This time around for LVI my parents wanted to watch some basketball as well so we had some extra cheering on our side of the gym. Thursday morning Joy and I picked up my parents from Cerritos and got to Vegas in a quick four hours. It wouldn’t be a trip to Vegas without a little wining and dining.
After checking into the California Hotel we headed for lunch at Ocha Cuisine where my parents had some friends hanging out playing cards. We had to keep it light as we had a big dinner planned with some of my team mates.
For our super fancy dinner CJ planned on a group event at SW Steakhouse at the Wynn Hotel. It was quite a fun dinner even if not everyone enjoyed their meal. We had a table of eight at 7pm which was the perfect time and we had a good view of the show on the lake.
Some of the steaks were over cooked, and some of the side dishes were as reviews mentioned, unimpressive. On the positive side all my dishes turned out great. I split a ribeye with my mom, and it came out perfectly medium rare, and the pureed potatoes were nice and buttery. Joy ordered the scallops with a pea risotto which was also delicious.
Saturday night we skipped out on going to the Fremont Buffet for our team dinner and headed west for some Sura Korean BBQ. It was so nice end our weekend with lots of good friends and grilled meats instead of bad steak and bad buffet food.
This past weekend Team Mixed Plate for another year gathered in Sin City to fight to be kings of the Dirt Division. Sadly this year was a repeat of last year’s 5th finish, and it was especially hard on me this year because for once we really tried to win. We actually spent time this summer meeting up and practicing at the Artesia High gym, working on our offense, and defense and had a pretty good game plan going into the weekend.
Friday night’s game versus Wheelchair Bound went exactly according to plan. Our bigs were playing big, CJ was hitting his shot from outside and we built a small lead going into the second half. In the second half i got hot and blew open the game hitting my shots and pushing the lead to over 15 points.
We were feeling good going into Saturday’s morning game, but unfortunately old habits die hard. Our second opponent was versus Rebels and was a hard fought battle until the last second. We had to overcome our poor shooting in the first half to get back within 2 points with 30 seconds left in the game, but my poor game management left us without even getting a shot off, and that basically deflated the entire game.
For the battle for 3rd place we were just outmatched by LGN Busy Bees, with their quicker big guys blowing by our big guys, and their guards getting hot from the outside. By the end it wasn’t even close and we left with another white shirt. (First place gets a black shirt, 2nd and 3rd get a colored shirt).
It was another fun weekend for basketball but what really hurts the most is that we have to wait another year to try again.
It wasn’t quite planned this way but i had to return to Vegas twice within the same week. This time is was for a Work thing where we wanted map out the future of the company and figure out what our long terms goals were for the company. We spent a couple days locked up at a virtual office a few miles outside of the strip so we hashed out every detail that we could think of. In the end I think we have a more realistic and solid plan to run the company.
We did get to squeeze in a little R&R between the work hours and ate some good food. Earlier in the week I got a Facebook message from an old co-worker from International Rectifier saying he was headed to the Oyster Bar after seeing my pictures and he was in Vegas for the week. Wednesday night we met up with Mark for dinner at Bouchon and got to reminisce of the old days of eating and playing basketball. We drank a lot of scotch that night and made the next morning a little rough.
Thursday night we had late reservations at Raku where we met up with Thomas for some fancy ass Yakitori and Sushi. The handmade tofu agadashi style was delicious and were completely stuffed by the end of the night. We were still awake and got one of the worse foot massage experiences that i’ve ever had. I was pretty happy to get back to the Hotel after basically getting yelled at for not tipping enough.
Back at the hotel Jonathan and I decided to stay up a little longer and hit the slot machines where i played my $20 and wich my last spin hit the wheel of fortune and won back $60. From there we moved on to the dollar machine and on my very first pull got the wheel of fortune spin and made $150. Not a bad way to end the night
Its been a while since i’ve seen Thomas since his move out to Las Vegas, so a few weeks ago i found an open weekend and booked a night at the Monte Carlo to go visit him. Joy and I left home around 6am and made pretty good time to get to vegas by 10:30am. The entire trip there we were trying to figure out where to go for brunch and initally we planned on going to the Bacchanal Buffet at Caesar’s Palace, but when we got there and did a quick once around the food stalls it just didn’t seem worth it for $40/person for lots of egg dishes and jook.
We quickly went across the street for our other favorite place Bouchon for some Chicken & Waffles instead. We also ordered the Croque Madam but really shouldn’t have since joy couldn’t get her egg over easy, but she really wanted the fries.
Afterwards we went to check-in to our hotel room and met up with Thomas and his kid Christian at the pool. I originally booked the Monte Carlo because there was a lazy river which i though Joy would enjoy but the place was filled with dudes drinking buckets of beers and making it impossible for an inner tube to float on through. There was also a wave pool which was pretty fun to hang out in, but summer times means a lot of people drinking and loud music, especially here where they stationed a DJ at the top and every so often had drinking contests at the edge of the pool. Not particularly the best place to bring a kid, but hey its Vegas i guess.
For dinner we wanted to check out this place Raku which i noticed all the people i follow on instagram go to when they’re in Vegas, but the only RSVP time available was 10:30pm. So instead we went to the Oyster Bar at the Palace Station Casino for their Pan Roast. This is the place where all my basketball friends go to while in Vegas. The wait is super slow, but we got in just in time for a dozen oysters for Thomas and I to split, and a Pan Roast for Joy and I to split.
We were short on time because we had gotten tickets to watch a comedy show called Defending the Caveman at Harrah’s Casino. It was a pretty funny show where a guy gets up on stage and tries to show how men aren’t assholes, they just see and interact with the world with a different type of brain. It actually got me to laugh so i would say it was pretty good.
Finally to end the night we went over to Serendipity 3 so Joy could get a Frozen Hot Chocolate and Thomas and I could have a few beers. It was a pretty hot night but there was a nice seating area with misters all around us and got to enjoy just hanging out long enough before i started to pass out.
Early in October Jonathan asked if i could go to Vegas for his birthday (and to celebrate Thomas and mine) on the first weekend of November but with Shelly’s wedding that weekend i had to decline. Towards the end of the month we talked again and Janelle said i could just go Friday and fly back on Saturday and with a little thought i figured it was totally possible. So i logged on to Spirit Air and got myself a $38 flight from LAS to LAX.
Friday morning Jonathan picked me up and we headed out to Vegas and got there in a quick 4 hours and met up with Thomas who moved out there in September. We basically had a quick lunch and headed back to the Palms to check-in and to start drinking and relaxing. We finished our bottle of whiskey in an hour and half and were good to go. We hopped on a free shuttle from the Palms to Caesar’s Palace and went to try the new Bacchanal Buffet.
I’ve heard stories of two hour waits to get into the buffet so I had us get there around 5 and found a normal sized line and expected to wait a while still but 15 minutes later we were seated and off to the races. The seafood section was quite impressive with lots Crab legs, freshly chucked oysters, steam mussels, oyster shooters, and lots of other seafood items. The rest of the buffet seemed pretty standard and includes a noodle soup section, lots of charcuterie, and some bland prime rib. Four plates done, and lot of desserts later we were done and headed back to the hotel to take a nap.
We woke up a few hours later headed out to drink more and ended up at the Ghost Bar at the end of the night where we hung out until 2am. To finish off the night Jonathan wanted to get a 20 piece nuggets and watch Lost back in the room.
Saturday morning after breakfast it was time to relax so we met up again in Chinatown to get a foot massage. Its not as cheap as the ones in LA but still just as good. This was probably the first time i didn’t fall asleep in the middle of it. Once we were done we had to race to the airport so i could catch my flight, and so Jonathan could pick up Nelson who was staying for just Saturday night.
Basketball isn’t of course the only reason for going to LVI, but getting the chance to hangout is the other reason. I rented a car from Alamo, and after some searching through all the American cars i found a Hyundai Sonata which i promptly snapped up because it had all the bells and whistles that i need for the long drive out to the desert. With the iPhone all hooked up and the car packed up with picked up another friend in Temple City and left the city by 10pm and got to the Cal by 2am.
Joy and I checked in, threw all our bags into the room and headed down to the Market Cafe for some Oxtail Soup. Even though i know that there are boiled peanuts floating in the soup, i actually ate quite a bit of the meat off the bones, and even some soup with no ill effect. Afterwards we headed back up to turn in for the night. Up until i got hit up on an instagram image i took of the food, and found out my high school friend was getting married the same weekend and a group was at the restaurant that very moment. So i put my shorts back on and went down to catch up for a few minutes.
The next day after the breakfast buffet at Market Cafe again, a group of teammates headed over to the Forum Shops to do some shopping. We spent a lot of time in the Nike Store, and H&M doing some shopping then headed over to Palace Station to check out the Oyster Bar for some Cajun style cooking. While waiting for a seat Joy and I hopped onto the penny slots to get some free beers, and Joy ended up winning $35. The food was really good and spicy and many were left a sweaty mess. Probably not the best thing to eat with a basketball game later that evening but we still managed to win.
After Saturday’s disappointing losses the team gathered up for another Steak Buffet at the Fremont Hotel rather than going to SW Steakhouse at the Wynn which we planned to go eat at if we had won the whole thing.
Joy’s co-workers also just so happened to be in Vegas the same weekend so we decided to meet up with them at Planet Hollywood after dinner and hit the dance floor at Gallery. We had a few drinks, danced a few songs and enjoyed our last night in Vegas more than i expected. Once we were done, it gathered up everyone to go to the Secret Pizza Place at the Cosmopolitan Hotel to soak up the booze before heading back to the room. The whole trip besides the Basketball losses turned out to be a really fun trip with seeing old friends, and trying to places to eat.