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Birthday + Buffett in Las Vegas

Las Vegas, Nevada: You know it’s October when we go to Las Vegas to see Jimmy Buffett and celebrate My Birthday! Always a fun time when Mr. Buffett is involved.

We drove our car from Indio on Friday, through the desert over back roads and arrived in time for a rest before our dinner reservations at Jaleo restaurant – operated by man favorite humanitarian, Jose Andres – in the Cosmopolitan Hotel. Mr. Andres did not win the Nobel Peace Prize last week, but that does not stop him from feeding hungry people after a disaster.

First, cocktails:

Though that double bowl of popped corn looks inviting, the left side was flavored with white chocolate and chili, the other side was “dill pickle” flavored. Neither seemed to go well with rosé, nor a martini. Blech! No appetizer for us! Not to worry, Jose Andres fed us well at Jaleo:

Endibias: Endive leaves filled with goat cheese, oranges and almonds
Croquetas de pollo:
Traditional chicken fritters… for some reason, served in a plastic shoe
Tortilla de patatas clásica: Spanish omelet with confit potatoes and onions
Pollo al ajillo:
Grilled chicken thigh with garlic chicken glace and black garlic

It was just a wonderful meal, complete with a carafe of sangria, and we had a nice long stroll back to our hotel.

I had a checklist for Saturday:
1. The Oregon Ducks beating the Washington Huskies
2. Selling our house
3. Buy myself a nice birthday gift
4. Go to the Jimmy Buffett concert

Not in that order, of course, but our first “open house” was scheduled for this afternoon, so a girl can always dream.

The Ducks beat the Huskies! We watched the game in our room. The plan was to watch it in a sports bar, but the venue was so smoky (cigarettes!), we decided to watch it on the 60-inch screen in our hotel room. (Note: if you are not gaming or drinking, sitting around in bars is discouraged in Las Vegas lounges.)

Though the open house was well-attended, no offers were made today. I’m not discouraged. I am sure the perfect family will come around… and if they did come around Saturday, they are just double-checking their finances before making an offer Monday. (Let me have this fantasy, okay?)

The gift option turned-out to be another no-go. I had been eyeing a particular handbag for a few weeks, and found it at a shop near our hotel Friday evening… after consuming all those cocktails. Drunk shopping is never a good idea, so I convinced myself to think it over, and return the next day if I still desired yet another black handbag. Turns out I did. Turns out they sold the bag before I returned to the shop Saturday morning. Wasn’t meant to be.

The last item on my list, Jimmy Buffett, was indeed accomplished! 50-50 for the day.

Before the show, we always go to Wolfgang Puck’s little café near the Grand Garden concert arena in the MGM Grand Hotel. We always order the same appetizer – Lenny’s favorite – Truffled potato chips with blue cheese sauce. Low cal and low fat special. It’s okay, we spent the next three hours on our feet, dancing.

Again, Las Vegas is the last stop on his tour, so Jimmy goes all-out and it is always a good show. This year, Jimmy had new arrangements for a few old tunes, and the new versions were welcomed by me.

Here are a few shots from the concert:

Jimmy usually has at least ten Coral Reefers with him on tour. His musicians and vocalists are all first rate, and include 10-time Country Musician of the year, Mac McAnally. Tonight, John Lovell joined the band. Lovell is a retired Coral Reefer trumpet player, who conveniently lives in Las Vegas, so usually joins the band when Jimmy is in town. Y’all know I love me some Jimmy, but he would be nothing without his band.

Since Jimmy Buffett streams all of his concerts at no charge at Margartaville.com, my siblings were also watching his show tonight! Such fun, and my sister captured this (above) photo for me from her computer.

Jimmy’s bromance with film producer Frank Marshall continues. Marshall (in jeans and red shirt) was once-again on stage with a guitar during Margaritaville. Maybe this is the only song Frank can play? I do not know, but I am so happy Jimmy has such a great friend.

After the show, we walked back to our hotel, giving me a good seven miles on my pedometer. Everything seems so close in Las Vegas, but I bet it took us an hour to get from the MGM Grand Hotel to our hotel, the Aria.

Another great concert, another great birthday. Until my next update, I remain, your Medicare Next Year correspondent!


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