Tag Archives: vacation

Sin City Beer

There’s nothing like a trip through airport security to brighten your day. How airport security ties into a story about beer, well, you’ll just have to wait and see.
The laws for alcohol consumption vary greatly. For example, quaff your Bud while walking the street in New Jersey and you’re pretty much guaranteed a night in jail. Yet as long as they’re not actually consuming alcohol, a minor can sit at a bar all day long and suffer only boredom. In Las Vegas, though, things are different. Sin City, they call the place. You can walk down the street with a beer and no one will bat an eye. But bartenders’ nervousness increases proportional to the time that minors sit anywhere near a bar. Same with the casino games, by the way. They’re serious about their anti-loitering laws.
We picked up a six-pack of beer on our way back to the suite. On Las Vegas Blvd. that’s an expensive proposition, nearly twice what we’re used to paying. I don’t know if it was the heat of the street or if they were just selling warm beer out of the cooler, but in short order the beer was warm as piss and quite useless. What to do? Stuff it in the fridge (ah, the advantages of a suite with a wet bar) and know it’ll be good to go in the morning.
And it was. Our beer of choice, though, requires an opener and – oops – we were lacking. But a lack of opener doesn’t necessarily equal a lack of ingenuity, so the search was on. Our opener turned out to be disguised as a potted plant with a wrought iron stand.
Maybe there was just the tiniest bit of spillage, but I won’t tell if you won’t! That worked until we remembered to buy an opener; it was only a couple of days. We chose a souvenir opener modeled after a bottle, filled with a viscous liquid, various icons of Las Vegas (chips, dice, etc.) floating within. A magnet on the side would hold it to our fridge, a colorful and happy reminder of this particular adventure.
The second time (but not the first – a long story about our long journey homeward) that we passed through LAS security Pam got dinged for our souvenir bottle opener. Not because of the metal end, oh no, it was the liquid content of the thing. No matter that she only had one. No matter that we ALL only had one of them between us. No matter that it was clearly a sealed piece of plastic. They must have seen a million of them over the years! No, none of that mattered in the least. The TSA wasn’t having any of it.
There were choices, of course. Leave the security area and arrange to mail it back. Leave the security area and return to ticketing, (try to) have the agent retrieve our checked bags to add the contraband. Or surrender the item. And that’s what we chose to do. A four-dollar (plus tax – 8% tax at that) plastic doo-dad just ain’t worth three trips through airport security in less than a day! DOA, that’s what she called it. The offending item was summarily tossed into a trash bin. Black. Rubbermaid.
Before I left the area I told the agent the story. Maybe I was hoping she’d change her mind. I asked for a picture. Maybe hearing the story, holding the thing again, having another look would change her mind. Nope, it didn’t work. She reached into the DOA bin and retrieved the offending trinket, but she wouldn’t let me touch it. I got my picture, but she wouldn’t even allow her hands to appear in the image. She smiled, but firmly held her position.
We boarded the tram to the gates.

There’s nothing like a trip through airport security to brighten your day. How airport security ties into a story about beer, well, you’ll just have to wait and see!

The laws for alcohol consumption vary greatly by region. For example, quaff your Bud while walking the street in New Jersey and you’re pretty much guaranteed a night in jail. Yet as long as they’re not actually consuming alcohol, a minor can sit at a Jersey bar all day long and suffer only boredom. In Las Vegas, though, things are different. Sin City, they call the place. You can walk down the street with a beer (or anything else!) and no one will bat an eye. But bartenders’ nervousness increases proportional to the time that minors sit anywhere near a bar. Same with the casino games, by the way. They’re serious about their anti-loitering laws. (No matter that I witnessed apparent elementary school aged kids pulling slots, that’s another story. Officially, they care.)

Planter / Bottle Opener
Planter / Bottle Opener

We picked up a six-pack of beer on our way back to the suite. That’s an expensive proposition on Las Vegas Blvd., nearly twice what we’re used to paying. I don’t know if it was the heat of the street or if they were just selling warm beer out of the cooler, but in short order the beer was warm as piss and quite useless. What to do? Stuff it in the fridge (ah, the advantages of a suite with a wet bar!) and find something else to do,¬†knowing it’ll be good to go in the morning.

And it was. Our beer of choice, though, requires an opener and – oops – we were lacking. Now a lack of opener doesn’t necessarily equal a lack of ingenuity, so the search was on. Our opener turned out to be disguised as a potted plant on a wrought iron stand.

You wouldn’t know by just looking, but there’s a remarkable similarity between that plant stand and the rear bumper of a ’64 Chevy Impala!

Maybe there was just the tiniest bit of spillage but I won’t tell if you won’t! That worked until we remembered to buy an opener; it only took a couple of days. We chose a souvenir opener modeled after a bottle, filled with a viscous liquid, with icons of Las Vegas (chips, dice, etc.) floating within. A magnet on the side would hold it to our fridge, a colorful and happy reminder of this particular adventure.

The second time (but not the first!) that we passed through LAS security Pam got dinged for our souvenir bottle opener. Not because of the metal end, oh no, it was the liquid content of the thing. No matter that she only had one. No matter that we ALL only had one of them between us. No matter that it was clearly a sealed piece of plastic. They must have seen millions of them over the years! No, none of that mattered in the least. The TSA agent was determined.

There were choices, of course. Leave the security area and arrange to mail it back. Leave the security area and return to ticketing, (try to) have the agent retrieve our checked bags to add the contraband. Or surrender the item. And that’s what we chose to do. A four-dollar (plus tax – 8% tax at that) plastic doo-dad just ain’t worth three trips through airport security in less than a day! DOA, that’s what she called it. That dangerous little thing was dutifully tossed into DOA. It looked like a trash bin to me. Black. Rubbermaid.

Souvenir
Dangerous Terrorist Souvenir

Before I left the area I told the agent the story and asked for a picture. Maybe I was hoping she’d change her mind. Maybe hearing the story, holding the thing again, having another look would change her mind. Nope, it didn’t work. She reached into the DOA bin and retrieved the offending trinket, but she wouldn’t let me touch it. I got my picture, but she wouldn’t even allow her hands to appear in the image. She smiled, but firmly held her position.

We boarded the tram to the gates.

Time Off

I’m afraid that the blog has suffered lately. Postings have just not been happening. Some might be thinking that this one has gone like the other personal blogs I’ve started in the past: left to die of neglect, interest lost.

Actually I’ve been merely recreating with the family. My son’s been off from school, naturally, but my wife’s taken a load of time off as well to de-stress and recreate. So I’ve dropped as much as I can in order to participate. And there’s quite a bit to do here in what’s arguably the densest area of the country!

Well, that’s behind us now, and it’s time to get back to work.

A Short Visit to the Jersey Shore

Have you had the chance to visit one of the world-famous New Jersey shore areas? Growing up in the state meant that the shore was always part of the summer routine. The sand and surf, the boardwalks, the rides, the food… there’s something for everyone.

Basically on a whim, my wife and son joined me for an afternoon in Point Pleasant, where we probably haven’t been for about a decade. Armed with a Ziplock of quarters – arcade fodder – from the change jar, we parked at the bottom end of the boardwalk and worked our way northward.

Point Pleasant emphasizes family-oriented diversions: mostly parents with young kids in tow, enjoying the kiddie rides, and slightly older kids, barely in their teens, cruising the boardwalk and arcades. Stretching the parental leash a little, this is sort of a ‘practice boardwalk’ for what’s to come. In a couple more years they’ll be hitting the beach with their friends as opposed to parents, and opting for towns like Belmar and Seaside

Before we knew it we had reached the upper end of the boardwalk! We stopped for a couple of Snapples and discussed what to do next. We decided to move on to Seaside, about a dozen miles south.
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