las vegas

Yesterday, we woke up at 4 am to head off to the airport for Las Vegas. It was the closest we've ever been to missing a flight, since the alarm wasn't set the night before and our alarm turned out the be the cab company's automatic recording that the cab was 5 minutes away. Everything was completely packed the night before, and our traveling outfits even set out, shoes and all, so it was not too bad. I had a little list of what not to forget - phone, charger, computer - to make it really easy. Pop up, throw on dress and shoes, brush teeth, wash face, grab bag, and go. We were sitting in the cab exactly 7 minutes after the phone call. C'mon, that is impressive! And I will forever take a cab now to the airport for morning flights. Just in case.

Flight was uneventful, except that I wore my new shoes, which were closed-toed heels, which I knew was a bad idea and, of course, it was. But they were so cute, and I liked to think I looked pretty glamorous with my dress and heels and studded weekender and red lipstick (thanks to a airport bathroom makeup stop on arrival) especially reading War and Peace on the plane. Especially on the plane surrounded by sweatsuits and flip-flops and OK magazines. (I love dressing up!) And I'm now more than half-way through War and Peace and I can not put it down. I am obsessed, which I did not see coming. There are so many people and so many tiny stories tying them all together, and the book never does what I think it's going to do - nothing I think is going to happen ever happens, and I just want all of them to have happy endings but, I don't think they will.

Anyway, Vegas. Day one we got here at 8 am, checked out our hotel and got coffee. Our hotel is fine, and very cheap, and where D.'s conference is. The room is big, but old. The view is not spectacular, although you can see the mountains making the backdrop for the city which are amazing. Really, I wouldn't think twice about the hotel, except that next we walked through a few others that made it look pretty shabby in contrast. We found our way outside, not as easy as it sounds, and walked past the Eiffel Tower, down Las Vegas Blvd., past some ritzy shops. The thing is, even when you are outside, you still feel like you need to get outside. Every thing is sort of concrete and man-made; this has got to be the least natural city I've ever seen. I felt more outside inside the Paris with it's faux-sky ceiling and faux-cobblestone floor. Of course I'm only talking about the one block part of the strip I've seen so far, so that's got to be taken into consideration.

We had lunch in a cutesy hot pink frou-frou place called Serendipity 3. The food was good, and I loved the bubble-gum colors and the giant "oversized" cups of coffee with cinnamon.

Then, D. went to work and I went down to the pool. The sun was glorious. I can't remember the last time I just stretched out under the sun like that. There was a nice cool breeze to make the heat bearable, and a tram that went by every few minutes and momentarily blocked out the sun (and Britney Spears). Then I took a nice long bath, and we went out to Mon Ami Gabi, a French Steakhouse next door. We had wine and split appetizers (raw oysters, calamari, and warm brie with bread and honey) and dessert (the richest chocolate tart) since we were still so full from lunch, and then went straight to bed since we were so tired from the morning.

Another thing about Vegas - no one, no one at all, was dressed up, anywhere. I really thought they would be. Since you know everyone is on vacation. And I thought it was one of those kind of hot spots like Miami? No? And everywhere you go Fergie or Britney Spears or other people who sound like them are playing through loudspeakers.

So, that's day one of Las Vegas. I haven't quite made up my mind about this city except that it's not at all what I expected. And, of course, I have lots of photos of everything, but they are on my camera, so I just used whatever my iPhone had instead.

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