I was down considerably already. Sara had managed to win $40 at the big wheel in Planet Hollywood. The operator seemed to have personal issues. She warned the woman next to us to hold her purse on her lap or someone might grab it and dash out of the casino. “Welcome to Vegas,” she snorted. The 50 came up twice in the short time we were there. Someone came to relieve her, but she sent them away telling them she was fine and then her boss came by to check on her. Apparently, she had been hassled or stalked by some “creepy” guy (I’m not saying there are no creepy guys, but based on what I’ve heard around various sewing circles, the words “creepy” and “cute” tend to say more about the women doing the labeling then the men they describe.). They had a brief, but unprofessional dialogue which included an F-bomb used in reference to the alleged creep and her boss left. Sara bet on twenty and won $40 so we took it and ran. My twenty was gone, as was the twenty I dropped at the Aria. Now, The Paris had taken it out of me. I left some meager winnings on a roulette table betting on the middle third. The first night was half over and between games and dining I had lost nearly a third of my three day budget.
We passed the costumed Walk of Fame rejects who occupy that side of the strip and ignored the sex mongers who always hand their naked girl calling cards to whatever elderly married man happens to be walking in front of me with his wife. Every time. We crossed over to the other side at Bally’s on our way to complete this glorious quest, which we were actually really enjoying. It was getting on to about nine and we were beginning to feel hungry enough for dinner. I knew I was going to have the shepherd’s pie. We got to the casino at Caesar’s and I sat down with Sara at the electronic Big Wheel. I don’t like long shots, but betting on one and two makes me bored, because even if you win, you win very slowly; and if you stay long enough you will lose. I placed a bet on five. pulled the lever “This ones five.” I said.
A man next to me leaned back, “Five?!”
I told him, “Well that’s what I want, I don’t know your bet.”
And he said, “No, five is good.” I’m glad I got his blessing, because that’s what I hit. I took the modest win and moved on to play the electronic craps game nearby. All of the displays are circled around something like Trouble’s “pop-o-matic bubble. I start playing the pass line and lose. I try again. I lose. I only put twenty in the machine so when I bet again I’m down to only five which is less than I won from the last game. Suddenly, everyone’s rolling sevens and I’m back up I play some more and get a few good hits in, playing the field and the 6 and 8 spots before they crap out. Sara joined me and tried to understand the game. She got to see me win a little before the game ended and I took out my winnings. Next I really wanted to play roulette, just a little. It was a hybrid roulette system, with touch screen monitors and a real wheel. each different roulette game has it’s own rules about how you can bet and I tried to spread out my minimum bet in unorthodox ways around the outside (black, odd, 19-36, etc…). At first I didn’t realize my bet was voided. I am so glad I didn’t hit a winning number. I thought I lost and started to walk away, but they stopped me and said my credits were still there. I took another stab at it spreading my bet around in six-spots along the inside of the table and won $12. I wasn’t exactly raking it in Vegas movie style, but I was on a nice upswing, recovering a substantial portion of my losses.
We called it quits and went to Ramsay’s Pub, our final stop of the night. I had been wanting to try the shepherds pie, since the last time I was there and I didn’t order it. But the signature cocktail called the Scuffle was something I raved about from first sip and was deliriously looking forward to. It’s Boddington’s ale with Tennessee Honey, topped with a Guinness crème and served in a martini glass. I was in my chair and could hardly wait to order it. I couldn’t believe it when our waitress said it had been discontinued because of the crème. She asked if I would like something similar and went away only to return with the exact drink, complete with crème hand whipped by the bartender! I was floored. The shepherd’s pie, the first one I ever had with beef and lamb, was fantastic. As perfect as the burger was, I had to admit that given the opportunity to eat either one again, I’d pick the shepherd’s pie. What a perfect end. I kept my chips from roulette and we left for the Aria via the Bellagio.