Sunday, February 12, 2006

Overnighter in Laughlin, NV

While we were in Laughlin for Christmas, we saw that Vicki Lawrence was performing at the Riverside Casino in February. We heard from a friend that it was a good show, so we bought tickets for ouselves and for our pal Everett. It was also the weekend of Tim's dad's birthday, giving us a good opportunity to have a nice birthday dinner the evening of the show.

First stop: Breakfast at IHOP in Barstow, CA. (02/11/06)

To avoid the always-Hellish Friday night drive along with countless other Southern Californians heading to the desert, we kept the trip short and sweet by leaving Saturday morning and returning Sunday afternoon. For our breakfast break, we selected IHOP. Mmmmmmmm. Pancakes.

We stayed at the Riverside Casino, which we highly recommend you avoid. It was a customer service disaster on so many levels. (02/12/06)

First stop was Tim's parents' house, which was on the way to Laughlin. We dropped him off there so he could do some technical support with their computer network. Meanwhile, Everett and I headed to Laughlin to check into the hotel. We would meet Tim, his parents and grandmother later for dinner to celebrate Tim's dad's birthday.

This is the "river view" from our first room. (02/11/06)

The Riverside Casino was a nightmare. First they lost our pre-paid reservation and took half an hour finding it. Then they checked us into a room that hadn't been cleaned since the previous occupants. Plus the room didn't have the river view that we specified in the reservation.

After complaining, we changed rooms. The new room had the river view, but it too had not been cleaned since the last occupants. By then it was an hour-and-a-half since we first walked in the door. A few minutes later the cleaning crew arrived, although we didn't have time to freshen up and shower by the time we had to leave to meet Tim and his grandma for bingo at the River Palms.

Here's the view from our second room ... after we complained. That's the Colorado River on the bottom, and the state of Arizona on the top. (02/12/06)

We had many other troubles with the hotel, like never getting the extra towels and pillows that we called to ask for, twice. Plus, we think it's really cheesy that they charge a $2 deposit for each room key card. Honestly, if you ever go to Laughlin, do yourselves a favor and stay somewhere else. We'll certainly avoid the Riverside from here on out.

The day wasn't a complete loss. We did have a great time at Tim's dad's birthday dinner, and also at the show (Tim's grandma came with us there too).

This was one funny-ass show. (02/11/06)

Vicki Lawrence's two-woman show was great! It was part stand-up comedy, part storytelling, and a couple of songs for good measure, like her one hit, "The Nights the Light Went Out in Georgia" (she also poked fun of her one-hit wonder status). One thing we weren't expecting was all the adult humor, particularly on subjects like gynecologists, feminine hygiene spray and whether or not the "carpet matches the drapes." We were laughing our asses off.

In the second half of her act, Vicki came out as Thelma Harper, better known as "Mama," who gave us her take on pop culture and current events. She covered everything from Michael Jackson to hip hop to same-sex marriage, to which she quipped, "If same sex couples want to be as miserable as I was, then have at it!" She had everyone rolling on the floor laughing.

I won $30 playing slots at the Colorado Belle ... my biggest payoff for the weekend. It's not much, but at least I came out ahead. (02/12/06)

Afterward, we went casino hopping along the riverwalk, a river-side path that connects four or five casinos. I lost a little. Then won a little. In the end I left Laughlin with $18 more dollars than I came in with ... but at least it wasn't a loss.

We highly recommend the Fresh Market Square brunch buffet at Harrah's, seen here from the water taxi. (02/12/06)

On our last day we took the water taxi to Harrah's on the other end of the strip, where we heard they had a really good brunch buffet (it was really good). Even though we had our car with us, we took the water taxi simply for the fact that it looked fun (and it was only $4 a person). We had some good food, then we rode the water taxi back to our car before heading back to SoCal. Despite Hotel Hell, it was an enjoyable trip.

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