My brother-in-law happens to be in Las Vegas at the same time as me -- he's here for the poker tournament at Caesars Palace. I invited him to the About.com dinner at La Salsa Cantina. He's so polite and sweet. Too sweet to say the dinner was awful, so I will say it for him and warn you to never dine at that restaurant.
I'm not certain how it became a Mexican restaurant. Maybe it was a strip club at one time before the lease expired as there was nothing inherently Mexican about it. The frozen margaritas were a solid chunk of ice, the Caesar salad was iceberg lettuce sprinkled with a few shreds of something resembling cheese and presented on a plate small enough to hold a muffin. I can't swear to it, but I suspect the rice was from a box of minute rice, sort of the texture of Uncle Ben's from a box. The vegetables were that well known Mexican variety combo of overcooked cauliflower, broccoli and carrots, served next to a chunk of meat smothered in American cheese.
It was also too loud to hear yourself think, much less talk on the phone with a Jawbone earpiece. One diner at my table requested cheese enchiladas. Everybody else had finished eating by the time her dinner arrived, despite my brother-in-law attempts at pasting her dinner coupon to his forehead while he grabbed passing waiters to point at his head, trying to draw attention to the fact that this woman had not yet been fed and was ignored.
We decided to walk back to The Mirage and sample the evening nightlife on the streets instead of waiting for the group bus shuttle. We passed a horde of young men thrusting coupons for female companionship at us, which littered the ground for blocks. The tantalizing smells of bus fumes and rotting shellfish permeated the evening air. Thousands of people crowded the streets. Some were aging hippies with parrots attached to their Hawaiian shirts. Jimmy Buffet is in town. I saw an ad for Jimmy Buffet in my hotel room magazine and at first blush thought he was James Taylor. Except Mr. JT isn't quite so puffy and round.
You've got your Eiffel Tower planted squarely on top of a hotel -- a faux Italian piazza square punctuated by Greek gods sprawled in a water fountain -- neon lights, looming television screens with the sound turned up so loud it made my brother-in-law yell, "Hey, dad, turn down the TV." Women in mini skirts and thigh high boots, men with glass guitars containing a six-pack of beer strapped to their chests, teenagers wearing rubber chicken hats -- it's all here in Las Vegas. We tried to shoot a photo of me standing between Elvis and Zorro, but just at the moment of clickage, my camera battery died. Probably just as well.
How was the About.com conference, you might ask? Fabulous. Campbells just invested over a million-dollars in a new partnership with About.com. I've learned ten times more about SEO and heard about Google's new algorithms. We have almost 800 guide sites now. I began writing the Home Buying siteabout 2 1/2 years ago when the sites numbered 500 or so. I met many old friends and made new friends. This was worth 2 days out of my life. And I didn't drop one dime at the Blackjack table nor the slotsl Can you believe that?
I had a closing Friday and the listing agent offered to give the keys to my buyers in my absence. I'm not certain if when I expressed my apologies to the buyers, telling them that this is really the highlight of my transactions and I was sorry to miss it that prompted the call -- but they called yesterday to say they don't have time now to get the keys until Monday. Meaning, I suppose, that they know full well I will be back home by then to hand them the keys myself.