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I am Spartacus

January 25, 2013

Yesterday began early. Nicola and Tiffany are still on UK time, I just couldn’t figure out the very high-tech way to turn down the thermostat in my room, so I was dying a bit.

We have determined that only big meals should be consumed at the Aria – the prices are a little to steep for a coffee and croissant – so we headed next door to meet Jill at the Monte Carlo Cafe. By 8:30 our first cocktails of the day had been consumed and we’d plotted out a day of shopping mall hopping and challenged ourselves to a pretty aggressive pub crawl for the afternoon.

A warning to anyone who hasn’t traveled with Brits visiting the US. Everything here seems cheap to them (exchange rates and all), so you will find yourself spending a lot of time shopping. We were actually pretty efficient, and everyone ended up pulling out the credit cards a bit. Tiffany is especially fond of any store bearing her name (though she seems less intrigued by the cheap nail salons than expensive jewelry). We found one of her gleaming meccas and gathered around the glass counters. I found an Elsa Peretti scorpion pendant to try on.  It was in several pieces and fell apart every time I touched it, probably not a save use of what they told me easy $2000, but online looks to be $800. Tiffany was in close contact with a young saleswoman named Princess. As Jill and I wondered through the store, things got more and more animated between Princess and Tiffany. Just as Jill and I were losing our enthusiasm, Tiffany popped over to say, “there’s going to be a slight delay. They have to polish my diamonds.” and with that her winnings necessity had been set.

With new and newly polished diamonds in hand, we headed to a cafe in the middle of the Forum Shops at Caesar’s Palace. Under a sky which when from morning to sunset on a regular rotation, we had our second cocktail of the day.

A bit more shopping, a quick-lunch, and we headed back to the Aria for a quick nap. Earlier in the day we had given our names at Starbucks to ensure we got the right coffee order. Nicola amused herself and us by suggesting false names. We quickly decided that on our next visit one of us would give our name as Spartacus so that when they called out our coffee we could each cry out “I am Spartacus.” Post nap, we decided to give this a try, but in our empty Starbs, with none of us particularly feeling a coffee, we hit the British pub instead.

And then, more than 24 hours after arriving, it was time to gamble. We found a table and put our money down. I like blackjack. You can play for a long time without losing too much. None of us had played in a while and our first deal helped us with  our stay or hit decisions. Quickly she went on a break and an odd-ball named Mary took over. Mary was chatting and quirky, but definitely on our side. We all began winning and the good cheer rolled on. The first dealer, who was certainly nice, but not as charmingly Vegas as Mary, came back and we were all down a bit in our fortunes. Then our foursome was joined by an older man with a mustache, pinky ring, and player’s card. A couple hands later, with all four of us down and our new companion up, we knew it was time to fold em.

Some Thai noodles later, and each of us a bit, but not devastatingly down, we drifted off to bed.

Today holds a a bit more table time, the all-you-can-eat crab leg buffet, and Lady GaGa.


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