Thanksgiving 2014: Vegas, Baby, Vegas!

We spent Thanksgiving in Las Vegas and the only turkeys in sight were the Cowboys. That’s all I have to say about that.

She'll always want to see more. Good.

She’ll always want to see more. Good.

SFO is a super-nice airport.

SFO is a super-nice airport.

It took just over four hours for us to get to San Francisco from HNL. How is that possible? Lynnette mentioned something about tailwinds and earth rotation and you know I think it’s so damn cute when she pretends to be a meteorologist, but I still don’t know how that makes sense. I can only hope it works out as well on the way back. Madison stayed up just long enough for the plane to leave the ground. She passed out for the four hours of flight time and was not a monster when we arrived in the land of MLB’s World Champions. It’s the kind of airport that makes HNL look really, really dated. I’m not an expert on architecture or art, but I am a professional public restroom user, so I can tell you that San Francisco International Airport is helping to pay for its fancy facades by skimping on the toilet paper in the bathrooms. We’re talking about .32 ply. I can also tell you that I have added both SFO and McCarran to the list. This is a pretty big trip for me.

She's into posing now. Whatever.

She’s into posing now. Whatever.

Not my favorite kind of strip, but it'll do.

Not my favorite kind of strip, but it’ll do.

She loved it.

She loved it.

We got into Las Vegas in the morning and tried for In-N-Out for lunch, but who could have guessed it – they were closed for Thanksgiving! I got out of the car and peered through the windows into the darkness within. “Hahaha, dad!” Madison said. “In-N-Out is clooooooosed!” Before you judge Madison too harshly, I deserve it. I have spent her entire life telling her that her favorite stores were closed when they weren’t just because I know she gets anxious when we’re about to do something she likes. I like to use this anxiety and tell her things like “Uh-oh, the Disney Store is closed!” as we approach it. It worked a lot better when she was younger. Her gloating about the In-N-Out fiasco was karma that was a long, long time coming.

We spent the afternoon and evening doing hyper-touristy things on the strip, trying to keep in mind that Madison has an affinity for “kid things” and not so much “adult things.”

We never talked about it, but we found ourselves at the Paris and impulsively decided to ride the elevator to the top of the faux Eiffel Tower. The lady said it was only half the height of the genuine item, and I don’t know, that would be pretty high to be outside. We had a great view of the strip in all directions and lucked out with the timing – we caught the Bellagio water show from up there, too. We also watched it a second time from the wall fronting the great pool. I wish I could have taken better pictures of Mad’s face. She smiled and gasped and was taken aback. I don’t think she’s enjoy anything on such a simple level since Disneyland.

This all came out my back canal this morning.

This all came out my back canal this morning.

The personal highlight (for Lynnette also) was Thanksgiving dinner at Bacchanal (the buffet) at Caesar’s Palace. I had three full plates of sushi and a bunch of crab legs. I tried to do that thing where I eat so fast that my brain can’t send the signal to my mouth to stop eating. I think I made the mistake of drinking Pepsi with dinner, though. Aside: I would prefer never to drink Pepsi, but I went to bed on Tuesday night at 10 PM, got up at 4:45 AM for work on Wednesday. I didn’t even try to sleep until the plane took off, but couldn’t sleep because we were in an old plane that SUCKED. I napped for about 20 minutes in San Fran, then didn’t sleep again until a little past midnight this morning. College Phil would have done that no problem. But for Present-Day Phil? THAT’S INSANE. I have managed to remain awake by relying on a nasty cocktail of Coke, Pepsi, and Starbucks that makes my teeth feel like rice paper is covering them. I haven’t had a drink of anything for two hours and if I spit, it would be brown. We do what we must.

Anyway, the best thing about Bacchanal is that they have everything. In fact, the only reason Bacchanal is a terrible dining experience is that it puts you into an existential crisis:

You go for your personal favorites right away, then realize it’s good so you go back for seconds of it. Then members of your family start bringing plates of stuff for the entire table, and you were gonna sample a little of it anyway, so you do that, too. And the best part is you didn’t have to get up to get it. Then you take another lap and pick out the tier-two entrees that come in decent portions so you’re already thinking about having to ration and/or make choices because the dessert bar is ridiculous and turns you on sexually. It’s at that point that you start thinking things like Is there a way to smuggle this shit out of here? Why don’t humans have three stomachs? Will I be charged extra if I just put my tongue on everything? Will my body react poorly to the process of chewing without swallowing? Is that classless? It is Caesars, but there are also a lot of tourists here, right? Can I pull a puke-and-rally like the old days, but for food instead of alcohol? Will they see me if I just crash out under the table for a little bit, then go back for more food? 

Thank you to everyone who has wished us well on our brief vacation. We are having fun. I can only hope the calories I’ve been hoarding are burned off by the crazy amount of walking I’ve had to do. It’s probably not close, but a guy can dream.

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