Monday, July 25, 2011

Las Vegas - Chad's 40th Birthday

Since I will be traveling in Europe and miss Chad's 40th birthday on August 1, I went out to celebrate it early with him at the Hard Rock Hotel. Chad got a special deal on a suite after working a conference in Vegas all week. My Jeep Wrangler has no air conditioner and struggles on long hills, so I rented a Chevy Impala and drove out Friday night after work. I arrived at midnight, drank a shot of Tequila, and hung out with Chad and Heidi, who he met Thursday night.

Chad in the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino.
After breakfast, Chad and I went out to the Rehab pool at 11am where he rented a daybed. It was blazing hot, but our waitress started bringing us ice buckets filled with Coronas and Smartwater. The pool area was relaxing at first, but it soon got crazy as the music started up and the crowd grew and grew. We hung out with the couple renting the daybed next to us and Heidi came out to visit us. Normally, I control the amount of alcohol I'm drinking, but on Saturday I lost track with the heat and never-ending bucket of beers. Whenever my hand was empty, I was given another opened Corona with a slice of lime.

Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Rehab at the Hard Rock Hotel.
Though we had a blast at the pool, it destroyed our plans for the evening. Around 6:30, I staggered up to the room. I was very drunk but I managed to shower and change for the Soundgarden concert at 8. When I came out of the bathroom, Chad was passed out. I crawled into my bed and the next thing I know it was 1:35am. We missed the concert and I had a throbbing headache. We had a tiger in our room and it was clawing at my brain.

Bouncing balls in the Rehab pool.
Noah and Chad at Rehab.
Attempting to rally, we met up with Heidi and went down to Mr. Lucky's for some food. I was trembling and barely hanging on while we ate, trying to avoid looking at the drunk guy in the next booth. Watching him flop around made me nausous. This was the worst hangover since my last night in Rio De Janeiro. I had promised myself that I wouldn't get wasted because of my upcoming Europe trip, but Vegas will win every time. Oh well!

Chad cheering on the action.
Chad and Malibu Rum Girl.
After sleeping in on Sunday, we went down to Pink Taco. I always judge a Mexican restaurant by their salsa and the three different kinds that came with the chips were delicious. The tortilla soup was not as good as La Especial's in Leucadia, but the carne asada tacos were excellent. The meat was very tender and the tortillas were hand-made in the restaurant. I regretted squeezing the lime on my tacos though, the smell reminded me of all the Coronas I drank at the pool. I don't think I will be able to drink another one for a long time.

Hard Rock Hotel
Chad and Heidi at Rehab.
After a few hours recuperating at the hotel's West Pool, I left at 5pm thinking I would get home by 10:30 but the traffic between Baker and Barstow kept slowing to a crawl. It was 9:30 by the time I stopped for a bite. I thought I had passed the worst of it, with only a small section of red traffic in Victorville showing up on my iPhone, but I was wrong. It turned out to be horrible and I spent well over an hour traveling 4 miles. At 11:30, I finally wised up and checked for traffic-free roads off the freeway. I found a clear frontage road and jumped off the I-15. I cruised the last 8 miles alongside the frozen freeway and got back on after passing the accident. After nine hours on the road, I arrived home at 1:30am.

Setting sun as I drive home from Las Vegas.
p.s. This was my first time staying at the Hard Rock and I loved their down pillows. I tried to buy one at the hotel, but they don't sell them. I did get the website address of the company that sells them though.

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