Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Monday, January 30, 2006

Day 4 Las Vegas - Ups & Downs

I didn't break anything Sunday, although at times I wanted to. Today's post will be very brief (I hope), unless I get carried away describing something. However, I'm a smidge depressed this morning, so I sort of think I won't be gushing much.

We slept in -- until at least 9:00 -- and I spent most of the morning trying to get Saturday's report written. Then we all got dressed and went out to celebrate the Chinese new year by dining at Amy and Paul's favorite nearby Chinese buffet. It was yummy, and far less expensive than the buffets at the casinos!

The best part of that excursion was that when Amy pulled into a parking spot in front of the restaurant, a man in a truck whipped around and pulled in near her, yelling, "Miss? MISS! Just a moment, miss!!!!!" Tee hee. He wanted to know about the Solstice. (This is the car that I cannot help but refer to as a whore-red slutmobile. Men *love* that car, and everywhere we go, people stare and point and hit their companions to check out that new Pontiac.) Amy, who understands car enthusiasts, stopped and talked with him and even let him sit in the driver's seat to see if it would "fit" him. He loved it. He asked about disadvantages, and I said, "You can't put a front license plate on it without spoiling the looks of it." That's when we found out he was a cop. Oops!

After lunch, Paul went to see PDQ Bach in concert at UNLV. Dang!!!!! I adore PDQ Bach. I think anyone who spent any time in a college chorus adores the stuff. Peter Schikele played with the UNLV orchestra. Dang again!!!!

Amy and I went shopping for a bit there at the mini mall, and we enjoyed ourselves immensely.

Then we headed for the airport, where I got a rental car (Thrifty!) and was upgraded from an economy to a mid-size. Woo hoo!

After that, we went directly to Passenger Pick-up and went to baggage claim to find Erikia Ghumm. I adore Erikia. I love her art, her talent, her brain, her personality, and she's just darned tiny and gorgeous to boot. Wait a second -- maybe I hate her after all! But she is a doll, just the most warm and gracious and wonderful person, and I was *so* looking forward to seeing her again. I called her cell phone as Amy and I walked into the airport, and she answered and let us know where to find her. Within seconds, we were hugging, chatting, laughing, and snatching her suitcases off the belt.

Back at the cars, Erikia now had her pick of vehicles. Amy decided since it was such a gorgeous day to put the top down on her car, and Erikia got to ride with my sister to the Hilton. I got Erikia's suitcases in my gigantic rental car, and we made our way down to Las Vegas Boulevard (a.k.a., "The Strip") and then over to the Hilton.

This is about the time that things turned unpleasant. I don't really want to dwell on it, so let me zip through it quickly. We dropped off Erikia at the front door with her bags. We parked. Security guard had fits over Amy's car. I couldn't find the magazines that I had just put in my trunk with my binder of clips. (The Top 50 issue with my contributor's photo and the March issue with the Hometown article.) We went into the hotel, hoping to find Erikia or call her. She was still at check-in. When she left the counter, I snagged her to ask if the bellhop had perhaps snagged my mags. She said there was some difficulty with the delivery of her bags. We went to rescue her luggage from bell services because they weren't going to bring them to her room 'til late at night or even perhaps Monday. (!!!!!)

Really great thing in the midst of chaos: Erikia took me over to Melissa Inman, who asked, "Are you Bay?" I met Melissa Inman, editor-in-chief of Scrapbooks Etc.!!!!!!! But wait! There's more -- she had a brand new, fresh copy of the March issue with my essay!!!!!! She let me look at it!!!!!! The women with her said they liked my story!!!!!

We did, in fact, get Erikia's luggage out of hock (snort), and took it up to her room. Then the bad things happened. Forever. For a really long time. It made my stomach and head hurt, and the floor at the convention center made my feet hurt.

Hours later, we rejoined Erikia near bell services, where we stood in an impossibly long line for her to drop off one little item for another hotel guest. The Hilton was a madhouse. Erikia said there was a wad of gum on her bedside lamp. Ew!!!!

Then, in a very good turn of events, we whisked Erikia away to the Peppermill, a lovely, very retro, old-fashioned Las Vegas restaurant and lounge. The meal was great, and the company was even better. We talked nonstop and laughed over many things. We got a picture of the three of us, Erikia and I saved a napkin each, and I got some of the colored sugar crystals by pouring them into a straw wrapper like a Pixie Stix.

We took Erikia back to the Hilton, and came back to the house to get ready for Le Reve. Our show was at 10:30, so we stopped to see the Big Giant Head. Turns out that thing is actually called the Lake of Dreams. Also turns out that you can't hear the music inside the hotel. You have to be seated at the incredibly expensive restaurant on the terrace outside. We waited for twenty minutes to see the Big Giant Head, and dang it if the Big Giant Head didn't show up!!!! Bummer!!!!!

But the water was still very trippy.

We went to the theatre, got our seats, and the pre-show had already started. I cannot describe Le Reve right now -- it's a Cirque du Soleil show in water. The performers are amazing. Amy's husband Paul is an audio engineer, and he was the project manager for this theatre, garnering a write-up in a trade magazine because of the very complex aspects of making the underwater crew and performers able to hear the musical cues even under the water.

It was a beautiful show. I cried off all my makeup during the opening and the angel sequence. It's a very erotic show, though, which I didn't entirely expect. The last Cirque show I saw was Mystere.

Back at Amy's house, I couldn't sleep for worrying about the unpleasant afternoon activities.

See? I said it wasn't a great day. There were great things about it. Amy. Erikia. Paul's really cool audio and video stuff in the Le Reve theatre. Le Reve itself.

But I'm very hopeful that Monday will be better.


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