Here's something I didn't expect. Las Vegas doesn't really put on a show for the 4th of July. Huh. Imagine that! A holiday specifically designed for being loud and flashy at night and Las Vegas passes it by. Whodathunkit?!?
It turns out there are plenty of other things to do in Vegas though, so I was not bored. It was a little strange to go there alone. Usually I am there with a group of friends, or with a bunch of folks from work for a trade show but this time, it was just me. I stayed at the new Wynn resort where they upgraded me to the Tower Suites. I ended up with a great room overlooking the golf course (no doubt taunting me for my previous post).
I played a round of golf at Bali Hai. A nice course just south of the Mandalay Bay resort (where I usually stay in Vegas). Unfortunately the greens had just been punched about 4 days earlier so they were very sandy and bumpy which really affected the round. Lots of 3 putts as the ball bounced all over the place. I did have a nice birdie on the second hole, a long par 5 where I hit a good drive a weak second shot and an amazing 200 yard 5 wood that stopped 4 feet from the hole. I was even after 2 holes but that was pretty much it for highlights. Did I mention that it was hot? About 105° which makes the ball go far, but it also makes the grips so hot that they start to burn your hands after a while. It was a fun round though and I have yet another logo ball for the case.
After that, it was pretty much a bunch of eating and gambling. I had dinner at Okana where the master chef was my own private sushi chef for the evening. OMG, it was fantastic! He made an exquisite nigiri of toro tuna with crushed pepper, then torched it to sear it and added some fresh lemon juice. It melted in my mouth -- simply amazing. There were other great delights there as well but that one was outstanding.
After dinner, a great round of blackjack with some friendly folks from Texas. Great because I was up $400 at the end of it (don't worry -- it all went away later). On the second night, I went to the poker room and signed up for a $4/$8 table after getting lots of tips from a blackjack dealer at the Venetian. I was a bit nervous since I would be playing against other players, not just the house but it ended up being a great time. I started out with $100, won some, lost some, went all in once and won, then went back to being up $60.00 before I eventually withered to nothing but it took 3.5 hours and was a lot of fun. $100 for 3.5 hours was cheaper than the golf in a pure dollars to fun time ratio. :)
It ended up being pretty nice being there alone. I was able to relax, hang out by the pool, go shoot pictures, read, and gamble on my own schedule. I think next time I'll go with friends though -- much more fun at the tables with people you know.
Here are some pictures from the trip.
The Hilton did have a fireworks display and I was able to watch it from my hotel room. It's pretty cool when you zoom in.
This is a statue in the near the waterfall. The hair looks amazing considering it's metal.