Wednesday, November 4, 2009
Back From Sin City
Well, back from Vegas. Had a great time, but man, I am glad to be back. You know, Vegas is the kind of place that I would never think to go in a million years. I mean, on the surface, it's a crowded, loud city with lots of noise and flashing lights. Pretty much the antithesis of anything I would go to on my own. However, this was a deal I couldn't pass up. Husband there for a week for the Sharepoint conference, and his air fare, food, and hotel was paid for. And it was our anniversary. So it was crazy not to just suck it up and not fly out there with him.
And you know what? It was awesome. It was awesome covered in a crunchy awesome shell. With awesome drizzled over the top.
Awesome. I wouldn't mind going back, if I have to be honest.
The highlight of my trip (actually, the highlight of my WHOLE YEAR) was getting to go out to Red Rock Canyon. I had been looking at those cowboy mountains all week, dreaming of going out there and getting some red dust on my boots. So on Friday, that is what we did. Look down there at the bottom of the blog. I've added a photo gallery, and so far, what is in there is pics from our desert tour. The pics don't do the colors any kind of justice at all...need to do a little correction in Photoshop...but you can get an idea.
Here in the Southeast, our mountains are lush and wet and green. Almost like a foggy rain forest. You can smell the black, soft earth and you will almost always get soaked at least once if you spend the weekend out there in the Blue Ridge. The approach to them is always dreamy and sensuous, with soft, blue, almost feminine curves, reclining all over the horizon.
Not in Nevada. The mountains are a raw, blasted moonscape of blazing reds and whites and yellows. Even the vegetation is jagged. I'm sporting a long gash on my leg from walking too close to a cholla...which is a sort of...I guess it's a cactus. Thing. I dunno, I hope it leaves a scar. I really do, I had so damn much fun out there I'd be proud to have a mark from that brutal, beautiful place gouged into my on my hide forever. Anyways, I guess the mountains out there look like the mountains back here would look if the meat were all burned off them and nothing but the bones were left. Which, I guess in a way,is what they are.
And geeze, I had some Vegas throat. Evidently, some people have problems with the dry air out there and hooray for me, I am one of them. I felt like Spongebob in that scene where he went to visit Sally the Squirrel and totally dried out inside her little glass bubble. That was me. You know if your sinuses dry out enough, they will bleed down your throat and out your nose? Fun times. Two words: Neti pot. I still ain't entirely right.
But thank you, Mr. John Johnson, our tour guide. Cheerfully sarcastic, witty, and passionately enthusiastic about the desert and the area, John was the perfect guide for our small but intrepid little band of explorers. He's a man I made an immediate connection with (if you find the pic of the man in the gallery with the gray hat on, that's him.) and will never forget. If you find yourself in Vegas, take one of his tours. You won't be sorry.
So, some highlights from the rest of the trip: Supper at Olives on the Bellagio Terrace (amazing), buying tons of bubble bath from Lush (also amazing, they have a website www.lush.com ) and taking long soaks in the huge bathtub in our room at Mandalay Bay, the Freemont Street Experience (pretty cool), dodging the porn slappers on the strip (annoying as shit, but it wouldn't be Vegas without them), supper at Red Square in Mandalay Bay (amazing in every way), soft pretzels at New York, New York, dining in a "street cafe" (which was really inside!) in front of the Doge's palace in The Venetian, Jim winning seventy-five big cents in a slot machine in the Paris casino, trying on clothes in the Betty Page store, and realizing not only is the withdrawal limit on a Las Vegas atm machine is three thousand dollars, but that you can change a hundred dollar bill in the bill changers.
I mean, I dunno, ya'll, I'm from South Carolina. We don't have those kinda atms here. I'm just saying.