Las Vegas, April 2019, Part Three by @MJames1229


Part three of @MJames1229’s April 2019 Las Vegas trip report! Did you ever try to schedule a large-group meet up at Top Golf? Don’t. 

The Day Begineth 

Monday, April 29, 2019. After getting back to the room around 3:00 AM, you’d think we’d sleep in a touch. I’d think that too, except, well… Vegas! We were out of the room by 9:00 AM, in part, frankly, to pay Mr. Caesar for the free room. Melissa did her part, but I mostly broke even on a couple of hours of slots and craps. Shortly after Noon we headed to lunch. When we pulled out of the Planet Hollywood parking structure, it looked a little cloudy.

We are “The Drought-Busters” 

Before long it started raining.

Now if you’ve memorized my trip reports (and for as many times as I link them, I can’t imagine that you haven’t) but in three out of our last four trips, there has been significant rain. Therefore to us, it wasn’t a surprise. But to a town that gets about 472 dry days a year… I figure that my wife and I can eliminate drought conditions, all that is needed is paid plane ticket and a sack of black and purple chips in the nightstand.

However, brave the elements we did and arrived at Mr. Mama’s for lunch. It was supposed to be breakfast; I didn’t anticipate being out so late the night before. I had a grilled ham and cheese sandwich that was wonderful (but that I forgot to photograph), while my wife had some “nondescript grub” that she can’t recall. I still really like this place, despite her memory.

Back to Complete the Bowling 

After that was onto the South Point Bowling Plaza to bowl in the Doubles/Singles events.

There are no bowling “action” photos because, frankly, I was 100% focused on bowling. That’s code for “I can’t believe I am not bowling better than this”. For the 2017 tournament in Las Vegas, I averaged 206 for nine games and made a large pocketful of money. For comparison, for the nine games of this tournament I averaged only 186 (with 201 as my high game). I did make a couple hundred bucks in side pots and such, but there was no glory to be repeated. As I sit here typing this, I can think of a few things I would have done differently. However, I am out of plutonium and there are no lightning strikes planned, so I can’t get that re-do I so desperately need.

The Pitfalls of Coordinating a Group Activity 

After a pity Birthday Cake milkshake (which had, sadly, become a tradition with our group) from Katie’s Korner inside of South Point, we went back to the hotel for a quick change of clothes, then onto the next order of business… our Top Golf outing.

The whole act of setting up a group for the golfing had been a four-month exercise in frustration. As I had mentioned, we had over 50 bowlers and spouses – as well as other bowlers not in our group that were bowling around the same dates as us – so when I had the idea of a Top Golf outing, it was hailed as a resoundingly good idea. In January, I inquired about a large group which went to Event Coordinator who handles groups of 13 or more. She mentioned (among other things) requiring a $60 per person F&B minimum on top of the higher golf cost, and needing 50% down 90-days before the event. I had my hand out to the group for deposits and received exactly one.

I called back in late-January, and they said groups of 7-12 would fall into the realm of a smaller group. The minimums were the same, but we’d only need the deposit 30-days before the event. By late-March, I only had six deposits. So, when we got to the 7-day reservation window, I just reserved 2 bays, understanding they may not be adjacent, and whomever showed up will split the cost. With the reservation, you pay the posted price for golf and no F&B minimums (making the cost way, way less). However, they get you for a $50 per bay reservation fee. Fuckers got me for $100 just for the honor of reserving two bays.

Time to (Finally) Top Golf 

At that point, I was just happy to get the damn thing over with. Where I had (easily) 20 people interested in January, exactly 8 (and two watchers) showed up. So screw the rest. The 10 of us that were there resolved to have fun.

Without too much detail about how the set-up goes, when we arrived, my son decided to jigger the system to make go first. I don’t golf…I haven’t picked-up a club in over 20 years (other than to threaten my ex-wife, but I’ve been to therapy since then) and now I get to be the crash test dummy.

I won’t post the video of my swing.

But drinks were had…

And dinners ordered (deluxe nachos for my aunt and uncle).

Pulled pork sliders for me.

A turkey burger for my wife.

And a fun time had by all.

Veterans get a 10% discount on the hourly rate of the golfing, and since we had two of them, both bays got the discount. The food was surprisingly good (I mean, really good) and for a non-golfer, I got my fix for another couple of years.

Some Nighttime Gambling 

My doubles partner, Guzman, had been bugging me about playing craps. He isn’t much of a gambler (and he says roulette is his game) but last year when the national tournament was in Syracuse, we found a casino and played craps for a couple of hours. He had such a good time that he wanted to do it again this year. So, despite some late nights, here was the James Taxi taking my wife, son, his girl and Guzman back to Main Street Station to get our gamble on.

And in my first true gambling session of the trip, I got hammered. While waiting for a couple spots at the craps table, I dropped a C in the slot machines. When I was done with that, there were spots open and Guzman and I slid into position. I bought in for one hundred; then again, then again. That was a lightning fast $300, and I don’t really play that aggressively… A nickel on the line with 3x odds, $34 inside, a nickel coming, then use the place bet wins to put the odds on the come bet. It just seemed like a point was set, every single number hit once, then the sevenout.

The End

Back in the James Taxi, first stop Park MGM, then Hooters, then back to Planet Hollywood to bed.

Evening came and morning followed, the third day.

Thanks for reading Part Three! Click here for Part FourA where @MJames1229  heads to Henderson, throws some axes, stops a Red Rock, and a lot more.

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