Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Lost on the Strip

Many of you have heard me speak of Dan, who was stationed with me at Nellis. It was the first assignment for both of us, and, as rookies in the Air Force, we found we had a lot in common. Over those three and a half years in Vegas, we were pretty much inseparable; but in October of 2000, I headed over to Japan and Dan went back home to Maryland.
Dan and I have kept in touch sporadically over the years, but never fail to meet up anytime we're in the vicinity of each other, usually when I'm flying through Baltimore on the way to or from the desert. Dan was visiting Vegas this week with his family, and invited me down to hang out for a couple days. And you know I'm not going to pass up the opportunity to hang out with a great friend (or go to Vegas).
The weekend was full of revisiting places we used to hang out back in the day. Dan and I met up Sunday afternoon and headed straight to Gardunos, one of our favourite Mexican restaurants. After that, we had a few beers at the Crown & Anchor. We then went to the House of Blues inside Mandalay Bay to catch Purple Reign.

Purple Reign
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Purple Reign is a Prince cover band that used to perform at a college bar next to UNLV called Tom & Jerry's. Dan and I used to go every Wednesday night to see them (and for 25 cent pitchers). The guy who impersonates Prince is amazingly accurate, and their show, albeit small, was full of heart. They've since had a change in the line-up of the band, but the main guy is still the same. They now have a standing gig at the House of Blues, which is a step up in Vegas terms. The venue was packed and Dan and I had a great time drinking and singing along to "Raspberry Beret" and "Erotic City."
After we left there, we hit up the Double Down Saloon, a little punk-rock dive bar with a great jukebox and some very interesting videos playing. After that, it was really late, so we decided to crash.
The next day, we went up to our old stomping grounds at Nellis and checked out our old squadron (the 820th Red Horse), which was practically desolate since they were mostly deployed. We spent the rest of the day walking around the Strip and catching up. It was great to see him again.

The Ravanelles
Originally uploaded by currtdawg.
Monday night, after dropping Dan off, I headed over to Melissa and Andy's house. I hadn't seen them since May and I was amazed at how big Damien had gotten. He loved to give kisses with big, puckered lips (hence the picture). Thanks to them for letting me crash at their place Monday night.

I left early yesterday afternoon, and, after a short stop at Brewvies for a beer with John, Mike, and Jake, finally got home around 10-ish. It was a great trip, and I'm glad I went. I get nostalgic for Vegas sometimes, just because I had so much fun there. I know if I ever got stationed there again, it could never compare to the first time; but it sure is fun to reminisce.

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