Addicted to Ink

Saturday, October 15, 2005


Top Five (Mentionable) Highlights of the Vegas Trip
(okay, if this sounds too much like the notorious this-is-what-I-did-on-my-summer-vacation report, feel free to ignore it! But people have been asking, so rather than tell it a million times, here goes: )

1. Blue Man Group. Phenomenal. My husband is in love...with three blue creatures. He has vowed that we will see them in every city they call home. Yay - Megs, we're coming to Chicago! And I've been wanting to go to New York City with him forEVER because we've each been there numerous times, but never together. However, in NYC we have to see Wicked before we see Blue Man Group.

2. Red Rock Canyon. We had checked out tours to the Grand Canyon & Hoover Dam & etc., then realized it would be more affordable -- and more fun -- if we just rented a car and went there ourselves. Our Avis rep was great and suggested a whole list of things for us to try, including Red Rock Canyon, which was about an hour from the Strip. Great hiking, photo opps, etc. It was the first moment I truly felt calm and on vacation! The Hoover Dam was pretty fascinating as well, 'specially if you're into history & wierd little facts such as there's enough concrete in the dam to go around the earth at least twice, and you do the cheesey touristy things, like getting your picture taken in two states at once.

3. The View. And the weather. We had an amazing view from our floor-to-ceiling windows at our internet-special hotel room at the Rio. I'd recommend to hotel - it was far enough away from the Strip to not feel claustrophobic, but you can catch a shuttle to Harrah's, which is smack dab in the middle of the Strip every 15 minutes. Oh, and the weather was amazing. 83 degrees the whole week (a little cooler at night), no humidity, no rain: perfection. It's enough to make an Ohioan want to move to Arizona. Of course, I am saying this in October, when the weather is in the 80s, not the 120s.

4. Accomplishing all of our goals. Alright, Andrew, we copied your goals: to see a Vegas wedding, to meet Elvis, and to eat at a buffet. I was surprised at how long it took us to see an Elvis, though, and we only saw the guy three times. Vegas is changing, baby. Oh, we didn't see actual weddings, just three sets (at different times) of brand-newlyweds in very formal wedding duds. Again, surprising - how very fancy & formal these people were. And at one time when Michael was engrossed in a game of computer poker (he lost) I wandered to the third floor of the casino, where the wedding chapels were. They were actually very classy. The only Elvises we saw were young, slim & trim Elvises - Elvis in his glory days. Our first meal there was a buffet that was okay... I'm really not a big fan of buffets. It was at Gold Coast. The second was very nice, but way overpriced - the Carnaval at Rio - for breakfast. Our best "meal deal" was at Binion's in downtown Vegas: $8.95 for a prime rib dinner. Oh, unless you count the free ice cream cone (BOGO) coupon we found for Ben & Jerry's.

5. The IMAX film at the Luxor. I do feel like a fourth-grader saying this, but it was really cool! The film acually had an interesting story, too.

Worst Five Things About Vegas
1. Vegas is so... slutty! Seriously. You can't go five seconds without seeing an in-your-face-nearly-naked-"girl" plastered everywhere. Of course, we stayed at the Rio, which is young, hip, and therefore offers equal-opportunity degradation: Chippendales. Posters everywhere. Billboards everywhere.
2. Speaking of... The illegal immigrants handing out stripper cards on the sidewalks. They were everywhere, and when you didn't look at them, they clicked their cards at you, making these annoying sounds. And often, next to them, were men wearing "God is love" polo shirts, also forcing people to take little cards.
3. And speaking of them...The Fairfield resort people who offered everything under the hot blazing sun to get you to try to get to one of their hotels for two hours to buy a timeshare package. They were just as aggressive as the stripper clickers.
4. Living in an ashtray and the slot machine dings that are still ringing in my ears. Vegas must be the last place in America that is smoker-friendly, and I feel like I smoked at least a dozen packs in the four days I was there without touching a single cigarette. I didn't really notice any clouds of smoke, but you smelled it, ate it, drank it everywhere you went. Except for the Venetian. I think they burn incense there, because I didn't smell any smoke, just a sweet incense-type-smell.
5. The flight home. Our flight was supposed to leave at 10:45 last night, and so at 10:15 the began loading the Airbus. Well, at 10:20, they stopped, announcing some kind of airplane malfunction. Turns out, the had to change the front tires on the wheel. So we didn't take off until almost midnite, then didn't get home til about 9 a.m. our time, which was when I was supposed to go work: the first Homecoming event of the day. I opted for a few hours sleep instead.
Oh, but also about the trip back: there were little kids everywhere, probably a dozen on our ride. I couldn't imagine taking a kid there.
Five Most Surprising Things About Vegas
1. The amount of foreign travelers. I guess I've always pictured Vegas as an almost embarassing little attraction of the United States, that draws gangster types, BINGO types, "hillbilly" types, and retirees. Not today's Vegas. Of every five people I saw, I'd say at least one was from Europe or Asia. Wasn't really expecting that. And there were a lot of Bingo types, retirees, etc. (even gangsters!) but there were also a LOT of young people.
2. Nobody seemed to be winning. Every once in a while, I'd hear some cheers as I walked by a blackjack table, but nobody we talked to was winning, and I didn't here anyone really win at the slots.
3. How much you could see from one side to the other. You can pretty much see the whole city at one glance, between all the surrounding (gorgeous) canyons.
4. How many kids were there. Again, just not a place for kids. For the sake of their lungs alone, never mind all of the smuck they will actually see. Yet: babies everywhere. Little kids everywhere.
5. Coming home to find out that Allissa's engaged... .


Blogger Rachel said...

Welcome home. You've written some very thorough and entertaining sentimentes on Vegas.

Vegas is like the crappiest place and most expensive place in the country all at once.

I'm glad you had some fun anyway!

1:02 PM  
Blogger Megs said...

Hey Chicago has Wicked, Blue Man Group, AWESOME PIZZA, oh and me. What's NY got that we don't?

2:16 PM  

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