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Dealer Has 21

Bill and Jacqueline in Las Vegas: March 28-April 4, 2001

By Bill Walsh

DAY 8 (Wednesday): First Class All the Way

Our return flight leaves at the utterly humane time of 12:55 p.m. We secure a "late" (noon!) checkout (this 11 a.m. thing is bullshit) just in case, and we're able to pack in a nice, relaxed manner. I try the steam shower: Not bad! As the Venetian room's memory fades, this stupid suite is looking better and better. Still not good, mind you, but better. And this time the video checkout works.

What isn't working, unfortunately, is the taxi line. We thought the trip to the airport from the Trop would be a breeze (hell, if we had one of those inflatable airplane slides we could have hit the runway from the window of our room), but no such luck.

Hey, is that a Bell Trans van getting ready to pull away? Wait! Wait!

The driver waits, and we hop aboard. "What airline?" "America West."

A few other stragglers join us (the people already on the van must be loving this), and we're off to McCarran. There's one more stop -- San Remo -- but nobody's waiting there. As the driver pulls away from the San Remo, he's informed that people were waiting, only inside, and he says he'll have to go back for them. Fortunately, he means after we're dropped off.

The driver again asks everyone's airlines, and again he hears us say "America West."

The driver speeds past the America West doors . . . and we get off with the next group. The walk isn't too bad, and, uh, we save some tip money.

That money goes to the airport's Cinnabon franchise.

Again we've managed to upgrade to first class with credit-card points, and again we have a nonstop flight to National Airport. Still in full-blown Vegas mode, this time we take full advantage of the first-class amenities. Cocktails before dinner. Wine with dinner. I ask for a cognac with my coffee after dinner. The flight attendant is stunned, but she brings it. Could all this drinking explain why I sob uncontrollably at the pleasant enough but manipulatively sappy "Family Man," starring Nicolas Cage and Tea Leoni?

The plane touches down at 8:03 p.m. We're walking in our front door by 8:30. All that Ronald Reagan crap aside, Washington National is one sweet airport if you live on Capitol Hill.

The accumulated mail includes the New York-New York slot-club card I applied for online. And an offer to stay for two nights at 50 bucks each, expiring soon. D'oh!  

Other Trips, Other Reports
You'll find more Bill-and-Jacqueline trip reports on my main Las Vegas page.

Masters of the Genre
If you liked this little dispatch, you'll love the seminal work of the Matt Weatherford/Mark "Stinky" Sinclair team and Abby Schiff, available at the Big Empire site.

My Real Web Site
You've probably already figured this out if you know the first thing about directory structure, but you'll find my main Web site at www.theslot.com. Read all about my views on English usage and the editing process, then wonder "So why were there so many typos in his Vegas piece?"