My Adventure in Las Vegas – Day 2

Do you know what is the worst thing to do during a weekend outing?

Day Two, September 20, 2015

5:07 a.m, I woke up with the worst headache and my feet felt as though they’ve been placed on a roaster. Next to me, my mom’s laptop was playing her usual sleeping music, a Chinese professor teaching history. I groaned quietly as I lifted my head up. “What’s wrong?” She asked.

“My head still aches,” I replied.

“I told you to take an Ibuprofen last night. Does it really hurt?”

“I thought I was just tired.” I snapped. The entire night, I had been hot and then chilly and then hot again. I’ve tried to avoid pills but it looked like I really needed it. So I got up and stumbled to the bathroom where I looked myself in the mirror. My face was very red. I placed the back of my palm on it. It was burning hot.

You have got to be kidding me, I thought. Of all the time and you choose now?  At the same time, I also wondered if I’ve got heat stroke.

After a moment, I finally searched the suitcase for the bottle of Ibuprofen but I realized I couldn’t take them with an empty stomach. I’ll have to wait one more hour to get some food into my stomach. So I crawled back into bed and attempted to relieve the fever myself.

6:55 am, I woke up again, feeling the same. My mom’s already up, getting dressed. “Let’s get some breakfast,” she proposed, “then you can take your pills.”

I agreed and together, we crossed the parking lot to the lobby, she in her jeans and t-shirt and me in t-shirt and shorts. The morning was comfortable, mid-70’s.

The breakfast was pretty standard for a motel, waffles, toast, cereal, yogurt, juices, and coffee. We ended up getting two-pieces of both toast and waffle, a yogurt, some bear-claws, two oranges, and a cup of orange juice.

I ate my breakfast in no time and finally gulped down two Ibuprofen pills. After that, I got dressed in my jeans and a slightly nicer shirt. I didn’t know the plan for the day other than my mom had this meeting and she’s taking me to gamble.

We were supposed to check out by 11:00 and the meeting was at noon. So my mom decided to stay until 10:00 so I could let the pills work its magic while I enjoyed some TV.

At 10:37 AM, after we loaded our luggage into the trunk and checked out because my mom found better accommodation for our second night, we arrived at the Orleans Hotel and Casino where the meeting was supposedly taking place as well as my first-time gambling. I was still suffering from a mild fever but not as bad as a few hours ago.



The inside and outside of the Orleans Hotel and Casino was decorated like the French Quarter and first order of business as we strolled into the hotel, to the slot machines.


The night before, as we were driving home from my mom’s friend’s mansion, as we merged onto the freeway, an accident happened. My mom immediately said, “You have to gamble.”

“Why?” I asked.

“Because you’re going to win.” I looked at her with raised eyebrow. “No one is that lucky to be on the freeway at the exact moment an accident occurs.” Really? I thought, that’s lucky?

To be honest, I was kind of scared because I’m afraid of losing, even if it was less than a dollar and to play a game such as a slot machine where I don’t even know the rule or what any of the buttons do, I’m even more scared.

Reading the objective and picking my bet real carefully

But I did it anyway. I inserted a dollar and pressed a random button and next thing I knew, the machine was going, ding ding ding, and the credit just went on and on. I ended up winning $2.50 at that machine. Then I moved onto another one with a little more experience picking machines.


The next one, I won $0.20 but ended up losing $0.40. So I moved to a third machine and tried again. I bet $0.35 on this one and the machine dinged again, this time, I won $5.00. Then it was time to cash out. My heart was pounding as I handed the cashier my ID and the vouchers, still couldn’t believe I’ve won.

After that, it was time for the main event of the day. We made our way up the escalators and almost immediately heard a group of men and women talking in a familiar dialect. Mine. I couldn’t believe my ears. It felt a little like I was back to my hometown.


My mom and I conversed something and a lady suddenly spoke to us in our dialect, “Are you here for the meeting?”

“Yes,” Mom said, “You’re from Zhongshan?”

She nodded, “Where in Zhongshan are you from?”

“ShiQi (石岐),” my mom answered.

A man came up and asked excited, “You’re from ShiQi? Me too!” It was like he’s never met another like him wherever he’s from. It turned out he’s from Chicago and he had flew to Las Vegas for this.

A priceless art piece by a retired artist

“Are you kidding?” I heard a man shouted as we approached. “You’re setting up now?” It turned out we were behind schedule.

Another said, “No worries, no worries, we have plenty of time.” He pulled a book from his bag and unfold it on the table. It was blank and all the pages were red.

As I stood there, oblivious as to what was going on, my mom suddenly said, “The Zheng family is big here today.”

“Huh?” Then, she pointed to the group of old men conversing and shaking hands. She told me all of their last names are Zheng, same as mine. Maybe they’re my distant cousins or something. Who knows but it made me feel a little proud.


As the meeting began, introductions were made and then a group of performers came and performed the traditional Lion Dance.

The Entrance
The Finale
The Finale

Spectators raised their phones high in the air trying to catch the action like it was their first time watching lion dance. My camera, on the other hand, ran out of battery. At times, I thought it was crazy because all those phones and cameras made them looked like journalists instead of audience.

After the performers retreated and a few speeches were made, lunch was served. It was quite awkward, actually, because when the heads of the association from other parts of the U.S. came to clink glasses and cheer, no one clinked mine. It was like I was invisible.


We had two choices for entree, salmon or beef. Most people went with salmon because Zhongshan people love seafood. I never liked salmon because no matter how you cook it, it always comes out tough. So I went with beef. It was a great choice. It was delicious and tender. Mom complained the salmon was tough and I kind of flashed a secret smile that said, “told ya.” Sometimes, it’s good to do the opposite.


I felt so bad to not had taken a picture of the desert. I thought of it the moment my plate was taken away and it was too late. The cheesecake was delicious though.

As the band began their rendition of “Rolling in the Deep” with ancient Chinese instruments, my mom’s friend came over and they began making plans for later.

As the song came to end, my mom asked, “How’s your headache?” Better, I told her. “Are you ready to go? We have to go check in.” I agreed but before we left, my mom wanted to try my luck one more time. So we gambled one more dollar and lost it all. That’s when she knew even luck had its limits.

45 minutes later after bumping into another accident at the exact spot, we arrived at the Nellis Inn inside Nellis Air Force, one of the perks of being a military member. We checked in and got a room on the top floor. The room was so much better and cleaner than even the Las Vegas hotels I’ve stayed in.


And let’s not mention the gorgeous views.



And that was the end of Day two, for me, at least, as I settle into the leather chair and post some photos onto my blog while channel surfing on the TV. My fever was gone and I got to stay in a hotel room all by myself, I couldn’t ask for anything better.

Continue onto Day 3

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