Posts Tagged ‘Las Vegas’

Vegas: I had no idea!

June 18, 2015

Now that Tropical Storm Bill has moved on – taking its rain and wind with it, but leaving the street flooding, thank you very much – I can get back to what I’ve been thinking about nonstop. And that’s how to get myself a pot full of money so I can get us back to Vegas!

I’m not a Vegas kind of girl. I didn’t think I was. I’m an outgoing introvert who likes her sleep, so, naturally, a city full of big crowds and things you constantly need to be do-do-doing while never, ever sleeping, really didn’t sound like my thing, no? But my guy had been about a dozen different times and wanted to show me one of his playgrounds and a vacation with him anywhere sounded fun, so off we went!

A few things surprised me about Vegas.

Our high end digs. We stayed at The Cosmopolitan, the nicest, poshest, most luxe hotel on The Strip. No, really! We hotel hopped quite a bit, touring the other casinos and seeing what was going on. The Cosmo had a fantastically curated, wild art collection on display. Giant high heeled shoes, a three-story Chandelier bar, old-timey black and white canvases of old school Vegas, sculptures, old-fashioned cigarette vending machines, a high-end marble floor with shimmery bits in it that sparkled, and glam and glitz hanging from the ceiling every time you turned around. And our room…oh my god, you guys. The light fixtures were luxe. The bed was made for movie stars to lounge in. The living room was straight out of a couture magazine. The walk in glass-and-marble shower was bigger than my master suite back home! And the soaker tub that sat right in front of a huge (tinted) glass window…I needs me one. Seriously. I didn’t want to venture out to explore the city, our room was so nice! Our balcony overlooked the fountain display in front of The Bellagio hotel. A few of my friends told me to make sure I saw it, and to make sure I went back to see it again if I didn’t like the music. I got to watch every single show I wanted because we were right there. Talk about romantic…


Once we did venture out, I was surprised by how far away everything was. We toured a bunch of other hotels like I said – The Flamingo, the Bellagio, Caesar’s Palace, Planet Hollywood, Paris, the Aria, New York, New York, and Mandelay Bay – and while everything looks like it’s right there, I’ve decided they made everything so oversized and bright and flashy to lure you in, like a fly to a bugzapper. You start walking that way, commit, and then die on your way because each resort is at least a half-mile away from each other. You make it to the end of the The Strip (or at least the furthest you can walk, not the real end), stop for lunch at Margaritaville, and then have to have a few top shelf margaritas to trick yourself into walking back again!

The casinos. I’m not much into gambling. To me, it feels like throwing away a good, sure thing. I’m not always tight-fisted about my money, but usually I am. And while I don’t mind parting with my money for a bit of entertainment, $20 to spend less than ten minutes pushing a button just isn’t my thing. But the even more surprising thing about the casinos was the smell. You guys, I swear to god the casinos smelled like President Snow was lurking around the next corner. There was this cloying death-smell everywhere, like too ripe roses and over-sweet melons had a baby or something. I couldn’t even stay at Caesar’s Palace because it was so strong there. The Cosmo was better about it, as was Planet Hollywood. The others? Oof.

The crazies. I was surprised we didn’t see more of them. While we waited in line for a show, we saw some falling down drunk guys who were so wasted, I was afraid one of them might hurl in our direction. But for the most part, they were free entertainment! Sadly, they didn’t stick around very long. The soberish ones kept the couldn’t-stand-up-ones moving, hopefully back towards a room. Or a toilet of some kind. Because whoa. And then while we were in one of the casinos, we heard a lady behind us demanding her mothereffing money. We thought she was just being loud and obnoxious, but she kept getting louder and we eventually turned around. She had her boyfriend? friend? stranger? by his hair and kept demanding her mothereffing money. A really old security guy came trotting over not too long after that, and soon it escalated into six cops and the casino manager. The lady refused to let go of the guy’s fro unless he was in handcuffs or she had her voucher back. Apparently, she hit it big and he grabbed the ticket. And she wasn’t haven’t any of it. She told everyone to check the tapes, check her blood alcohol level, whatever they wanted, but she was getting her money. I was sad we didn’t get to see the end of the “show.”

The airport. My first Southwest experience on the way out there was relatively uneventful. The smaller airport in our metroplex didn’t disappoint (there are rumors), though we did have to walk about five miles from the parking garage. And there was this fantastic New York native behind us (we scored the best seats – BOTH WAYS – for the win!) who schooled a Texas gun nut, which was awesome. The New York guy showed up again on our return flight and recognized us, and us him, and it was kind of funny. And awesome because I got to congratulate him on his victory. Oh, also, I recognized one of our cabbies as being a northerner because he said something was “full of bologna” and so I had to ask and turns out he was from Jersey. Heh. But the real surprise was how close the Vegas airport was to The Strip! I mean, it’s right there! You could almost walk, it was right there. (There I go with underestimating distance again.) Very handy, I suppose, being right next to where everyone’s going. Guess I’m just used to airports being out away from everything, mine being next to work notwithstanding.

I have so much more to tell you about – the shows we saw, the pools we spent half our time at, how we spent one morning walking our entire hotel to find a place open for breakfast only to find the mother of all buffets open right next to the elevators (whoops), but those will have to wait.

Real life beckons.

I want to go back.


Back from one vacation, on to a new one (of sorts).

June 15, 2015

I’m doing pretty well so far this morning. I’ve gotten out of bed, made it out the door, and have hit every goalpost of responsibility…so far. We’ll see if I can wait until my appointed lunchtime before I nap, and maybe we should hold off on celebrating until I make it home at the end of the day.

Still, I feel like I’m sort of standing at a distance, poking at this day with a long stick. It feels weird, this life filled with formerly usual routines and responsibilities. Who knew it would only take a week brimming with luxury and absent of schedules to throw me off?

It was lovely to come back to the girls and the X-man this weekend. I got the biggest (and nicest) hugs of my life last night. It’s good to know that I’m not just the snack-maker around here; seems the girls missed me nearly as much as I missed them.

(I wish I could say the same about the pile of emails and tasks and deadlines I’m sure are waiting for me, but that’s a very different bucket of peanuts.)

But as much as I like settling back into routines, they won’t be exactly the same. It’s not exactly sleeping til noon, drinking all day, napping all afternoon, eating at crazy restaurants on the strip, and catching a Vegas show every night – but it’s not all sharpened pencils, and grab-your-backpacks, and is-your-homework-done-yet? either. The girls’ stepmom offered to be the “emergency grown-up on the premises” for the month so that we don’t have to bother enrolling the girls in the daycare that was barely meeting standards. The girls are almost old enough to watch themselves, but still sort of need someone on hand just cases. And also so the girls don’t argue themselves to death. So a hyooooge thank you to Stepmom for volunteering as tribute! Let’s keep our fingers crossed that the girls keep their word to get along, play nicely with others, and not bother any grown-ups who are working. Because even though we need to pack lunches and whatever clothes the girls are going to change into later, letting Bee and Gracie roll out of bed five minutes before we have to leave is a lot nicer than our getting ready for school routine!

So let’s do this! Let’s wade into whatever “real life” holds for us this week. Let’s organize the chaos and then we can talk later this week about how much fun I rolled around in while I was vacationing. So much fun, in fact, that I’ve come back without any voice at all. This is going to be a fun, fun week.



Counting down until all of the fun.

June 4, 2015

Three more days of school.

Two more days until my oldest daughter leaves elementary school behind (for the first time; the school district she’s transferring to uses a K-6 system so she’ll get to do this again next year).

One more day until 5th grade graduation.

Two more days until the weekend.

Four more days until summer vacation.

Oh – and four more days until my vacation, too. Because I’m going to Vegas, baby!

Yes, you read that right! I’ve maybe forgotten to mention it here on the blog, but there is a serious countdown going on at my house! All I have to do is survive the last week of school and then the girls will be spending the week with their dad and stepmom while I fly off into the sunset with my guy for a well-deserved vacation. A vacation in Las Vegas, you guys!

I’m so excited, I’ve been trying not to think about how few days are left or I will not be able to concentrate on anything. I have a major deadline I need to meet before I can let my brain completely turn to screaming mush, but really all I want to do is try on clothes, sample reading material, and make playlists for poolside napping.

I’ve allowed myself a little bit of prep work. I bought a new bathing suit and some clothes. I made a first pass at my closet this weekend and pulled out about a dozen shirts for going out. I haven’t even looked at lounging-about clothes. Or shoes. Or jewelry. I have work to do this weekend.

My reading choices are all but settled though! (Because: priorities.) My mentor’s book (Twisted: My Dreadlock Chronicles) was published this month, so I have that and Robin Wasserman’s The Waking Dark for the plane. Or, at least, that was what I was planning at first, but then King’s Finders Keepers was delivered and so was Judy Blume’s In the Unlikely Event, both of which I’d forgotten about. The trouble is, King and Blume are hardcovers. Giant, bulky hardcovers. I put a lot of time and effort into carefully selecting Twisted and Waking Dark. But even given the fact that it’s VEGAS, BABY!, are two books really going to cover me for two plane rides and three days of vacationing? Do I want to risk it? Best to take all four, I think.

And then there are the shows. We’re staying right on the strip at the Cosmopolitan, so we have all the access to all the things. I plan to hit as many as we possibly can. There’s a zombie burlesque show (!!!). Cirque du Soleil. We miss Eddie Izzard by one flippin’ night. (Yes, I’m rather ticked.) And there will be so much relaxing, drinking, fancypants massages, and I can’t even think about all of the delicious food I’m going to roll around in.

A real-life, grown-up vacation. A going-away-with-the-boyfriend vacation. I’ve dated during the seven years I’ve been divorced, but this hasn’t happened before. I haven’t ever gone on vacation together with someone – with or without the kids. This makes everything seem a little more real. Another giant step forward. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t a little nervous. But I’d also be lying if I said it didn’t feel really right, too. Vegas is happening. We are happening. Even if I made him sign documents promising there would be zero drunken elopements. Heh.

It’s almost summer, you guys. And this year, we’re starting with allllll the dazzling lights, adventures, and magic!