One year for Christmas, my son informed me he didn’t want video games or the “usual” Christmas list.
Instead, he wanted to “ride every roller coaster” in Vegas.
This would seem an odd request but, hey I’m game for Vegas under any reason and, so is my hilarious sidekick Cindy Daniel.
Any excuse to “hit the slots” will do and hey buddy, can you spare a quarter?!
Recently, we received an inquiry regarding a casino wedding and were thrilled to tears about a “working” holiday to have some fun in Oklahoma.
Sadly, the casino wouldn’t accommodate our needs to make this a fun and joyous occasion so, good sports like us and our dear family friends changed the location to Lake Murray and had one of the funnest weddings ever!
We are still “open” for a Las Vegas wedding and although Cindy and I can no longer “ride every ride” due to dizziness and back issues- hey man, we are fifty years old ya all, you can find us enjoying a fruity cocktail at the nearest quarter machine waiting to “hit the big one.”
On a recent trip to the “fun capital of the world” Steve Daniel accompanied us. No, he doesn’t gamble or, like to spend money on ANYTHING unless, it’s absolutely necessary or, for “The Littles” Maryssa and Makenna Mahaney. You see, he “saves” his money to spoil the tiny Texas Twins and loves taking them on an adventure to Walmart or an area fast food restaurant that has a playground.
Hanging out in Vegas (when it’s just Cindy and I) is perhaps some of the funnest times we’ve ever had- I’ve been around the world three times and there isn’t anywhere I’ve been or, anything I’ve done that is as hilarious as being beside Cindy when I’m doing it.
On one occasion in Vegas, Cindy was “on a winning streak” at a lesser known “dive” casino that was basically “four walls and a roof.” There was not even a bathroom, however when my sister is “on a roll” you gotta “hunker down and hang in there.” She will NOT leave a “hot” slot for any reason or, for anyone including me.
Getting out of the airport with Cindy was difficult enough with the slots located everywhere you look. You see, the sights, the sounds, the “possibility” of hitting a jackpot had my sister so mesmerized that getting the luggage and the rental car were (as usual) both difficult to do without physically pulling her “off” the “sucker slots.”
I discussed the possibility of doing a wedding in Vegas with my ever calm husband, Matthew. You see, unlike Steve, he KNOWS what everything costs and, he knows that Cindy and I are “slot maniacs” who forget our names in a casino, how long we’ve been there and occasionally, that we have “other things to do” than waiting on the “big one.” Matthew Wortham calmly explained that if it was a “working vacation” he would suggest both and agenda AND a budget!
I love the Bellagio mainly because I love the shops, the pools and of course, the fantastic food there. They have one of the worlds best tuna steaks I’ve ever eaten and that’s saying a lot since I also had one while in Waikiki at the Sing Hai. I love Waikiki too, don’t get me wrong but- the excitement of Vegas is something you can actually “feel.” Everyone is determined to get “lucky.”
Getting on a plane heading TO Vegas is always a complete variation on the opposite end than LEAVING Vegas. You see, all the folks went from happy and excited to, “looking like balloons that have been deflated.” It’s depressing leaving Vegas only if you had “your heart set on being a big winner.” We never do and we try to play with “house money” whoever possible. Having a really nice pool and cool shops so “we have something to show” for our expenses, gives us something to do to “stay out of the money pits” aka casino areas.
One year while in Vegas, my grandmother came up with the “great idea” to take a bus to the marshmallow factory. This was dumbest, most uncomfortable, time consuming idea on the planet! Fifteen minutes into this “trip” I demanded the bus “pull over” and got off the bus with my hilarious sidekick, Cindy and our very unhappy grandmother who was “looking forward to a tour of the marshmallow factory.”
Cindy and I tried to hitchhike for twenty minutes but, the only traffic was other buses heading to the marshmallow factory.
We were in the “boonies.” There were no taxis and, we had no cell phones. Apparently the bus driver, realizing we were standing alone in the desert, called us a cab- this guy showed up out of nowhere and, charged ME extra for showing up.
The entire time we were “standing in the desert” my grandmother complained “we were going to die and, it’s all our fault.” I wasn’t worried about “dying” in the desert- I was worried about spending an ENTIRE day of our vacation touring a marshmallow plant and spending an hour to and from the plant “squished” between plus sized passengers- I was miserable!
Because our grandmother was WATCHING the taxis timer, and CONSTANTLY complaining about the price of this taxi fare (although it is I who pay for EVERYTHING, everyone is always trying to save MY money) mile by mile, he DUMPED us at the very EDGE of town!
So while we walked, she complained more about walking, when it was HER fault we got dumped in the FIRST place. We travelled down alleys, for short cuts, and a few alleys later, Cindy was approached by a fella, who asked for a light for his cigarette. When she pulled out her lighter, he grabbed her hand, checking out her giant CZ ring! We walked on, only for a FEW steps, as I looked back, and now there were FOUR fellas behind US! Quickly realizing that the “fella and his friends” had plans for our hapless trio- I screamed “run.” My grandmother, apparently not catching on to the fact that we were in a dark alley with four men a few steps behind us replied in an abrupt tone “I’m an old lady, I can’t RUN!” I grabbed one of her arms and Cindy grabbed the other and together we ran out of the alley and right into Binions Casino. I quickly ordered a “stiff gin and tonic!” Cindy (after shaking off the near mugging, of course) started “hitting a lick” on the slots. Our grandmother was still complaining about missing out on that marshmallow tour but, grabbing coins from Cindy’s “till” kept her busy enough to “get over it.”
Heading to my old “stomping grounds” the Golden Nugget for a steak dinner with our “tired trio” ended up with Cindy requiring the Heimlich Maneuver by a man so handsome that “he could make a good woman leave home!” This dark stranger came up from behind Cindy (who was choking) on the last crescent roll from the buffet that I had asked to “split with her.” You see, she stuck the entire roll in her mouth and was choking while I argued with my grandmother over “never again having an opportunity to see a marshmallow factory.” Neither of us noticed that my sister was choking. She still complains that if she’s choking- my family will be “so busy arguing with each other that we won’t notice!”
On our fortieth birthday, I decided to take Cindy and my son on a trip to Acapulco and stay at the fabulous Las Brisas Resort. You would think this would be a wonderful trip, you’d be wrong. Driving around in a pink jeep is like wearing a “kick me sign.” Tourists of the wonderful resort are better off taking a cab! Immediately “pulled over” for running a stop sign, I argued no sign existed while Cindy panicked that we would die “in a Mexican Jail.” The end result was I had to pay $50.00 simply because wee were of course, tourists.
On our last day at the resort, we took a cab to go to the most interesting Walmart I’ve ever seen in Acapulco. Ordinarily, this wouldn’t be a big deal but, “tourists are suckers” and, the driver went right past our destination to “run up the bill.” I was beyond agitated (after all, I had a paid for jeep sitting back at the hotel) and looked at Cindy and my son and instructed them to “jump out” at the next red light. We did and the driver attempted to get $50 out of me for a ten mile trip, I laughed and there him a twenty while instructing my son and my sister to “run for it!” We did and still laugh about being young enough to “hit the bricks running.”
While I’ve been to many places and seen many things, traveling with my family and riding the Stratosphere with my son and “hitch hiking” after jumping off the tour bus along with “running for it” in Acapulco will always be “good for a laugh” with my family.
Give me a drink and a poolside chaise at the Bellagio buddy, no one can “get into trouble while getting a tan.”
But, if you know of anyone planning a Las Vegas wedding and want us to join you- give us a call, we are “in like Flynn!”
Wendy M Wortham
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