vegas, baby

3085788479_af29e162f12some  friends and i spent a not-so-conventional thanksgiving at the mgm grand in las vegas, continuing what’s become a tradition of sorts.  i joined the crew in ‘06 for what i believe was our first inaugural turkey day in vegas, but missed last year  to join the boys for a getaway in palm springs. 

the core crew was johnny and hsuan and their one + year-old boy, eames; evan and sakura and their 2 ½ year-old boy, kai; and the singletons –asako, terence, cliff and i. here’s a rundown of the trip with a flickr set at the end of the post!

·         asako and i were the last ones to arrive on wednesday… we hit a couple of roadblocks on the way there. i was about 15 minutes late picking her up. she lives on the west side but I’m on the east side, as is vegas (who says chivalry is dead?), then asako had to get some documents from the bank.  on my way to asako’s, my traffic was wide open, but eastbound on the 10 towards vegas was a parking lot, so we decided to take olympic east. unfortunately robertson to olympic was a mess, and once we got downtown we got a little turned around, which is so unlike me. but we finally made it on the 10, and inched along for the next five-and-a-half hours.  it’s usually a four hour drive, but whatever. I only used about seven gallons of gas so i was cool widdit.

·         everyone had already eaten when we got there, so after not being able to get our room keys since our names were under “pai ching” (hsuan’s mom), we went up to the mansion suite that hsuan and johnny were staying in.  it was sick.  two stories, probably 3,000 square feet, an elevator inside the room, an exercise room, and lots of brass and marble. so after a tour, asako and i finally got the room keys settled, moved evan, sakura and kai into a different room so they were closer and didn’t have to go to different towers in the building when transporting the kids, and then went to shibuya (the restaurant, not the fun tokyo neighborhood) for some much deserved sushi and kirin beer.  

·         cliff scored an academy screening DVD of slumdog millionaire, which everyone has been raving about, so we watched that in the mansion. FANTASTIC movie, beautifully shot and acted. plus M.I.A. (who all my friends know is my favorite female artist since missy) has a few songs on the soundtrack. asako and i went to the bar while the parents and kids went to bed and the rest of the fellas rested up for early golf the next day.

·         on thanksgiving day, asako, evan, sakura and i had breakfast at the café there, while evan and i discussed PR strategy (he’s president of a video game company) in a world where an exclusive story given to a publication in the US can end up on some third-tier blog in europe in a matter of hours.  we always have fun chats about stuff like that. 

·         i think there was some gambling and drinking during the afternoon, and then we got ready for dinner.  hey mom — i wore a button-down and a tie!

·         dinner was delicious. we ate at the same place we went two years before, seablue, because nothing says “thanksgiving” like seafood.  we got a seafood platter of prawns, crab legs, lobsters and oysters, and I had seafood paella as a main course.  here, i would like to take a moment to thank my statin.

·         we were also happy to be joined by hsuan’s mom, who basically helped set up the entire weekend since she’s one of the casino’s most valued customers.  thanks, mrs. pai!!

·         after dinner we went to LOVE, cirque du soleil’s take on the beatles. i was feeling a little cynical going into it. i’ve never been a big  beatles fan, and it looks like cirque may be starting to sell out (not tickets, but their soul).  a commercial I saw in the room for a new cirque show set to elvis songs sadly seems to support that. however, i thoroughly enjoyed LOVE. it was more like a series of music videos than one coherent story like the other two cirque shows i’ve seen (ka and dralion), but there were some amazing performances and fun sequences.  I have yet to see a cirque show i didn’t like, and i got teary-eyed at one point and goose-pimply at multiple others, so i consider it a winner.

·         on friday morning i went to the gym to work off some of that seafood and escape the lights, smoke and noise for a bit. i also took one of the best naps of my life later that afternoon.

·         by coincidence my roommate flew in that day with a couple of friends from san francisco. they stayed at the paris.  the four of us stayed out far too late that night, i came back to my room for a few hours of sleep, and then asako and i were back in the car to LA.

·         overall it was a great weekend, and reminded me of some of the things i’m thankful for this year:  my friends and family, good health and freedom.  getting home also reminded me how happy i was to live in silver lake

check out the flickr set from the weekend here.

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