Colin and Larin\'s wedding, Las Vegas NV

Las Vegas Travel Blog

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The pool at the Golden Nugget
Colin is one of those friends that you have all your life.  His brother, Ian, and I grew up together in Covington and have been friends since the 4th grade. (actually, we hated each other in 4th grade, around 8th grade we became buds).  Their house was one of those that always had it's front door open to friends.  I consider them just as much family as my own blood.  Colin is also one of my best Travel Buddies.  We've been to many destinations local and afar together.  So when Colin says he's getting married in Las Vegas, there was no way I was going to miss this.  Apparently, I wasn't alone, as 35 others decided to make the cross country trip!

Colin works for Comair Airlines and thus is given "Buddy Passes" that allow his friends and family fly for the price of the taxes.
  Also, if First Class isn't completely booked, the airline lets you take the empty seats!  Now for the downside, if the flight is booked, you don't fly.  They consider you "Non Revenue" and bump you off until the next flight with available seats.  They're a Delta partner, and Cincinnati being a Delta hub there are flights to almost every destination in the world. We flew non-stopl, round trip, to Vegas for $150.  Not bad!

The wedding was to take place on Friday, so that made the bachelor party on Thursday, so we had to leave on Wednesday so that we could make the most out of the "day of bachelor".  Also, his fiance was having her bachellorette party on Wednesday as not to be hung over at her wedding.  So, that made Wednesday a guys night out too!  Add this onto the bachelor party that we had back home, and Colin made out like a bandit with 3 bachelor nights.
Ian Smith falling asleep on Ian McGee after copious amounts of Crab.
  Lucky guy. 

The first group of us, 8 people, arrived in LV early on Wednesday morning and promptly took a limo from the airport to our Downtown Hotel locations.  Colin frequents vegas as he is a dedicated craps player, and reccomended the "Las Vegas Club" for a cheap room.  At $40 a night, it was worth a try.  Some people were staying at The Golden Nugget, some at the Vegas Club, and others were staying at Four Queens.  With their immediate proximity of each other, staying in different hotels was not an issue as we were all within 5 minutes of each other. 

I checked into my hotel, dropped off my stuff, then left to go meet up with everyone and start the festivities.  After eating our first meal, the ladies started to get ready for the bachelorette party, and everyone else wanted to start gambling.
Colin Smith, The Groom and man of the evening, amongst the crab leg pile. It's in it's infancy.
  Our "Home Base" casino was the "Golden Gate" in downtown.  It's a rather small casino, maybe 15 table games, a long bar, and numerous slot games.  I've always been a fan of Blackjack as it's easy to play and offers the closest to even odds if played correctly.

Now the free drinks in casinos are a double edged sword.  As where I completely love a free Maker's Mark cocktail, I do hate how they effectively take my cash afterwards.  After losing quite a few hands at the blackjack table, I called it quits.  I bid adieu to my friends and headed back across the street to my budget hotel, defeated.  After entering the Freemont side of The Las Vegas Club I struck up what I imagine was a quite intellectual 2AM Bourbon fueled conversation with a complete stranger.  I forget his name, but he wore a yellow "LiveStrong" shirt, and was in from Los Angeles for a night out by himself.  He talked me into playing a few spins of the ol' Roulette wheel at the entrance of the casino.  This game has been hit or miss with me in the past, as it's complete dumb luck. There is no strategy in figuring out which of the 38 numbers the ball will land, it's always 38 - 1. 

I stumbled over to the loser line (the line at the ATM) and got out $100 to throw at the numbers.  I started playing the numbers 3, 5, 6, 8, 11, 14 ($3 on each spin for 14) 17, 18, 20, 23, 24, 30, and 32.  Each number has a special place in my heart, with 14 being most dear.  See these are the numbers of notable Cincinnati Reds players, and 14 is Pete Rose's number.  He was my hero growing up, and no matter what you say, belongs in the hall of fame.  But I digress.  So there I am, gambling $100, late at night, and am in no condition to be throwing money at a game of chance, but there I sat.  It seemed that each time the white ball made it's revolution around the wheel, it came to a stop on a Reds number.

It'd land on #11, and I scream across the table "Future Hall of Famer Barry Larkin!"  When it landed on 5 I'd let everyone know of Johnny Bench's skills behind the plate.  Of course you have Ken Griffey Jr's ever changing numbers of 24, 30, and 3.  I happily told people of his almost 600 home runs, all while staying clean and true to the game.  I was having the time of my life with total strangers.  After some untold amount of time, I found my room on the 7th floor of the north tower.

The next morning, I slowly awoke, in a tad pain from the previous crazy evening.  I was a tad disoriented, but the floor to ceiling window that overlooked Freemont Street quickly reminded me of my location.  I took a long, hot shower and called my boys up to get our move on for the day.  As I was getting ready, I came across my wallet.  "Hmmm.... There seems to be a large amount of 100 dollar bills in my clip." Was my first thought.  Then I started piecing together all the intricacies of the evening.  I was on cloud nine.

I donned my favorite outfit of a sport coat, a T shirt, Jeans, Chucks, and sunglasses and headed over to the Golden Nugget to meet my boys.  I floated on an air of confidence the whole way.  In my own vain mind, women were double taking me and children were looking up to me, for I had won $400.  I imagine that over the many years of legalized gaming in the fine state of Nevada, a $400 win may seem like a small deal, but to me it was freakin' awesome.

I met up with the guys and we headed out for breakfast and to greet the late comers to the party as some of our friends were just landing and getting rides from the airport.  Of course, these guys being new arrivals, they wanted to check out some casinos, so once again, I find myself at the Golden Gate Casino.  I'm not quite positive, but I beleive that my friend Josh slept at the poker table in the casino because he was in the exact same chair and I think the exact same Kentucky outfit as when I saw him the night before.  As the weekend progressed, we learned that if we ever lost Josh, we would be able to find him back at that chair.  I bet he misses his chair ever since he's been back in Covington.

So the games began.  I was now comfortable with my roulette game and headed straight for the table.  Once again I bet the same numbers, once again I kept winning.  I was giving high fives, i was asking random people their birthdays and then betting that number.  I was hooked on the game. 

After a few hours of non-stop entertainment, we decided that we should go and get the bachelor party started.  Colin's initials are CBS and we all had on shirts that said "CBS Bachelor Party" with the CBS "Eye" logo, bloodshot and all, emblazoned on it's front, and the dates on the back. 

Our first stop on the bachelor party route was "The Buffet" at The Wynn over on the strip.  It was quite an amazing experience to behold.  I read numerous articles about the best buffets in Vegas, and The Buffet received great reviews, albeit it's steeper than average price of $35 / person.  But oh do you get your money's worth.  We were on a mission to see who could eat the most crab legs and were hoping that Steve Wynn would lose money on our eating well more than $35 worth of food.  

Of course, there are other things to be had at The Buffet.  A great sushi bar, leg of lamb, tasty asparagus, tender pork tenderloin (it was tender), and the normal participants that you'll find at all buffets such as cocktail shrimp and pizza for the kids. Those are all sucker bets though, we paid for crab legs.

It looked like a war zone.  There were empty crab legs everywhere.  Cocktail sauce thrown across the table with reckless abandon.  Drawn butter dripping from our fingers and lips as we devoured our conquered crustaceans.  For the first time in 2 days there was total silence amongst our ranks.  The only sound at our overly large table was the cracking of legs. 

As we gorged, the pile kept growing.  In my mind I'm imagining a truck out back of the casino, constantly shoveling load after load of crab legs onto wheel barrels that are being pushed to the kitchen by men in chef's hats.  I would love to see his seafood bill one day.  After what seemed like hours of gluttonous glory, we finally gave in.  We were Sispyphus, and Steve Wynn was Ares, taunting us. 

We left our most wonderful buffet and headed onwards and upwards for the bachelor party.  We had ordered a limosuine to pick us up at The Wynn and take us to (content edited to protect the innocent, or are we?)

End of Part one.  Part two takes us to Colin and Larin's wedding as well as the pain often found when flying stand by....
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The pool at the Golden Nugget
The pool at the Golden Nugget
Ian Smith falling asleep on Ian Mc…
Ian Smith falling asleep on Ian M…
Colin Smith, The Groom and man of …
Colin Smith, The Groom and man of…
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