It was sort of a little deja vu coming back to Las Vegas.
Back in the 70s, I often came out here for celebrity tennis tournaments held at The Riviera, somewhere around Caesar's Palace. I'm not a gambler, but I used to love to come out here just for the shows and the food. They were pretty much, in those days, giving all that to you just to get people out here to gamble.
All the drinks were free, food was very inexpensive, and so were the shows, but today the things have changed. They still have the gambling, but they're not giving it away like they used to. So the food has gone up, as have the shows.
Also, it's more of a family orientation here now. Back in the day, in the 70s, it was for adults. But now you have the families coming up, so this place has really boomed. We stayed in the Wynn Hotel, a very fabulous hotel during Summer League. I've stayed at the Mirage, the Bellagio, and the Venetian - one of my favorite hotels - so this place is really spectacular now to me. It's like New York; Vegas is a place everyone should visit at least one time. It's that fascinating!
Since I'm doing the games, I've gotten into a nice little routine here. I usually wake up in the morning at six o'clock, believe it or not, because of the time difference. Obviously it will be nine o'clock in New York, so I usually get up and do some exercise on the floor, but I have this mesmerizing view out my window overlooking the strip. I can see Treasure Island, the Mirage, the Venetian, and all the way up the strip. At night, it's really intoxicating. I usually leave my drapes open all night just looking out; and also during the day when I get up, I open the drapes since that's when I usually do my exercise, my yoga, for maybe an hour looking at that nice vista. Then I order breakfast, usually two eggs sunny side up with whole wheat toast, and two eggs poached medium, also with toast and some swiss muesli since I don't eat bacon, ham, pork, or potatoes with my breakfast. Then I'll always order some type of tea - today it was chamomile tea - hot boiling water and extra honey.
Then I read the paper, I usually get the U.S.A. Today, and then I, believe it or not, watch TV and I go back to sleep until 12 noon. Then I wake up, go down to the health club, and do my workout for an hour-and-a-half and come back. Today, we had the game at 4:00 EST, so I went down there at about 1:00, worked out for an hour-and-a-half, and came back. So then my lunch is usually a chicken sandwich, grilled chicken breast on whole wheat bread with lettuce, tomatoes and mayonnaise on the side.
On and then I have to press my clothes, because they are wrinkled sometimes. Then I head over to the game so that's pretty much been my routine. On our off day, I went sight-seeing. I haven't really seen all of our hotel, The Wynn, since it's so huge you can get lost in that place. So I'll probably get up early before it gets too hot, say around 10 o'clock I'm going to be out and about.
They have fabulous shopping all over Vegas; right across the street from us there's a nice fashion place. It's certainly been a fun trip for me. Obviously it's a different pace from what I do in St. Croix. With so many people around here, especially on the weekends, there's lines for everything. It's kind of overwhelming really. Right now Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays not too bad; the crowds aren't as large as they are starting Thursday, Friday and Saturday.
I have an 11:30 p.m. flight back to Miami Thursday and I'll connect from there to get back to St. Croix, and get back to my lifestyle there. I'll be there for a week and then I'll head back to New York. I am currently the spokesperson for Type II diabetes, which is very rampant right now, especially among black people and also amongst our youth, because of obesity. So I'll be doing a satellite tour of that once I get back to New York. I usually do that with Earl Monroe
, who has Type II diabetes. Earl and I have been partners, but this time I'm just going to do a solo thing, and try to educate the public on the importance of exercise and diet. Because if you have Type II diabetes, you can control it by your exercise and diet. And, of course, if you do not have it, you can try and prevent it with that as well.
So I have some busy times ahead of me before we get back to the regular season in November. Thanks for visiting my blog and we'll see you back at the good ol' Garden soon enough!