Sunday, February 6, 2011

My life plays out like a Ke$ha song..Vegas, Part 1

For those dear readers who maybe unfamiliar with the fantastic artist, Ke$ha, I could post a youtube link, but you'd likely remain unimpressed.  So without further adue, here's my Vegas story. 

My office sent me and a few co-workers to Las Vegas for the annual HVAC AHR Convention.  I went out a couple days before the convention to get my crazies out.  Not sure how this actually worked out. I think the answer to that question may be in the eye of the answerer. 

Thru facebook I arranged to hook up with a couple girls that I went to high school with. When I landed in the desert I was feeling kind of exhausted from a long day of traveling, but it's Vegas, BABY, so I perservered.  My boss, Renee and I checked into our condo, and then headed down to the strip around 8:00 that night to meet the girls at Planet Hollywood. From there we decided to go to a run down casino on the strip called O'Shay's.  What a blast this was! It was like all of the beloved dive bars that I had just left in Iowa and I was in heaven.  We walked to the back where a bunch of whoopin and hollering was going on.  There were 8 beer pong tables set up with a couple tables of guys screaming about their little victories.  Kind of felt like heaven's doors opened up and angels were singing.  Dramatic, I know, but I'm not a fan of gambling so this was at least up my alley a little bit.

We nab a table and I start sinking balls. For about 3 minutes I felt like I was on top of the world.  I even managed a few defensive moves. One involved a huge extension of my wingspan, catapolting the blocked ping pong ball across the bar.  I believe it was this move that I caught my big ring on my necklace and ripped it frommy neck. No big whoop, I fixed it and was back in business.  But then the fact that I hadn't eaten for about 12 hours and 2 time zones ago started catching up with me.  My skills deteriorated with my sobriety.  But we rocked those pong tables, damn it.

At some point I got a little overwhelmed...could have been the flirty Canadian named Josh, could have been my extreme hunger, but I unoffically decided it was the end of the night, somewhere around 1, or 3 - no clue really. I ran out of the casino (without telling anyone) into the chilly desert night and hailed a cab.  Habib! Take me to Tahiti on Tropicana, pronto.  Oh, wait. I'm hungry. Can you drop me off at Denny's instead. Habib was legitamately concerned about my safety, I thanked him for his service and concern, paid the man, and dashed into Denny's.

I recall very little from Denny's, but I do know I was amongst about 4 other patrons and had hashbrowns. I do love hashbrowns and breakfast at 3 a.m. I finished my meal, paid with cash and stumbled across the parking lot to my locked down resort, found my key, and let myself into the room. 

Since I was only going to be at this resort for a couple nights, I thought I should take full advantage of all the ammenities it had to offer, so I filled the jet tub and took a swim.  Miracle #3 of the night, I didn't drown.

I woke up around 11:00 a.m. feeling like I had been run over and backed up on by a Mack truck.  It was brutal.  I had no snacks or refreshments of any kind in my room so I had to find some.  I wanted to head down to the convenience store in the lobby and see if they had any juice or liquids of some kind, but this is where the first serious hiccup reared it's ugly head.  I couldn't find my room key anywhere! Nowhere.  Unfortunately my room key wasn't the only thing missing. I was also missing the wallet that contained said key that was also the home of my drivers license, debit card, and credit cards.  Things aren't going well for me, but I was still moderately intoxicated so didn't think it was that big of a deal.  Convinced I would find it all because, 'I MADE IT INTO THE ROOM, IT'S GOTTA BE THERE SOMEWHERE!' I really wasn't too upset about it. Emptyhanded, I wandered down to the front desk to request a copy of my room key.  It went a little like this:

Me: Hi, I need to get a copy of my room key, I misplaced mine last night.
Clerk: Ok, can I see a photo id?
M: No, it's lost with the room key.
C: Ooohkay, do you have the credit card that you reserved the room with?
M: No, it's also with the room key and my drivers license.
C: Well, ma'am, I can't just give you a copy of your room key without some kind of proof that you are indeed the tentant of the room. Do you know the last 4 digits of the credit card that you reserved the room under?
M: No.  So, you're telling me that the dumbest thing I could do at this point was to wander down here with nothing but my phone with all other forms of identification locked in my room.
C: Yes, ma'am. I'm sorry.

You have got to be kidding me!  I plop myself down in a chair in the lobby.  Time to think about things for a moment.   The Internet in the lobby required a credit card to use and everything else that makes my smart phone, smart...was not working, so this was increasingly difficult.  My co-worker Jason had arrived the night before as well and I had been texting him back and forth...he had his Internet set up and was working. I called him and asked him to google my bank.  He got me the phone number to my bank, I called them, got the last 4 digits of my debit card, gave the number to the hotel clerk, who immediately issued me a new card.  One step closer to functionality...

I went back to my room, showered, put on my fanciest Kelley's on Beaver - Des Moines, Iowa t-shirt and wandered my dumbass down to the strip to have lunch at Margaritaville with my unimpressed boss.  This was a 3 mile walk, so I had plenty of time to think of solutions to my problems.  I called roommate Traci to keep her in the loop on my stupidity, thru this conversation we managed to work up a plan so that she could meet up with another one of my co-workers and get him my passport so that I wouldn't be stuck in Vegas forever.  Thank God for that!  I enjoyed the best ever Cheeseburger in Paradise courtesy of Jimmy Buffet.  It was simply delightful. I caught a shuttle back to co-worker Jason's hotel because by this point my drunken ambition had run out and I was exhausted.  I used his internet to start canceling my misplaced credit cards. I took advantage to the 14 minutes of internet to let all my fans in facebook world know that I was a little down on my luck....and left that status for them to discuss amongst themselves for the next 6 days. 

I spent Friday night snoozing at the hotel.  Saturday I woke up still a little disoriented. We moved resorts this morning, and later went down to the strip with Renee to have brunch at Bobby Flay's restaurant in Caesar's Palace, Mesa Grill. It was delish.  Walking into Caesar's I had flashbacks to the movie, The Hangover. I seriously felt like there was a soundtrack to my life at that moment.  Still feeling a little out of sorts, I headed back to my hotel to sleep a little more of Vegas off. I was getting my ass kicked at this point.    A couple hours later, things started getting worse, having discovered that I probably had a bladder infection. I called the front desk for advice for where to go to see a doctor, after 3 strike outs, I finally found a walk in that was open 24 hours/7 days a week.  This is going to be awesome.  Co-worker Jason gave me a ride to the clinic, but after I discovered it would be a 2-1/2 hour wait to be seen by a doctor, I sent him back to the hotel. So there I sat.  Pathetically bawling on the phone to my sister about what an idiot I was.  Really the low point of the trip by this time. How much more pathetic and sad can I get, sitting in the waiting room of a walk in clinic off of Wynn Avenue...fantastic.

Eventually I was seen by the doctor, who thankfully gave me a prescription for a 7 day supply of antibiotics.  This ended up being my only souvenier from the trip.   Before leaving the clinic I asked the receptionist to call me a taxi.  A mini van pulled up about 45 seconds later and a short bald man in his 40s greated me with a robust, 'Hey, Baby, how you doin tonight?!
Me: 'Well, I could be better.' 
Cabbie: 'Oh, I'm sorry, baby, that was a silly question.  You gonna be okay, baby, right?' 
M: 'Yes, I'll be fine,' I managed to sputter out with tears in my throat. 
C: 'Ok, honey, where you goin tonight?'
M: 'I have to get to a pharmacy, and then eventually to Tahiti Villiage on Las Vegas Blvd.

We discussed different routes of making this all happen, he decided the best route, I went with it.  Turns out my cabbie's name was Luca. He is Italian-Puerto Rican.  He told me how I was 'just beautiful, baby' and 'was going to break hearts someday'.  He gave me his phone number in case I couldn't find a cab after getting my prescription filled, and let me out at a 24 hour CVS.  Talk about an exciting Saturday night. 

I walked up to the pharmacy counter with my Rx in hand.  The pharmacy tech requested my insurance card and ID.  At this point I had been using an expired paper id that the state of Iowa gives you when you renew your license before they print the real card and send it to you in the mail.  So that piece of paper and my insurance card were floating around in my huge purse.  The lady could recognize my frustration and told me to relax, it would be fine.  I emptied my purse out on the counter, finally finding the elusive cards (this reminds me that I need a new purse)! My prescription was filled in less than 10 minutes.  I walked out of the CVS, wondering if I was really going to have to call my friend Luca.  I looked around the area, no taxis in sight.  Then I saw a cab driver walking out of the 7-11 across the 4 lane median street. He was getting into his van and backing out by the time I realized that this was probably my only chance to not have to walk all the way back to my condo.  I started sprinting across the street. The driver was negotiating a right turn onto Las Vegas Blvd when I reached the van and started pounding on the window.  I got his attention! He let me in, and he took me the $7 cab ride to my condo. This took the last of my cash, but I was okay with it because I was home for the night and had some drugs to take. 

I set my alarm for 5:30 a.m.for Sunday morning, and snuggled in for the night. The work portion of this week was just starting, and I had some redeeming to do!

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