What Happens In Vegas…

…ends up on blogs and YouTube.

I’ve been in Vegas since last Tuesday for a reunion of my Manila high school friends from the Classes of the 70’s. About 15 alums and a few brave spouses partied Thursday until Sunday at The Orleans Hotel & Casino. About half of us had attended a similar reunion in Sarasota last April and were joined in Vegas by west coast alums.

Much of our time was spent hanging by the pool or at a hotel bar, reminiscing about our adventures in Manila.

Thursday evening, we took advantage of the TGIF (Friday’s) special at the hotel: $6 for all appetizers from 4-7 and 9 to closing. My dinner was 10 Sriracha hot wings and three cheeseburger sliders. I was stuffed for $12

We enjoyed two “event” meals away from the hotel. Friday, we feasted at a Korean BBQ buffet. For $20, we received as many platters as we liked of eight thin-sliced meats, including spicy pork, marinated beef, and baby octopus, which we grilled at our table. We also received as much of eight appetizers as we liked, including kimchee and a very spicy green papaya salad. My table of six went through three meat platters and some extra baby octopus.

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Saturday, we went to a Filipino cafeteria-style restaurant, where for $7 we could have a “combo” meal of any two entrees, rice and a sour soup called “sinigang.” I went with two classic favorites: lechon kawali and chicken adobo. Another dollar went for dessert: a banana wrapped in egg roll skin and  then fried in brown sugar mixture. (Photo below.)

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Later that evening we went downtown to “old Las Vegas” for the Fremont Street Experience. To attract visitors to the older “original” casinos which were “Vegas before The Strip” a portion of Fremont Street where many casinos are lined up side by side was made a pedestrian street. Above it is a canopy with over a million computer controlled lights where “shows” are played in the evenings. Weekends, there is also live music. The night we went, there were three bands on three stages.

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The spirit was willing but the flesh was weak for some “dollar a game after midnight” bowling at the hotel’s 24-hour, 70-lane bowling alley. For the more sedentary, there was also an 18-screen movie theater.

Tuesday, I’m driving to San Diego for my class’ 45th graduation anniversary. I’ll spend Tuesday in Death Valley before spending the night in Barstow. Wednesday, it’s Joshua Tree National Park. These will be the first two parks where I’ll use my lifetime senior park pass, which I obtained a few months ago for a one time $10 fee. After spending the night near Joshua Tree, I drive into San Diego Thursday.

My next post will update you on my journey to San Diego. I hope to post that late next Sunday night or Monday morning.

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