Ocean’s Eleventeen

Travel Lodge

Travel Lodge

Here’s another photo of the fabulous Las Vegas Travel Lodge where I stayed for a night when I was eleventeen.  I guess it’s still there, although I haven’t seen it with my own eyes because I rarely make it to the north end of the Strip.  I do know that there’s a different Travel Lodge tucked in between the MGM Grand and Planet Hollywood.  I pointed it out to my friend Roland last March when we were there.  I was waiting to cross the street when I noticed the dirty-looking curtains in the windows peeking over the inconspicuous entrance to the motel.  I suggested that we could stay there.  It’s too bad that they aren’t part of the Mlife rewards program, otherwise I’d be all-in!

Golden Nugget

Golden Nugget

The next time I went to Las Vegas had to be around 1987.  I could gamble but I can’t remember if my younger sister was allowed to play in the casinos.  We were there for my cousin’s wedding and we stayed at the newly-renovated Golden Nugget downtown.  It was a beautiful hotel sticking out like a sore thumb amongst a bunch of relics from the past.  What I remember most about the hotel was the casino.  They had lots of nickel poker machines that I could play for hours and hours until my hands were black and filthy from handling the coins.  I remember playing dollar slots, too, following my Dad around and putting a couple of dollars into the machines where he had lost his money and subsequently winning it all back.  Ha!  They also had this dish on the breakfast menu at the Carson Street Cafe that was some sort of date-nut bread slathered with cream cheese and topped with kiwi fruit and strawberries.  It was delicious.

My cousin’s wedding was on the strip in a little chapel.  I believe it was this one:

las-vegas-wedding-chapels

Wedding Chapel

The reason I remember this chapel was because of the Algiers Hotel right behind it. After the ceremony we went into a tacky lounge that was a virtual time-capsule of the 1960s, and if remember correctly, that’s where it was.  The wedding itself was kind of fun.  There was another couple sitting in the pews waiting to get hitched.  The guy was wearing US military garb and the bride appeared to be about eleventeen herself.

I don’t remember much else about the trip except for my cousin’s wedding reception back at the Nugget.  I think we had prime rib for dinner and by that time I had become a vegetarian.  Yechh!  Oh, and I do remember that some guy won a major progressive jackpot in the casino and suddenly an entire bank of slot machines was closed off as staff and security swarmed the area to verify the jackpot.  I also saw David Brenner in the casino playing at the tables.  Yes, that David Brenner!

So that’s two trips down.  I probably have about seventeen or eighteen more to go.

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