At 2pm on Saturday, we had to rally and go down to the pool. This was made easy because we had our own private cabana. We were escorted to our cabana and I turned on some music. Drinks were ordered and we did our best to put on smiles. I'm going to be brutally honest that this was probably the most difficult shoot that we had to do. The reason for this was that we don't typically go to the pool, there were kids running around bothering us, we were massively hung over and short on sleep.
We did a few shots of us getting drinks and whatnot. But then it was time to jump in the pool and the spa. In my younger days, I would've been ok with this, but I'm a solid 15 pounds over my old basketball playing weight, so I'm sure it doesn't look great on film. I suppose we'll see once the video is released.
The girls then went to the spa to relax while John and I hung out for a bit. After tiring of the pool, I decided to check out and go back upstairs- John headed to the spa. The reason I went back to the room was because I had a very important engagement at 4:30pm. The Be The High Roller crew had set me up with a quick set on stage at the Terrace Lounge. I had wanted to play at the Peppermill for years and they made my dreams a reality!
I thought about what songs I should sing and I went this way:
- "50 Stories" - This song is pretty much the first "single" from my new album and it is about Mrs. B. This seemed like a smart move.
- "Can't Take My Eyes Off Of You" - I have the lyrics memorized and it seemed like something a casino band would play during the afternoon. As it turned out, Eric actually sings this song to his wife all the time at home, so it was actually perfect that I selected this song.
- "Better Be Home Soon" - Again, I have the lyrics memorized and I was still on a high from seeing Crowded House on August 23. This was a mild hit in 1988, so people might recognize the song, but not totally know exactly what it is. It was pretty successful.
They taped the whole performance and should be posting it soon. I'm excited to see it. I was actually pretty nervous on stage, not to mention run down, but I think it went quite well. You never know, maybe you'll see me playing at the Peppermill again sometime soon...
Back in the room, we changed into our most dressy clothes for our dinner at Bimini Steakhouse. This was quite special because we don't typically go there. We went there once before and it was pretty expensive. Going there without worrying about cost, not to mention as a favored guest, was legit.
Right before dinner, John, Katrina and Mrs. B. were all interviewed confessional style about me. I'm dying to see those videos!
Even better, Lonny and Morgan joined us for dinner. Unfortunately, Eric had to go home because his wife is extremely pregnant, so it was a bummer he couldn't join us. However, the six of us proceeded to have a 3 hour dinner filled with great conversation. Before I go further with that, just know that my fillet mignon was unbelievably great and the rum battered shrimp was an appetizer to kill for.
Ok, back to the conversation. Morgan and Lonny allowed us to talk about what we love/like/dislike about the Peppermill. We found out so many pieces of information that made us feel like insiders. As we gave our feedback, it was amazing to feel listened to by people who could actually make changes at our favorite weekend getaway spot. Here was some of the suggestions/conversation points:
- Bring back some form of coupon book. Such great value and makes us feel good about our trip even if gambling goes awry.
- Re-do the Fish Bar and possibly turn it into a karaoke bar. Awww yeah!
- Move some of the fashion videos from the Tuscany Tower to the area around EDGE. It seems to make more sense.
- We found out that the scenic videos that are shown throughout the casino were done by Lonny and a crew of some other videographers. We now call those channels "Lonny's Videos."
- The renovations affect the levels of comps that we get because they have to take three floors offline for every one floor they renovate. This makes complete sense. Supply and demand.
There was probably a lot more things that we talked about, but the main point is that we came away feeling heard and with a brand new respect for the Peppermill.
Then came another awesome part of the trip. Morgan's husband, Kevin came over and introduced himself. He is a casino host at the Peppermill (yes, like Sam on "Las Vegas.") He was a cool guy- immediately likable. After a few minutes, Morgan mentioned that Katrina, John, Mrs. B. and I needed upgrades to become Gold Members. Mrs. B. and I had been on Bronze for a couple years, and were getting close. John and Katrina were about half way there. Kevin said, "Gold? No problem, let me write down your names and give me a couple minutes." He waved a magic wand and we were Gold Members quite quickly. One of the best perks of the trip! The card is shiny!
After dinner, it was just another blur of a night. We all drank at the Terrace Lounge and at the Fireside Lounge at some point. There were multiple sessions of Craps, and the night ended with John and I playing Craps at 4:30am. We were on a table that included us and us alone. John was killing it. His rolls were off the hook. Eventually, they had to shut our table down. Probably because they were streamlining their staffing, but partially because we were doing very well. We decided to go back to the room and I think we ended the night with some Maker's Mark. Yikes!
In the morning, John and I met the manager of the Sports Book and taped a segment with him. They allowed me to hold like $3000 out of the register to make a pretend sports bet on camera. It was freaky to hold that much money that clearly wasn't mine in a casino. To get the correct shot, I actually bent my knees and awkwardly walked up to the counter to make my bets. Hilarious!
Afterwards, we watched most of the Bears game (and other games), then ran upstairs to finish packing. We went down to the Bell Desk where we were going to say goodbye to John and Katrina (as they had to drive back home because they had their car) and finish up our trip with a ride back to Sacramento on the private jet.
After a few shots in front of the limo, we said goodbye to John and Katrina for real, jumped in the limo and were on our way back to the private jet.
I have to be honest, over the years, while watching reality shows I would hate on people who would cry when they got eliminated. "You've only been there a week, why are you crying?!" Well, in five days we really got to know Eric, Morgan, and Lonny and while I was not a blubbering mess, it was definitely emotional to say goodbye. We spent so much time with them each day, it really led to us becoming good friends. They are all great people and I look forward to staying in touch with them. I take back all my hating on reality show contestants.
The plane ride felt like it was over in a blink. Back in Sacramento, we took over the Pilot's Lounge and made our last videos. I talked about my final thoughts confessional style, got to talk with Morgan, Lonny, and Eric on camera. It was very cathartic and I did come close to breaking down (though I did not.) Good try, Morgan!
In the end, Mrs. B. and I jumped back in my car and we were home in a snap. It was so weird to back in "real life" where we had to pay for things and not have VIP everything. I mean, we went to Target and I kept saying "Yeah Sweetie, just get whatever you want." Mrs. B. could've put anything in that cart and I probably would not have batted an eye. It was weird that the cashier charged us money for goods! What's up with that?!
In all seriousness, winning the "Be The High Roller" contest was one of the best experiences of my life. The perks were out of this world and the friendships we made were even better. I can't say enough about our hosts and how amazing they were to work with and hang out with. I know that this trip will be something that we all talk about for the rest of our lives.
Who's coming back with us in December?!