Vegas, part 5

I didn’t heed my own advice.

We were only a couple of miles from the hotel when it happened. I am a marathon runner, so I am practically invincible. I could probably walk along a 5 lane highway in the dark in 100 degrees if I had to.

I didn’t pack water.

In my defense, we didn’t have a fridge in the hotel room. Water was pricey. It also tasted like crap hot. Everything cost a lot more than I was planning for. We were only going a few miles anyway..

My daughter, her friend, and I bought tickets to see some Met singers for the trip’s grand finale. Perfect! I was decked out in my dry cleaning only dress. When we got to the parking garage I looked at my rental car. Wait! Was that a flat tire?? I couldn’t find a spare in the trunk.

Are you in a safe location?

How do I know? I am in a deserted parking garage at night in an unfamiliar location. It is over 100 degrees and it looks like some homeless people are camped out in the foliage below. Yes, I’m safe.

Ma’am, we are going to have to tow your vehicle. You will need to wait at the vehicle until the tow truck arrives which may take several hours. Let me see if I have this straight…You need to tow my vehicle for a flat tire??

Girls, you might as well go to the show without me..

Ma’am, where are you located? I have no idea where I am. I am in Las Vegas in a parking garage with no street signs nearby. But there is construction going on across the street. That’s very descriptive, isn’t it?

Ma’am, it may take longer if we need to find a tow truck that needs to be small enough to clear a parking garage..Wonderful!

So I waited…for hours. My makeup smeared and sweat trickled steadily down the back of my dry clean only dress. I missed the show.

It was creepy in the parking garage. I listened to the buzz of the lights. Everything else was eerily silent. At times I heard unexplainable noises that were frightening. I edged closer to my rental car with plans of locking myself inside if anyone planned me harm.

It was very hot and I longed for a drink of ice cold water. I decided to look at Facebook to kill some time. Oh, an article on cities with the highest murder rates. Perfect, let me click on that. Las Vegas ranks #6. What was that strange noise?? If I don’t have water and am alone in a creepy parking garage, maybe I should at least conserve the battery on my cell phone.

A couple of hours later, the tow truck driver showed up. At that point, I would’ve done almost anything to have a sip of ice cold water. Thankfully, the driver had a cooler full in the back of the truck. I was so happy..

Lesson learned…If you are traveling in the desert, pack water. Prepare for the conditions of the environment you are traveling in. Seriously, I didn’t want to spend a couple of bucks to be a little more comfortable if there was an emergency. Wasn’t the best plan..

That was how I spent my last night in Las Vegas.

The next morning we flew back home. After we got off the plane, I saw a kid puking all over the place. But I never felt so happy to get back home. It was a strange adventure. A lot of things didn’t go quite as planned, but I guess that is what makes for interesting stories later…

Vegas, part 4

 

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The day we visited Red Rocks Canyon was my favorite day in Nevada. It was strange going from the big city to out in the middle of nowhere within 20 minutes.

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It wasn’t the easiest vacation since receiving the news that the daughter of a best friend passed away in a car accident while we were there. But here I was with my daughter in a beautiful place and I refused to worry the whole time about something I had no control over. I wanted to have some great memories of our mother-daughter trip. If anything, I learned that life is too precious to take any moment for granted.

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I tried my hardest to convince my daughter and her friends to go hiking with me. With temps over 100 degrees and full sun, I couldn’t convince anyone to walk far anywhere. They thought I was crazy! Not being used to the heat, we didn’t even think about packing drinks. We must have looked pathetic because a guide from a tour bus offered us drinks, which we gladly accepted. We chugged our drinks quickly, because after about 10 minutes our drinks would be too hot. I drank hot water, hot beer, and a hot bloody Mary on this trip and it was pretty gross.

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It was fun hanging out with music majors. Every conversation turned into a song…we would say something that reminds us of song lyrics and next thing you know everyone is singing. I have to say that I was really impressed with Angel and her friends. They were all very supportive and encouraging towards their competitors in the singing competition. It was refreshing and unexpected.

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The trip to Red Rocks Canyon was very peaceful and calming. I would recommend it to anyone that wants to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city.

Vegas, part 3

The first thing I noticed when I got off the plane were the slot machines at the airport. There were slot machines everywhere…not just in the casinos. There were slot machines in restaurants and in the hotels, pretty much everywhere except the bathrooms. TV screens with rows of sports games were open for bets in the casino. Everywhere we went was filled with bright lights, the ping ding of gaming machines, and the smell of stale cigarette smoke.

I decided that I would do something different in Vegas. I didn’t gamble. It’s not that I am opposed to it if it is done in moderation. Frankly, gambling doesn’t interest me. Plus I spent a lot of my time in LV with my daughter and her friend who were both underage.

We did walk the strip a couple of times. Las Vegas reminded me of a mix of Denver and Times Square in NYC. I know that is a descriptive cop out, especially since I am not posting any pictures today. My pictures of the strip did not turn out great and after all of the bad news I didn’t feel like being a camera toting tourist.

It was hot the whole time we were there. Hot as in 100 to 110 degrees…the highest temperatures that this Midwestern girl has ever seen. We watched the volcano at The Mirage and you could feel the heat pouring off of the fire. We saw the fountain show at the Bellagio and longed to take a dip in the water. We went to the Venetian for a nice Italian meal. They even had gondola rides, but I am saving that for when I really go to Italy.

The strip was bustling with people. I linked arms with Angel just to get through the crowds without getting separated. There were more lanes of traffic on the strip than there are in Milwaukee. Motorists in cars were honking at tourists trying to cross the street in hordes. Greasy men were handing out business cards with mostly naked women on them. Scantily clad showgirls were asking men to take pictures with them.

I saw what I was expecting to see…glaring neon lights…young ladies in short skirts and high heels…old men gambling…a few tourist parents with children in tow…young scruffy men smoking pot…a few homeless begging for spare change…men in expensive suits…hookers…foreigners.

I also saw what I wasn’t expecting to see…I thought that the prostitutes were going to be drug addicts and maybe on the seedy side. I didn’t find that to be true. We saw some prostitutes leaving a hotel room when we were on the way to our room. One of the women walked out putting on a cover up. The prostitutes (and even the showgirls) were some of the most beautiful women I’ve ever seen. Maybe things were seedier on the other side of town, I wouldn’t know.

It was nice to take in the sounds and sights of Sin City for a day or two, but this country girl could never live there.