by Thomas Wollwo
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Two - Bring On the Burlesque
to bed. I woke up one hour later, sure that the fat guy from the
plane had somehow found his way into my room. But it was just Wolfgang,
snoring happily and oblivious to a variety of pokes and kicks. Well,
who needs sleep in Vegas anyway.
of the coupons I had gotten as part of the deal was free admission
to Ivan Kane's 40 Deuce, which is a burlesque night club right across
the Reading Room (which, stop the presses, is still open!). I was
determined to get all I could out of the hotel room deal, so I strolled
confidently towards the bouncer, an even cooler version of Barack
Obama. McCain obviously had the evening off. I was ready to manly
present my shocking pink voucher, but he waved me right through,
his face conveying either "man, do you look cool" or "we're
really desperate for guests", I wasn't quite sure. He asked
me whether I had a bomb in my backpack. I correctly guessed that
the right answer to this one was "no". I strolled past
the door marked "Penis" thinking "I'm not falling
for that one".
the room was on the smaller side, with plenty of red couches, two
bars, a tiny dance floor and a stage running along two walls, complete
with stripper's poles.
easily the most underdressed guest here, but I still felt comfortable.
There was a good-sized crowd that obviously was having a grand old
time. I stood frozen in the middle of the room first, feeling very
old. And I certainly was, compared to all of the other guests. Many
of them were women in different stages of inebriation, all of whom
watched disgustedly as I whipped out my trusty pocket pc to file
this report. I secured a seat (decidedly no bottle service here),
decided against an overpriced drink and watched the proceedings.
There was quite a bit of high-pitched screaming. Meanwhile the music
was loud, the basses were thumping and the lyrics contained the
word "sexy" a lot. To my surprise, I knew a few tunes
- there even was a dance floor version of Springsteen's Born in
It seemingly was amateur night at 40 Deuce. A host of young women
was trying to find their inner Britney by showing off some basic
moves at the pole. A rather beautiful blonde, unfortunately dressed
in torn fishnets, a cut-off jeans vest and a feathered fedora showed
them the ropes and started gyrating around a pole. It was like a
very dry version of a strip club - or at least of what I'd imagine
a strip club to be.
was courageous enough to open the "Penis" door. In the
restroom behind it, a burly African American attendant on rest room
duty gave advice to a scrawny white kid with a goatee. "You
gotta play the game. You gotta go out there and TALK to the ladies.
If you score with one out of ten, that's a great percentage. Man,
girls are just like us. They like to explore!" The kid took
off, no doubt to get his heart broken into a million little pieces
a curvy babe in the women's restroom getting advice along these
lines at the same time: "Men are just like us, girlfriend.
They like to explore." It seemed somewhat unlikely.
when I got ready to leave around 12.30, an actual show started.
There was a guy with a saxophone, a bass player and a drummer, all
straight out of central casting. The bald drummer looked especially
cool, with dark glasses, white jacket and tie and a black shirt,
cackling maniacally. Maybe that WAS Ivan Kane, drummer by night,
Bond super villain by day. The blonde returned. Sensibly, she was
wearing layers now which she proceeded to shed, accompanied by cool
old tracks by the band. It was very athletic and actually pretty
sexy. She left wearing essentially the same amount of coverage than
many of the girls sported at the pool earlier today. The band played
Viva Las Vegas, and then, a dark haired girl proceeded to do her
own routine. Pretty awesome.
spent an hour or two in an upscale club paying absolutely nothing.
Obviously, I felt good. Obviously, that was not to last.
my way down to the Monte Carlo to pick up some provisions at CVS.
Some random note:
at City Center during the last year is pretty impressive
location of the new beer bar Pour 24 is awful and its prices are
way too high
is the destruction of the Monte Carlo's entrance taken up now
by that ugly Diablo cantina
German digs in at the Hash House a Go-Go!
care of some basic shopping for the kids and returned to the room.
At 6 a.m., Wolfgang finally had destroyed enough wood and woke up.
was at Hash House at Go Go at Sahara and Rainbow. They are promising
farm food with a twist. I liked the design of the room -- spacious
but not too big, with some great black and white photographs. We
had hash with chorizo and jalapenos and a meatloaf hash with spinach
and mozzarella. Both came with fruit, a biscuit, crispy potatoes
and two eggs and were around $12. Because Andrew had sent me a $10
restaurant.com coupon (thanks!), the total with beverages was about
$22. Both of us were unable to finish our food - and we usually
manage do that. An obvious recommendation, and the service was great,
my Tracfone, which was a lot of work. I had to call an operator
who made me punch in 60 numbers in a low, mumbling, heavily accented
voice while I strained to hear her over the casino's din, but it
worked out fine in the end.
decided to get some shopping done at the beginning, so we spent
5 hours at the Outlet mall south of the Strip. Very successfully,
if I may say so myself. Wolfgang had looked at me doubtfully when
I had told him I needed to spend some time there. I finally had
to wait 30 minutes in front of the Levi's store for him. "You were
totally wrong when you said only Germany buy 501s", he said as he
emerged, accusingly. "I asked the clerk and he said plenty of Spaniards
buy them too".
Go Room at the Flamingo: Fa-ancy!
in at the Flamingo proved to be difficult, as there was a huge line
at 5. So we just had a coffee, sat beside the main aisle of the
casino and wondered how the clientele of Mandalay Bay and Flamingo
could belong to the same country.
over to Rio for their dinner buffet. I hadn't eaten there for 15
years and after many reports of bad food, recently there were quite
a few good ones. It also helped that the LVA coupon slashed the
price of $24.99 by half.
selection at the buffet was humongous. We were placed at one of
the ends and you had to work quite a bit for your food, just to
get there. The crab legs weren't split, but tasted very good. The
sushi selection and quality was better than at other non-sushi buffets,
and 5 kinds of dim sum also did not disappoint. There was plenty
of mediocre food, too, but we felt we definitely got our money's
worth, especially with the coupon.
checked in at the Flamingo and the check-in clerk who spoke German
fluently gave us room 25064, a Go room with one of the best views
I have had in Vegas. It overlooked Bally's, the Strip, City Center
and the Bellagio fountains. Unfortunately, it also reeked of smoke
so badly we relocated to 20005, minus the view (it overlooked the
pool), but still a Go room. I liked it quite a bit. Trendy 70's
style striped wallpaper, a pink glow from the bathroom containing
a really cool shower with some nicely placed extra jets, and the
coolest thing I've seen in hotels in a long time: a TV set inside
the mirror. Wow. There also was a DVD player with iPod connectivity
and a serious bass speaker, a huge flat screen and a fridge. The
room wasn't especially spacious, but definitely worth the extra
8.30 p.m. by now and I was dead tired. Courtesy of LVA, we headed
to Ellis Island for an hour of unlimited alcoholic beverages and
that helped. When I whipped out my 25 plus player's cards to get
Ellis Island's one that was necessary to use the coupon, the waitress
quipped "Nobody should have so many players cards !". Due to the
less than enthousiastic service, we only got 4 drinks each. I explained
the basics of video poker Wolfgang and he was quite successful,
turning $1 into $4.50.
back and I crashed at 10.30, while Wolfgang roamed the Strip for
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