I mentioned in a previous post I attended a conference in Las Vegas last month.
While most guys my age would be excited to see the sites, do some gambling, maybe take in a show or take part in some kind of illicit activity I had only one goal in Las Vegas: Get a Slush Puppie.
I lived in Las Vegas 1985-1986. One of my most vivid memories is walking back from the air show at Nellis Air Force base, stopping at the local 7-11 and getting a Slush Puppie.
I live in the south east now and we have Icees. Everywhere are Icees. They’re good…but they’re no Slush Puppie. Slush Puppies are icy, thick, crunchy…all the greatest aspects of an iced fruit dessert. They live somewhere in between Sno-Cones and Sonic Slushes. But with a flavor that is all their own. I haven’t had one since the 80s…and I wanted one. Specifically cherry. I remembered RED Slush Puppie.
I stayed at the Bellagio and searched Google maps for a 7-11. I found one on Koval lane and walked from Las Vegas Avenue, down Flamingo, to Koval. I discovered a couple things quickly.
First, Las Vegas is an awful city to walk around in. You can’t cross at every intersection. The sidewalks go up and over the streets in many places which sounds like a good idea, except a lot of the time they send you back the way you came or (cleverly) back through a hotel.
Second, the gloss of Las Vegas Avenue wears off about a block after the hotels. it gets very suburban commercial very quickly.
Third, though this may have just been new to me, the HUGE building that says it keeps books is not in fact a book store. Turns out it’s a bookie’s. Again that last one may have just been me.
So on I walked to Koval and, to my horror, discovered the 7-11 had a slushee machine! Thwarted I walked back down Koval, the Am-Pm had an Icee Machine, as did the Shell station. So I went back to Las Vegas Avenue.
Walking back up LVA, I found that every convenience store had some kind of drink fountain. I proceeded past Caesars and then walked back down toward New York, New York, stopping in two Walgreens and a CVS. Two had Icee machines one had a generic iced beverage fountain.
I was on my own walking around in search of a Slush Puppie for around three and a half hours…to no avail.
The next night a friend and co-worker of ours who lives in the area took us to Old Vegas. I actually loved Fremont Street far more than the glitz of New Vegas, but still was desperate to find a Slush Puppie. We stopped at Container Park and a couple of souvenir shops in Old Vegas…again all of them had drink fountains…none had a Slush Puppie.
On the way back I saw Circus Circus, the only casino I visited in Vegas when I lived here in the 80s. It was good to see the big creepy clown again…but the lack of Slush Puppies made the trip far less successful than I’d hoped. Bereft of Slush Puppies I returned to Nashville.
After returning home my boss, who had to hear my various schemes to get a frozen dessert surprised me at work with a bag. In the bag were ten little pouches…each pouch had a Slush Puppie I could put int he freezer and have whenever I wanted.
Turns out the Slush Puppie I looked all over Vegas for was available at home, in the stores. Not quite the same (I’d kill for one from a fountain machine!) but after cracking one open I soon found I was also after the wrong puppie! I remembered strawberry.
It goes to show you…you may go thousands of miles in search of something…and find that maybe what you wanted was a lot closer to home than you thought.