Saturday we got up around 9, got ready, went and picked up the rental car, and stopped at Q's to drop off his car. Q wanted to get another outfit for the Build-A-Bear he got his niece, so we hit Fashion Valley and he got him jeans, boots and a black leather jacket. When we went out to the car I saw the "check engine" light was on, so we called the rental car place. At first they said it probably just needed routine maintenance, but when I told them we were driving to Vegas, they said to bring it in. We went back to the rental place, and happily enough they didn't have any more cars in our class so they had to bump us up to a full sized (which is funny because the girl originally tried to upsell us because the full sized had cruise control - score for us!). From there we drove the 15 to Vegas, taking about four and a half hours or so (the cruise control really came in handy). We also learned the places to stop (and NOT stop) for gas and food for the next trip. Right before we go to the city I remembered it was my niece Christina's birthday, so I gave her one of Uncle Alan's patented silly phone calls. We got there, found the hotel (not on the Strip like I thought it was), and checked in. Q called his sister and they told us where everyone was meeting for dinner, at Green Valley Ranch in east Vegas, so we headed out. When we got there we found out it was more than just his sister, brother-in-law and niece - there was a crowd of about 25 Flips (and I do believe I was the only non-Pinoy there)! We ate at the buffet (which was pretty darn good), and towards the end I snuck out and played the penny slots for a while (I ended up $7) so Q could catch up with his family with his "friend" (ugh). One of the people there was his sister's boss, who ended up paying for everyone. Afterwards we all piled into our car and we drove to the home of one of his sister's friends, and hung out there for a while. Nice place, they have an adorable little girl, and it was ok. Afterwards we drove his sister and BIL back to their hotel, but I think I might have given myself away when Q told me something and I replied, "Yes, dear." :D Then we went back to our hotel and crashed.
On Sunday we got up and we were supposed to meet Q's sister and BIL for breakfast, but they kept giving us the runaround, and we think it's because they figured out we were more than just friends. In the end we decided to do our own thing, so we tried the Mirage buffet, but there was too long of a line. Then we went across the street to the Venetian (which is Quincy's favorite casino because of the way it looks), but they didn't have a buffet. Finally we went back across the street and ate at Treasure Island, which was a good bet - great buffet, and we were both stuffed. So then we headed back over to the Venetian and went to Madame Tussaud's Wax Museum, which was a lot of fun - we got pictures with Patrick Stewart, Oprah, Sarah Michelle Gellar, Brad Pitt, Princess Diana, Jennifer Lopez, Johnny Mathis, George Bush, and quite a few others. Lots of fun. After that we were going to go to the Secret Garden at the Mirage, but it was way too expensive to see a handful of animals that we can go see for free at the San Diego Zoo. Instead we wandered over to Caesars Palace, watched the animatronic show, and did the "Race For Atlantis" 3-D ride. We also picked up a coffee mug for Yudi from Celine Dion's "A New Day" since he loves her so much. Then we headed over to Paris, had something to eat, and he got his now-famous Eiffel Tower, filled with a margarita. For the rest of the day people would stop him and say, "Cool glass! Where did you get it?" Um, seeing how Paris has a huge replica of the Eiffel Tower out front, we felt obliged to tell them we got it at Luxor, or Circus Circus, or Excalibur. :D We spent a little time shopping at the indoor mall at Aladdin, then hopped up to Treasure Island to see their outdoor show, which, sadly, they changed, and it now sucks like you wouldn't believe - pirates, sirens, bad songs, and even a DJ. Who the hell dreams up this stuff? The original British/pirate battle was far, far more fun. The damn ship didn't even sink anymore! Bah. After that we rested at the hotel for a while, then Q wanted to hit a gay club so we went someplace (can't remember the name) that was having karaoke. It reminded me of an east coast bar - smoking, kind of dark, but a nice enough crowd. Stayed for about an hour, got tired, headed back to the hotel, and had a little "discussion" about sleeping in the same bed. :D
Monday we got up and drove over to Q's sister's hotel to say goodbye to them all. Can't wait for her to report back to Mom about me! :D We stopped at Starbucks for breakfast, stopped off and bought a disposable camera, and then headed to the Stratosphere, where we rode the High Roller, the roller coaster at the top of the tower. Neat! Not that scary, though. After that we headed over to the Hilton and did my favorite attraction, Star Trek: The Experience, although they closed Quark's for a private function and we couldn't eat there (we did get our pictures taken with a Klingon and a Ferengi, though, and went through the ride twice). We also grabbed lunch while we were there, then finally took off for home. We made it back just in time to return the car, and although they were bitter that we were preventing them from leaving on time, they did waive the tank refill fee, which was nice of them. We grabbed food at 7-11, and said our goodnights. (I was supposed to meet with Darrel, Kris and Daniel, but I obviously didn't make it back in time, so we cancelled.)
So that was our fabulous trip to Vegas. It was fun, and I hope we get to do it again sometime soon. :D
(Posted March 3, 2004, 8:54 pm)