05 April 2007

Ride to Vegas on My Harley

Last Friday afternoon (supposed to be morning) I rolled out (that's what we say in Bikerville) on my Harley to attend the Wedding and Portrait Photographers International conference in Las Vegas. The 6+ hour ride went reasonably well the first 2.5 hours. Until I ran into 2 hours of chilly weather and sprinklings near the Cedar City stretch ("please don't rain, please don't rain, please don't rain" I kept chanting through my chattering teeth). When it started to warm up the change in scenery distracted me from my gas gauge. All of a sudden my bike died! Cranked a little on the throttle and she buzzed back to life for about 1/4 mile then I repeated the process about 4 times. The last rev got me off the freeway in the middle of nowhere at an exit that advertised a gas station. Then I saw the 100+ year old station (bar on one end) with old-fashioned pumps that didn't look all that reliable. Luckily there really was gas. Unluckily a guy named Bruce offered me his pad to crash overnight so I could finish my ride to Vegas in the morning, "There's a storm comin' in" he urged. Um, Vegas is an hour and a half away, it's only 4 o'clock and it doesn't look that bad. I thanked him for the (creepy) offer and explained that I had dinner plans in Vegas and had to be going. Rolled into Vegas just before the sun set with time to shower before Aimee arrived (trust me that after 6+ hours on a Harley you want me to shower). The valets at The Westin were darling and arranged for my private parking spot the remainder of the trip. Wish I had more $ to tip because they really were sweet (and this town runs on tips, I found that out hard and fast). We wandered around looking for a place to eat even though Griff said we'd have slim pickin's without a reservations on a Friday night. Luckily we were seated right away at The Paris restaurant, Le Cafe. The menu was pretty good but I just couldn't decide. So I peered over to the plates of the guys sitting next to use and asked them how their meal was because I was having a hard time deciding. They said theirs was excellent and offered me a bite to see for myself. Alright! So I did and they were good but I chose the filet mignon... you can't go wrong with a filet. Does it creep you out that I ate off a strangers plate? To ease your mind I used a clean fork and took from the opposite side that they ate from. Besides, I'm still alive, aren't I? Funny thing about the Paris hotel & casino is that most of the places start with "Le" - my days of French class in high school paid off with my being able to translate...

Le Burgers = burger joint
Le Toilette's = bathrooms
Le Patisserie = desserts
Les Enfants = kids store
Alright, maybe I'm not the only one that could figure out the translations. If they made it too hard then all the drunk gamblers couldn't find the bathroom and we'd all be in a heap o' trouble if that happened. The next day, Aimee had an all-day class so I lounged around a bit and hung out at the pool until we met for lunch. It had to be quick so she could get back to class. We tried a deli in Bally's over by the escalators. Aimee went first and ordered something normal, smart girl. Then it was my turn and I ordered The Gobbler... turkey, cranberry and dressing. The lady starts by putting about 1/2 cup of cranberry sauce on my 6" bread - what the...? It was a HUGE pile. Then she pulled something out of the microwave which I anticipated being turkey but instead it was Thanksgiving stuffing; known to others as "dressing." I like stuffing, very much so that I make it from scratch once a year and get rave reviews.
But this plop of junk wasn't even close.
When I read "dressing" on the board I thought it'd be some kind of sauce... like salad "dressing" but on a sandwich. Why would someone create a sandwich that involves bread and MORE bread (stuffing) to top it off?
That sandwich was the WORST sandwich I've ever eaten.
However, as I complained about that bootie sandwich I ate it down to the last 2 bites. I paid $10 for the darned thing after all (Vegas food prices are CRAZY) and it didn't taste BAD but it didn't taste GOOD either.
Note to self... dressing can mean stuffing.
The next night was the $25 buffet at the Rio. Warning: when there are huge amounts of King Crab legs, people get greedy and pile 20+ legs on 2 buffet plates, picking through them to get the biggest ones WHILE 5+ PEOPLE WAIT RIGHT BEHIND THEM. Couldn't believe guys were picking corn dogs off the buffet! That night our shuttle driver back to Bally's, Darren, gave us free passes to a couple nightclubs so we could shake our tail feathers. Luck would have it that we didn't get to use them because they expired at 10:30pm and what respectable party goer gets to a club before 11pm ("none" is the answer)? More friends showed up Sunday and that's when we really got rolling. The Bellagio had a LOT of good stuff to shoot so that'll be separate along with the story of our $120 dinner. Oh, and the Paris was one of my favorite places to be so that'll take up another. How about some pictures to tide you over? These aren't the impressive ones. Come back later for the REALLY good pics of the models we shot Monday night (I even impressed myself with those).
Where most of the conference was held.
Never went to the Flamingo but I know the boulevard.
Didn't go in this one either but it looks cool. Took Ryan on his first Harley ride & he took this.

Here's a partial of my bike.

Another piece.

And there it is when I pulled over to PROVE how cold it was. I thought I could warm up at the gas station. But seeing that it was 7 mi. OUT OF THE WAY I would actually get COLDER having to ride 15 more minutes up into the mountains. So I just pressed on.


luckyzmom said...

I am so grateful that you survived!

Lucky Red Hen said...

Thanks. Looks like you're the only one ;o) Anybody else care to comment on my well being, pictures or post? Anyone?