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Crofton, MD, 21114

A long-running personal blog shared by two authors with completely different approaches to life. And a lot of large, beautiful photographs of dogs and nature and places we've traveled to. Rich in commentary and irreverant in style. 


We started blogging a long time ago. Our work hours never aligned with recommended psychotherapists and we needed to get our thoughts out. We are great friends, total opposites and long-time housemates. This was a way to communicate. With each other. With strangers. With consumer marketers. With sub-par meteorologists. With distant friends who wanted to see pictures of stuff we were up to.

This is the place. Our bucket of thoughts to share. You are welcome. 
(We realize that most of you are here for the dog pictures.)

Crofton Manor Vegas Vacation - Hangover Style


You're excited now aren't ya? The title makes it sound a lot more interesting than it really is. Overall summary, walked too much, played a lot of slots because Healey is a Slot Machine Savant. Every machine she touched spit money at her, well almost every one of them, but the ones that did, REALLY, REALLY liked her a lot. She even got one of those old people springy lanyards for ALL her player cards.  So sad but hysterical to watch her hand that over everytime she had to hand over the classy Wynn card on a tacky springy cord.

First day we got there, it was just roaming and chilling. Found a nice Mexican place for Healey. It was technically the first one we saw, but it turned out good. Saw the Bellagio fountains and crazy drunk people. We are in Vegas afterall.

We made a schedule and a spreadsheet of things we wanted to do before we left and did about a quarter of it, so it was good.

Second day, we got to finally go BINGO-ing. We went off the strip to Sam's Town to hit up their hourly game. I made the mistake and got the big sheet of boards and it turned into a slight frenzy trying to keep up with the old people as the numbers were being called. For some reason I always forget how many boards there are in the big sheet. Tip: get the little rainbow with the bonus game not the GIANT rainbow.  You can't win if you don't know you have bingo, so better to have few good chances than a lot of frantic ones. We got the electronic option too, so that was good because it kept tracked for us.  We didn't win, but it was a good time nonetheless.

Made it back to the Strip for a quick dinner at a Mario Batali restaurant in the Venitian Shoppes, good pizza and ice tea.  Then got to see a fancy Wynn room from the inside.  Healey was staying there and had to make a quick pit stop after stopping at a fancy perfume shop on the way back to get samples and promptly having the saleslady tell me my people killed her people back in the day as she was handing me a set of what I guess is $12,000 samples (they're not, but they were very fancy and looked expensive.  I was all cherry blossomed scented for the rest of the night after I got a sample spray. For all I know it was poisoned because of my people's attack).  

The room was definitely more styling than my room at the Harrah's.  It has this super fancy electronic panel that controls everything in the room.  (Side note #1: this is where my love of electronics distracted me from details that will come to haunt me 1.5 days later.) We went back to play slots for a few hours and split up around midnight.  I went back to my gambling home base at the Imperial Palace and played craps for a while.  Not the nicest hotel, but good friendly knowledgeable dealers, cheap tables and I earn points for a free room.  I played for a few hours then played for another hour or so at my hotel at the Harrah's before deciding sleep would be good.

Third day was kind of a throwaway day.  Nothing planned just whatever we found to entertain us.  We met up for breakfast and ended up doing the Wynn buffet because my savant roommate had won so many comp points we had enough for 2 days worth of free buffets.  It was good and we got there just in time for the switchover so got a nice mix of breakfast with lunch.  I got some nice steak with hashbrown balls, chinese veggies and dumplings with a gallon of coffee.  After brunch, we went to the pool.  The Wynn pool is absolutely fancier than any other pool I've ever gone to.  I wasn't dressed for swimming so I just napped and read magazines and watched the crazy people walk around on the side.  

 Apparentlly during our pool time, we misssed this excitement on the strip. 

After pool time, we roamed and walked some more.  Started up the strip and went into casinos we've never been to and hit a few slots along the way at each, went to Serendipity 3 for some Frozen Hot Chocolate and ice cream cone, and saw more Bellagio fountains.  I could watch that stuff all night.  Only bad thing is standing out there.  It's hot and tiring and the waiting when you know a few hundred feet and you could be gambling. Decisions. Decision. Decisions. 

After a few shows, back down the strip we went.  The Palazzo was a big hit on the way up, so we decided to journey back there for some more gaming fun.  For the uninitiated Vegas-ites, things look close when you look down the strip and they look like they're just a block or two away.  We were a little more than a mile away from our destination and coming up we stopped at 2 or 3 different places, the walk back was like a power-run through the mall except through drunk people and porn ad slappers.  There really is no training for a trip to vegas with the amount of walking you do to just look for that lucky slot machine or table or going from one casino to another for for your friends.  So by the time we made it to the Palazzo, we were all ready for a nap, but we found our fun slots and sat for while.  A long while as the Savant went on her winning ways.  You just have to believe as we've learned from "The Secret."  See it and believe it. :-D

Strangely, at the end of this night, I was the one ready for a split.  It might have been the 2 short nights of sleep or the knowledge that for some reason my dice only really row on the first and last days I'm in Vegas. So about 3ish, we called it a night.  I went back towards my hotel, went to the drugstore along the way and got some fancy conditioner since the free hotel shampoo was not up to par this time and went to wash the sun and smoke and more smoke away. Took a quick nap and hit the tables for my last day in Vegas as the sun was rising.

Played till about 8:30 and went to pack up the room, check out and journey to back up the Strip to the Wynn.  We had figured we'll catch the fancy weekend brunch at the Wynn before our shuttle came to get us since the Savant had racked up some more free meals.  Texted the roomies on the way over and hit up a table while I waited for a response........ (we'll get back to that in a second.)

I've played craps at the Wynn before and it was just OK.  I like to play craps to throw and win, I mean, why else play if you're not throwing and winning?  I'm not much of a fan of the chatter or care for the loud yelling, just throw and win me money and we're friends.   A clap or let's go "insert number here" is enough. The Wynn is made for that.  They have the high rollers who like to play.  Not a lot of the riff raff of the "hey, let's try this game and talk about the rules while others are playing."  The problem was that I didn't find the dealers friendly which is odd because I'm not much of a friendly type to random people.  This time though I played at 2 different tables and they were friendly but not too friendly and they knew what they were doing. (They knew when to press without me asking and when to hand me money.)   So, The Wynn is really my new favorite place to play.

So back to the story.... I get there a little after 9:30 figure I'll play for a while and wait for the rise and shower crew to happen.  A little before 11 I start looking at my watch a lot, nervously and suspiciously.  I had stop sweating by now after my half a mile walk in the 80 degree heat at 9AM!! It's May!! This is the reason no matter how much I love Vegas, I could never move there besides I would be either super poor or running from the law.  But a little nervous sweat was starting to set in, I have now not heard from the roommies in almost 8 hours.  I had last texted with Healey at 3:40ish.  My nervousness is making the dealers nervous, they mention it as I look at my watch after every roll and I tell them I had lost my friends and they were suppose to meet for brunch 2 hours ago and I was worried about them being dead.  (I'm sure they hear that a lot and I felt dumb even saying it, but I did.) At this moment the guy across from the craps table goes, "Your friends are dead and you're playing craps?"  "Yes moron! I figured since they're dead, I can't do anything else about it, might as well win some money. Go back to losing $5000 a roll betting against my throwing!"  (Side note #2, I watched this guy sign for $50,000 in markers while I was there for an hour and a half. I don't think if I had a million dollars to gamble I would ever be able to do that.)

So find out checkout is noon as the dealers debate 11 and 12 for a few seconds.  Our shuttle is 1:30PM, so figured I have an hour to find them and 2.5 to be really nervous about a story to tell the family when I got back without them.  I take my chips and cash out and start my hunt.  I try calling their room again.  Nothing.  I luckily still had a copy of the Savant's player's card so I ask them to run the card to see when it was last used while walking to all the our favorite new games.  Half not knowing if they ever made it back from the Palazzo or not, considering that was probably the fanciest and safest 200 feet to walk up the escalator and across the walkway, it was highly unlikely they didn't, but you can't count anything out.  At the same time, I had my sister back on the east coast was calling hospitals and police stations just in case.  (Interesting fact: Las Vegas Helpline is closed on the weekends.)  Google Latitude was following us great the whole time until now.  The last time it had updated Healey's location was the evening before.  Well, that's no help.  I know where she was then, I was with her.  I blame the iphone app for that and not Google. 

I had to go to 2 player's card stations but one of the guys was nice enough to recognize the slight panic and sadness in my story to run and tell me that it was last used at the Wynn at 5:45.  So now I have a timeline to go by for the police report I'm about to file.  Last heard from at 3:40AM, last used card at 5:45AM, never made it to brunch at 10AM, still checked in at 11:30AM.  It's getting close to checkout time so I call the room again and no answer, Donna the nice hotel receptionist informed me I can leave a message but she would not give me a room number. Remember 1.5 days ago, when I was in this room?  Yeah, me too!! If only, I had paid attention to the number and not the electric sheer blinds.  It was a higher even teen number floor, 16 or 18, there can't be that many rooms right off the elevator and half way down the hall, right?  UGHHH, analytical brain!! How could you fail me like this?? 

So I go to the front desk and see if I can con it out of them, the nice guy there suggests security.  (Side note #3, not sure why I didn't think of that first.  I had the calls to the police and hospitals, but I guess I figured ringing the room every five minutes would be sufficient.)  I get to the security desk and guess who is there? Angry $50K marker guy.  He's ranting about losing his cell phone somewhere and he wanted people fired because his needs aren't being attended to.  Though I was still missing people in my party, the ranting was too entertaining and the security person's patience was to be commended.  My turn, I give him the "I know you hear this a lot, but it's really true, I've lost my friends" story.  And as I'm giving him the details of the names and numbers of the missing individuals, my phone BUZZES!! It's HEALEY!!! SHE'S ALIVE!! SHE'S IN LINE TO CHECKOUT!! With all the electronics in that magic room, the phone apparently doesn't work.   The phone never rang in the room in all the 10 times my sister and I tried to call it as they slept in the room. Thank goodness for maid service because that finally woke Healey. I thank the security person and off to reconnect with the lost ones. It is now almost 1PM and our shuttle is to show up at 1:30PM.  Phew. Plenty of time. :-D

The shuttle to the airport was entertaining if only to hear the angry guy in the back yell at the not-caring even angrier bus driver how he's going to miss his flight because the shuttle was late.  The driver took probably the most absolute worse possible route to the airport from the Wynn, where we saw the Circus Circus, Rivera and Stratosphere and one last glance at the Sahara before it will close and get blown up and back to the Trump before heading to the airport.  We luckily make it to the airport without anybody throwing up or dying.  Home by 1:30AM and at work at 6AM.  Overall great trip and no tigers and weird tattoos.

Lesson learned: know your friend's room number and call hotel security first.