Part 5: Lazy River Hijinx (see?)

The lazy river's seemingly innocent name actually belied its swift currents and deadly undertow. I "heard" that 62 people die in it every year. Of course, I heard this from a disheveled, homeless woman also shouting "Soylent green is people!" out in front of the hotel. A few of us jumped in anyway, as our respective middle names are "Danger," "Lucky," "Fearless," and "Hambone." Wait a minute... Quickly taken by the current, we suddenly became 14 years old again, as we often do when a group of us get together again. Ross or Steve asked what the lifeguard adjacent the river what the record for laps was and the lifeguard responded with something like "EnhIdunno" and feel back asleep behind his sunglasses. Regardless, we were determined to set a new record for laps in the river. Shouts of "enh" and "HEY" were heard from afar as we barrelled down the river, on a collision course with destiny.

"I seen it!!"

How innocent that river looks...

...this is the last time we ever saw them.

By "destiny," I mean about 11 more laps. Our maturity level did not increase as we got closer to this so-called destiny, however, as I thought it would be a brilliantly hilarious idea to play dead in the river and possibly freak the lifeguard out. For some reason, we all found this incredibly hilarious. Like I said, 14. After tiring of the river and having set the world record for laps in the Mandalay Bay Lazy River Course at Mandalay Bay in Las Vegas, Nevada, our next stop was the gi-normous wave pool.

Continuing our tradition of acting well below our age, we tried to "outrun" the wave generated every minute, with various looks of mock fear on our faces. Ross, unfortunately, failed and was pulled underwater by that deadly undertow I mentioned earlier, despite his valiant doggie paddling. It was a somber mood amidst the palm trees and inner tubes as we dwelled on his untimely death...for about five minutes. Then it was time for mai tais!

After thoroughly saturating ourselves with deadly UV rays, we headed back indoors to get cleaned up and ready for a night on the town. Ross was resurrected at some point by the heathen gods of tiki torches, but we won't dwell on that.

Each person in our group had varying degrees of desire for gambling. Lindsey seemed to have no desire, while Dusel and I seemed to be hankerin' for some blackjack immediately. Dan, as mentioned, had the craps. Ha ha, innuendo. These varying degrees of desire turned out to be inversely proportional to the amount of money lost by each person as well. I'll leave you all to sift through and interpret that mess of a paragraph. Maybe the following chart will be more helpful:

Hitting the blackjack table, I quickly lost about 60 bucks and said F this and walked away. This oft-ignored gambling strategy strangely didn't seem to pay off for Andy or myself. I guess it would make more sense to actually make money and then walk away from the table. My luck wasn't much better at the roulette table.

I think we tired quickly of losing our money, so we decided on hitting the Strip and getting some eats. I was again in awe of the millions of dollars in architecture and electricity as we walked along. We passed through Excalibur (suitably dumpy looking) and New York, New York (take your kids there if for some reason you think it's a good idea to bring kids to Vegas). We passed the Bellagio and its' fountains, made world-famous by Ocean's 11. We went into the Bellagio, perhaps the "classiest" of all the joints in Vegas. By classy, they had more priceless glass flowers on their ceiling than any other hotel. We somehow made it through the Bellagio and ended up in the walkway lined with shops and restaurants between the Bellagio and Caesar's Palace.

Apparently, the menus displayed outside of each of the restaurants there are among the most unique in the world, as certain members of our group were riveted by them every 4 feet. This, for some reason, got me ornery. We finally ended up at a place called Bertolini's for some fine Italian cuisine, where we would also meet Andy's cousin Jill, a Vegas resident. We ate at the foot of a large fountain surrounded by Roman soldiers (apparently), who looked ready to spear us for our jalapeno poppers. (I don't think anyone actually ordered jalapeno poppers, but the phrase "jalapeno poppers" amuses me. Oh, and these soldiers were made of marble, thus not real and posing no danger to the jalapeno poppers.) Dinner was pretty good; I particularly enjoyed my $10 gin and tonic. Suitably sated for the night, it was time for more gambling.

Good times at Bertolini's