It Is Paradise

After a few days of eating buffets, you do fill up. You do need to slow down. That awakening came today.

Breakfast this morning was at a small coffee stand in the hotel. I had a bagel and cup of coffee.

This coffee stand, like every other food place in Las Vegas, features oversized portions. Imagine muffins, baked at a nuclear power plant. That’s what you get. You won’t find this anywhere else… or we’d all be waddling around.

Michael, Melissa and Max were at the pool, and I headed there. I haven’t had my shirt off in public in a really long time, but the whole pool area was so inviting. The air was warm. So was the water.

Max, Michael and I took the slide down into the pool a few times. It was really a lot of fun.

I’m starting to think this is the perfect climate. Though the temperature was north of 100 today, it was comfortable. The humidity was bone dry low. In fact, sitting at the pool I wondered what the advantage of Florida or the Caribbean was?

Of course Las Vegas does have winter and it does get chilly. But, for someone like me in Connecticut, this would be considered a mild winter. Florida, on the other hand, has virtually no winter. Maybe this climate would be better when retirement comes along.

My sister and brother-in-law, busy with work related things most of the time we’d been here, showed up at the pool to say goodbye. They were catching a flight back to Milwaukee. Talk about culture shock!

Michael and Melissa had a friend coming over around lunch time, so Michael and I got a table at an open air restaurant at the pool. The birds at this restaurant must feel like they’ve died and gone to heaven as they have run of all the leftovers until the tables are bussed. I’m sure there’s some health concern, but it was sweet and no one seemed to mind. It’s like the birds are part of the whole aura of the place.

Jacques, the friend, showed up and had lunch with Michael, Melissa and a fading Max. Jacques is a choreographer involved with the new Cirque du Soleil production that will open soon at the MGM Grand. My cousin Michael works with Jacques’ dance company, Diavolo Dance Theatre, in Los Angeles (their website is Jacques is French and seemed very theatrical (in a good way) with long flowing hair. Jacques’ family had a lot to do with the view at the pool: his grandfather, a Parisian fashion designer, is credited with inventing the bikini.

When my folks joined us at the table, Jacques kissed my mom on both cheeks. Very continental. She swooned. He kissed her on the way out too.

Tonight, my plan is to play in a very pricey poker tournament. This will be the highest stakes I’ve ever played. I don’t think I would be doing it, except I’m up for the trip. A loss here will turn my net into a negative number – but an acceptable one.

So, while I play this, and Helaine plays elsewhere, Steffie, Ali and my parents will be at New York, New York seeing Rita Rudner.

Oh – one last thing which I do not want to forget. While I was walking through the casino earlier today I passed an area of new slot machines being installed. I stopped to look and see what was going on. These slots are really just sophisticated video games – often built on PC platforms.

As I looked, one machine was actually booting. I looked at the screen and saw some things I recognized. The slot machine was booting into Linux! I thought that was geeky cool.

Blogger’s note: I continue to add photos to the gallery for this trip. You can see them by clicking here. The whole Vegas trip has its own category, which means you can link to these stories specifically by clicking here or read about the 2003 Vegas trip here.

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