I Vomit Up Chunks of Food Better than the Riviera Hotel

Tuesday, February 2, 2010 | 0 Comment(s)

(Think Eminem) Look whose back, Look whose back, Look whose back!

I've missed you and I've missed blogging to you. I really have. Having no internet access (again, WTF Vegas!) for 4 days, to me, is like the loss of a trusted friend. I can say fairly confidently that I can more capably deal with being apart from my gf for that period of time than i can deal with being disconnected from el interwebo. And I realize that this means that i have a problem. And I'm past the first step of admitting that it is a problem. But i am obstinate in my refusal to proceed to step two--actually doing anything about it. The upside, of course, is that these little voyages to new locales (this time for a psych conference) are virtual treasure chests of blog fodder. And while I will save you all from conference related info, I think you'll enjoy some of experiences on the sin which is Sin City.

To begin this Vegas themed week, a warning. If you are going to Las Vegas at any time in the near future, do NOT go to the Riviera Hotel and Casino (i would include a link to it, but I don't want it to get any unearned attention). When we told the cab driver we were headed there, he replied, "What, you going to visit your grandparents or something." And he was right. The place looks like the hotel that was left out in the sun until it turned a nice urine yellow color (the walls, the carpet), and instead of compensating with lower prices, instead they decided to charge extra for everything. And while I already gave the concrete examples of the gym, internet, and exercise area costing extra, here's a better philosophical example. We asked an older gentleman who worked for the hotel and was stationed near the hotel check-in if he could direct us to what was essentially the rear entrance to the building. After giving us the walking directions to get through the hotel, he not so subtly hinted that perhaps we could tip him for such a service. We responded by completely ignoring his not so subtle request. Because, oh my friggin god. Should I tip you for urinating all by yourself as well? Is his thought process that anything he does besides just standing in one space is tip worthy? It was not only him though. I saw dealers guilting players into tipping as well. Instead of a vibe of classiness and wealth cajoling you into spending your money, the Riviera decided to take the claw and scrape and wear you down approach. F that. F that big time. I would stop bagging the hotel here, but they really deserve more. Unfortunately (and through very little fault of his own) the grad student in charge of the "School Reunion Dinner" on Friday night, scheduled our reservations for the Asian restaurant at the Riviera. My expectations were low, but it was all you could eat and dessert was included (i still wasn't excited to be truthful--but their were good people there). The result failed to meet even my lowest expectations. The buffet style greasy mess had salted crab legs (how does one even do that?) and unsalted edimame (which tasted like wet cardboard). I couldn't even identify some of the proteins in what I will call their "Mu Shu Mix." Thinking about the meal now is literally giving me dry heaves. And when I asked about dessert (thinking how can you f-up sugar [they would show me]), they replied, "we're working on it."
They said this in a way that made me think that someone was in the kitchen (if there was a kitchen) was literally trying to figure out what he could pass off as dessert. They settled on (slightly dehydrated) sliced fruit. i didn't see one person eat it. The punchline? This, sadly, cost us almost 30 dollars a person. I left un-full un-satisfied and un-happy. So, once more, AVOID THE RIVIERA. Additionally, even grad students (used to living . . . um . . . modestly) changed hotels what for the exposed pipes and general grobstequeness of their initial room.

With this warning in place, tomorrow I will turn a more positive note in my story titled: the $38 buffet.

ps. last chance to enter your haiku update in my haiku life update contest!

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