Scheduled for a flight to Los Angeles and then an hour layover and a connection to Las Vegas.
They announced the flight was overbooked and asked if anyone wanted to take a later flight. I nearly knocked over the lady next to me, who was listening to an MP3 player and humming much too loudly for public, and asked if I could be bumped from this flight to a nonstop flight...and they did it!!! So I got booked on a nonstop flight which ended up arriving in Vegas just 50 minutes past my original flight would have, AND I got a free round trip ticket to anywhere in the continental United States! Woohoo----WINNER!!!!
I knew I would be arriving in Vegas first so I found a nice seat directly in front of a beeping machine and set about winning my fortunes. This plan seemed to be working, as I earned some money from the nice young stripper man below and cashed out and had a profit of $65 within twenty minutes. Woohoo----WINNER!!!!
Amy's plane came in right on schedule and we headed off to the Hard Rock.
Keep in mind that I have not seen or talked to Amy for about twenty years. That's two decades! Back when we were friends, there was no email (for normal people). We really have no idea who each other is as an adult. I'm not sure I would have recognized her if I were standing nearby her and not expecting her. How did we get to be so grown up (aka OLD)??
I was pretty exhausted, as I had gotten up at 6:30am and had spent quite some time walking and waiting and walking and waiting at the airport and then getting to Vegas and walking and waiting some more. Travelling is exhausting really....but anyway, Friday night-I was sleepy. Amy was NOT. She wanted to get out and SEE VEGAS.
Okay - off we went...we found that our hotel, the Hard Rock, is a full mile from the Strip. Okay - fine....off we go. Walking miles and having a free drink (while gambling) did NOT wake me up. We didn't really do anything-just walked and walked. We didn't really even talk about much, which I thought was weird. We had 20 years to catch up on...anyway, we eventually went back to the hotel and Kaylen got some much needed sleep!
Let me preface the rest of the trip with saying, I am a PLANNER. I don't need to plan out every bit of my vacation, but I really believe that you should have some inkling of a plan. Amy set me straight weeks ago that she's not a planner and wanted to just live the experience, okay then....this was our non-plan plan:
- Talk and catch up and laugh and tell stories
- Drink and party like it's 1999.
- See Vegas
- Catch a show
Saturday, we took a taxi to Fremont Street, the old downtown area. We walked and shopped a little, visited the older casinos with real nickels - note to self: nickels are disgustingly dirty and as fun as the sound of the clanking coins is, it's not always so fun to cash out $40.00 in nickels. I continued my winning streak and I could not win BIG, but I also was having any trouble losing my money. I would put in $20, then cash out an hour later with $40.00. Then we'd go to the next casino and I would lose ten of that forty. So nothing big but nothing bad. Woohoo----in Vegas, that's almost a miracle.We left Fremont Street and headed back to the strip where we walked and walked and passed by a number of things, like the Bellagio fountains. Amy wasn't too excited about it so we just kept walking, as I'd seen them before. I love the idea of shooting water taller than a very large hotel, coordinating music to the shooting water. It's pretty. We did some shopping at the Miracle Mile center and then walked a million more miles and I proceeded to grow a fat blister. Not a winner.
We went to see The Price is Right live stage show, which is very similar to the real show-people won things and it was really a fun show. Still not a winner though.We had a less than spectacular meal at Al Dente's (we ended up with three plates of different breads which was weird). After dinner, we headed back to the hotel and took a short break before doing the "where should we go now" routine. And this is where the PLANNING piece is nice. Planning ahead means you don't have to ask everyone you can where you can go wearing a dress shirt and jeans in Vegas. Or trying to determine when to go. Or how to get there. I like planning, can you tell? We decided to head to Studio 54 in the MGM hotel and we went downstairs and within about six minutes, we had met a few people who were also headed that way and we decided to share a taxi. These were our new friends:
Limo ride 1.5 miles= $80, plus a $10 tip. Thanks Chad!
1. Chad, who looked like a Chad to me but I think his real name was Justin. Chad was slightly drunk, but this worked out well for us when he decided to rent a small limo instead of wait in the taxi line. Thanks Chad! Chad liked Amy. A lot.2. Leviticus, whose real name was Bob. Lev was older and we had some kind of very brief discussion about the bible soon upon meeting and he made some smartass remark about me and I said he was mean....like the entire Leviticus book. I'm pretty sure he thought of me as a pesky kid.
3. The Mexican. We never actually got his real name. Chad and Leviticus called him the Mexican when we first met and then the Mexican headed off to the atm and well, never came back. We waited for about 20 minutes and then left.
And so it was the four of us headed to Studio 54, where we danced and drank and drank and danced for about five hours. Blisters? Who has blisters? The music is playing!!! VERY fun.
Sunday morning - well, let's say that Amy and I were not in the best shape. We had to rush and rush to meet my blogger friend Flea for lunch at the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grill, and it was totally absolutely worth it, because in addition to meeting someone whose blog I have been reading for some time, we had the BEST food. It was pricey, but well worth it!!
Then after lunch with Flea and friend, we wandered a bit and then we walked another gazillion miles and met up with one of Amy's college friends who happened to be in town. And then we decided to go back to Fremont Street to see the Fremont Experience light show. It's only at night, but it's every night. We weren't really thrilled to pay for another round-trip taxi ride, but Amy said she wanted to see it and liked the slots over there, so off we went. Before the first song was over, Amy was done with it so we headed into the casinos. Did I mention how much I love planning?? Cause I DO. It's important.Next morning, we headed home. My flight home was a mess. There were a gatrillion Nascar fans leaving town and planes were late because of the snow on the East Coast and it was a really rough afternoon. Got home at 11pm and was happy to crawl into my own bed with my kitty at my feet!!
Anyway, I am really bummed about not going to see O, the Cirque show that involves water-next time FOR SURE! I had a great time, but I feel like we missed some good chances to do more. Regardless, it was interesting to see Amy again and see the grown-up version of the girl who was most like my sister growing up. It was VERY nice to get away from the real world and just be off on my own (sorta) for a few days. It was REALLY great to go to a gambling city and not lose all my money!! I had a certain amount set aside to gamble with and I came home with $40 of it (which was $60 til I pressed my luck one last time at the airport slots).Winner!
I have a couple more short stories to share, but will have to wait until later this week (most especially because this post is way too long, but also because I am still sleepy and still have stuff to do before I can go to bed).
Here's some more photos: