No, not the Duran Duran song, though now I've planted the ear worm in some of you I suppose (I think I got it as well); not the city in Brazil either but rather, the hotel in Las Vegas. The Rio Carnival World Buffet to be precise was the destination where I joined the O'Connor family for a terrific meal and some great laughs and hang time.
The rest of my day yesterday involved a lot of chill time. I took a walk outside in the morning - ended up stopping at Harrah's and had a rare moment where to maximize (hopefully) some climate control, I slipped two one dollar bills into a Joker Poker machine. If you know me, I don't gamble, I've been to Las Vegas half a dozen times and to Reno, Tahoe and even Mohegan Sun in Ct. and combined have gambled somewhere between $30 and $50 and for the record, I am still way ahead having won over $500 on a $5 initial play in on a poker machine. The fact is, I am small potatoes, I work too hard to gamble my money away! However, on this morning, I thought $2 was worth risking for an extended stay in the cool with some great people watching and even a free beverage (mine was diet ginger ale).
there came a point on the poker machine where I had actually grown the $2 initial play into $3, at which point I cashed out, pocketed my initial $2 and threw the $1 I won in the machine. A few wins, some losses, eventually, there was two cents left, instead of letting it ride, I cashed out and kept the certificate. I figured at some point, someone will ask me to put my two cents in at which point I will reach into my wallet and pull out my two cent voucher and hope for a laugh other than by me.
Las Vegas is an interesting place, there are so many facets - I've said this many times but it really is the grand illusion. Nothing here is exactly what is seems to be, things appear far closer than they are, people make choices they know they shouldn't make, and worse, they don't realize they shouldn't make, then, there are genuine wholesome family moments. There are a ton of great places to eat, shopping for the very wealthy, lots of lights and colors and sounds...psychologists and sociologists can have a field day here.
As I write this on Saturday, at about 9:20 west coast time, I'll be checking out of my room in a few hours when my pal Dan O'Connor will pick me up and I will spend the day with them before heading to the airport for a red eye back home.
While it's entirely possible that I'll be back for another update later, it is more likely that I won't be back in this space until I am in my house in MA - safe travels for me and much thanks to all of you, my readers.