Wednesday, September 4, 2013

Las Vegas Diary - Friday, 8/39/13

Red and Barbara's flight from DFW came in 20 minutes later than ours so we had a joyous reunion at Baggage Claim.  In our shared cab to the hotel, the driver was loquacious (as so many are there.)  He was bubbling away excitedly about something he called "the link."

We soon discovered that "The Linq" is going to be a huge new shopping mall and hotel with the added attraction (drum roll) of the High Roller, a 550 ft. tall ferris wheel with a diameter of 520 ft.  A single rotation is expected to last for 30 minutes.  There will be 32 passenger cars, capable of carrying 40 people in each 225 sq. ft. "cabin."  Each cabin weights 25 tons.  I have to wonder if they've factored in the morbidly obese tourists...40 of them could bring down the Queen Elizabeth II.

Roll all of the above around in your mind.  The engine that drives it sticks out to the side from the hub and is about the size of two semi trailers.  Would you merrily climb aboard?  Me either. 

It is literally right outside the door of the Hilton Grand Vacations (time share) in which we stayed.  We had an up close and personal view of its construction, which is expected to be completed in the 2nd quarter of 2014. 

Nancy and Billy (Barbara's sister and husband) all hugged in the lobby and then we hiked up to Mon Ami Gaby's patio, Paris, which is a favored spot even when it's hot -- umbrellas shade the tables; misters blow idly over us and the white table clothes and silverware glean in the sun. 

Red asked our waiter Colby T. for "An ice-cold beah (beer)"* and he duly returned gravely bearing a silver ice bucket on a stand with a single beer centered in its ice.  Colby T was absolutely professional, but he had a great sense of humor and the balance to know just where to draw  a line.   He really brightened our meal.  

We returned to the hotel, unpacked and then we went from the hotel along the gardens and enormous pool at the Flamingo and entered the casino.  After awhile Richie and I ended up at the Garden Cafe (guess what it overlooks) which is an enjoyable spot because it has big picture windows.  One of the depressing things about casinos is that they are generally all artifical light (as well as maddening with the incessant jingling and ringing and canned music  played rather too loudly.)  We settled into playing quarter poker.

As we were the only people in the bar, the bartender was quite friendly.  he said that he'd worked at the Flamingo since the days of the Mobv and admitted freely that he preferred Mob management as they were generous whereas today's suits most definitely were not.  He added casually, "All of us bartenders are scheduloed to go on strike this Monday" (seeing our panicked faces) "But I doubt it'll happen - they're not organized enough."

We filed this information away and Monday afternoon (having forgotten all about it) when we arrived at the Garden Cafe for 3:30 libation, we were stunned to see -  no bartenders!  "Could it be true?" we murmured to each other in hushed tones.  We asked around and learned that the Garden Cafe opens at 4 p.m.  We were quite relieved.

*  Everyone but me is a New Yorker.

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