Friday, May 22, 2015

Las Vegas is Magic

by Lily Vega

Las Vegas is one of my favorite travel destinations. Even my friends who don’t enjoy gambling fall under the spell.
My frugal friends love people watching and free attractions like the Bellagio conservatory and the mermaid show at the Silverton. They sample gourmet dishes and finish off the meal with a decadent scoop of salted peanut gelato at the Wicked Spoon buffet at the Cosmopolitan.
My adventurous friends head to the Stratosphere for thrill rides and the SkyJump experience. No chicken shirt for these brave souls. After they leap off the tower, they drive to Red Rock Canyon or the Valley of Fire State Park. To cool off they head to Serendipity 3 at Caesar’s Palace for an amaretto almond or Oreo frrrozen hot chocolate with marshmallows.
Foodie friends reserve a table at their favorite celebrity chef’s restaurant and work off the calories dancing at one of the hot clubs.  If they’re not up for shaking their moneymakers, they’ll get tickets for a great show like Pin Up at the Stratosphere or Zumanity at New York New York.
My husband and I stop at M Resort for a session of Deuces Wild and a complementary craft beer. Then we’re off to Anthony’s Gourmet Burgers and Brews to split a couple of burgers, argue over whether to get white cheddar bacon or sweet potato fries, and end up getting both.
The Orleans is always a good bet for poker. He plays Omaha 8 or better, but I prefer 2/4 Texas Hold ‘em with a half kill. After a long poker session, we’ll hit In–N-Out Burger for animal style fries or Sonic for a blue coconut slushie. If one of us has a big win, we’ll celebrate with martinis at the Vesper bar at the Cosmopolitan.
I dedicated Going All In, my 1Night Stand story, to the hardworking casino employees in Las Vegas who make the experience fun. The poker room at the Palms recently closed, but I’ll always have the memories of my favorite dealer, Jules. She greeted us by name and kept us engaged with friendly conversation.
Dealers add their own special vibe and help new players learn the rules. Pit bosses and poker room managers keep everything running and settle any disputes. Cocktail waitresses provide refreshments ensuring players don’t need to leave the table in the midst of a streak of good luck. I make a point to express my appreciation to them verbally and with a nice tip. After all, as Esmeralda would say, it’s good juju.
I hope you fall in love with Vegas and Ian and Kira’s 1Night Stand story.

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