But on Saturday, both Brian and I witnessed an all-time first.
Our St. Patrick's Day definitely varied all over the map and ended with a bang.
It started with a half-marathon relay out at Hoover Dam. My friend Jill from boot camp asked me to run with her, and I jumped at the chance. So we woke up at 5:30am, donned some green shirts, and ran through the same tunnels used by railway workers to build the Dam. She took the six mile leg, I finished with seven-point-one miles. It was historic, it was breathtaking, and it was a fantastic way to start the day.
The name is exactly how it sounds - not slot machines, but vintage video games. You can rent a booth or kick it old-school, like we did, and stand at the machines. Since I hate video games and are terrible at them, I tried to do my best Elizabeth Shue-circa-1985 impression and cheer on my man while he played Galaga. I'm sure I just looked like a bored wife with a Cubs backpack leaning against the wall. Either way, Brian set the second high score and we both giggled as he typed in fake initials ("BAD").
From there, we raced through the rain to Lo Thai, this amazing Thai restaurant that gets great reviews. It was totally worth it, too - nothing says "Happy St. Patrick's Day" like a fantastic bowl of pad thai. I thought Brian was going to slam his head against the table when after the waiter asked for my level of heat, on a scale of one to five, and I replied, "One point five, please." What? I'm nothing if not specific.
With lots of yummy food in our bellies, we headed over for the real St. Patrick's Day party - to meet up with some friends at Henessey's. The place was packed, but they had a giant room set up in the back dedicated to beer pong. I could barely contain my glee. I love beer pong. I only wish I played more in college, but it was always hard to get on a table. I don't care about the drinking part of it - I just really enjoy throwing ping-pong balls into Silo cups. Maybe I'll get Scotty started now - that would be a good afternoon activity. It's a fun game and might improve his fine motor skills or something. And just imagine his skill level in college...
Anyways, this is where the story takes a weird turn.
As we settled in the back, I noticed a girl standing towards the front of the room. Now remember, it's St. Patrick's Day on Fremont Street in Las Vegas. You are bound to see weird things. But I did a double take when I saw her, and even with my carb-ladden, beer-soaked brain, I knew something was off. Her back was turned to me, and she was wearing tiny little boy shorts, fishnet stockings, really tall black heels...and that's it. She had long hair, but I couldn't see anything on top except skin. Very exposed, very naked skin.
This is just a regular establishment - just a normal restaurant/bar that you would find in any city. (I think you might, since it's a chain). Brian actually eats lunch here on the weekdays quite often. So what was up with Naked Girl?
When she finally turned around, I realized what was going on.
Someone had painted on a white-corsetted-looking-thing on her torso and chest with the Jameson logo on it. It looked professional - amateurs need not apply - but that was all she had on. Just...paint.
Shocking, to say the least.
It was one of those moments of "Oh God...oh wow...seriously? Really?...just how is that paint staying on? And what's keeping...them...up?"
Fascinating, to say the least.
I'm sure my jaw dropped, as did Brian's. Every guy in the crowd was swiveling to gawk at Naked girl when we realized she had a friend - except instead of white paint, this girl was "wearing" a red corset with the Jameson logo on it.
I give the good people as Jameson Whiskey an A+ for creating such a memorable marketing campaign. This was something none of us were ever going to forget.
The Jameson girls expertly wove through the crowd, posing for pictures, smiling, and passing out shots. They had two more friends, in teeny-tiny dresses with them, passing out the drinks and grinning and giggling. These women knew exactly what they were doing.
And then, inexplicably, they decided to play beer pong.
Guess who got bumped?
I slumped in my chair and pouted. I think I muttered to Brian, "How many miles do you think they run everyday?" but he was still staring so intently at them I don't think he heard me. (I'm pretty sure he stopped blinking for a solid five minutes). I can't believe me, girl in the blue sweatshirt that smelled like Thai food, lost her beer pong table to topless women passing out shots of free whiskey. The indecency of it all.
But in the end, I will admit, they were good. They beat the boys (and instead of beer, they used - what else? - Jameson whiskey) and managed to not fall over, vomit, or lose their paint. They actually ate food, too, and every time I looked over, one of them was stuffing french fries in her face. I was impressed, in a "I'm not sure I'm really witnessing this or hallucinating" kind of way.
So there you go. Our very Vegas St. Patrick's Day. Full of historic tunnels, baseball, Galaga, Thai food, and body paint. In a city that some claim lacks culture, I'm going to have to disagree. It's got a charm all its own.