“Ramiro” was apparently supposed to check into my room. Unfortunately, he never showed up and I got stuck with the bill.

Hard to beat a few days in Vegas in August, right?

Yeah, that’s what I thought too.

But a bunch of friends and I decided to do it, if for no better reason than we hadn’t seen each other in years and it was a time and place we could all make it. So, as the relative local (compared to the others) I got in the car and drove to Vegas, making sure to stop for all the necessary items like water at supermarket rather than resort prices, sunscreen, etc. I pulled up to the MGM Grand in style, or at least as much style as a 9 year old Honda CR-V can muster.

“Welcome Ramiro Lichtenberger” the TV welcome proclaimed when I got up to my room. My friends — all people I’ve known since high school — were there ahead of me but they all swore that they didn’t put the hotel up to doing that. Apparently, the mystery guest was wrongly assigned to my room. He never showed up and the error was later corrected, which was unfortunate because I thought he’d possibly pay the bill. No such luck.

The damage was done though. “Ramiro” has become our crew’s unofficial mascot.

We went out to a ball game that first night. AAA ball, “starring” the farm teams for the Mets and Oakland, so a real tournament of champions. But you do get to sit close in AAA ball, there are lots of comedic moments, and both the beer and the hot dogs are cheap.

They even have a bat dog, who retrieves the home team bats for at least a few innings.

So many people here are eager to try to make sure you have a good time on your trip!

Upon our return to our hotel, the other guys decided to partake in a poker tournament. I don’t gamble, so I watched them a bit and people watched a bit more. During one of the breaks we met a lovely young woman named Jenny who introduced herself to us and offered to entertain us later. While the guys were playing, I was approached by several additional attractive local women who seemed to just want to make sure I was having a good time. It’s such a friendly town.

The next few days were more or less as you would expect from a bunch of guys who haven’t managed to all be in the same place at the same time in many years. There was a lot of time at the pool, a lot of time at various bars, gambling for those who wished for it, and not a whole lot else. Plans to see a show fell through. None of us are really into fine dining, so we didn’t do any. The kinds of things we did in high school get you sent to jail these days, so we decided not to relive those moments, not that any of us are really in shape to do so anyway.

Everett, Dave, Me, Jason, Jim.
(Griffith the Traveling Mountain Lion is visible on the far left. A larger lion behind us.)

Not sure it qualifies as adventure, but good times to be sure.