Monday, May 28, 2007

Memorial Day Weekend, Part I

Memorial Day weekend is a huge weekend here for tourism, and I was determined to enjoy my 3-day weekend with the rest of them. I wimped out Friday night to catch up on sleep that I missed all week, but on Saturday I woke up early to meet my friend, Leigh, and her friend, Jen, at TI. We had breakfast at The Coffee Shop; I had a delicious eggs Benedict. The prices were decent for the Strip.

After breakfast, Leigh and Jen went to play in TI's morning poker tournament. My no-limit skills need some serious help, so I knew there was no sense in joining them in the tournament. Instead, I went over to the Mirage to play some 3/6 limit. I only played twice around the table before the girls were done with their tournament, but in that time I saw ace-king twice, ace-queen once, king-queen twice, and ace-jack twice. You would think that with those starting hands, I would have left with more money. But, alas, those hands never improved.

After poker, the three of us went over to Fashion Show mall, which is just north of TI on Las Vegas Boulevard. I've never actually been in the mall, and oh my gosh, it is huge! They have every name brand you can think of, and quite honestly, the clothes would seem out of place in my closet that is filled with Target merchandise. The mall was packed, and you could really get a feel for how many people were in town this weekend.

That evening, I went to dinner with Leigh, her boyfriend, and his friends who were visiting from southern California. We went to a restaurant whose lack of impressive food is made up for with an abundance of personality: Battista's. This place is right off the Strip on Flamingo. They have a fixed price menu with several price levels. You pick which main course you want (I got ravioli), and with that you get soup or salad, delicious garlic bread, and cappuccino for desert. And here's the kicker, all-you-can-drink red or wine house wine is included with your meal. They have a carafe of each of the table that they continue to fill throughout the night. Honestly, I could make better food at home, and the wine was so cheap that I had a headache the next day, but it was more about the experience of old Vegas than anything else. I would recommend this as a great place for tourists to go if they are not in to the upscale dining scene that dominates the Strip.

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