February 2, 2011
For about a decade, maybe longer, I have found my way to Las Vegas. As a people watcher and someone who enjoys experience new things, few places stack up to Sin City. Every trip there are plenty of odd (meant in the kindest way) folks and a ton of new things and places to experience. I promised our online editor Hunter Chase earlier this week that I would write a few blog entries to chronicle the trip. Well, today is the halfway mark of the trip, so I figure I better get on the stick and follow through on that promise.
I won't bore you with the mundane details of the trip, but here are a few highlights and observations.
Sunday: Left the NC for Dallas and on to Vegas. ACC hoop fans in particular and basketball fans in general will appreciate the fact that I nearly ran over ESPN analyst and former Maryland and NBA player Len Elmore at RDU. He look tired. It was just before 7 a.m. and he was heading outside as I was heading in to go through security.
It was a long flight (8 hours) with a two hour layover in DFW. NOTE: If you want a $30 Superbowl XVI hat or $55 Superbowl T-shirt, let me know, there are plenty of vendors at the DFW airport and her at Vegas.
Monday: First real day in Sin City and I was up early. 4 a.m. Carolina time. Worked on a story for the paper and then tried to figure out a game plan for the day. Spent much of the day working and then headed out to the casinos in the evening. Went to Ceasars Palace and saw the second celebrity of the trip when we walked past a sports memorabilia shop in the Forum Shops and saw MLB Hall of Famer Andre Dawson. The former Expo and Cub great was signing autographs. As a Reds fan, I refused to pay $50 for a ticket to meet the outfielder known as "The Hawk."
Tuesday: After a lackluster day at the casinos, I was ready for a change. We decided to head out to the Silver and Gold Pawn Shop, which has been made famous in the History Channel's Pawn Stars.
The shop is part pawn store and part tshirt and knickknack store. Folks flocked into the small store to purchase t-shirts, coffee mugs, water bottles and license plate covers -- all overpriced. I did buy a t-shirt and got a look at a lot of stuff that was featured on the show.
That afternoon I had the best day gambling that I can remember. Playing 3-card poker I won big thanks to hitting an A-K-Q of spades -- a royal flush which pays 40-1. The funny thing is that just before my new friend and dealer Frank shuffled the cards, I told him that I would quit if he dealt me a royal flush. He said okay and then added, "Ill see what I can do." I look at my three cards, placed them on the table and said to Frank, "I think this will be my last hand." Franks flipped the cards and happily gave me my winnings in chips. Later that evening at another casino I played 3-card again and left with a small profit.
Today: Off to the NASCAR cafe to try the burrito eating challenge made famous on the Travel Channel's Man Vs. Food.