Las Vegas on iPhone 6

Everything began quite civilized.  I was on the 11:30 AM "mood lit" flight with Virgin America, which is pretty much the airline equivalent of Whole Foods - overpriced and frou-frou.  Instead of a safety demonstration, they had a video that was basically a break dancing routine with the words "seatbelt" and "oxygen mask" thrown in, and I wondered if anyone over fifty or who's not a hipster would understand any of it.  The flight attendants weren't concerned with that and kept using tablets during their drink serving run.  The future is now.

Once we took off I was able to see the entire Bay Area sprawled underneath and I swear I could spot my own house.  I already missed John and the boys.  There was nothing at first, just miles and miles of dry land and then poof! a city.  In that regard, Las Vegas was exactly how they pictured it in the movies - an oasis smack in the middle of the desert.  The Red Rock mountains sure did look pretty.  I kept thinking how many bodies were buried down there, and I kept reminding myself not to tell that poor taste joke at the wedding party.  I did anyway.

During the descent the city looked like those tiny planet tilt-shift photos.  Smooth black asphalt driveways, new suburban developments, gated communities, pools, downtown, the Strip, and more desert.  Pretty exciting.  We landed, I took a cab, and off I went to the hotel.  It's good to say that I knew very little of Vegas before this trip.  My first impressions went something like this: wow, everyone drives like maniacs here; 5 out of 8 people have tattoos; it's all super tacky; this reminds me so much of home.  Vegas and Bulgaria both allow - and encourage it seems - drinking in public and being as obnoxious as your heart desires.  Being super hot just amplified that feeling of being back in the old country for the summer.

The check-in line at Treasure Island was 30 minutes long.  The whole building reeked of cigarette smoke and cocktail fumes.  I could see the pool from the lobby and I mentally noted that I definitely must make a use of it in the morning.  Finally I was able to get to my room, where I changed real quick and went back out to see the sights.  Second impressions included: wow, six dollars for a latte; skin-tight dresses sure are in vogue; did I just see Elvis in a pink Cadillac?!  After I stocked with snacks and a bottle of Febreeze for my room, I grabbed my camera and I ventured on a long walk down the Strip on sunset.

It was lots of fun.  I knew instantly that I dislike Vegas but I was having a great time nonetheless.  It's the advantage of visiting a place with a mission.  I had a party to attend to the next day, and photos to take this evening.  I am sure that if I simply wandered out there without a purpose things would have gotten old pretty quick.  I am not a fan of gambling or excessive drinking (and all it entails, including getting funky with girls who are advertised the way car-washes are being advertised here), so Vegas wouldn't have been my jam.  Yet my camera and the fact that getting away anywhere for a weekend is good and healthy for me as a mother made it all come together.  

The sight of little babies and kids in strollers still made me physically cringe, though.  Words to the wise - when in Vegas - and on the Strip in particular - leave the children at home.  

So I walked and I hydrated, and I watched the fountain show at the Bellagio, and I saw replica EVERYTHING.  By the time I was back the sky was dark but the world remained bright and flashing and loud and crazy.  All. Night. Long.  I am glad I went to bed early and didn't drink.

Next morning was for three hours by the pool. There were palm trees overhead, a DJ, someone celebrating their 21st birthday, and retired people from all over the world wearing the same bathing suits from the hotel gift store.  I got some sun, I swam, and I hydrated some more.

Lunch with a friend at the nearby all-American restaurant.  Thoughts as following: wow, they didn't get the memo about plastic bags here; Mustang cars are what Priuses are in California; how come mac&cheese counts as salad?! Turns our Hillary Clinton was also in town for a debate.  We have cocktails (with my friend, not with Hillary) and we part to get ready for the wedding.

I shall never speak about what went down afterwards because, well, you know how the what-happpens-in-Vegas saying goes, but I'll tell you this much: everything was beautiful and everyone was happy.  Also, young single people drink a lot and I am old.  There were Polaroids and cake and laughter, and I went home inspired and refreshed.

The flight back was uneventful.  I was sleepy and listening to Fetty Wap didn't help.  John and the kids picked me up from the airport with a dozen roses and a ton of hugs and kisses.  All in all, another great mommy-cation for me!


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