|Posted by doktakra on January 12, 2010 at 1:05 PM|
You know how CSI and CSI: Miami will have those occasional crossover episodes to make you tune in to each show to get the entire story, even though don't really need to watch both episodes to get the scoop on everything anyway? That's kind of what's going on here. By now I'm sure you've read all about my gloriously entertaining first visit to Sacramento (and shame on you if you haven't), but here are some other highlights from my three-day trip to the Westside (do people still say, "Westside" or am I living in 1996?).
Santa Monica Pier: I've got a long-running streak that goes back all the way to my summer camp days at the Green Lane "Y" in New Jersey -- I've never gone home empty-handed from a boardwalk basketball hoop. In fact, I used to be so good at hitting those tricky shots, that other campers would ask me to shoot for them just to get the prize. You'll be glad to know the streak lives on -- I won a stuffed animal shark for Michelle after eight attempts on my first try, which is now promptly sitting in a box in our storage unit. Good times.
Someone So Unforgettable: We were on five flights with three different airlines over the weekend, and despite Virgin Airlines' free in-air TV and WiFi and Jet Blue's timely NFL package, my hands-down favorite was Southwest Airlines. As we prepared for landing, one of the flight attendants announced that we'd be treated to some entertainment -- Nat King Cole's "Unforgettable." That would've been fine and all, but she then proceed to sing the entire song herself over the PA system. Look, you just had to be there...it was like being trapped at an "American Idol" audition 10,000 feet up in the air.
Just Win, Baby: It would've been far too easy had we boarded our flight out of Sacramento early Sunday morning and been back in New York by eight o'clock at night. But of course, our plane was diverted to Oakland due to heavy fog, so we missed our connecting flight out of Long Beach. Fortunately, Jet Blue gave us the option of leaving out of Las Vegas, complete with a three-hour layover in Sin City, which no rational person could possibly be mad about or decline. Things got even more interesting when an earlier flight to Vegas was held up in Long Beach just as we arrived, and the security people inexplicably let us on board without even checking our IDs (gotta love the way they've stepped their game up after those recent scares).
Long story short, we rented a cheap hotel room and spent a solid six hours gambling at the Flamingo and Caesar's Palace . I wasn't old enough to enter the casinos the last time I was in Vegas on a family vacation in high school (thanks, mom), but I more than compensated this time around. I won't disclose how much money I lost, but let's just say that it was roughly three times more than what Michelle gambled away. Note to self: the roulette tables are not your friends.
By far the greatest moment was when a woman won $1,000 in the "Wheel of Fortune" slot game in front of us, and then told me, "now it's your turn" before walking away. She left $20 worth of credits in the machine, which I went on to lose in about three minutes, but still, that type of thing just doesn't happen every day. Or hell, maybe it does in Vegas...I should go back more often.