Travels in the American Southwest

A low-roller gets upgraded

Landed at McCarran after an uneventful flight from the east coast. It was still Tuesday, just before midnight local time but the middle of the night for me! Fighting drooping eyelids, I headed to the Dollar rent-a-car booth. A quick check of my license and credit card and I was told to take any car in aisle #1. I'd reserved an economy car ($14.99 a day) because I wanted to putter around town picking up supplies for the out of town portion of this year's trip. Walked outside and saw that Dollar and I had different definitions of "economy". I looked up and down aisle #1...No cars anywhere in the aisle. I returned to the rental desk. "Oh, we must be out of them," said the attendant. "Want a minivan?" Not really. "Well, how about an Infiniti instead?" [upgrade #1]. Nice car with a couple of thousand miles on it, leather interior, powerful sound system and it still smelled new!

Arrived at the Golden Nugget. Gave the desk clerk my confirmation number as he viewed the monitor. "Hmmm, no king size beds...Oh, there's one. It's in the (newly renovated) North Tower. You won't mind an upgrade will you?" he asks. "To a room in the North Tower? I don't mind at all!" I replied. "Uh, no." the clerk says shaking his head. "To a suite in the North Tower." [Upgrade #2].

Giggling like a kid on Christmas morning, I wheeled my luggage into the suite. Tastefully decorated in muted shades of tan and green, the bedroom contained the typical hotel room items. A ficus tree sat quietly in the corner. The living room section of the suite featured a marble wet-bar area, couch, side chairs, a table and chairs, Bose sound system and television. A marble bathroom with a steam shower completed the suite.

I paused. To my horror, I realized that I hadn't toked the desk clerk. Despite half-mast eyelids, I returned to the front desk blaming my lack of appreciation on the late hour (prompting a gracious smile and a thanks from the clerk), grabbed a "Pound of Pig" at the Plaza, then headed over to Binion's Horseshoe to check out the craps tables. I should have simply gone to bed as the dice and the fates were obviously conspiring against me! When my stack of chips was sufficiently diminished, I fled Binion's like a whipped dog with its tail between its legs making my way back to the suite and unconsciousness.

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