Tuesday, November 09, 2004

Las Vegas

We were somewhere around Barstow on the edge of the desert when the baby ferrets began to get squirmy. I remember taking one out of the travel carrier and trying to feed him some treats, and suddenly he jumped out of my hands, swooping and chirping and diving around the car, which was going about a hundred miles an hour away from Las Vegas. And a voice was screaming: "Holy Jesus! Where are the animals?" ....

I was in Vegas on Thursday and Friday for work-related reasons, so Andrew joined me for a long weekend. We saw two Cirque shows (Mystere and Zumanity). For Mystere, we got seats in the front row. The front row experience is way cooler than from further back. For example, in the front row, you can hear the little squeaky noises their shoes make when the performers climb up the poles, and you can see whether they're wearing harnesses or not. This is worth seeing just for the two guys doing strength moves.

Usually when we go to Vegas we stay at the motel 6, eat cheaply, try to find lots of free stuff, etc. But this time we stayed at the Mandalay Bay Resort (overpriced), ate at Postrio (well worth it), and actually did some gambling. My initial losses at blackjack were offset when Andrew won a hold 'em tournament. I played in the tournament too, but am now convinced I should never undertake mathematical endeavors at 10 a.m. on a Saturday. (I did better at a second tournament later that day.) The poker room at the Luxor was our favorite: the room is nonsmoking and it's easy to join a low-limit game (they play 2-4 anytime and I think there are some 1-2 games in the afternoons). Playing low limit hold'em in Vegas is pretty easy - other people are there to drink and have fun, so as long as you're patient and stick to the playbook, you come out ahead.

Flush with poker winnings and having exhausted the entertainment possibilities of the strip, we decided to buy more ferrets and go home. This seems to happen to us when we're in Vegas - more ferrets always sound like a good idea. So this is how we ended up speeding past Barstow, trying to get the ferrets back into their travel cage...

The new ferrets are seriously cute. They're still tiny (just a few months old) and hyper. We've started introducing them to the older ferrets, but the little ones have so much energy that the introduction is mostly "sniff sniff run run run run run sniff sniff" while the older ones sit still and wonder what's going on. They love toys that make noise and will chase the toys (and each other) around the room. They don't mind being held, which seems unusual - the other ones will try to jump down as soon as they're picked up.

More photos to come as soon as we figure out how to get them to slow down so that the digital camera can focus.

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