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What Happens In Vegas…

March 6, 2009


or at least on the way to Vegas doesn’t necessarily stay in Vegas, but it sure makes for a crazy trip!  As you may already know, this past weekend was our 1st anniversary.  Yes!  One whole year!  She really must be crazy.  Well, since we moved so close we figured that we should celebrate in style and head out to the land where everyone has the opportunity to get rich quick!…well that or lose everything you own in a matter of minutes.  Well, the saying is “what happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas”, but I believe “I would be doing myself a disservice and every member of this band”…I mean blog (sorry got a little side tracked with the cowbell) if I didn’t tell you all this story.Well, it all starts with my wonderful wife.  She thought it would be fun to go celebrate in Vegas and then found a great deal (also using some great giftcards from our Breneman friends back in Fort Worth from our wedding…yes we just now got around to using them) on an amazing room at The Venetian.  Good times, right?  We had planned on spending 36ish hours on this trip (Saturday morning to Sunday evening).  Bags packed?  Check.  Dog taken care of?  Check.  Extra cash to play poker with?  Check.  An extra set of just in case clothes?  Check.  And out the door.  The GPS says its a 5 hour drive but I’m thinking I can beat that.  So we start off and get well into the Mojave desert (only 1 “s” because no one wants more of the desert, but everyone wants more dessert).  All of a sudden the gears in the car start acting a little funny.  At first I don’t think much of it because there are lots of swirling winds as we go through the mountains and pass semis.  But the problem persists until KK says that she has noticed it a little recently too.  Shortly there after my RPMs start jumping all over the place in Overdrive.  I’m thinking to myself, this can’t be good.  So we pull off the road and start calling Mazda places asking questions.  Of course no dealership can really offer you any help worth while as we all know, so we decide to try going a little further hoping that something will be ahead.  And it just so happens (God knew what He was doing) that there was a little bitty ghetto gas station ahead.  So we stay in 3rd gear and make it to the gas station and pull into a spot.  I have a couple things to check under the hood (which did absolutely no good) so I hop out and start working.  This dude comes out of nowhere and starts asking me if everything is ok.  By this time we have figured out that it is the Automatic Transaxle or the transmission I guess.  By this point I realize that I am taking up a gas pump so I try to move the car and it doesn’t wanna go into gear at all.  Wonderful.

Fortunately we have acted in advance to help out in times like this and gotten AAA.  Woo, right?  Well, no.  I am a cheap moron and only got the coverage that gets them to tow us up to 7 miles.  After that they said it would be about $10 per mile!  Holy crap!  We are still 110 miles from Vegas and its almost the same number of miles to go to the closest place in the other direction!  Awesome.  So the random guy that popped out of nowhere earlier comes back out (he had left because he was apparently pissed that we had AAA) and offers to tow us to Vegas with his tow truck for almost half the price!  Finally so good news!  Well, turns out there is only one transmission shop still open in Vegas and nothing in the other direction.  So we decided to go ahead to Vegas and at least get our trip in anyway.  We even thought about towing back to Huntington Beach, but he told us that would cost almost another $1000.  Nevermind.  So as he starts loading the poor car up on the back of his tow truck, KK goes to get some gas station food for lunch and I set to getting in touch with the transmission shop.

Finally I feel like we are making headway and this isn’t gonna be so bad.  Then the transmission guy tells me that he is about to close and that he will wait for us to get there, but that he won’t be able to have it fixed until Tuesday.  Crap.  KK has to work Monday.  I have to work Tuesday.  Not good.  Enter goofy balding hick dude that apparently can materialize anywhere he wants.  “Hey do you mind if my kids ride with us?”  We told him no.  We didn’t care.  We just wanted to get to Vegas.  So we finish getting everything we need out of the car, get in the truck and start heading to Vegas.  Now what I didn’t realize when we said yes to kids, we were saying yes to 3 kids that can’t sit still for very long.  Always good times for a few hours in the back of some random dude’s truck with his kids bouncing off the walls.  They were definitely an interesting family.  Here are just a few of the things that we learned from the 8 year old boy and the 5 year old girl on the way.
– Paradise City by Guns ‘N Roses is apparently the only song the 8 year old knows.
– Dad’s friend Larry is NOT Larry the Cable Guy (genius).
– The 8 year old’s name is Tuff.
– Dad doesn’t mind yelling at them with customers in the car.
– Drug use is life abuse (thank you roll of stickers that we used as a sword).
– No need to buckle up on the road.
– Dad wants to live with the naked girls (Yeah.  That’s what I said.  The two youngest chanted this for a few minutes.)
– The 5 year old wants HER mommy back, and dad replies with “forget that sh**.”

Needless to say it was a VERY interesting 110 mile ride.  During all this learning, I enlisted my mom to find us a hotel to stay in for the 2 extra nights.  I’m just looking for something with a clean bed.  Nothing fancy.  Nothing expensive.  Doesn’t need a pool or mints on the pillows or anything.  I just want cheap.  What does she come up with?  The Hooters Hotel/Casino.  Ha.  Could this day get any funnier?  I’m not sure it could.  Finally we arrived in Vegas!  Yeah!  The truck driver takes us to the transmission shop and starts to unload the car.  As we are taking our stuff out of the car and into the shop, the truck driver just leaves!  No thanks.  We didn’t want our food in the back of your car.  We didn’t want to thank you.  We didn’t want to see if you would drop us off on The Strip since you drive right past it.  Now it’s time to call a cab.  It takes the cab 2 hours to get there.  We finally had to call a new cab to come get us because one company told us 10 minutes and never showed!  So after sitting in the auto shop waiting room for 2 hours a cab finally shows up to take us to The Venetian where we had booked our original one night room.  

After several detours to rack up more money on the meter and a stop by the ATM because we didn’t have enough cash for the cabbie’s shenanigans we finally arrived at by far the fanciest hotel I have ever stayed in!  The rest of the trip was great!  We did the normal touristy things.  We took plenty of pictures which will be coming on a blog in the near future.  We visited the House Of Blues, saw the water show outside the Bellagio, ran into a random friend from college, hiked what seemed like a 20 mile walk to the welcome to Vegas sign, semi attempted to stay on our diet, hot tubbed, slept, explored, gambled, saw a prostitute talking with some cops, dodged the random insanely annoying lines of people trying to pass out porn flyers, etc.  All the normal Vegas stuff.  Night 2 and 3 were spent in the Hooters Hotel.  KK flew home on Monday morning bright and early so that she could get to her 4 meetings.  Poker was played at the MGM Grand and Bellagio.  And finally at 3 PM on Tuesday the car was finished and I headed home!  What a great trip!  Fun, not super relaxing, and VERY memorable!

Cheap deal on hotel room in Vegas – $75
110 miles of towing the car – $650
$5 footlongs for relatively healthy food – $10 each
Cab fare because the car was broken – $75
2 extra nights at Hooters – $90
Flight back to Orange County for KK – $120
Brand new transmission for Rosa our Mazda3 – $1701
Trip to Vegas for our 1st anniversary – $2751 Priceless…and yet still expensive!

3 Comments leave one →
  1. Kara-Kae permalink
    March 6, 2009 5:47 PM

    Wow. What a trip it was. I was cracking up at the part about all the insane things we heard in that tow truck. Dad wants to live with naked girls!!!!!!!

  2. Robert Barnes permalink
    March 6, 2009 11:19 PM

    WOW! What a trip. I’m glad you guys were still able to enjoy your time in Vegas.

  3. March 7, 2009 6:57 PM

    Hey Brook:

    You are totally in my old stomping grounds now. I use to drive to Vegas from San Diego all the time… good times man. Hoping you are enjoying Rubio Fish Tacos and Carna sada burritos at any mexican dive you can find going south in CA—miss them both badly. Take care man.

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