Bay's Travel Blog

I don't travel much any more. Resist!

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Day 5, Las Vegas -- Part III

[Photo by Becky Thompson; copyright 2006; reprinted without permission yet; left to right: Kelli Noto, Stacy Hackett, me, Kathi Rerek, Becky Thompson.]

After I had been at Amy's house long enough to take my shoes off and check my email, I got a phone call from Kathi that they did not make it back to their hotel. She said they were at Quark's Bar in the Hilton, having soothing adult beverages and chatting. It sounded like a *lovely* gathering. I told her we would come there to pick up people for the FatBurger outing.

Shortly thereafter, Becky called to let me know that she was finished with her obligations. I told her that everyone else was at the Hilton, and while I'm not sure where she was, she said she would go to Quark's.

First we asked Paul if he wanted us to bring him some dinner, and then Amy and I left her house and piled into my rental car. I have absolutely no idea what kind of car this car was. It was a mid-size, though, and I was glad because it would have more room for passengers than the compact car I had paid for would have been. They upgraded me. Woo hoo! Upgrade! A genuine Las Vegas bargain! Don't run across *those* every day, y'know.

Now, I'm not sure, but I think this might have been the car trip during which Yamy and I started laughing about "loose slots." Now, *I* would never think anything of the phrase "loose slots." It's pretty normal in Las Vegas to hear someone touting their casino's "loose slots," which means -- as I take it -- that the slot machines spit out winners every three or four minutes. THAT is what LOOSE SLOTS is SUPPOSED to MEAN.

Not the way *my* sister hears it.

We laughed so hard, tears actually ran down my cheeks.

Trust me, you don't want the details. But I bet some of you can fill in the blanks.

As I pulled in at the Hilton's side entrance, I called Kathi and told her to meet me at the revolving door nearest the parking garage. Then I parked the car next to the revolving door, and Amy jumped out to find my people. I was going to jump out -- because, after all, I would recognize them sooner -- but Amy was afraid some cab driver would get mad at me for blocking the driveway and hit the rental car, so she wanted me to stay behind the wheel, ready to make a quick getaway if necessary.

A few seconds later, here came Kathi and Kelli, and Stacy -- who hails from California and had her SUV with her -- was accompanied by a few girls who were working in the Flair booth with her, too. As they made their way to the parking garage and Stacy's SUV, I asked, "Where's Becky?"

She wasn't there yet. I called her, and she said she had just gotten to the Hilton. Dang! I don't know where she was before, but I felt guilty that it took her that long to get to the Hilton! She said she was coming down the hallway, so I stood at the revolving door, ready to wave and get her attention.

In the meantime, Stacy and her peeps got in her SUV and prepared to follow us to the FatBurger. Unbeknownst to me, she exited the parking garage and came around to park behind my rental car.

I was standing at the revolving door, and the moment Becky came into sight, I started jumping up and down, waving my arms, and kicking my ridiculous little feet into the air so Becky would see me and join us.

Stacy chose just that moment to honk her horn at me as if she were an irate cab driver, which made me jump and turn around.

Then everyone laughed at me. Including, well, me.

Becky came to my car, and as we made our way down Paradise to Tropicana, Kelli asked if the car were a rental, whereupon she put her feet on the armrest in the front seat. People got comfortable, I guess! It was lovely to have a backseat full of friends, all talking and laughing at the same time.

Stacy is well-acquainted with Las Vegas, but let's face it, the FatBurger on the Strip is really hard to miss. We had a harder time with the parking lot than we did with the restaurant!

Once we were all there, we went inside and got in line to order our foods. I got the FatBurger and fries and a chocolate milk shake.

Now, the place was smaller than I expected, and the music was louder than I expected, and we nine scrappers must have taken up a third of the seating capacity by ourselves. Food began appearing before milk shakes did, and for a while it was pretty confusing.

I finally found time to give Kathi her cards. Tee hee! See, she had emailed before the weekend, saying she needed "an incomplete deck of cards" for her make-and-take. First I laughed, because, if you need a deck of playing cards, Las Vegas is definitely the place to find some. Then I laughed and laughed because -- all I could think was, "HOOKER CARDS!!!!!!!" That's what Yamy, Paul, and I were collecting on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday nights while we traipsed around Las Vegas!!!!!!! I absolutely couldn't wait to give Kathi a deck of X-rated Hooker Cards, and it was *so* much fun gathering them and trying to find a dominatrix card for her.

It was especially hilarious on Saturday, when Amy and I were walking from the Venetian to the Forum Shops at Caesar's Palace. There was a whole *row* of guys handing out hooker cards on the sidewalk, and they were flipping the edges of the cards with their thumbnails to make a popping sound. I gaily walked down the whole row of them, plucking cards out of their outstretched hands and saying, "Thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you, thank you!" ROFL!!!!! I didn't make eye contact, but Amy was watching and she said the looks on their faces was *priceless*.

I especially loved handing over the stack of cards to Kathi -- she laughed out loud!

She also liked the decks that I got for her at Bonanza -- I found three retired decks from the Paris, the Bellagio, and another place -- the Plaza? Whichever the last one was, they had a *funky* retro olive-green-and-brown design that was *perfect* for the latest crazes in scrapbooking paper style. Coolio!!!!!!

Then we got down to the business of eating, and once again, my milk shake was heaven. Becky said they have some similar in Idaho. Dang! I don't have anything like this in Tennessee! (I also thought my burger and fries were a little overcooked and dry at that location, but then again, it was the Strip -- they were busy in there.)

Some of the Flair girls -- Karen and Donna and Melanie -- were slurping Cokes instead of milk shakes. Being a Coke girl myself, I can understand why!!!! Pepsi really rules Nevada!

We all had lots of fun, even if it was a little spread out, and then the photo shoot began. We're scrapbookers, man! Almost everyone whipped out a camera and started taking photo after photo!!!!

Yamy almost died of ecstasy when she saw Kelli's camera. Yamy is a great amateur photographer, and she immediately recognized the brilliance of Kelli's equipment. (Kelli's a pro, you know, and her camera is just *gorgeous*.)

But the photo shoot -- OMG, I was almost embarrassed. The other people in the restaurant were staring at us like we were stripping on the tables! Except in Las Vegas, that wouldn't have been unusual. They stared at us like crazy people, but we kept posing and re-grouping and handing around cameras and clicking away like mad. It was great!!!

One of Kelli's group shots is pictured above -- my beloved SDC girls!!!! I'm so glad you were all there for me!!!!!!!!

At the end of the meal, there was some rearranging of people, and we ended up sending Kathi and Kelli off to walk back to their hotel. I still feel guilty about that! Kathi's heels were shredded by that time, and I'm sure the extra block of walking didn't help.

Amy and I drove Becky back to the Sahara, and oh, it was good to have her in the back of the car and chatting. I miss her soooooooooo much already! Those of you who will be taking Becky's class at Big Picture -- please know that you have a real gem of a teacher. Becky is the *bomb*!!!!

Then we made our way back to Amy's house. First we stopped at a Fat Burger closer to her house and got some dinner for poor Paul, who was all by himself at the house. I still feel badly about leaving Paul by himself for so many nights after the trade show started. He is a wonderful host and so gracious about showing Las Vegas to me. We should have invited him to come to dinner with us! He would have gotten such a kick out of the photo session!!!!!

At home, I stripped off my shoes and discovered the first of many horribly painful blisters. My feet were killing me all over, but only one blister was obvious that night -- right in the middle of the ball of my right foot. OW. I tried to drain it and bandage it, but it didn't want to drain properly.

Before I went to bed, I showed my heaps of press kits to Amy and Paul, who were mighty impressed with the stacks of stuff I had gathered from the CHA press room. They also commiserated nicely about how hard it was to drag all that crap back to their house. LOL! I went through catalogs and press releases for a while, trying to get an idea of what I needed to visit for the rest of the show. I was a failure in that regard -- I still missed tons of booths!

Finally, I keeled over asleep. Amy's lovely bulldog Leon kept me company that night. I worried about him. I snore. I was worried that I would keep him awake! But when I woke up the next day, he didn't seem any the worse for wear.

All in all, it was an exhausting and painful day (for my feet and brain), but it was wonderful to see old friends and to eat at Fat Burger again! I'm so glad I was there.


At 9/2/06 7:05 PM, Blogger Gwyn Calvetti said...

You guys all look so darn cute and that photo is making SOME of us jealous!


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