Sometimes what happens in Vegas comes home with you.

Fortunately, I had married Mandrina months ago, so it wasn’t much of a surprise.

First, a pointer to Xaan‘s and Nightsinger‘s excellent write-ups of things I’m too lazy or preoccupied or self-centered to write up myself. Also, thanks to Jamie for deciding scandously to have a 21st birthday celebration in Vegas. Was a fantastical trip, although I could have done with more love from the gambling. Okay, I would have settled for just a little less hatred.

Second, I’ll writeup my memories, but stick them behind a cut so that my front page doesn’t suddenly grow huge again.

Jamie and Sora wrote up most of the high points. I’m not going to endeavor to duplicate them, nor their much better writing. Instead, you get to enjoy my mumblings.

Jonathan was kind enough to drive me to the airport after three different plans I had made fell through (Thanks, Jonathan!). I arrived in a panic, checked in, was kindly placed in the exit row (I requested it), and then was told my flight had been delayed by over an hour and a half. My ticket indicated the original time, but airports are weird. I got hassled at security because by three bottle plastic bag was larger than a quart (I only had a gallon-sized bag). I completely missed the point that security screenings were intended by the TSA to fund Ziploc for the next fifty years. Of course, I got through security, was overcharged for lunch (but had a spectacular honey garlic chicken from the Chinese place), and the departure sign continued saying “12:45 On Time.” Until it was 12:45, at which point the sign changed to “12:45 Delayed.” Which is the way it stayed until the sign changed to indicate the subsequent flight. The departure time was two hours later, but who needs openness when your customers are trapped with no ability to leave. Would have been nice to know how long I could have poked around what passed for a bookstore in the airport, but hey, I’m okay sitting doing nothing for hours at a time. For the record, I found Jim Butcher’s first two books of the Dresden Files wonderfully good reading. Not nearly as heavy as Neil Gaiman (in a very literal sense), but with the same matter of fact supernatural approach. I’ll review them later, though.

I was seated next to a pair of guys were going to Vegas for the night. Literally. There was a concert involved. At several points the gentleman next to me tried to tell me how much I should be in charge, and how I shouldn’t let my wife decide anything, etc. I smiled and ignored it, and then found it highly entertaining when he asked his wife (over the phone) if it was okay that he had withdrawn $300 for spending money. Good to know who wears the pants in that relationship…

I arrived, and took the shuttle to the condo. Jamie was nice enough to come down and meet me at the condo main office. I panicked when I saw that Jamie and Sora were dressed up, but relaxed on determining that Chris and Jeremy made me look appropriate. I wouldn’t look nearly as good in a dress as either of the two girls did, anyway.

Sora and Jamie already went on about how Sora was pulled up on stage to assist in a trick (I’m sure her plunging neckline didn’t hurt). I don’t feel the need to go on and on, but I thought it was absolutely awesome that while all of us ordinary people were on stage signing an envelope for part of one of the closing tricks, Penn came out and started playing some sort of cello instrument next to the piano accompianist. Teller, it turns out, does speak in public, and used to teach Latin. His signature is also messier than mine. Oh, and Sora got to see a wondrous fishy trick up close, but the view from where we were sitting wasn’t half bad, either.

We went back to the room by way of the local liquor store, where we bought groceries. And liquor.

Jeremy and I both were interested in Gin and Tonics, so tonic was bought, and gin. Also, a lot of other alcohol, which was an odd choice for Las Vegas, home of free alcohol at the slot machines (from what I hear, I didn’t manage to get any). We drank some of it, but not all. The rest of the night consisted of waiting for Mandrina’s much delayed arrival whilst consuming various amounts of alcohol. Despite my four G&Ts, I was still sober when my lovely wife arrived. Other people may have been falling down. Literally.

Late night, late waking. I just would rather have not had the condo calling twice in the morning. I’m glad Jeremy was capable of responding, as I could answer the call, but my mind wasn’t working well enough to answer their inquiries.

Wednesday was regarded as everyone else as being the best day; I don’t feel quite the same, but Wednesday was a pretty good day. We didn’t get started until late. We had a rather good lunch at the House of Blues restaurant in Mandalay Bay — apparently the ribs which I didn’t have were phenomenal. The chicken sandwhich I had was only so-so, but the company was good. Disappointingly, the chocolate cake was almost bland. However, the girls all swear by “the blue drink.” I have no idea what’s in it, but it was some sort of blackberry martini. And it was apparently good.

After the late lunch, I lost some money on video poker, and discovered that it was the slowest machine I had played with regards to the loss of funds. I still never got offered a drink, but other people did. I went to play roulette briefly (to discover anew why I hate gambling), while Mandrina sat at the slots. I returned to have her ask me if I wanted to go see Mama Mia. Apparently, some random guy playing the slots next to her couldn’t go, so gave her his and his wife’s tickets to the show.

I could not adequately find the words to express to her how much I didn’t want to see Mama Mia. I had NO interest in seeing Mama Mia. As a matter of fact, I had extreme disinterest in seeing Mama Mia. Come on, Vegas! If you’re going to see a show, see a SHOW! Heck, Vegas showgirls strutting their stuff over an off-Broadway “musical”!

So, a few minutes later Mandrina and I are walking to our seats… C’mon, who’s surprised? At which point, I discover that this fabulous musical features the music of… ABBA! “You’ll love it! It’s got great music!” and then she names a few songs. I stereotyped and told her as a straight man, I had no clue what she was talking about.

I recognized one song by name, and one or two others sounded vaguely familiar.

After over two hours of excrutiating torture, broken up only intermission, Mandrina and I went out into the wilds of the Mandalay Bay — where we agreed to meet people at Red Square due to Mandrina having a headache — Red Square was quiet and refined. Well, mostly.

I want you to picture the line that typically surrounds a “happening” dance club. Men dressed in whatever they’ve decided looks cool and refined, women wearing either high styles, high style knock-offs, or clothes that can only be defined as scandalous. Picture a line, and a crowd. Picture them standing in front of a headless statue of Lenin.

For some reason, Red Square, the fairly chic vodka bar at Mandalay Bay, is located right next to a nightclub (that serves lunch!) called “rumjungle.” We went into the tastefully understated and exotic Red Square, and thankfully the bass-heavy beats next door in the poorly capitalized night club weren’t overly audible. Compared to the garishly and brightly lit casino floor, Red Square was positively dark. “Red” Square featured very subtle and indirect red lighting. Compared to most of the other casino “specialties,” Red Square was positively sophisticated.

Now, Red Square is a vodka bar. They serve martinis as well, but… you know the wine list some fancy restaurants have? You know the beer lists that some breweries have, where they’ll publish a flight of beers you can get tasters of?

Combine the two, and make all the items “vodka,” and you’ll approach something like Red Square’s vodka menu. They also have an entire separate menu for the few appetizer items they have (I’ll ignore the pageful of cavier-based items, as the stuff makes me shudder).

Melissa was our waitress. Melissa grew in Woodinville. Melissa was noted by all in our party — male and female — as being: a) incredibly attractive — and not in the Vegas-blond way; b) personable; and c) a phenomenal waitress. She was tipped well for her excellent service, especially given that the party started as Mandrina and myself, and then grew to the Group of Six.

Mandrina and I started with a flight — we skipped the highest end, and then chose one that was going to have vodkas only from the former Soviet states. Mandrina loved a wheat-based vodka from Estonia — I was inclined to agree. The highlight of the flight of four was that it was served in a square block (rectangular prism for the sticklers) of red ice — the motif repeated itself in multiple places. An hour or two later, when the block was still mostly solid, I quietly verified with Melissa that the “ice” was actually partially gelatin, and was red food coloring, water, and gelatin. So cool!

Jamie came in happily, Jeremy in tow, and announced that one of the penny slots loved her. More on this later. Chris and Sora arrived, and joined as well. I tried the Van Gogh Dutch Chocolate vodka, and was somewhat disappointed (it had a flavor note I didn’t like), while the highlight of the night was Sora ordering sex from Melissa.

Sex is a type of vodka, get your heads out of the gutter.

It was pretty good, too.

There were two lowpoints to Red Square. The first was more amusing than low: the table next to where we were seated had a group of four guys. Choice quote: “I like a girl with an hourglass figure, but with thinner thighs.” Mandrina’s observation on the quote: “Oh, so he wants an hourglass with all the sand in the top.” My subtle eavesdropping caught the same guy (not gentleman, not even boy) casually dismissing or outright insulting the appearances of all of his friend’s girlfriends. Two pieces came out of this: a) why didn’t a single guy try to defend his signficant other? b) why did the only one among them WITHOUT a girlfriend feel empowered to be judgmental? People suck.

The second low point was actually rather high: the bill. Here’s a hint: 4 appetizers + vodka for six people adds up. It was one of the few bills that was outright split, as opposed to, “we’ll balance out in the end.”

We then headed back to the condo, having missed any potential fireworks. I do kind of regret that, so I’ll have to wait until the next firework-appropriate holiday, and find a set to watch.

I spent most of Thursday worrying. It turned out for good reason, but I hadn’t known that at the time. On Thursday, Mandrina and I were due to renew our wedding vows. Now, before you say, “You just got married in March!” I’ll save you the trouble and say, “I know!” If enough of you want the details, I’ll try to post a summary of cause and effect, but suffice to say, I had scheduled a vow renewal ceremony. It was somewhat of a surprise to Mandrina — not that it was happening, but where. It wasn’t much of a surprise, due to some other factors, but I tried, damnit.

I had booked up a hotel room for that night, as well, so everyone went there separate ways, intending to meetup at the appropriate place at the appropriate time. Mandrina and I went to the Wynn by way of wandering through the Imperial Palace looking for a taxi line — we turned too soon; the SECOND driveway would have taken us directly to Harrah’s waiting line.

Now, I’m going to take a moment to tell you a story about hotels. There are many hotels in Vegas. Many people want to travel around the 4th of July. Thursday was July 5th. Many people still hadn’t left. A few weeks prior, Mandrina had gone through the entire list of strip hotels, and given me what she knew about them from going to school in Vegas. That was great! I just didn’t have a final date and time for the vow renewal ceremony, so I couldn’t book the room until about two weeks prior. At which point, my laptop, with the list on it, was on loan to Mandrina for work. So I poked and tried to find what the definite “nice places” were, so I could choose a nice hotel for our “vow-renewal-night.” Not implying anything dirty; just that I might like to be able to spend some alone-time with the wife after promising to blah-blah-blah. (Sorry folks, nothing interesting here, move along).

My list was narrowed down fairly rapidly — even I could smell the “we’re old and decrepit” stench from some of the hotels — not that they’re not nice, but I knew they weren’t the “elegant” I was going for. The Four Seasons eliminated itself due to price, and Mandalay Bay was pretty much off the strip — and has some not-so-nice recent reviews. Signature at the MGM Grand was highly regarded, and so was the Wynn. Mandrina had said something nice about the Wynn, which apparently was brand new, but the MGM Grand has KITTIES! (aka, lions).

I was torn, I truly was.

Then I went to register at the last minute, and the MGM Grand made me install the Adobe Flash plugin so that I could register, so I managed to finish the Wynn registration, including credit card numbers, before I could enter the MGM Grand. Sorry, kitties.

Now, I’m going to tell you what a mistake this was.

We were dropped off at the “Wynn Tower Suites” entrance — which is completely separate from the Wynn main building. Fine, we walked to the nearest regular entrance. Bellmen offered to take our two small bags, we declined. Which then meant we had to open the hotels extremely heavy wooden doors by ourselves. Not so nice, and a little odd, but okay… We walked to the check-in desk — I was initially a bit irritated by the distance, but then discovered how close it was to the MAIN entrance, and it made a bit more sense. We waited in line, then presented appropriate documents. It was, at this time, about 2:30pm. The checkin clerk made a comment as to how he was trying to find us a nice room; this would have mattered more to me if there was an upgrade or even some sort of perk involved; instead, it netted us a room as reserved, and as requested. Too bad, I would have tipped him for an upgrade of any kind. Catch? The room wouldn’t be ready until 4:00pm. This, despite check-in time being 3:30pm. Fine, it happens. We made it clear that we needed the room as soon as possible (Mandrina needed to shower and do girly stuff before the vow renewal ceremony), and what’s his name (he’ll be glad I didn’t remember his name!) took a credit card imprint — and couldn’t give us our keys.

Note to the universe of hotels: Most of you have moved to programmable key cards. If you can’t hand out cards that will activate later, you’re doing something wrong.

We left our bags at the bell desk, and were told we could call down for them, and they’d send them right up. Pay attention, that part is important. We went to lunch, and things started to go really wrong. Our waitress was good; the weather was hot and we were sitting outside, but there were sparrows fluttering, and misters on the umbrellas, and the waitress kept our water glasses full.

Then our waitress told us it was a shift change, and someone else would be taking care of us. First: a “medium-rare” burger is not supposed to be GREY. Second: don’t stop filling someone’s water glasses just because they haven’t ordered enough alcohol in your mind. Third: if the table has been cleared for more then ten minutes, and you haven’t been by to ask if there’s any interest in desserts or to check if everything was okay, you’re doing something wrong.

I waited twenty minutes before asking the bus boy to get our check. I tipped him, and the first waitress.

I wandered back to join Mandrina, and then as it was past four, I called the front desk to inquire about the room we had never heard back about. “Oh, it’s ready now.”

Mandrina and I went, and stood in line, and showed our IDs again, and then were finally given keys to the room. 56th floor was nice; it would have been nicer to know what’s on floor 40-49. We did have a nice few of the strip, but the room was surprisingly plain. The bathroom was nice, though.

I called down to the bell desk, and gave them our baggage tag number. “You’ll have to stay in the room until the bags get there.” I agreed, after all, they were sending them, “right up.”

Mandrina kicked me out — my suit was back at the condo, and she needed to get ready as well. She’d just wait for the luggage to arrive, and then hop in the shower, and be done by the time I got back.

I was in a hurry, and took a cab back to the condo. I took a QUICK shower and dressed, as I needed to be headed back to the Wynn by 5:10 at the latest. It was 5:20 when I caught a cab (he got a nice tip for picking me up on a random street as I was hurrying to the Harrah’s cab line), so I called Mandrina and asked if she could meet me downstairs. “The baggage just got here, I can’t possibly be ready.”

The baggage had taken almost an hour to get there. Mandrina hadn’t had time to shower, or anything, in the meantime. Thanks, Wynn service!

I raced upstairs, where Mandrina’s dress had zipper issues — zipper + beady things + poofy fabric = trouble. I’m a guy, my hands are big. This dress’s zipper was tiny. Was not fun! We got back downstairs, and ended up swiping a random town car that happened to be waiting. It was already 5:45, and we still needed to get to…

The Las Vegas Hilton. Home of the Star Trek Experience — and wedding ceremonies and vow renewals on the bridge of the U.S.S. Enterprise, NCC-1701-D. Think Star Trek: the Next Generation, not Star Trek: Why *pause* Do *pause* You *pause* Speak *pause* Slowly?, Star Trek: Babylon 5 Ripoff, or Star Trek: Hey, Let’s Have a Female Captain Who Lets Terrorists On The Bridge!

All of our friends had gotten there on time. We, however, were LATE. Of course, once we got dropped off we still had to find out where to go — the only information I had (the contract that said everyone had to be there 15 minutes early) said we were supposed to be at the front entrance — but what front entrance? It turned out to be to the ride, and we got there before the rest of the group, as they were busy trying to find Kristie (the wonderfully accomodating planner I had worked with) to let her know we were running late — as per the agreement). I missed the name of the gentleman who performed the ceremony, but think a slightly more wrinkled appearance, but with some characteristics — including speaking patterns — of Christopher Walken, and you won’t be far off. Chad was the facilitator — he led us through the backstage of the Star Trek Experience to their wedding bridge, and then let us run amok after the ceremony.

The highlights of the ceremony: “I do” and the Star Trek-theming.

We took three official pictures (once I figure out the legalities of it, I’ll try to post them), and then ran amok. Dude, it’s the BRIDGE. I could feel Picard cringing every time someone did something silly. There were a lot of sillies.

I took the group out to dinner downstairs at Quark’s — it seemed appropriate. We shared a Holy Rings of Betazed (Onion Rings), and Jamie and Jeremy ordered a Warp Core Breach. Wow booze — but served with dry ice to make it smoke! The food was good, the portions okay, but it was a themed restaurant, so the highlight was when the random Ferengi came around. He was great. Mandrina pointed out that they were actual union actors; they deserve it. The Ferengi cited mutliple Rules of Acquisition, accurately to the best of my knowledge, and cited Ferengi culture. He also wouldn’t let me know where to find his cousin so that I could make a more direct business deal, but promised to come back when my female wasn’t around. The Klingon was similarly classed — compared to the Disney silent characters, this was a class act.

After dinner (and shared desserts, and a shared Borg Sphere), we went on Borg Encounter 4D, one of the two rides. I’ll save my comments until after I hit when we went on the other ride. My largest takeaway was “We need a big screen TV!” The Voyager flying by on a 40+ foot screen was phenomenal.

After the ride and a bit of Trekkie shopping, Mandrina and I parted company from the group, and went back to our hotel — where we apparently had turn down service. We had originally planned to go back down to gamble, but decided to call it a night instead. The fold-out Gateway LCD TV? Nice touch. The view of the strip? Probably a lot better before they started building the new skyscraper next door. Oh well.

Morning came, we checked out, and travelled back to leave our stuff at the condo before heading over to the Star Trek Experience. (Or is it Star Trek: the Experience? I’m really not sure off the top of my head…) We went in, and told them what we had been told the night before; there had a large amount of confusion over the tickets, they were valid for three days after the ceremony (which I knew and was clear), but were only good on whichever day they were first used (which was not). We had to speak to the manager, but he was reluctantly understanding. Until he found out that we (okay, I) had forgotten the ticket stubs from the night before back at the condo. He still was going to let us in, until he found out that “us” wasn’t my wife and myself, but rather the five of “us.”

I went back to the condo; everyone else hung out.

Short list of problems: my monorail ticket got eaten by the machine, ambulances and fire engines blocked my way back to the condo, ambulances blocked my way back to the monorail. The “History” display was neat, but it had been retconned. No Eugenics wars, so no S.S. Botany Bay, so no Kahn… and then Kahn showed up on the timeline later on. Basically, I thought undue wait was paid to both that Star Trek That Will Not Be Named (but had a cute beagle) and the two more recent series — it made the distinction between “Wolf 359” and “Captain Janeway gets lost” seem nonexistent. Then we went on the Klingon ride. There was a bit of a wait. It was worth it, even if the storyline was just plain silly. Of course, my initial, and accurate, response was, “I’ve been on this before, only it was called Star Tours.”

The real difference between the two rides is the setup, and the gimmicks. Star Tours takes you into the Star Wars universe, and treats you like you know what’s going on. Star Trek: Klingon tries to fit the experience into your life, as if it were plausible that a time warp of some kind could whisk you into the future. Some of the graphics and effects work was nicer on Klingon — it incorporated real (as far as I could tell, anyway) footage of the Vegas Strip — but the simulator ride and core scenario were basically the same.

Borg Encouter had some elements in common with the Star Tours setup — you’re treated as if you belong in the universe, rather than just accidentally visiting it. The Borg simulator doesn’t move, but does have some nifty chair-based effects. The video was 3D (well done 3D, for the most part), which was nice, but the lack of motion led to a certain inability to become integrated into the experience, and hence a failure to suspend disbelief. Still, it was something to have the 3D Voyager do a flyby overhead.

After wandering STX for a bit, we went for dinner (lunch?) at the Hard Rock Hotel (aka Hard Rock Cafe), where we had the supposedly super-secret Lucky 7 meal. For 7.77 you get a steak, shrimp, salad, and potatoes. The food was reasonably good, the drinks were okay, but there was a screw up on the two steaks that were supposed to be medium well. Medium well != charred. The drinks were fairly good, but the chocolate cake really got my hopes up.

My hopes were dashed. It tasted wrong; my guess was coconut, Mandrina tasted it and correctly identified it as cheap cocoa and too much flour. I love my wife. 🙂

We ended up back at Mandalay Bay, where Jamie’s love affair with Gimli continued.

This is as good a point as any to talk about Jamie and the unending love the game machines heaped on her. Most people sit down at a slot machine, put in a few bucks, and proceed to have it taken away. You press a few buttons, lights light, sounds sound. Not Jamie.

Jamie was loved by the slot machines. When I say “loved,” I mean the kind of adoration that a gawky boy heaps on the cute girl he never gets up the nerve to speak to. The “I’ll do anything for you” affection, without promise of reward (okay, so Jamie’s CLAIMED that she didn’t promise them anything, at least). The kind of affection that causes the Gimli machine (also known as “Celtic Warrior”) to throw free games at Jamie, just so that she won’t have to press the buttons herself — the game will play with itself for her.

And then she walks away with money. Varying amounts, but I’m pretty sure she’s the only one of us who made an out and out profit.

I only had any luck with the “Hex” slot (“Hex Breaker,” maybe?), which features a cat that appears to be a cartoon representation of Glitch. I ended up ninety four cents!

Jamie’s profit margin had digits in front of the decimal place.

Friday night closed out at Bill’s. I don’t know the official name, and I don’t care. On the one hand, they had extremely cheap table games. On the other hand, they were by far the sleaziest place we had been in Vegas. They had “Texas Tea,” one of Mandrina’s favorite slots in penny form, so after both of us had cut our losses at $5 roulette, she went to play that, but otherwise… well, it’s an older place, and we’ll leave it at that.

Friday night finished up with the girls all taking turns soaking their feet in lavendar-scented water (of course!), while we munched on random food items in the condo. Elbows served with salt and pepper because we had nothing else, crackers, and frozen White Castles. It wasn’t necessarily the healthiest meal. Random alcohol + soda | Capri Sun combinations were used to try to reduce the amount of food and booze waste before we left. We were up surprisingly late doing nothing much of anything, given that Jamie had to leave extremely early, and Chris and Sora not too much later.

Mandrina and I, on the other hand, were able to sleep late.

We took an extraordinarily convoluted route to New York New York, then back to the condo. The monorail took us to the MGM Grand, where Mandrina and I rediscussed where our destination for lunch would be. Mandrina wanted to go to the Hooters hotel for wings; I argued that Hooters could be gotten at home — and that the cab driver last night had warned us that the Las Vegas Hooters didn’t have terribly attractive waitresses. Mandrina agreed to go to New York New York, where we compromised on lunch. We’d have pizza, then we’d have Nathan’s Hot Dogs. I agreed, then we got distracted briefly by the kitties! Not as long as the previous night, when we had stayed to watch them feed, but there were three pretty lions!

Mandrina and I took turns criticizing the New York New York, but the pizza was passable, even if nowhere near New York pizza. The hot dogs, on the other hand, were definitely Nathan’s. So were the fries. After Melissa, we had our second most useful server at the Nathan’s stand — I ordered a soda to share, two hot dogs, and fries. The server pointed out that by ordering it as a “meal,” I’d save two dollars. I tipped her back one of them.

We took the long route back to the condo, by way of Bill’s (where Mandrina had a particular penny slot she wanted to play (the lady next to her the night before had won over a hundred dollars on it)). We walked past O’Shea’s, which is now featuring Strip Poker tables.

Quite frankly, I wouldn’t want to watch most of the people I had seen in Vegas taking their clothes off.

We made our way to the Imperial Palace. Why? The Imperial Palace has a classic car museum, and we had free tickets. I took a bunch of pictures, including some with Mandrina, and she ooh’d and aah’d. We boringly went back to the condo to finish getting packed and got ready to leave.

This will be the next big fiasco.

Given shuttle prices, it was only remotely more expensive to take a cab for the two of us, and we wouldn’t have to pre schedule it.

So at 7:05, I started calling for a cab. Our flight was at 9:45, the airport was ten minutes away.

At 7:30, we gave up trying to call (after I had been HUNG UP ON because I didn’t know the nearest “major” cross street), and walked down the main office for the condo property. We called from the house phones, and were told a cab would be right there. Yay! Ten minutes later, no cab. Twenty minutes later, no cab. Thirty minutes later, I call them back. After waiting on hold for five minutes, I was told “I need a few minutes to look into it.” 8:00? Now it’s getting tight. I called back when ten minutes later there was still no cab, and got a different person, who recognized me by name and destination, and assured me that someone would be there within five to ten minutes. 8:20. 8:30.

Thankfully, one of the bellmen at the resort who had been checking on us every so often finally decided we deserved better. He took one of the resort vans, and drove us to the airport — I tipped him twice what the cab ride would have cost, also known as almost all the cash on me. We JUST made it to the airport for that arrive-an-hour-early deadline… and our flight was delayed.

So, Checker Cab Company Las Vegas should be avoided LIKE THE PLAGUE.

We made our flight, however, and got home (late, after luggage issues) to three needy cats.

Was good trip. Was good company. Was (too) good food.

Could have used a bit better luck at the casinos, but it’s all random anyway.*

* Unless you’re Jamie.

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  1. Wow! That is a great entry, but not a “summary.” 🙂

  2. Andrew says:

    Oh, yes, it is. It is.

  3. Yay, stuff! Sorry to hear the flight back was such a fiasco. :/

    also: Minor point: there was a screw up on the two steaks that were supposed to be medium well. Medium well != charred.

    We didn’t even order them medium well — we ordered medium rare. Which makes the horrible, horrible dryness of the meat especially confusing. It made me sad. 🙁

    Thanks for writing up such a fabulous summary; it’s much better than mine was. XD

  4. Andrew says:

    Longer != better. But thank you!

    You were good company. I can has good memories.