southwestern vacation part 4

So, I fell asleep looking at the flashing Rio sign. It kind of makes me feel dirty. So the next morning, we woke up, had breakfast in one of the places in Rio. I didn't take pictures...the Food Pimp had corned beef hash, I just had like 2 eggs and toast and whatnot. Nothing special. Hotel food, hotel prices. Actually, each breakfast came with a blueberry muffin. No one else would eat theirs, but I thought I would try it. It was delicious, it was more like a fluffy moist coffee cake!

So, we gathered our things, loaded up the car, checked out and said goodbye to the in laws. Then we headed down Flamingo Road to my bff's place. We'll call her Kitty Tall. She likes to call me her soulmate instead of bff, which is coincidentally the name of her sailboat that she bought several months ago. So, her complex is a nightmare to get into. There's gates and guards, and you have to say who you are going to see...

So, we dropped some stuff off, met her cat Rawr, and we were off to Treasure Island to pick up her other friends. Then we were off to the grocery store for supplies - mainly alcohol. Everyone else was getting food, but we weren't hungry, so we waited. The lady behind the deli counter took 10 -15 minutes to make a sandwich. They were timing it, but then you know, iphones, you get distracted.

Then we got to Lake Meade. And we parked, and there was the marina. So cool. a lake in the middle of the desert. And the lake was big enough to have a marina!

So we were waiting for Kitty Tall's friend. She was late. So they ate their painstakingly crafted sandwiches. And the birds swam around waiting for crumbs. And the fish too. And I really wanted to break out some wine, but I wasn't sure if you were allowed to drink right there. So I waited.

Finally, we decided to head to the boat. So we went in. And I guess I was expecting a smaller boat. But, it could fit 6 people, so it was big enough to fit 6 people. So we sat there and drank. And then KT's friend arrived. And we sat and drank. It was really windy, and KT doesn't have the most experience in the world, so she didn't think we should attempt to sail I mean, I'd never been on a sailboat in my life, let alone know what to do on one. So we drank, and then KT figured we could just motor out. So we went out.

And we went to look at the Hoover Dam, and then we went back. So then we had to maneuver back into the "slip". The two most knowledgeable passengers got out to pull the boat in, but then a wave caught it, and it kind of slipped out of reach. And then we were fucked. None of us left on the boat knew how to steer. It's like backwards. So KT would give directions, and we would turn too much one way, then another, then go in a circle. We hit a few expensive boats and houseboats. Finally, after 45 minutes maybe - it seemed like 3 hours - we got in.

So then we needed a drink! We went to the marina bar and sat there and had a drink. I was driving, so I had a diet Coke.

After we had all recovered, we got back in the Element and went to Freemont Street. And we bought alcohol at a convenience store and walked around. So many bright lights and they had the zip line that goes across the street. And the light and music show that plays on the ceiling.

We went into the Golden Nugget. It was strange, because it has the old area, that looks like the iconic old Vegas, and then all of a sudden you walk into this modern sleek area that doesn't match, but it's still the Golden Nugget. And there's the pool area. It's got a 3 story deck wrapped around and aquarium, and there is a slide that goes through the aquarium so you feel like your in the tank! How cool is that?

So we wandered around there for a while. Then we dropped the kids off at the pool - I mean at the Treasure Island. Then the 3 of us were hungry, so we decided to go to Terrible's, which was down the street from KT's apartment. It's a casino called Terrible's. A big gaudy ugly old pink thing. And it's quite sad inside. So we went up to the restaurant, but the buffet had already closed. So we had to order off the menu. The FP got the prime rib, of course. He was dead set on eating steak for dinner the whole trip!

I got a footlong schlongdog. The casing snapped. There was too much cheese. I don't think I like sauerkraut and cheese together. The snap though was the worst, I don't like that.

I also got a turkey noodle soup. Don't know why. It was disgusting. It was like noodle soup with turkey deli meat chunks in it. Big chunks. Terrible. Just Terrible.

And KT got a veggie burger. Gross, gross, gross, and double gross... it was......TERRIBLE! And it was great that we could say over and over how it was terrible, whenever the waiter asked us. But he was good spirited and played along with us. It's just one of those sick things we felt the need to do. I don't think I need to explain why the food was gross, but let's just say it seemed like they were closing up shop and we got the food that had been sitting in the steam table at the buffet maybe.

So, at least the waiter got a nice tip. So then we went back to KT's place, drank some more, then went to bed.

The next morning, KT had to go to work, so we wandered around the strip. We had never been to Vegas together, so we did the tourist thing. We had lunch at Hooter's Casino.

It was kind of boring. No orange shorted women running around the casino. The restaurant was just a Hooter's. I don't know what I expected.

Then we went across the street to MGM Grand, where we saw the Lion enclosure.
These female lions were naping, and 2 guys were in there just sitting with them. And then a little off there, is the area where the babies were! They were separated, but they could see eachother. And there was an area where you could go and sit and get a picture taken with them! No one was there, so it didn't look like it was open...but we thought about it!

We went to New York, New York, Mandalay Bay, the Luxor, Excalibur. They all look so much cooler on the outside, except the Luxor. But at the Luxor we were getting harrassed by the suited employees sellng tickets to stuff. They kind of made us paranoid, because they were looking at us, like we were suspicious or doing something wrong. I mean, it's Vegas for godsake!!!!

So that was when we decided it was time to get a drink. But it had to be the right bar. The FP knew of a bar he had gone to before on a previous trip at Caesar's Palace or somewhere. So we drove around in traffic, to get there, and it was too much, so finally we left the strip. We decided to go to one of the chain restaurants near KT's place for happy hour. The first place, Cozymel's was closed for business. But then there was another cheesy tropical restaurant a couple parking lots away, so we went there.

We sat at the corner of the bar. The place was fairly empty. So we got margaritas. And they were just what the doctor ordered. And then this business lady came and sat right next to me. There was all this room, but she had to sit next to me. She studied the menu like she was going to have to take a standardized exam. She asked questions, then she settled on some cocktail that she didn't seem to enjoy.

Then her associate showed up, another businesslady. They definitely seemed like they were from the midwest. So, they were having a little interoffice cocktail hour. Maybe it was their last night in Vegas so they were going to live it up a little. The second lady asked what was in all the drinks - which they all listed what was in them. But she said she was allergic to strawberry or something. So she asked what grenadine was and asked a hundred times what was in every drink. I wanted to ask where they were from and if they had ever gone to a bar before.

They ordered some appetizers. One was like a fried chicken slider. The allergy lady kept saying they were "heavenly". Heavenly? Chicken slider? Really? So, then their other special dietary needs coworkers started to show up. They ordered their silly mixed drinks. The allergy lady kept telling them to try a heavenly chicken slider.

Finally, KT texted to say she was home. So we finished our margaritas and vacated the premises. As soon as we got 8 feet from our bar stools, the vultures descended on our spot, so they could stable their tipsy happy hour selves, indulging in "exotic" drinks and bar food.

So, we went to KT's, and had a drink or two. Then we went to dinner. Lotus of Siam. Apparently, on the internets, it has been touted the "best thai restaurant in North America." So, I had my doubts, but we had to check it out, of course. So it was pretty busy. We had to wait at the bar. They had those fancy wine dispensers. So we ordered 3 glasses of wine, but they poured it straight out of the bottle. How boring! But we were excited. There were practically all asians there.

We got our table, and immediately the FP and opened our menus and tried not to have strokes right there at the table. The adrenaline rush that I get from looking at a new menu at a new exciting restaurant is the same rush others get from buying a new pair of shoes, surfing, or jumping off a cliff. Really. That's what it feels like to me. So many possibilities. Such an array to choose from, make sure you choose the right dish. Narrow it down to several, then narrow it down from there. Then confer with the dining partner.

So, we ordered. And we waited. And we got our papaya salad.

They did not have bamboo salad, so papaya would have to suffice. And it did. It was great. I don't know if I've ever had a bad papaya salad though. If you have the right ingredients it's going to be delicious. If not, then don't make it.

KT got some thai salad. Really it was just a vehicle for the peanut sauce that she ordered. The peanut sauce was good, and we ate most of the salad slathering it on all the veggies.

Then she also got phad thai. It was, good, but kind of sweet.

Then our dry curry pork came. It was a dish we had never had before. And it was really flavorful and delicious.

But the issan sausage was the show stopper. It was so many different things going on at once. Meaty, herby, spicy, sweet, sour, yummy. Just plain delicious. Just great. So, that was our dinner at the best Thai restaurant in North America. I don't know. I would have to try more food before I could even make any kind of judgement.

So, thus ended our Vegas adventure. We left the next morning, and we stopped for lunch at the Mad Greek Cafe. We were going to go to a bbq place at the same exit, but it wasn't open yet. But the Mad Greek Seemed to be the happening place. All kinds of crap all over the place. All kinds of food - not just mad greek, they also had mad taco and other stuff. We ordered 2 gyros and a greek salad. We got 2 gyro salads, which was okay, but not quite what we wanted.

I had to ask for some tzatziki, but they didn't charge extra anyway. It was...okay. Not great, not Terrible, just good. Nothing special.

We also got one of those greek nut cookies. Which was good, but I am perpetually parched on road trips, so it was kinda dry and sucked the moisture out of my mouth. Our last meal of our trip. I think it was a little tarnished because the FP had to take a call from his boss. I hate that. He always calls when we are eating lunch. Always. It just reminds me of my mom, having to use the house phone at a restaurant to get a message from the answering service. Either way, phone calls taking my loved one away from me during mealtime is irritating. I guess our vacation was over, but I wasn't ready for it to end. :(