We got up, grabbed coffee at Starbucks, took the bags to the car, and checked out of TI. Bill and Katie had already left for the airport (painfully early in the morning), so we were down to one car again.
Wendy had texted earlier to say they wanted to go to Pink’s Hot Dogs down at Planet Hollywood, and that Doran was interested too. We had no interest in walking that far in the heat again, so we told them we’d meet up with them after brunch. Matt, Joe, Missy and I headed toward Emeril’s Stadium, our favorite sports book restaurant in the Palazzo.
The place was conveniently located directly across the street from TI; we could see the entrance when we walked out the door. But because it’s Vegas, you can’t just cross the strip there: you have to take the overpasses. We took an elevator to the overpass to Fashion Show Mall, another overpass to the Wynn, and an elevator again because the escalator was broken. Finally we crossed the overpass to the Palazzo and went inside. We were outside just long enough to get exhausted from the heat.
Emeril’s was just opening, so we had our pick of seats. We chose the couches set up as massive stadium seating facing the massive TVs and the actual sportsbook. We ordered brunch, a pitcher of drinks, and hung out in incredibly comfortable fashion.
A short time later, I got a text from Doran asking where everyone was. Apparently though he’d expressed interest in Pink’s, they hadn’t actually made plans. I wasn’t sure where Wendy was, either, but I told him to get in touch with her. They finally met up at some point, and started the long journey to Planet Hollywood.
We wrapped up our brunch at leisurely pace and headed over to the Mirage. The plan was to meet up with Wendy and Amelia there later, since we both had Groupons for 2-for-1 drinks at Rhumbar, which we’d enjoyed with Wendy on the previous visit.
We stopped at the sports book at the Mirage, because Emeril’s didn’t have the bet Joe wanted. He bet, Matt redeemed his free drink ticket, and then he and I went to place a few more bets. There was a horse race coming up, so he bet on that and got another free drink ticket. Apparently that’s the trick… bet on something that you’re probably going to be sitting there watching.
Wendy texted to say they were just leaving, and that they would meet us at Rhumbar. We went in and got a table in the back corner of the patio, one of the few spots in the shade. A server came by and we gave her our Groupon. Missy and Joe just wanted water. She told them apologetically that there was a 2-drink minimum on the patio, so Missy asked if a ginger ale was OK because of her heart condition. She seemed OK with that explanation (and Joe’s lack of order), though, so apparently we were fine. The patio was nearly empty anyway.
It was still ridiculously hot, but the shade and their intermittent mist-fan helped a little. We were still way happier with that than the crappy weather in Minneapolis, plus we were leaving soon. Joe seemed to not mind too much, and went ahead and took a nap at the bar.
We had another round, and Wendy was still nowhere to be found. We hung out longer, and finally our drinks were happy and we had no good excuse to stay any longer. We got our check and went back to the sports book to wait.
There was still half an hour left til we had to head out, so I went to go play craps with $40, and Joe came along to watch. I feel like I did a good job of convincing him he should play sometime, since I turned it into $100 pretty quickly. We went back to the sports book just as the rest of the group arrived, looking completely exhausted. They said they’d tried to do the same thing we did in Caesar’s, and gotten lost for AN HOUR.
We all went to the tram and rode over to TI. Matt, Joe, Missy and I went to get the car, and the rest went to pick up their bags at the desk and get a cab to the airport. We dropped the car off at the rental center, then got on the bus to the airport. We got through security fairly quickly, so Matt and I sent Missy and Joe off to the gate, and headed to the inter-terminal tram.
The Centurion Lounge, American Express’ first airport lounge, had opened recently at McCarran, and they’d sent all their platinum cardholders a year-long free entry pass. Unfortunately it was only good for the cardholder and a spouse, so we couldn’t bring everyone. I already wrote a review the place here, but the short version is this: IT’S AWESOME.
Our flight home was fairly uneventful, and the parking shuttle was waiting for us at the terminal. We were home 15 minutes later, thus cementing my opinion that the Park and Fly lot is great. Also, that that was a hell of a birthday party weekend.