Friday, January 30, 2009

Vegas, baby

I’ve just returned from my 4-night stay in Las Vegas, baby. By the time we left, I felt that I had been in Vegas for ever. It’s the kind of place that sucks you in like it or not. And I was not expecting to like it as much as I did.

It’s cleaner than I thought it would be. Before this trip, mostly negative thoughts would come to mind at the mention of Vegas: trashy, addicts, prostitution, nudity, loud, cheap. Not so. It was actually very clean. Most of the negatives were easy to avoid, and those that weren’t I got over quickly.

It’s bigger than I ever imagined. Steve had been to Vegas twice before this trip. He properly warned me: prepare to walk a lot. So I brought my Nikes and a pair of flat boots. We walked…and walked…and walked some more. Bought monorail passes to help with the endless walking. Just getting to the monorail required so much walking, it was hardly worth the mucho-bucks we spent on the 3-day passes. And hey, I like to walk, but this was insane.

It’s pricey. Gone are the days of the $1 buffet. We stayed at the MGM Grand at a crazy-low price. Yeah, they hand out deals on the rooms then charge $25 per person at the dinner buffet. Yummy, but yikes. Admission to the shows is also pricey. We stood in line early Tuesday morning to get in on the best ½ price ticket deals. Even so, for the best seats you’re still paying over $100 for the big shows. Our choice: Phantom of the Opera. Good news: it was worth every penny. Fortunately, you can see a few great things for free. The water show at Bellagio is wonderful. It runs every 15 minutes to a different tune. I could hang out there all day and be perfectly content. The Siren show at Treasure Island is a sight to see and about as show-girly as I’d want to get, but super fun.

It’s all about the shopping…for me, anyway. I must admit though, Vegas shopping was a little intimidating to me. And I don’t intimidate easily. Heck, I practically have the Mall of America in my backyard at home so bring-it-on. Vegas was different somehow. Partly because Steve was with me. I don’t like to shop with Steve much…he’s just ok in that regard. I felt strangely out of my element shopping in Vegas. Many of the stores weren’t familiar. Most were out of my price-range. It seemed if I wasn’t seeing a tacky Las Vegas tourist T-shirt, then I was being blinded by sequence and brightly colored halter dresses. On our last day, Steve and I parted ways…he to the poker table, me to the mall. Urban Outfitters beckoned me from The Strip. I nearly cried for joy when I spotted H & M. The Gap proved to have delightful clearance. And I returned to my husband happy and ready to go home. On our way out, we stopped at a hotel boutique and I was thrilled to find my signature Vegas purchase: a new funky purse. Yeh.

Overall, this was a great trip and I desperately want to take my girlfriends some day. Guess I’ll start savin’ now.

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