MISSION: To visit every state and territory in the U.S. For my mission a visit is greater than a stop over; I wish to explore the natural and cultural environments of these areas. Each of these locations has a story to tell, and I want to find it.

As of February 2018 I have visited all 50 states (and Puerto Rico and 2 island in the US Virgin Islands) at least once.

Sunday, March 13, 2011

One Day in Vegas

I nicknamed last year my Texas year since I visited the Lone Star State more than ever before.  This year, while only 2 1/2 months in, might turn out to be my Nevada year, or better yet, a Vegas year.  Yes, I have been to Vegas before - a few times over the years - for my 33rd birthday, for a wedding, and to celebrate a divorce.  This year, I have already visited 2x; once for a quick weekend date/spa trip and now for a quick girls' night out.

Ever been to Vegas for 1 day?  Well, I can say yes to that now.  Not sure I recommend the endeavor, but, I definitely had fun, and it was a needed break.

So what does a day in Vegas look like?  Well...

I flew in on Sunday evening/Monday morning - arriving to airport traffic and a hellish taxi line.  Finally making it to my hotel (the Westin) after midnight.  Starving after all that travel, I check in and grabbed a light bite at their restaurant that thankfully had fresh fruit and a grilled chicken sandwich for my late night meal.  While not on the Strip, the Westin is close enough for me and, most importantly, smoke-free!  Plus, the sweet sleeper beds usually mean better sleep than anywhere else.  Just lovely!

A few hours sleep and I had some time to kill before meeting up with my friend for dinner and a show... in Vegas that means shopping.  Of course it is raining in Vegas; it does that maybe 3x a year, so of course when I need to walk around it rains.  Good thing I don't melt and it was warm outside; I can handle some raindrops falling on my head.  I bounced between a few casinos, looking for inspiration for a birthday gift for a friend I was seeing in Denver the next evening.  I was hoping I could find something here and not resort to the mall in Denver.  And in a city where you can find almost anything, I knew I just needed some time.  After visiting the shops at Caesars, the shops of Paris, and the shops of Planet Hollywood, I found what I wanted.  With some more time to spare, I wandered back to the Mirage (home of Terry Fador, whom I saw in January) and visited a boutique that caught my eye.  Glad I did, I found a few things that were too cute.

Headed back to the Westin to head to my friend's hotel... what a step down.  There is no comparison between the Westin and the Rivera; just the smoke smell alone was enough to stop me in my tracks.  I was only staying there for a few hours, but wow!  I will admit, the rooms were nowhere near as bad as the casino floor; the smell was not as bad and they were clean.

I dumped my bags, we got cleaned up and headed to the Monte Carlo for some fun with the Jabbawockeez.  All I can say about that show is - High Powered Fun!!!  If you like funk, hip-hop, street dance with a dose of pop culture thrown in, then this is a must see.  Breakdancing, solid dance crew moves, pulsing music - my friend and I were either slack-jawed, cheering or wowing to each other.   

After the show, we headed to Dragon Noodles in the Monte Carlo... and I think I scared the waiter.  He also informed me that I was not Italian!!!  That will be news to my Italian family, but he was sure that I did not look or sound the part.    All I had done was excitingly talk with my hands (like I always do), and when he came over to check if we were calling him, I told him to ignore me since I was like every happy Italian talking with my hands... but he was not on board.  When asked what I looked like, he told me I was American.  I had to give him credit... that I am.  

After dinner we headed back to the Rivera and I put the $5 a friend gave me in a slot and won him $12... I quit while I was ahead.  Went to the bar and people watched.  Trust me when I say that there is plenty of people watching to be had here.  The cocktail waitresses are cursed with horrific outfits of gold paisley lamiae.  There are no people walking around looking like they stepped off a runway; instead, people wandered in mismatched sweatsuits, ratty tee-shirts and pajama bottoms.

After that fun-filled evening, we went back to our room, I packed up and got less than 4 hours sleep before I headed back to the airport and to Denver for a week at work.

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