun!

Danica--porn on the street is probably not as bad as the thonged ass ads in your face when you're behind a taxicab!

Tara said...

Linda, you're killin me. A nice strip walk and greasy NYNY pizza, two of my favorite Vegas things....I haven't gotten my yearly trip to Vegas and need it sooooo bad. Those pics only made me wanna come out even more. If only I could come up with some spending cash, I'd be there in a heartbeat. Kinda funny you mentioned the porn cards, I just threw the exhusband's stash that I found out the other day, lol!

Comedy Goddess said...

Sounds like fun. All those Mary Poppins umbrella's aside.
Who doesn't love a big ass slice of pizza before noon?

AmyK said...

Seeing Vegas in the daylight is like that Rod Stewart song Maggie May.

"The morning sun when its in your face really shows your age
But that dont worry me none in my eyes youre everything"

I've been going to Vegas since the late 80's. There is nowhere like it. I do miss the booths and the tables instead of stadium seating for the shows and I miss that no one dresses up anymore. I still love that city.

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Yeah, greasy NYNY pizza before noon--"Breakfast of Champions."

Amy, the Rod Stewart lyrics fit perfectly!

Fragrant Liar said...

The Palazzo looks like a Mary Poppins Fest.

Kind of fun to see what's new in Vegas Baby, though.

And I'm so jealous that Julie is coming out to see you again. One of these days, I'm gonna meet you guys.

ModernMom said...

I could handle the heat (geeze do I hate the snow)! Haven't been there enough to comment on real life, but oh did I enjoy your tour! THX!

Chocolate Covered Daydreams said...

Seeing those cards on the ground is one of the reasons I don't think I could move to Vegas.

I did consider it though but at this point...I'd have to have a great and stable job.

Jazzy Cazy said...

Sounds like you had a fab day, great pics too!

Yes I could definitely live there, in fact Lover and I will be as of March 2010, be cool to say Hi once we're settled :) !!

Vegas Linda Lou said...

Jazzy, yes! I would LOVE to meet you!

Jazzy Cazy said...

Cool! It's a date!

Anonymous said...

The pic of the Palazzo looks like a playground for Mary Poppins and friends.


Anonymous said...

...commented before reading others...Mary Poppins on Parade. LOL!