Thursday, January 8, 2015

Las Vegas Trip 2014-2015, Part Three

By the time we checked in at the hotel it was about 5:00 PM local time, which felt like 8:00 to us, after a night where Kim and I each slept about two hours. But we got our second wind. This was Kim’s fiftieth birthday after all, and we were finally in Vegas, so there was no wimping out.

The six of us wandered around the hotel/casino, had a couple of drinks, gambled a little bit, and dined at one of Las Vegas’s many high-end steakhouses – fifty dollars plus per steak and additional money for side dishes. We had a refrigerator in our room, so Kim boxed up our leftover and Tom’s leftover steaks. I scoffed at her. Who wants to nibble on cold, day-old steak?

Shortly before midnight we finally gave up and retired to our hotel room. We took one look at the rather complicated Hoyer lift and decided to manually transfer me to the hospital bed instead. We had a great night’s sleep, waking up about 8:00 AM, the transition to Pacific time complete.

That morning we tackled the lift system. At my request, it came with two different types of slings. I wanted one that we could attach and detach with minimal effort while I was lying in bed or sitting in my wheelchair. After a few minutes, we figured out how to use one of the slings in just that way, and Kim lifted me up and placed me in my wheelchair. Using the Hoyer lift was more tedious than using my overhead lift system at home but still better than no lift system at all.

It was then that I learned of the delicacy that is leftover, cold, fifty dollar steak. It’s so much better than day-old, cold pizza.

We met up with the rest of our party and made a plan for the day. We spent the late morning and early afternoon exploring the Vegas strip. At the Bellagio we saw an incredible Christmas flower display, and I introduced the group to my favorite spot in Las Vegas, the chocolate shop at the Bellagio. We enjoyed a gourmet burger restaurant in the Paris Las Vegas complex, and generally had a relaxing and fun afternoon.

The city of Las Vegas puts on a tremendous fireworks show beginning at the stroke of midnight on New Year’s Eve. The fireworks are simultaneously discharged from seven different casino rooftops. We knew that the Las Vegas strip would be an absolute mob scene on New Year’s Eve, especially around the time of the fireworks, and so we decided to seek out a private party for that evening.

In the weeks leading up to our vacation, Kim was diligent in her research about party options, and we finally decided on a club called the Château, which is part of the Paris Las Vegas casino complex, located next door to Bally’s. The nonrefundable tickets were $110 per guest. A few weeks before our trip, I ordered six of them.

We showed up at the venue, in our best New Year’s Eve attire, at 8:30. It took thirty minutes or so to work our way through the line. Once inside, we realized that this was going to be an absolute madhouse, just like outside, except we were $660 poorer for it. The reason we had chosen this venue over others was because it was supposed to feature hits from the 70s through the 00s. There were no hits, just continuous, base heavy, DJ music. There were no songs that had beginnings or ends, or even lyrics for that matter. For our $660 we were allowed free drinks from nine until midnight. We soon figured out that the Château had certain cost-saving measures in place. The venue was woefully understaffed with bartenders. It took for-ev-er to get a drink. And even then, they were watered down.

Being the old farts that we are, we worried about things like fire code and other emergency situations. The place was busting at the seams with people, increasingly drunk people. When we couldn’t stand it any longer, we extricated ourselves from the party and found a quiet bar nearby where we could sit and actually speak to one another.

When we got home I wrote a letter to the Château, airing my grievances and requesting a refund. I may have played the disability card a little bit. I don’t expect a response.

But the evening was not a total loss. We did bounce back. I’ll explain in part four, next week.

Click here for part four
Click here for part two


  1. Hey Mitch, thanks for the trip, feel like I was there myself, $50 leftover steak...mmmhh. I may think differently about visiting a brother in Visalia CA. Thanks again


  2. There aren't many perks to having a handicap. Parking and being adorable are two. There is the occasional "disability card," but it doesn't come up often and you can't feel bad about using it (if warranted - like $110 tickets to a crappy party).

  3. JE, you should definitely go see your brother in California!

    Anonymous, yes, we must embrace the perks!