Friday, August 10, 2012

Grumpy Summer vacation, day 3

Today my aunt drove us to pick up our rental car. We'd decided to leave the legendary Grumpy Family Truckster at home and rent a car. We loaded it up, and off we went to Las Vegas. Since the kids had so much fun there last year, we wanted to go back.

Approaching Vegas, we passed one of it's most famous celebrities.

"Don't run over my blue suede shoes."

We decided to stay at the Flamingo this time, as the staff we'd spoken to last month had told us about all the great pool features, including it's huge size, and the waterfall they can swim through. Unfortunately, we discovered they hadn't been entirely truthful. Yes, they do have a humungous pool with a big waterfall. Unfortunately, kids aren't allowed in it.

Families with kids are limited to 2 small pools. One is surrounded by fountain statues of Flamingos spitting into the pool (I SWEAR!) and the other is even smaller and has a water slide and dinky waterfall. Both were packed wall-to-wall with people, and not nearly enough chairs available. So I sat on a concrete wall while the kids swam, and pounced on the first chair I saw open up (okay, so I waited until this old lady's family wasn't looking, then I pushed her off a chair, threw her glasses in the trash, and grabbed her marble rye). My kids were similarly unimpressed with the pool, and kept asking if we could go to another hotel.

As I tried to relax and play Russian solitaire on the iPad (sorry, Klondike fans, I learned this one from my grandfather, and it's my game of choice) a couple next to me were playing dominoes while their kids swam. At some point this innocuous tile game became a proxy between them to fight over who's fault a recent speeding ticket was, why the kids wear out shoes so fast, when can they afford to go to Hawaii, and (finally), who's turn is it anyway. At that point the game ended when she turned the board over and sent tiles flying everywhere.

Another issue was that while families weren't allowed in the big adult pool, childless couples were allowed in the kiddie one. So a pair of newlyweds came over to try out the waterslide, then decided to stay. Since pool chairs were at a premium, they shared one. Being newlyweds, this proximity resorted in them starting to make out, then using strategically placed towels to go further. After they finished I wasn't sure if I should applaud or not.

One thing that I find incredibly annoying about Las Vegas is that all the pools close at insanely early hours, usually 5:00 for kid pools, 7:00 for adults. I don't understand this at all, especially in Summer when it's daylight until at least 8:00 p.m. Hotels everywhere else keep pools open till at least 9:00, and often 10:00 or 11:00. Except in Vegas.

While walking to dinner we engaged in the popular Vegas sport of avoiding guys handing out cards with hooker's phone numbers (except for Frank, who tried to get the ones with pictures on them. Craig wanted to, but doesn't have Franks lack of inhibition). During this time the kids kept bumping into each other, until finally a fight broke out over who stepped on who. Of course, this sort of thing always seems to happen when you're dodging cars/hookers/hobos/Elvis, making the situation as chaotic as possible. After we got them separated Mrs. Grumpy pointed out a remarkably appropriate sign nearby:

Sums up traveling with kids, huh?


For dinner we went to the Planet Hollywood buffet, which is done up with movie posters. This one caught my eye:

Somehow, I just don't see a movie today being marketed with that tagline.

Afterwards we walked over to the Cosmopolitan hotel. (MOM! ARE YOU READING THIS? GOOD!). We did this because my parents were in Vegas a month ago, and Mom made a big deal about how neat the Cosmo's lobby is. She (YES, MOM, YOU!) told us we should take the kids there because they have these really cool columns with TV screens that show changing pictures, and that the kids would love them. So we went.

Well, I guess they changed the pictures since then (or my mom needs new glasses) because when we got there the lobby columns were showing a silent movie of a silhouetted, but obviously nude, woman. And she was doing some sort of semi-erotic dance with a large dog. I am not making this up.

When I called my mom tonight to tell her this, she said "well, I only told you they were interesting." Great, ma. I'll have Marie call you when I find her dancing naked with Snowball in the bathroom.


CathiefromCanada said...

We stayed at the Flamingo too on our first and only trip to Vegas, last year -- as a hotel we thought it was just OK, but it does have the best buffet in town (according to my brother, who has tried several in Vegas.)
The best thing was the helicopter ride to the Grand Canyon -- terrific. We used Papillion, not cheap but worth it.
So try it if you can.

Anonymous said...

I stayed at the Flamingo in Reno when I was 24 years old. Don't remember a pool, but I do remember winning 10 cents in the nickle slots. WooHoo.

Packer said...

Did you you tube the video of the pool side newlyweds ? I am sure it is viral or soon will be.

BTW, What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, and you Sir have violated the rule.

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Nah. These days what happens in Vegas stays on Facebook.

23 Skidoo said...

Well..Vegas IS supposed to be Disney for Adults. Kids have Disney... Leave Vegas for the adults..

Li'l Azathoth said...

You should have stayed here:

Anonymous said...

Is Russian solitaire anything like Russian roulette?

Anonymous said...

Hi Doc! I hope that the Grumpy Summer Vacation, 2012 is going well (and that Marie doesn't start dancing with Snowball)! If you have time, while in Vegas, I HIGHLY recommend trying to get tickets to see Terry Fator @ The Mirage. ( We saw him last year and he was outstanding. He was one of the winners on America's Got Talent (not cheesy, promise). He's a ventriloquist, impressionist, comedian, and singer from Dallas, TX! Well worth it, if you have the time and can get tickets (even my dad and uncle stayed awake for the entire performance). He donates to many charities, including MDA (his sister has the disease). He's given the large amount of money to the RMH Charities and has done many benefit concerts; including some for our troops. He wrote the song Horses in Heaven. It was an enjoyable evening. You can see clips of some of his acts on You Tube just to get an idea of what he does. His story of how he got interested in the "art" of ventriloquism is quite interesting. I am not being paid to share this info! Stay safe and enjoy the rest of your vacation!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

Oh, hi Terry. Sorry, but at $100 a head for the cheap seats, a family of 5 can't afford to see the top Vegas shows anymore.

And, if I had the money, I'd rather take the kids to Blue Man Group. But no show is worth taking out a 3rd mortgage.

Anonymous said...

Shit, I am SO SORRY, I didn't realize the tickets were that expensive; I was a guest! It was a small family trip (five of us) to celebrate my brother's NED status (thankfully we did it then since his NED status was VERY short lived and his back fighting like a rock star). At that price, it sure does make it very difficult for a family of any # to not have to take that 3rd mortgage. However, if you hit it big @ a Blackjack Table or Craig decides to sell his hair it really is a good show!

brent said...

regarding pools closing early. If you're in the pool, you're not gambling.

Anonymous said...

So sorry about the pool thing. We stayed at the Flamingo while in Vegas for my friend's wedding. We didn't have time for pool-time, but I did know that the large pool area was for adults only. The buffet is good, though.

Terry... I mean Anonymous said...

And if you go backstage and ask real nice, I- I mean HE- might even give you a handjob. PLEASE!!!! SOMEONE COME TO THE SHOW!!! I- I MEAN HE- CAN'T GO BACK TO WORKING AT WENDY'S IN DALLAS!!!!

Anonymous said...

Long time follower patiently waiting for new posts!! Hope u had a great vacation!

Grumpy, M.D. said...

I've been writing again for over a month now... not sure why you aren't picking them up. Maybe a cache issue?

Anonymous said...

Oh thank you! It must have been some sort of problem like that. Got it all fixed and new bookmark. Read through all your new posts. Really love your blog and humor, keep it up! :D

Locations of visitors to this page