Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Viva Las Vegas!!!

[SUBTITLE: How to Overuse the word "Gorgeous" in one day's trip report]

Please forgive my typos. I'm not accustomed to this keyboard. I keep hitting the wrong keys. Ack!!!! Drives me crazy. Where's my speelcheckur? Also, I originally wrote this report for a group of scrapbookers, some of whom will get here Sunday night for a trade show that opens Monday.

Anyway, I'm here!!!!!!!! I made it one piece despite the best efforts of the second plane I rode yesterday!!!!!!

Seriously, they tried to kill me. First they seated me next to a little old lady whose husband was separated from her, and then she complained that she didn't have the window seat. I'm a white-knuckle flyer -- I *need* my window seat. I need to see the earth. And the engines and wings and all that important stuff. (You want the window seat, you make your reservations early like I did.)

That second leg (Atlanta to Las Vegas) took FOREVER. Oh, and to exacerbate matters, I started sneezing in the Atlanta airport. So my nose was running or stopped up or I was sneezing. I actually *bought* the $2 headphones and watched the movie hoping it would distract me. ("Just Like Heaven," I think? Mark Ruffalo, Reese Witherspoon -- very light fare, perfect for distraction, passed the Bay's Romantic Comedy Tests: I laughed *and* cried. That's all I really need in a romantic comedy.)

The movie wasn't long enough, though. And I had no way to tell what time it was. Just when I thought, "We absolutely MUST be almost there," the crew pulled out the carts and headed out for a second round of drinks and snacks. ARGH!!!!

That was the longest flight I've ever endured, especially since Little Old Lady next to me was practically in my lap half the time trying to see out of my window. "No, that's not the Grand Canyon. You'll know when it's the Grand Canyon. Yes, THAT is the Grand Canyon. No, that's Lake Meade. No, you can't see the Hoover Dam from here. No, that's not Las Vegas. Yes, THAT is Las Vegas. No, those hotels are not as close as they appear." Sheesh.

When we finally got to Las Vegas, the landing almost scared me to death. I mean. OK, I don't want to scare anyone any more than necessary, but I have flown so many times to so many places, and that was the worst landing ever. Up, down, up, down, hover (which planes AREN'T SUPPOSED TO DO), up, down, HOVER, up, UP, down, and finally amid screeching breaks and wobbling wings, we landed. And then -- and THEN -- The pilot got on the speaker and said, "We experienced an anomoly in our engines during that landing, so I'm going to back up the plane and rev them so we can see that anomoly again."


Let me say it again, for emphasis, "We experienced A HUGE PROBLEM in OUR ENGINES during that TERRIFYING LANDING, so I'm going to TEST OUR COLLECTIVE MORTALITY." OK, I'm paraphrasing. Still. That's what he said. In essence.

I was not the only person in the plane whose eyebrows were lost somewhere in their hairline while the obviously suicidal pilot did exactly what he said he was going to do.

Fortunately, it was not so severe an anomoly that I got killed in a fiery ball of exploding jet fuel. Because, after all, I had better things to do.

Got off the plane, called Wesley, told him I was safely on the ground. He asked if I was in Las Vegas. I said since I was looking at slot machines, it was either Vegas or Atlantic City, and really, I wouldn't know until I got outside. Then I giggled at my own witty repartee.

Then I called Amy, went to baggage claim, found my suitcase, went outside to wait for both Amy and Paul, talking to Amy nearly non-stop on the cell phone. Paul took my suitcase; Amy took me; we squealed all the way to her new whore-red slutmobile (Pontiac Solstice), and headed for the Wynn Las Vegas.

Now, for those of you who don't live in Las Vegas or hang out with Lindsay Lohan, apparently the Wynn is a popular hotel with the rich folks on all those VH1 "Lifestyles" shows. Paul worked on the sound systems there. I don't hear about the Wynn at all in Tennessee. It's just not marketed to Tennesseans, I guess. It is *gorgeous*. Not so impressive on the outside, looks kinda ordinary, not like the stereotypical, glitzy, themed Las Vegas resort. It's not themey on the outside. But it *gorgeous* on the inside. OMG. That's where they spent their money -- on the *inside*.

And it was full of rich people and semi-celebrities. INXS is playing here Sunday night, and I could swear I saw two of the band members there. (Just saw 'em on Rock Star last summer, after all!) But you can tell which guests are rich. They look pampered. I don't know how else to explain it. Also, some of them have body guards.

Amy and I picked up our tickets to Avenue Q (an adult version of Sesame Street), and Amy tried to talk me into going to see La Reve. We were walking around just looking at everything. That place is just gorgeous. There is a big thingie outside one restaurant that is referred to by locals as The Big Giant Head. And --

I cannot describe it, especially given the constraints of this little blog. But it's a water, light, special effects, music and talking show thingamabob, and is best described by that name the locals gave to it. Big Giant Head. The water is trippy. If you go look at that area in the daylight, there are nude statues facing toward a tall, tall beige tiled wall with water cascading down that wall. Late afternoon, they cover the windows and flood that grotto. In the evening, the water half covers one statue. And ... the water ... *changes*. It's just trippy. I've never taken acid, but that water is an acid trip. And then, of course, there's the Big Giant Head effects.... See? Can't describe it. Go see it if you have half a chance.

OH-- almost forgot -- all the casinos and resorts are decorated for the Chinese new year -- GORGEOUS.

We decided to get a drink, so we went to the first bar we found and asked if there was a dress code. I was wearing tired jeans, a tired t-shirt, and I had tied my tired button-down shirt around my waist because I was dying of heatstroke after all day on the planes. And no make-up. And tired, tired hair.

The hostess was a sweetheart and said no, no dress code, and she gave us the most marvelous table at the front corner so we could people-watch and drink. Yamy got a glass of pinot grigiot, and I got a "classic champagne cocktail." Glass of champagne with a raspberry-liqueur-soaked sugar cube in it. YUMMY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Our waitress was a doll. Older than her appearance, impossible burgundy locks cascading all around, too much Las Vegas make-up. Probably a former showgirl. We watched her -- she was exceedingly down-to-earth and friendly to us, but very subservient to the really disgustingly rich or semi-famous people. (The performer who was the original Phantom in LV's production of Phantom of the Opera was in the bar with us with three bored-looking rich guys. I totally forget his name; I would have to ask Amy.) When she brought us munchies, she gave no warning -- the peanuts mix was spiced and very yummy. We heard her warn other customers, "These are hot." She was really good at reading her customers.

Don't know how long we sat there, talking, watching people, drinking, got one picture of us. Then we walked around the shops. Cartier. Dior. Chanel. There are the most *darling* dresses in Oscar de la Renta -- Carrie on "Sex & the City" would wear *those* clothes. A chocolate place. Beautiful restaurants that smelled sublime. The Wynn is just magnificent. I went to the restroom and wanted to take a picture IN THERE!!!!!!

We decided to walk over to Fashion Show Mall (FSM for abbreviation's sake). I managed to walk past all sorts of stores in the Wynn and at FSM until I went around a corner and found a shop with hand-beaded dresses and purses. OMG. Went inside. OMG, OMG. They have *the most gorgeous* hand-beaded heirloom silk scarves I have ever seen. I desperately, desperately want one (or six) of those things. Some of them are $129. No idea what the name of that store is, but if you go to FSM, go upstairs. You can't miss that shop. It jumps out and bites you.

Finally, I was starting to sniffle, so we walked back to the Wynn. On the walkway between the two places (goes over the Strip), we passed a group of three young men. The one in the middle was Teddy Somebody, the young singer who just signed with Sony Records and plays Wayne on "Love Monkey" on NBC Wednesday nights. I almost dropped my teeth.

Las Vegas, y'all, is *very* hot right now. I mean, in terms of places to be. I felt like I was in... I don't know. Hollywood. Everywhere I looked, there was someone who looked like I should know who they are or someone who looked too rich to be mingling with the hoi polloi.

And the Wynn is just too gorgeous to be believed. I never hear anyone ranting about it, but they should. It's beautiful and beautifully appointed.

Got the car out of valet, came to Amy's neighborhood, stopped at the grocery store. By this time, I felt like total crap. Sneezing. Actively runny nose. Watery eyes, the whole nine yards. I got the tissues with the lotion inside. Thank heaven. We came home. Paul immediately said it was just about dinner time. I wasn't hungry (champagne cocktail and spicy peanut mix). Also, I just really wanted to take some cold meds that were in my suitcase, which had been with Paul. I was *miserable*. I took my drugs and scanned my email, but couldn't summon the strength to wrestle with the laptop's keyboard.

We finally asked Paul to go get us food from Fat Burger. I still wasn't hungry when he left, but five minutes after he was gone, blam, my stomach started growling. ROFL!!!!!

He came home with burgers, fries, and those magnificent, marvelous milk shakes. Y'all. I know I rant about them. I know I do. But MAN, that milk shake was even better than I remembered!!!!! The burger and fries were great, too. The fries are steak fries, crunchy on the outside and fluffy-soft on the inside -- just *perfect*. We ate and watched "Dancing With the Stars." It is *such* a fabulous treat to watch it *with* Amy instead of watching it and waiting an agonizing three hours to dish about the scores and the judges' quips!

[Aside: Did anyone else think Bruno used the B-word last night? We ran it back and watched it several times to see if he said what we thought he said -- and laughed 'til it hurt, too.]

I was, by the end of the show, totally ragged out. The drugs had started working, so at least I wasn't actively sneezing and snotting all over Amy's beautiful living room (her folk art, in such heaps, looks wonderful!!!), but my poor widdle nose was raw from a whole day of sneezing into cheap airport tissues. I stayed up and watched "The Simpsons" and a couple of episodes of Penn & Teller's Showtime show, "Bullsh*t" with Paul, and then I went to bed.

I think I was asleep before my head hit the pillow, and I slept like the *dead*.

This morning I got up at 6:15 Las Vegas time. I am sooooooooo suited to Las Vegas hours! ;)

Today, I'll hang out at the house, figure out what all I forgot. I need to buy cooler shirts. I'm going to burn up if I wear my turtlenecks all week. Tonight we're going back to the Wynn to see Avenue Q and more of the Big Giant Head. If I have a chance, I'll go find out the name of that shop in FSM with the beaded stuff. We might go to the Peppermill for dinner, or I might try to talk Amy into taking me to one of the 8 billion fabulous restaurants in that part of town. Still no volcano! Still no fountains! In terms of my casual sightseeing itinerary, I'm running behind in some ways, but ahead in others -- I didn't think I would get to FSM until Saturday!

[Note added many hours later: We're going to the Mirage for dinner. Can't decide between California Pizza Kitchen and the new buffet. We'll see the volcano then, too!]

In general, so far, Las Vegas is as fabulous as ever, and it is marvelous, magnificent, amazing to be in the same state as Yamy. Tee hee!


At 27/1/06 8:19 PM, Blogger Sharon said...

I LOVE Vegas! I'm so jealous you and half the sb world are there. My dh and I got married at the Tropicana 5 years ago and I can't wait to get the opportunity to go back. Enjoy!

At 28/1/06 6:49 PM, Blogger Gwyn Calvetti said...

Okay, so NO photo of this Big Giant Head thing? You are falling down on the job already!

Seriously, take lots of Airborne, have fun with Yamy and tell us all the big news from CHA.

At 30/1/06 9:26 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...


Talking about Las Vegas, can you add
some pictures of that *hot* place?

I like to see it more clear since I not even live in the USA...

That would be nice too!

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