The end of a relaxing week, and a mild celebration of sorts.

Well, it’s Friday… and for some reason today was the one day I went to work. I had gone to Las Vegas for vacation on Sunday and came back yesterday; I suppose I could have taken today off as well, but I had planned on saving my remaining vacation days so I could use them for when Misty came here next week. Of course, that’s not happening now, as unforeseen circumstances have forced her to scrap any plans to come visit. Ah, well… still, it was a good week for the most part.

On Sunday, Dad and I arrived in Vegas, got checked in at Bally’s, and got settled in. Not too long after we arrived we decided to have a late lunch/early dinner at the Cheesecake Factory over in the Forum Shoppes at Caesars Palace. When we arrived at Caesars, Dad decided to kill some time by playing some slots before dinner. While I watched him play (as I wasn’t in the mood to play slots), I saw movement out of the corner of my eye; someone was walking towards us. A familiar voice then said, “Man, what are you doing here?” I turned, and realized it was the president of my employer’s Pipeline Valve division. It turned out he was in town for the national bullriding championship (he breeds bulls for bullriding competitions) and was leaving that evening. Neither he nor I had any idea that the other would be in Vegas. Small world, eh? After that, Dad and I ate at Cheesecake Factory, and then went back to the hotel. While he played slots, I relaxed in the room, and soon we both called it an early night.

On Monday, after having breakfast in the Sidewalk Cafe, Dad and I hit the games. Dad hit the slots, while I eventually found a $3-$6 limit Texas Hold Em table and played for three or four hours. Once we got tired of playing, we decided to head back over to Cheesecake Factory for another late lunch/early supper, as we had played through lunch. After we ate there (with Dad having tried Tex-Mex eggrolls for the first time), we headed back to Bally’s to get changed and get ready to see Donn Arden’s Jubilee!. Our seats happened to be at a table right up at the front. This worked to our disadvantage, as not only were we TOO close to the action, the chairs were uncomfortable. My butt was sore as hell by the time the show was over. As for the show itself… eh, it was okay. It was your typical topless showgirl revue, and it was well-presented… but it was just not my thing. I can say now that I’ve seen it, and I don’t have any particular desire to see another one.

On Tuesday, Dad and I went ahead and hit the slots and tables again. I have to say, it was not a good showing for me at the poker tables; I ended up losing my entire buy-in and walking away. At around 1 PM or so, Dad and I went over to the Rio, where our next show was. Unfortunately, while we really liked the Rio, we didn’t find enough to do to occupy us for eight hours. :-) I played on the poker tables there, but lost my buy-in even quicker than I did at Bally’s. Having convinced myself that day was a wash, I met up with Dad, and we had dinner at a bar and grill in the Rio that not only had the best burger I had had in a while, they served Shiner Bock as well. :-) Once we were done at the Rio, we took the shuttle back to Bally’s and relaxed for a bit. That evening, we went back to the Rio and went to see Penn & Teller. As ho-hum and meh as Jubilee! was, Penn & Teller was hilarious and entertaining. It was worth every penny we paid for tickets, and I wouldn’t hesitate to see them again. :-)

Wednesday was a kind of slow day, as Dad and I were beginning to tire of being in Vegas. In hindsight, we should have chosen to leave on that day instead of Thursday. We had breakfast at the buffet in Caesars, then went back to Bally’s for more gaming. After Dad played some slots and I played some poker, we went over to the Forum Shops to see if they had anything new and interesting there, and then topped it off with… you guessed it, Cheesecake Factory. The evening was spent with Dad watching TV, and I did a ice cream run downstairs as a treat for ourselves. Then, at 9:30 PM, I went over to Caesars (and was almost accosted by a couple of women I’m guessing were prostitutes) to see the Pussycat Dolls gaming area for a friend. Unfortunately, it was closed; I could have sworn it was supposed to be open at that time. I went back to the room and went to bed instead.

Thursday was relatively quiet; I got up and packed, and once that was done we had breakfast down in the Sidewalk Cafe. Soon after that, we checked out of the hotel and headed to the airport. I had hoped to have some lunch at the airport before the flight, and was briefly disappointed; water supply issues had closed all the restaurants. They reopened soon, though, and I had a burger from Chili’s before the flight. Once we got home, I unpacked, did some work on the PC, and eventually went to bed…

When I woke up this morning, everything seemed normal and usual. It wasn’t until I got downstairs and saw the presents on the breakfast table that I remembered that it was my birthday. :-) Mom had gotten me a couple of slightly unusual gifts: a four-port USB hub in the shape of the TARDIS, and a webcam in the shape of a Dalek. I left for work before Dad got up, which means it wasn’t until I got home that he gave me his gift to me: the box set of Ghost in the Shell: Stand Alone Complex. :-) Tomorrow we’ll be going to PF Chang’s to celebrate my birthday.

All in all, while the Vegas trip was fun and enjoyable (if a tad long), the birthday itself was very low-key and quiet. I had a somewhat okay day today (though I ran into a few problems at work), but otherwise, it’s been a good week. We’ll see if the weekend continues that trend.

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