Thursday, January 20, 2011

What's a Sweet Gal to do in Las Vegas?

Once upon a time Emily said to Hylan, "why don't we just up and go to Vegas this weekend." ...And so when Friday night came, after getting home from work around 5:45, we quickly packed our bags and took an impromptu trip to Sin City, Nevada.

Now I've lived in Utah for over 10 years and only once drove by Las Vegas en route to San Diego, but I've never had the Vegas experience. Hylan and I have talked about going there for birthdays, Presidents Days, Memorial Days, random days, but for whatever reason we've always talked ourselves out of it. This trip was supposed to take place for Hylan's big decade birthday on February 26th of this year, but somehow I knew we'd probably talk ourselves out of that as well. Thus, spontaneity was required for this trip.

I must have been feeling a little bit daring this trip--what with my newfound spontaneity and all--because I even agreed to try In-N-Out Burger, which happens to be right by our entrance to the freeway in AF. Gasp. How daring! So, burgers are burgers and I'm rarely in the mood for them. Theirs were fine and definitely a good bargain, but the fries were disgusting and never worth repeating. I see the appeal of the establishment, but it's not really "my cup of tea," because these kinds of places always leave me wondering, where are the vegetables?!

Anyway, back to Vegas. So as not to bore you with unnecessary details or un-crafty quips, here's a cliff's notes version of some of the story.

  • Friday: 10:15 pm: Motel 6, St. George, UT.

  • Saturday: 8:00 am: Bear Paw Cafe, St. George. Belgian Waffle with strawberry topping!
  • En route to Vegas, bid on 5 star hotels through Priceline for a more "reasonable price" than $350 per night. We are winners! Thank you newfangled-way too expensive-"smart phone."

  • by 11:00 am: Checked in to the bejewelled Trump Tower Hotel, admired the poshness, bought Cirque du Soleil "O" tickets through concierge, left and parked at the Bellagio for some hotel touring and started walking around.

  • blah blah blah, refer to pictures to fill in the blanks. I kept looking at my watch thinking it's really only that time? It feels later. That extra Pacific hour was nice.

  • 7:30 pm: "O." INCREDIBLE/UNBELIEVABLE/AWE-SOME/INSPIRING--I want to be in Cirque du Soleil in my next life. This is a must-see.

  • Sunday: 11:00 am: church in Washington, UT (oops, we visited a Seniors branch--haha. We literally picked a random LDS church building off the freeway. And yes, that was my idea not Hylan's. I felt bad for missing Stake Conference back in AFville.)

  • 4:30 pm: home in time to see the Jets beat the Pats.

So, Vegas must have rubbed off on me a bit because I did something I've never done before...I ordered a COKE with my dinner at Noodles in the Bellagio. Double gasp. Who is this new Emily? I don't know. I never order drinks (except water with lemon) and I can't even tell you the last time I've had a Coca-Cola. Must have been persuaded by the Coca-Cola store, although, I also wanted to make absolute certain I'd be awake for "O", since it was expensive and I was on Utah time, and I do usually fall asleep around 9:30/10:00 pm these days. And you know what? It tasted good.

Anyway, looking back, I'm feeling nostalgic about this quick trip and can't wait to return, (though that's probably the burger, waffle, and coke talking) but truthfully, after we got home neither one of cared all that much to go back anytime soon. Maybe that's why Hylan hadn't been there for 9 years and we found excuses not to go there over the past 5.

I have to say, I would have enjoyed the experience a whole lot more if I wasn't accosted by clouds of thick cigar/cigarette smoke every time I went inside a building. I also would have appreciated it more if I wouldn't have had to dodge the minions of flyer flippers (seriously, every 10 feet. really?) every time we walked down the sidewalk. The "strip" is no place for children, that is for sure. So, if I couldn't admire the cool hotels from the inside or outside without being annoyed by something, then perhaps downtown Vegas isn't the place for a sweet little gal like me. But Trump Towers was definitely worth it and I would stay there again in a heartbeat. It was clean, non-smoking, non-casino, but beautifully luxurious and welcoming. Thanks Donald.

It really is a shame how downtown is treated, though, because there is some spectacular architecture and art to be seen and admired there. Oh well. And "O" was "oh my gosh," breathtakingly good. Like, oh my gosh, I will have to return to see it again, good, even if I have to wear a gas mask and blind goggles to get to the theater!

So, perhaps I will return to Las Vegas and stay at Trump Towers, but do some of the more family-friendly activities outside of the "strip" like Hoover Dam, Lake Mead, or hiking Red Rock Canyon! Afterall, it is my grandmother's birthplace. Though I don't think the 1923 desert quiet version can compare to the craziness that is now considered Sin City.

That's my version of the story and I'm sticking to it.

And they are currently living happily ever after in a quiet and clean home in the UT. Well, actually working most of our life away, but whatever, if we work then we can play.

The End.

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