This girl is funny...not skinny.

This girl is funny...not skinny.

Monday, June 27, 2016

Hubby tries to make Sarah believe something sort of stupid.


Good afternoon all!

WOW!  Once again, the month has flown by. All I can say is, blame it on hand surgery because I had that two weeks ago and sort of limited my typing. But we all know the real story about me:  I was enjoying the rare perfect days we get here in June. I was sitting in my chair swing watching people walk their dogs and I was pondering all the books I'm supposed to read and all the books I'm supposed to write and all that was erased by the bigger question:  How many episodes of "Call the Midwife" can I jam into my evening?

But I have to share this with you, because, well, it's Hubby and I'm starting to think now that in spite of his protests, he really, really, really wants to be in the blog.  

WISH GRANTED!

We have in our town several walking paths that wind from one city park to another.  One route in particular takes the walker through a wetland area and opens up to a beautiful shopping center where things like dinner and coffee can be purchased. A few nights ago, Hubby suggested we take a walk on one of these paths. Park the car and walk to the Target.  I envisioned a nice stroll on the wooden bridge than twists around the wetlands.  I pictured birds gentle settled on tall green cattails.  I smiled
I was picturing this.
at the thought of water skating insects leaving their mark on the surface of the water as frogs and turtles blew water bubbles upward.

Reality, as it often is, was less poetic.


I got this.
Hubby had a different route in mind.  Yes, we parked the car at a park.  Yes, we were headed toward the same shopping center we could reach via the wetland bridge.

And that's where the similarity ended.


I've been on field trips with my kids to both of these locations.  They're fun places to go on a field trip with snarky seventh graders because it puts the fear of GOD into them. Yes, kids, there are jobs out there that actually do smell like...well, you know.  Yes, fun to walk greasy, noisy, disruptive, all knowing seventh graders lose bits of their lunch one tank room at a time.  Not so fun taking a walk on an early summer evening when the heat of the day was just high enough to bring out all the best smells.

If you can picture it, the "stink canopy" around the water treatment plant and the recycling center (which are next to each other) is a bit like a cone.  The closer you move inside the cone, the stronger the stink.  So what started out as a whiff of something that made me wonder if my cooking was gas inducing (it is, but that's another blog for another day) ended up, at its worst, as the sensation that I was ankle deep in fresh, hot pooh.

I'm not one to keep my feelings to myself.  I had already mentioned, loudly, and in a cranky voice, that this was NOT the path I thought we were taking, this was a far longer walk and my foot, hip, knee, ankle and big toe all hurt.  And now this...this...FETID AIR.

I may have added gagging noises for effect, I'm not sure.

Hubby is very patient, and always a guy to try and make the best of things.  However, and this is why he's in the blog today, he may have tried a bit too hard.

You see, Hubby tried to make me believe that what I was smelling was not, in fact, the aroma of untreated sewer water.  Instead, he insisted, I was smelling MULCH, fresh MULCH which sat in piles for the taking outside the recycling center.

Friends, I am a gullible person. Those who know me know I tend to believe or start to believe pretty much anything anyone says with a tone of authority. Hubby loves making me fall for everything he says, 90% of which is made up nonsense.  (Our debate about how he can tell a Genesis song from a Phil Collins song is now in its 29th year.)  But when someone tells me that the smell I smell is NOT pooh, but instead, treated lumber and earth shredded and mixed together like a heaping mound of pulled pork, then I have to stop limping and start giving my "You've got to be kidding, you really
think I'm that stupid?" stare.

He didn't launch into the mulch farce right away. First, he tried to tell me it was the smell of cow.  My cousins have dairy farms.  I know what cow smells like.  Then he said it was pig.  No sale again buddy. I know what pig smells like because I grew up in a town where they raised pigs.  

"It's human!" I said, feeling a lot like Charleton Heston in "Soylant Green."

"It's not human," he said, waving his hand at me like I was a mosquito or something.  "It's mulch!  It's mulch from the recycling center.

"That," I said, gagging a little, "Is not mulch. That is human waste and this is NOT the lovely woodland walk I thought we were going on!"

"No, no, that's mulch. It's all mulch. We should get some."

"We're not getting mulch that smells like pooh."

"But it doesn't, it smells like mulch."

We walked another quarter mile to where they actually do have big piles of mulch there for people to come get if they want it.  Hubby grinned in triumph, "See, mulch."

"WE ARE HALF A MILE AWAY FROM THE WATER TREATMENT PLANT AND THIS SMELLS NOTHING LIKE WHAT I WAS SMELLING BEFORE.  THIS IS MULCH."

We continued to Target in relative silence.  As penance, I made him walk back the two miles to the car. I got an iced tea and a People Magazine and waited for him to come get me. Mulch or pooh, I wasn't about to walk through that stink cloud again.





A few other notes and news since I've been gone a bit.

1) I'm about 88% positive the couple in the curtained area next to mine had sex while waiting for him to have carpal tunnel surgery.  They were talking, then they were whispering, then there was the distinct sound of sheets moving around and then they were whispering again. By the time the nurse came to wheel him into surgery, they were chatting again about kids and grandkids.  

I should have asked the lady if they did it, but then I didn't.  

I shared this with Hubby who said, "Wow. I didn't realize spouses could go in to the curtained area. I'll know next time.

Since I've already had both hands done for carpal tunnel, I'm thinking he missed his chance.


2)  People really don't listen to the words that come out of their mouths. I've been selling my books at the local farmer's markets and believe me I hear all kinds of unintentional insults. The best one was two weeks ago a gent walked up and I asked him what he liked to read. He said, "I read pretty much everything...except fiction...because I'm a grown up."

I really wanted to mention to him that Star Wars is fiction...you know, because he was clearly DEEP into living that life...but I didn't want to see the grown up cry.

My other favorite unintentional insult, besides, "What libraries are your books in? I only read books from the library."  (which is great, except I'm trying to SELL my books, thank you very much) is one I got from a woman who stops by my booth every time I'm there. She stops, we chat, she moves along. She finally actually touched one of the books and asked which of my titles she'd like.  That's a bit like asking which of my favorite shirts is going to look good on you.  I asked her what she liked to read.  She said, "I love to read everything, except I can't read anything with any violence, or sex, or suspense or any arguing or really anything that's any kind of conflict. And I really don't care for anything that's a true story."

So, recipe books and picture books for babies.  Sorry, I don't write that.


3)  I'm sort of chuckling. Now that Peaches is living far, far away from home, she's finally understanding some of my "freak outs."  I got a text from her recently saying, "I finally get why you got so mad when we just left laundry in the washing machine and didn't put it in the drier.  It really smells and you have to do it all over again."

Epic win for me.


Sunday, June 5, 2016

Sarah Went to Vegas and Look What happened: #2

Hello again my friends!

Where did I leave off?

Oh yes, Hubby and I were enjoying a lovely evening with friend Lizzie at "Rock of Ages" and then a quick late supper at "In and Out Burger."

Which brings us to Sunday, the third day of our five day vacation in the dessert and this is when Hubby and I did something very un-Vegas like:  We went to church. That's right. We got up early, in that tiny slip of time between when the debauchery of the night before takes a break and the families who want to see the dancing waters at the Bellagio get up and get their kids on the strip before it gets to weird, and we went to church. Most specifically, we went to my cousin's church where my cousin preached a really nice sermon and the computer played the organ.

This is a big deal because back here where we live, most churches have several organists and the idea that there won't be someone on the bench thrashing away at that most evil beast of a musical instrument (yep, I used to play church organ. Great workout, but I could never get it to sound like I knew what I was doing).  It was rather refreshing not to have to adjust my singing to a particular organist's sense of rhythm or whatnot.

We spent a really great late morning/early afternoon with Cousin Nate and Kay, his lovely wife and their four kids all of whom are fantastic.  (And yes, Nate and Kay, tell the little one that I still have the toy puppy and the note she wrote me.) Many thanks for the hospitality and the great meal!  Also, for a significant amount of time spent not hearing slot machines banging away.

After time spent with family, Hubby and I returned to the non stop madcappery that was our Vegas Vaca.  We hit the strip again, this time back to Planet Hollywood, to see Paul Zerdin perform. For
those of you who don't recall as far back as last summer or for those of you who don't watch "America's Got Talent" (and why aren't you watching? It's great show!  Great family fun!  Winner gets a million bucks and show in Vegas!) let me fill you in:  Paul Zerdin WON last summer for his ventriloquist act.  Yes, I know. Really?  Ventriloquism?  Yep, it's blow snot through your nose funny.

Especially after a double whiskey sour.

Once again, Sarah ordered a drink that was WAY over her head, this time an old stand by, the whiskey sour. Nothing fancy. Nothing crazy.  Something she can handle. Until she's left to order the drinks on her own because she picked up the tickets and got the drinks while Hubby parked the rental car, a task that, in Vegas at 6 Pm is no easy feat.  And since she was alone, albeit for less than thirty minutes, she managed to be swayed by a very flirtatious bar tender her convinced her that yes, an extra five dollars for a double whiskey sour WAS a sound investment.

Which is why it's a very good thing we sat pretty far away from the stage. All in all an excellent show, although I have to warn you:  If you're a parent looking for good family fun on the Vegas Strip....what are you thinking?  No, wait, what I mean is, yes, the guy with the baby puppet was hilarious and wonderful on TV.  But that's TV. American TV.  Believe it or not, Vegas shows are not TV. They are rarely appropriate for children and even when they sort of are, they aren't.  So to the people in the front row with the grad school kids, guys, you paid a really lot of money to have your kids hear that baby puppet say some fairly racy stuff.  Don't get all over Paul Zerdin when they take that language back to school in the fall.

One of the things I've wanted to do, all three times I've been to Sin City, is see Fremont Street. It's the downtown area, all lit up, very much like a carnival.  The first two times I got there after it closed. Yes, I was much younger then and could stay up past midnight.  This time we were determined to see Fremont Street lit up.

My cousins warned us. Lizzie warned us. But really nothing can prepare you for the insanity that is Fremont Street at night.  One part carnival, one part strip show, one part noise pollution, one part music festival, The Fremont Street Experience is the answer to those who think the Strip is too corporate.  Yikes.

Strip clubs, shops, casinos all open up to this brightly lit noise fest where street performers stand in their premarked circles and perform whatever for tips.  And some of the acts are great, like the kid playing the electric violin or the cowboys who painted themselves silver and gold and then stood very still like statues. Others are...less than artistic, but more to the point:  Like the girl who was pretty much naked, just standing there.  Or the guy holding a cardboard sign that said, "A**h***."  Or the little kid dressed as Spider man, just standing there with a cup for tips.  Like organized begging.  The worst, and this is the one that gets Hubby, was the naked guitar player. Middle aged doughy white guy wearing little else other than his guitar. We had the distinct displeasure walking behind him.  Let me just say, some fannies were not meant to be naked.

Fremont Street put me into overload, I'm not going to lie. I was all set to order a deep fried peanut butter and jelly sandwich at this one casino, but you had to go wait in line and the line stretched to the restroom doors. We stood there for about three minutes, or until Captain Jack Sparrow walked out of the men's room bringing with him that overly perfumed smell of urinal cakes and deodorant spray. I can't stand that smell. And I may never be able to watch Pirates of the Caribbean ever again. (And why does every story I tell involve bathrooms?  I mean, watch out, we're not done with them in this story!)

Monday was a good day to detox from the nonsense that was Fremont Street. We got up early, had a nice breakfast in the hotel lobby (who had figured out how to heat their scrambled eggs. Sunday morning not so much....cold scrambled instant eggs....no bueno.) and then got in the car with Lizzie as our guide to go hike in the Valley of Fire State Park.

Lizzie and me before the hike. Don't we look optimistic?
Normally I don't say "Whoo hoo, hiking!" but I needed time away from the noise and I figured a nice little 1.2 mile loop the map said would take 45 minutes would be just the thing. So, after reading the pamphlet on the signs of heat stroke (and very much joking about them)  Lizzie, Hubby, and I set out on the 1.2 mile loop.

The first 600 feet or so was sand. Hot sand, red sand, sand that sucked your feet in and filled your shoes and melted your pedicure.

Also, it was no less than 100 degrees out there.

I had my doubts that I was going to make it but I was not about to give up. Lizzie had hiked this trail and  Hubby is a machine when it comes to hiking especially since there was a slot canyon on this loop and he LOVES the movie "127 Hours."  There was no way he was going to miss making this hike.

The next 600 feet involved walking on rock, which is better than sand, but also the rock was very uneven and set up sort of like steep, uneven stairs.

Also, still 100 degrees out there.
hubby and me before the hike.  Don't we also look optimistic....and
don't I look especially fluffy?  Wear light clothes, he said. So my lightest
weight clothes happen to be my darkest clothes.
It was a choice and I think I made the wrong one.

After my knee started screaming on about the third hard step landing, I knew there was no way I was
going to make it the whole loop and I didn't want to wait any longer because then we'd be at the halfway point and then...well why wouldn't you just do the whole loop?

Lizzie was gracious and walked back with me.  Hubby pressed on.  We'd made about a quarter of a mile, and it had taken us 20 minutes of hard walking. I know this because I wear a Fitbit and the fitbit doesn't lie.  It misses details and forgets to add things from time to time, but it doesn't lie.

It took us longer than that to get back to the car, because now the trail was all up hill.  In sand. In hot, red sand.  I understand now, why the ancient Israelites railed against God.  If I had to walk in that sand for 40 years, I'd be whiny and full of complaints, too.

We saw a couple other groups starting the trail as we reached the car. One group, young guys in T-Mobile shirts, asked us if the trail was hard. US!  We laughed and told them it was hard for middle aged fat women.  The oldest of the guys, probably all of 30, said he was fat (he was maybe 1 pound overweight, and that's being harsh) and he said, "I'm fat, is it hard for me?"  

They finished the route in just under and hour, and that was after leading Hubby down the wrong trail for ten minutes.  So, no. Not hard.

Another group was a family with a little girl who was maybe all of 5.

I was not feeling good about myself. 

The third group, seriously I'm not making this up, was a BUT GROUP from FRANCE half of whom had CANES!

Lizzie and I sat in the car drinking water and dumping sand out of our shoes and socks.  Now, I grew up around the Great Lakes.  I know sand. I've never met sand like this.  I dumped sand out of my shoes and socks twice before hubby got back. I dumped again at the hotel. Then I put my shoes in a plastic bag when I packed for our return trip.  When we got off the plane there was a quarter cup of red sand IN THE BAG. upon  washing our socks and clothes from that day, our wash sink in the basement was red and gritty with sand.  And when I wore my shoes for a walk the other day I LEFT RED SAND FOOTPRINTS.

What kind of sand are they growing out there? How are you people living with it?

Hubby finished the loop in about an hour twenty.  He came in just behind the family with the little girl and minutes behind the T-Mobile guys  (Because they'd all taken the wrong turn at some point) but he finished ahead of the bus group from France with the canes.

We attempted another trail that day, but those of you who know the desert know it doesn't get COOLER the closer you get to noon and by the time I'd walked 400 feet of that I was starting to get a little lightheaded.  So again, Lizzie was kind and walked me back to the car where we sipped Gatorade and waited for Hubby to figure out that we were not with him.  (Cell phone reception is not exactly...existent up there.))

Back at the hotel, we bid a fond farewell to Lizzie.  Thank you so much Lizzie, for being such a great hostess!

We hit the pool, mostly because I did NOT repink my hair right before the trip because I was going to be in a pool at some point and didn't want chlorine washing out my hair.  So we hit the pool on the last full day in town. It was heavenly.  So worth it!  Worth the heat and the possible heat stroke and the sand that may never leave my shoes.  Floating in that hot sun with the impossibly blue sky over me....worth it!

We went back to the Strip, this time to the Flamingo, for our final show of the trip, Piff the Magic Dragon.  I liked the Flamingo. It was far more "Old Vegas" than anything else I'd seen.  And, since we were there at 4:30 on a Monday after almost everyone else had left town (okay, after the overwhelming crush of people had left, there were still plenty of people all over the place) it felt far less hectic and crowded.  Refreshed from my day in nature, we hit a cantina called Carlos and Charlie's for a "Snack." Out on the deck, it was shady and over looked a little walking garden.  A quiet bit of heaven in the midst of the Las Vegas Strip.  We shared an order...a mountain...of chicken nachos and a very nice looking waiter named Josex convinced me to have a second blue beverage.  (Again with the second adult beverage. What's my deal?)  We wandered the shops of the Flamingo and then got in line for our show.

Seating in the cabaret was first come first serve, but we had something called Golden Circle VIP Tickets. What that meant was that we were among the very first to be allowed into the cabaret to pick our seats. Sweet.  We knew we didn't want to be front row for this one.  If you've see Piff (Second place finisher in America's Got Talent" last summer) you know the front row isn't where you want to be.  We sat behind a very nice couple from England who now live in Las Vegas and are driving through all 50 states to see what America is really like.  We sat next to a guy from Bangor Maine who knew a lot about Stephen King and Las Vegas.  Note, the chairs were super uncomfortable.

Piff was great, very funny, but again, things on TV are not the same in Vegas.  In Piff's case, the tickets tell you the show is PG-13, and the Las Vegas brochure doesn't recommend it for anyone under 18.  But that didn't stop a pair of grandparents from bringing a 5 year old in there.  And Piff adjusted his patter somewhat, but the show is the show.  And as for the woman in the second row, JAN, yeah, you totally deserved to get read out by Piff because you're not in your living room, he's not on TV and he AND EVERYONE AROUND YOU could hear your snippy little comments through out the show. So yes, we were laughing AT YOU when Piff called you out.

Thankfully, the lovely lady from England who sat in front of me got called on stage a couple times, and not me.  It was a hilarious show, not meant for children, and we had a blast.

The plan after Piff was to head on out to the iconic Welcome to Las Vegas sign and actually see it.  Three times we've been in that town and now make it three times we've just been too tired to find it and take a picture.  Guess we'll have to see it next time.

We got up at dawn for the 9 AM flight back.  While I got patted down at the Milwaukee airport (well, the very soft spoken lady said, "I'm going to touch you on your leg where that snap is, is that okay?") my pat down at the Vegas airport was quite annoying.  I went through the Fat Scan....that thing that scans you and the people looking at it can see all the fat on your body...and the woman on the other side said, "Is there anything in your left pocket?"

I said, "No."

She said, "are you sure?"

Now, I could have said something clever like, "You just saw my scan, you know the only thing in my pockets is my fatty fat fat."  But I didn't feel like creating an international incident and I hadn't had my coffee.  So I said, "Yes."

"Well, I'm going to pat you down on your left side."

And that she did.  I think she owes me dinner now.

We got bagels at Einstein Brothers and iced coffee and then I hit the restroom and realized why the TSA agent thought there might be something in my pockets. It seems my ZIPPER WAS DOWN since probably leaving the hotel and my capris still looked pretty full, even with the open fly.  At least I was wearing my new, jaunty underthings.

Once again, we'd neglected to check in 23.5 hours earlier and we were again in seating group C.  This time I got "lucky."  There was a seat, a middle seat, in the second between an older lady who was already almost asleep and a teen girl who was doing watching a movie on her little dvd player. SCORE!

Nope. Turns out, again, they knew each other, just didn't want to sit next to each other. The older lady wanted to talk...a lot...and the girl, well let's say she was a special needs lass who did not understand airplane take off.  She had a MAJOR freak out as we sped up to take off and kept tapping her mother's seat. Which would have been fine except for two things:  1)  Mom was wearing Beats Headphones and couldn't hear her daughter's cry for help and 2)  Mom was sitting in front of older lady on my right and daughter was next to me on my left. That meant for the entire flight every time daughter needed something from mom, I got an elbow in the shoulder, face, ribs while she tried to rouse mom from Headphone heaven.

Exhausted by the time we landed, Hubby and I got our baggage and headed outside, into the cool and the green and the rainy Milwaukee day, to catch the shuttle to our car. just our luck another exhausted family, parents an a very energetic child, were on that shuttle. For five miles to the car parking place, that kid would NOT SHUT UP.  Dad kept yelling at him to sit-down-shut-up-no-one-wants-to-hear-it.  Not sure which was more annoying the kid or the dad.

Back home, finally, lulled to sleep by the pitter patter of the rain, we took a four hour nap, watched some TV and then went to bed.  I didn't unpack until Friday of this week, and that's when I found the pile of sand in the suitcase.

We're back in our routine now, but now I have dreams of our next trip out to Sin City. And this time, we won't wait 11 years...but we will check in with the airline 23.5 hours ahead of time so we can sit together.




Friday, June 3, 2016

Sarah went to Vegas and look what happened! #1

Good evening!

With one child moved out and the other one rarely home, Hubby and I have been sort of feeling a little...empty nested.  So back in February, Hubby suggested we get away from it all for Easter Weekend.  You know, nothing says Holy Week quite like a weekend in Las Vegas.  I agreed and made plans, requested off of work, and started packing for a trip away from everyone the last weekend of March.  Because that's when Easter was this year.

Except in my husband's world. In  my husband's world, Easter, this year, was NOT the 27th-the 31st of March. No, it was the 27th through the 31st of MAY.

Which is why, my friends, Hubby and I found ourselves on a full Southwest flight headed for Sin City over Memorial Day weekend, or, as the locals like to call it, "the busiest weekend ever all year."

But I've decided to write about our travels because, in the end, things happened as they do only to me.

It started with the flight.

If you fly Southwest you know they save money by not assigning seats. Instead, and this is like some super secret club, they seat you in groups based on when you call before hand to check in. And you can only check in 23.5 hours before your flight is to take off.  The last time I flew, which was eleven years ago and to Vegas, I don't know who we flew on but we had assigned seats. We got to sit in seats we paid for. The woman called us up by rows, based on our seat numbers.

How Southwest thinks they're saving money this way is beyond me. I mean wouldn't it be less hassle to just let a person pick out seats and then give them the seat they paid for?  Works at the Big Screen Bistro.  I pick my seats and we go to a movie and get a meal. Easy Peasy.  But Southwest doesn't believe in that, so that's  how we wound up in our seats this time around.

Hubby called 16 hours ahead of time.  Not 23.5  That put us in seating group C (the last group) numbers 42 and 43 (out of 60)  In short, we were going to get what we were going to get.  We both wound up in the back of the plane in the middle of two different sets of people. Hubby sat between two people who didn't know each other, a really big dude and some pretty girl who dyed her hair gray because that's what the kids are doing these days.  (Annoying.  I'm finally hip, and now I'm coloring my hair wild colors because that's what the kids were doing a few years ago.  I should have stayed gray.) I wound up between two guys who knew each other.

I have to point this out:  If you are sitting with someone and you know the plane is full, why do you chose to sit on the aisle and the window and leave the middle one open?  Do you think no one is going to sit there?  Do you think a pretty girl with gray hair is going to offer to change seats with the fluffy middle aged woman and the fluffy middle aged woman is going to refuse because she's buckled in and it's really hard to get those stupid buckles done when you're already a bit too big for the seat and there are people on either side of you and the pilot is yelling to sit down and get buckled because the plane is taking off?

Okay, that's pretty much what happened. Yeah, I had a chance to sit next to hubby and watch "Spectre" (again) but I turned it down because moving once I was seated was just not going to happen. 

Which was fine. Turns out, I was sitting between two reality TV show stars.

Bobby G.
Fans of the Bravo TV show "Below Decks" will be happy to know that I had
Bryan
a 3 hour and 25 minute sit down with Bryan and Bobby G.  And I got them talking.  Well, okay, the flight attendant who was flirting with them and the four tiny bottles of rum they consumed got them talking. I just asked the questions. I had a blast. Not sure how those two felt, but I didn't care. I was sitting between two people who are on TV. Granted, not on a show I watch (although the flight attendant did, probably why she was flirting) but still, fun to talk to.  Nice guys.  I think Bryan either was really tired or he was really bored with me because he took a nap during the last hour of the flight, but Bobby G chatted along the whole time. He's a fireman, so...good day for Sarah!  (Oh and Dancing with the Stars fans, watch out for him....his mom knows a guy who knows all the dancers and she's trying to get him on the show. At least that's what he says.)

After a great flight with two very interesting guys we picked up our luggage and our rental car and headed for our hotel.  We stayed at a Holiday Inn Express in Henderson, just outside of Vegas, and if you want to see some nice homes and get away from the noise of Vegas, I suggest renting a car and staying out of town.  Henderson is a very nice town. Looks like Waukesha with palm trees.

By the time we got to our hotel it was almost 7 Pm according to our bodies, although the clock said 5.  We crossed the street to a "Nevada Style Eatery"  (I think that means the waitresses showed the top half of their breasts) and got there in time for happy hour.  half price pizza and drinks!  Well, except I didn't read the whole menu and I thought I'd try a gin martini and then I tried a second one, because it's VEGAS and you don't just have one drink!  I still am not a big fan of gin, but I was really not a fan of the bill when my two drinks cost more than Tom's beer, our appetizer,and the pizza combined.  (Specialty drinks,,,NOT part of the happy hour.)

From there we went to wander a local grocery store and liquor store so we could stock our fridge in our room with vodka and something to mix with the vodka. You know, for that end of the day cocktail.  The only grocery store we found was an organic one, so the two bags of cookies and the two bottles of lemonade cost us something like $50, but it's VEGAS!

We got back to our room around nine pm local time.  And Hubby was asleep by 9:05.  Our bodies, thanks to the different time zone, were two hours ahead of local time.  I was going to stay up and watch "The Matrix" but I fell asleep by about 9:30.

Party Animals.

We were up at awake by 6 local time the next morning.  Breakfast in the lobby, scrambled eggs and sausage and coffee. Perfect!

then we spent two hours in our room planning our trip. Most people would have done this earlier than the first full day of the trip, but we are a little different. We knew a dear college friend, let's call her Lizzie, was taking us to see "Rock of Ages" Saturday night.  So we planned two other shows (bought tickets for them) and a hike into the desert on Monday.  (Honestly, I really didn't think we'd live until Monday so I felt planning a hike into the desert the last full day of vaca would be good.)  So Saturday during the day we went and wandered the Strip.

We started at the Miracle Mile, a mall attached to Planet Hollywood.  It was a lot like the malls in Wisconsin except people were wearing a lot less clothing and carrying a lot more liquor.  Seriously, who needs to go to a show?  We saw the very nearly topless wandering all over the place. Personally, I found my happy spot at a great store called  Magnet Max where I basically had to be restrained from buying a whole wall of magnets.  Hubby, however, made some friends along the way. While waiting in line to pay for a bushel of magnets, we watched a little film on a new thing that looks like a furry rat and you attach it to your phone or ipad or whatever and it's on a timer and it pops up and scares people.  Hubby was watching that and after watching the thing scare an old lady he said, "Look it gave Grandma a heart attack."  Well, we all laughed and Hubby, having great timing, left the store.

The clerk told me as I handed WAY TOO MUCH MONEY for magnets, that her grandfather passed away recently. I was feeling like I wanted to fall through the floor because of Hubby's comment and she said, "Oh no. I haven't been able to laugh until he said that. So I really appreciate that."

That's us...spreading love and laughter where ever we go.

When in Vegas you expect to do a couple things:  you expect to walk a lot. You expect to lose at slots, and you expect to eat at a buffet.

We did all of those things.

Here's a traveling tip:  Do NOT eat at the Spice Market Buffet in Planet Hollywood unless you are prepared to pay a ton of money. Their special holiday weekend buffet was $37 a person.  Yep.  So believe me, if I'm dropping that kind of dough on a meal that doesn't involve alcohol I'm going to get my money's worth.

It's a big buffet, no doubt and very international.  I enjoyed my body weight's worth of lamb and naan bread, thank you, and discovered a jicahma salad I'm going to make once I find a recipe. Still, $37 a person for a buffet is steep in my world.  But we did the buffet, so we were free to eat whatever other body killing crap we wanted to.

Which we did.

After lunch we hit the strip and wandered up and down in the 100 degree heat.  Saturday afternoon on the strip in Vegas on Memorial Day weekend: Not for the shy or faint of heart.  We walked from Plant Hollywood to Caesar's where we wandered the fine shops while trying to cool our sweaty selves.  I watched people walk around with these long plastic containers of a pretty alcoholic beverage and I wanted one. So we went to where they were making them and I watched as a drink maker made the drink and the drink buyer then handed the maker two hundred dollar bills.  Hubby then steered me away from there, explaining that the beverage in question was $150 and it included 5 shots of super premium alcohol.

But it was pretty and pink in a plastic thing I could wear around my neck!

We headed back to the hotel in time to clean up and meet Lizzie who was taking us to "Rock of
Ages."  We let Lizzie drive because she lives there, but we learned that Vegas is confusing for people who live there almost as much as it is for tourist!  (I did, however, love the sense of danger there was in that we drove up and down some VERY interesting streets!)

The musical was awesome, but very different from the movie.  Seriously...very different from the movie.  Really, people do NOT take your ten year olds to this thinking you're going to get the movie version, because you're not.  This was no PG-13 film for the masses. This was a lot of fun, although I believe hubby had a bit more fun than Lizzie and I did because, well, he was sitting next two these two young ladies who had been...pre gaming I believe is the term Skippy uses...and Hubby found them to be hilarious. Lizzie and I found it hilarious when, at the end, Hubby got covered in glitter. Nothing is more fun than seeing an angel dump fistfuls of glitter on my husband!

Late night dinner with Lizzie was at In and Out burger. We were prepped for this because In and Out is one of Skippy's favorite places, so we knew to order our fries Animal.  Yummy burgers, yummy fries and we fell into bed at a Vegas respectable 1 AM.

That's the first two days my friends. Stay tuned for the rest of the Vegas adventure some time this weekend!




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