brothers let's go down,
Let's go down, come on down,
O brothers let's go down,
Down in Vegas to play (1)
Good day Brothers and Sisters. The Reverend Billy Sol Westie (2) and Sister Ann welcome our regular listeners to the Westie’s Travelling Salvation Show and extend a warm greeting to those tuning in for the first time. This broadcast originates from our satellite radio station WES-T, 241 on your dial, in beautiful downtown Del Rio, Texas. (3)
We have an exciting announcement to make today; in a Glen Beck inspired moment, God has seen fit to speak to me and instructed this ministry to hold 14 days of revival meetings at the First Church of the All-Day Buffet and Indigestion in Las Vegas, Nevada. Can members of the flock sing out Hallelujah?
Joining us on the pulpit will be visiting pastors Reverend Leroy (4) and Reverend Jim Ignatowski (5). We will be on a mission of God’s to make each of us happy, holy and roly-poly. Can I get an Amen?
It is now time to turn to page 77 in your hymnals and join the choir led by Reverend Cleophus James (6) in song:
You know Las Vegas - make me wanna (Shout’)
Kick my heels up and (Shout’)
Throw my hands up and (Shout’)
Throw my head back and (Shout’)
We pray ya’ all can join us in Las Vegas, but don’t be forgetin’ to:
Pack up the babies
and grab the old ladies
And everyone goes, 'cause everyone knows
'Bout Brother Westie’s Travelling Salvation Show (7)
Air arrangements for this trip have been made through the courtesy of Southwest Airlines, this ministry’s official airline, while ground transportation is being furnished at a substantial discount by Alamo.
As we prepare to sign off until tomorrow, can the congregation say Hallelujah?
I didn’t hear y’all – can everyone say HALLELUJAH!
(1) Song performed by Allison Krauss in the movie O Brother, Where Art Thou
(2) Don Immus created the character of Billy Sol Hargus, a radio evangelist, whose name was a cross between infamous radio and television preacher Billy James Hargis and Texas fertilizer swindler Billie Sol Estes.
(3) DJ Wolfman Jack howled nightly on XERF-AM, a 250,000 watt Mexican super station, located in Ciudad Acuna just over the border from Del Rio, Texas
(4) Flip Wilson character who was the pastor of the Church of What’s Happenin’ Now
(5) Character played by Christopher Lloyd in the TV show Taxi
(6) Character played by James Brown in the movie Blues Brothers
(7) Neil Diamond’s “Brother Love’s Travelling Salvation Show”
Book of Westie
12:01 The Promised Land
The plane out of Del Rio was delayed for 25 minutes due to high winds and rain, but after flying over Big Rock Candy Mountain, we arrived in the Promised Land on time only to spend the next several minutes waiting for another plane to depart from our gate.
After a short delay, we picked up our luggage and shuttled
off to the rental facility where we picked up a mid-size (?), Chevrolet Cobalt,
stopping at a CVS for a few sundry items, we arrived at the South Point Hotel
& Casino where we would be staying for the next 14 nights. I had originally booked all 14 nights through
the race book, but subsequently broke it into 4 separate reservations after
each of us received a free night offer. We
were assigned to room 949 which offered expansive views of the casino’s
Benny Binion dressed up for Christmas.
Sister Ann posing by the Christmas Tree:
This trip coincides with the National Finals Rodeo (NFR) so after dropping our luggage off in our room, we joined the throngs of cowboys and cowgirls at the Lobby Bar. This evening’s libations were a merlot for Sister Ann while I enjoyed a Black Star beer. All drinks mentioned in this TR were free courtesy of coupons from the American Casino Guide (ACG).
We decided to stay on the property for dinner, so after enjoying
our drinks we went upstairs to the Primarily Prime Rib. http://www.southpointcasino.com/dining/primarily-dinner-menu.php
Ann started with a mundane house salad with blue cheese dressing prepared tableside while I opted
for the split pea soup which was thick and delicious.
For an entrée, she chose maple glazed salmon, a large filet served over a sweet potato pancake with corn relish. My sautéed sea bass, 2 large filets over stir fried vegetables in a light teriyaki sauce with a side of rice pilaf was very good though the latter was blah.
($28.73, Las Vegas Advisor (LVA), 3.5 Forks out of a possible 5)
Prior to retiring for the night, we stopped at the box office for complimentary tickets for tomorrow’s Dennis Bono show.
12:02 Big Balls in Cowtown
Throughout this trip, I was never able to adjust to the time change so I was up and raring to go at 2:30AM. As I crossed the casino floor on my way to the parking garage, I was amazed at the number of cowfolk still up and partying.
I made the first of several cross city treks to Sam’s Town to take advantage of the 5 times points being offered to seniors. I was able to keep my head above water throughout the entire 3.5 hour session courtesy of numerous Wild Royals and got firmly ahead shortly before it was time to depart when I held a pair of deuces and drew the remaining pair. For those unfamiliar with video poker (VP), the payoff for hitting quad deuces is 1,000 coins.
For breakfast we chose the Garden Buffet at the South Point. The cowfolk were sleeping in this A.M., so food was not being turned over. I enjoyed my usual fresh fruit with strawberry yogurt, OJ, a huevo ranchero, ham and breakfast potatoes. ($7.51, LVA, 2 Forks)
We retired to the room and read the newspaper prior to departing for the KSHP offices on Jones Boulevard where I exchanged a $10 gift certificate for a Yayo Taco certificate. http://www.kshp.com/
We made another cross town trip to Sam’s for a 1 hour VP session that culminated in me hitting my #2 quad deuces of the trip.
On returning to the South Point we stopped at the room for a little rest before it was time to head to the showroom for the Dennis Bono radio show. http://www.dennisbono.com/
Today’s guests included singers Corrie Sachs (Country Superstars Tribute), Jin-Jin Reeves (Hitzville), Robin Vincent (Nunsense), Larry Wayne Morbitt (Phantom of the Opera), Louis Prima Jr. and Bobby Rose. (3.5 Claps)
After exiting we directed our feet to the Lobby Bar where we enjoyed a pair of mudslides before heading to the western gift show. This show is small, though expanded from prior years, in comparison to those held at the convention centers at Mandalay Bay, the Sands and Las Vegas Hilton. There was little of interest so we did a quick walk through before entering the adjoining equestrian center where a 10 day calf roping competition was in progress.
The remainder of the afternoon was devoted to reading and napping. After a pair of merlots at the Grandview Lounge, we headed off for Tofu Hut on Spring Mountain Road. http://vegasmusings.com/?p=925
This small, informal restaurant specializes in Korean barbecue where you cook your own food over a grill. We chose the shrimp; 24 butterflied shrimp, a bountiful fresh salad with an Asian dressing, unlimited rice and 8-9 banchans (small dishes). Here is what I believe we consumed: kimchi, Oi Sobaki (seasoned cucumber), Kongnamul (bean sprouts), Kuromame (Japanese black beans), sliced Age (fried tofu), a broad noodle dish, a second cucumber dish and a potato salad. ($23.60, KSHP, 4 Forks)
After finishing this feast, we returned to the South Point just in time for the conclusion of this evening’s NFR broadcast. We quickly headed for the showroom to catch the first set by Dave Alexander and his 9 member Big Texas Swing Band that played such classics as Waltz Across Texas, Milk Cow Blues and Big Balls in Cowtown. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=--fOruzPN-o (3 Claps and a Fiddle)
12:03 Praise the Lord and Pass the Salsa
My very early morning VP session at the Fiesta-Henderson culminated in my #3 quad deuces.
We shared a breakfast in the room of OJ, bagel and grapefruit. After reading the newspaper, we departed for the Las Vegas Premium Outlets. “Our” only purchase was (2) pairs of bootie socks for Ann using a $10 off coupon “I” received from Jockey.
Lunch this day was at Mundo – a Culinary Haute
Spot located in the nearby (walkable) World Market
We received a bowl of taco chips
plus 3 housemade salsas.
We both ordered the jalapeño chile spiced chicken enchiladas with roasted tomatillo sauce, salsa asada, melted chihuahua cheese and crema fresca. Everything was very good including the service until our waiter was reassigned to duties at the bar. ($18.03, Restaurant.com (R.com), 3.5 Forks)
The remainder of the afternoon was spent doing deep breathing exercises in our room. In the evening we returned to the Grandview Lounge to watch the beginning of the rodeo while nursing a pair of merlots.
Our dining destination this evening was Barcelona, a tapas bar, emphasis on bar, located nearby on Southern Highlands Parkway. http://www.usmenuguide.com/barcelonatapasbar.html We were started off with a plate of grilled bread, hummus and an addictive, though spicy, garlic cream cheese spread (2.5 Forks). Our first order was pan fried dates stuffed with almonds wrapped in bacon with a wine reduction sauce and blue cheese (3.5) and quesa fundido, baked cheese in a roasted pepper and tomato sauce (2.5). We then shared an entrée of paella which was mediocre due to the absence of saffron, a good seafood broth and chorizo (2). We concluded the meal by sharing a delicious flan (4). ($20.46, R.com)
On our return we again managed to catch the conclusion of the rodeo and then moved into the showroom to listen to Seth Turner, but no seats were available so we moved on to the Grandview Lounge and listened to the VooDoo Cowboys, a local band last seen at Sam’s. http://voodoocowboys.com/ (2.5 Claps)
12:04 Cross Town Express
VP session featured innumerable 5’s of a kind (5OAKS) and wild royals plus my
#4 quad dueces of the trip. On my return we enjoyed a glass of OJ and some
grapefruit before departing for Ellis Island
where we each ordered easy over eggs, wheat toast and hash browns.
http://www.ellisislandcasino.com/Restaurant.htm Service was noticeably slower than on recent trips, but our food arrived hot from the kitchen. ($8, ACG, 3 Forks)
We each had $10 in free play from our last trip so we played it off netting a tax free $13.75. We also swiped our cards at a kiosk for free bingo entries but neither of us hit even a single number.
Traveling east we made a short stop at Terrible’s where Ann converted 20,000 points into a $75 McCormick & Schmick’s gift certificate that we used later in the trip. http://www.terriblescasinos.com/
We then reversed direction, parked at Bill’s Gamblin’ Hall and walked to the Flamingo where we redeemed an online coupon for 2 free tickets to the Nathan Burton Comedy Magic Show.
One final U-turn had us heading east again to Sam’s Town for a short VP session, Ann played while I Waltzed Across Sam’s.
In the early evening we each enjoyed a pair of merlots while watching the first half hour of the rodeo before departing for Bernard’s Bistro at Lake Las Vegas. Ann ordered the braised chicken mille Feuille with mushrooms, artichokes and garlic topped by puff pastry in a mustard fondue sauce with mashed potatoes. We expected this dish to be somewhat similar to a chicken pot pie, but it was more like a deconstructed pie with very little puff pastry.
entrée of marinated white fish in garlic miso served with Asian noodles, crispy
vegetables and ginger sesame sauce was also not what I expected. The vegetables were served over, rather than
under, the fish making the plate visually unappealing.
Although the meal was good, it proved to be a little disappointing in comparison to the one we enjoyed in September. ($22.63, R.com, 2.5)
Our last stop of the evening was the Club Fortune to listen to a Touch of Silk. The music was way too loud and the casino was smoke-filled so we quickly retreated to our car and retired to our smoke-free room. http://www.clubfortunecasino.com/
12:05 Happy Birthday Baby
At 2:30AM this morning both Seth Turner and I were up; he was performing in the showroom so I listened for a half hour before departing for the VP machines at the Fiesta. I managed to turn a small profit by hitting an ungodly number of 4 and 5OAKS.
It was Ann’s birthday so for the second year in a row we headed to Waffles Café where we each ordered; drum roll please, a waffle topped with fresh strawberries and whipped cream. ($12.10, 4 Forks) http://www.wafflescafe.com/
Since we were in the immediate vicinity – wink, wink, we stopped at BonJour Euro Bakers for a pastry to go. On returning to the room we read the newspaper and rested though Ann did put in a short session at the 8/5 bonus poker machines.
In the early evening we headed for Sam’s to watch the rodeo while nursing a merlot (Ann) and a Fat Tire (me). Dinner this evening was at Carve in the Eastside Cannery. http://tinyurl.com/2az9mgq
We were started with a basket of warm bread
and then shared a warm spinach salad with bacon dressing, mushrooms, hard
boiled egg and red onions.
Our 12 ounce prime rib entrees were served medium rare as requested with au jus and a horseradish sauce. Accompaniments included a grilled tomato and baked sweet potato with maple butter on the side. Our spinach salads and entrees were very good. ($28.46, R.com, 4 Forks)