Thursday, December 18, 2008

vegas > hollyweird

By Pauly
Hollyweird, CA

I had never seen it snow in Las Vegas.

On Monday morning, Friedman and Lacey mentioned that they could see the show from their houses. I was on the Strip and at best I could see a wintry mix of mostly rain with some remnants of wet snow splattering against the window of my suite at the MGM. Way out in Summerlin, the snow accumulated. Two to four inches in some areas. For locals, that was a big fuckin' deal. It maybe snows once a year, but rarely sticks. And in the last couple of days, the recent storms dumped snow on Sin City twice inside of a week. Flipchip has lived in Las Vegas for several decades and mentioned that a decent dusting of snow happens once every seven or eight year, but snow twice in one week has never happened.

Ah, maybe Las Vegas might get a White Christmas. Hey Al Gore, what the fuck happened to global warming?

I ate breakfast in the cafe at the MGM with Nicky, ProKeno stud Neil Fontenot, BG, and Zeem. BG mentioned that his flight back to Chicago was delayed because of the weather. PKPNF's flight back to Denver was also delayed. I did not expect the bad weather to affect our drive home to Los Angeles, until Nicky got a message from her father telling her that the Cajon Pass was blocked.

We decided to stay an extra day until the roads cleared. I was feeling blah and needed some rest and time to recover from an epic bender. We crashed early on Monday and woke up early on Tuesday to clear skies and snow-capped mountains. We made good time getting out of Nevada. The roads were empty, save for an army of trucks that had to stop because of the storm. During one of the many mountain ranges we had to cross, we spotted the snowfall. In lots random places. Nicky was super excited since she rarely got to see snow.

We stopped in Barstow for lunch at In & Out Burger. Around Victorville (just before the pass), a nice layer of snow covered the surrounding areas. That was around 4,200 feet altitude and in a spot where snowfall could do some damage. Lucky for us the roads were cleared. However, our friend Kristy would get stuck there on Wednesday during the second leg of the storm front. A four hour drive from Vegas to LA eded up being 11.5 for her. After hearing her horror story, I felt better knowing we did the right thing and stayed the night.

We made it through the Cajon Pass without any problems. Nicky had to pee, so we stopped at In & Out Burger in Rancho Cuccamonga. I believe that was the same eatery that JoeSpeaker frequented. I picked up a chocolate shake there. Two different In & Outs inside of a one hour period. Awesome.

We rolled up to the apartment around 3pm. A good 20+ hours after we originally wanted to leave. I was a little blah, but lost my voice which sounded horrible. About 40% of what I wanted to say was coming out. The remainder was raspy and gargled.

We had a dinner scheduled with Nicky's family. It was her father's birthday and we went out to an Italian joint in Westwood called Pastino's. Back in the heyday of the 1980s, that same restaurant was under different management and featured Cajun food since that was the rage back then. The eatery was a hotspot among celebrities particularly the LA Lakers. They frequently hosted their championship dinners at the same spot.

The food was delicious, but the service was outright awful. The waiter (a very flaming guy with an accent) forgot one of our appetizers. He brought out everything except one. I had to flag down the busboy who helped us out since our waiter was AWOL. The drink situation was a nightmare. And then he fucked up the desserts. It took forever to take our order. He sent the busboy at one point to take our order but when we had some questions about the menu, he had to fetch the waiter. And when he finally showed up, he apologized for the delay and offered us a free dessert plate. Of course, he had yet to bring out coffee and tea and when the desserts finally arrived, he also forgotten the most important dessert... the one for Nicky's father. Again, we wrangled up the bus boy and he fetched out our missing dessert.

I was furious but did not make a scene. Nicky's father seemed like he was having a good time, so I didn't want to disrupt the flow of our meal. It really felt like I was eating in Europe because the service was so atrocious.

Since I picked up the tab, I made sure to stiff the waiter. I hoped that a manager or owner would stop by the table to ask about our progress because I would have ripped our server a new one. Alas, I never actually saw someone in charge, so I had no one to complain to.

Of course, when I returned to the apartment, the Knicks/Lakers game was over. The Knicks were up by 15 points against the hometown Lakers and blew the lead. I was already in a bad mood and slipped deeper into a bitter funk.

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