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.
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.
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!