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I fear that I am perhaps the last-ish person from the MamaPop crew to post about our Vegas Vacation (a movie which the husband tells me we watched several nights ago but I have no recollection of this whatsoever which caused the husband to rest his weary head in his hands but whatever because like I was telling him last night while I was “reading” for class, I can read paragraphs of stuff and realize that I’ve absorbed none of it and it’s like my mind has two tracks: one that is sieve-like and does what it should be doing in the most begrudging manner and the other that thinks about more important things like cupcakes and bunnies…just like you’re doing right now). So you might be over the whole thing by now, but that’s too bad.

As I’ve mentioned before, this was my biggest trip ever (I don’t get out much) and the fact that I was going alone had me extra paranoid. My flight out of Pittsburgh was supposed to depart at 8:20 a.m., so I estimated that I should be at the airport at 6:20 a.m. and, using kdiddy math where 2(x+y) = casserole, I determined that I should order a cab for 5:30 a.m. “Worst-case scenario, the cab is an hour late and I’m still there in plenty of time because there won’t be traffic. Best-case scenario, the cab comes on time and I can just press my nose on the glass of the airport until they let me in,” I reasoned.


It was kind of a long day. Pittsburgh to Chicago, 2 hour layover, then Chicago to Vegas, then shuttle from the airport, surrounded by members of the Sigma Alpha Douche fraternity who had big plans to PARTY AND FUCKIN’ PARTY AND YOU DON’T EVEN KNOW HOW HARD I’M GONNA PARTY, DUDE, to the hotel where I met up with Tracey and blinked and said, “I don’t understand when this is.” Because the time zones were totally fucking with me. It was like that scene in Spaceballs where they’re like, “This is now now. Everything that’s happening now, is happening now.”

When most of the rest of our crew got there, we went to the Bellagio for The Buffet where I was still too tired to eat and I nearly wept when I saw the desserts that I passed up AND sipped on quite possibly the worst wine ever.

But the weekend wasn’t about the food or the wine or the cost of everything (because, really, I’d rather not get into it), but about hanging out with the people who, up until this weekend, were all 1s and 0s. We sat at the Bellagio and gaped at the cover band’s track selection (“Ants Marching,” then “Smooth,” then “Fire and Rain?!?!?” Seriously?!?!). We trekked a billion miles to a karaoke night that was discontinued just a few weeks before we arrived. We Twittered and Twittered and Twittered.

The driver of the cab that Jason, Tracey, Sarah, and I took back from Failaoke added insult to injury by subjecting us to Nickelback. I will never forgive him.

Black Hockey Jesus and his wife welcomed us into their home for brunch on Saturday, which was quite possibly my favorite part of the trip. I mostly sat and listened to everyone and thought about how it was cool to hear them all laugh.

Sarah and I went shopping after brunch to get pretty dresses for dinner that night. I blushed a little at how much I spent on my two dresses (one for dinner and one I just couldn’t live without), but when I got dressed that night and rushed through the lobby to meet Sarah, who looked lovely in her dress, I felt a few glances in my direction and I let myself feel snazzy.

The Venetian is indeed a gorgeous place. Bouchon was impressive, though not mind-blowing. I did get to eat the best creme brulee I’ve ever had and laughed until I thought my ribs might break, mostly at the expense of our misguided waiter who I think was in Vegas trying to break out as a stand up comedian. Good luck with that, dude. My trout still had its head, which didn’t phase me, but apparently freaked everyone else out. I am a bad ass, no?


Tracey went back to the room feeling ill while the rest of us wandered around the Venetian’s casino and wondered how anyone could get addicted to gambling, since it is SO BORING. We had an impromptu karaoke session outside one club where the band was playing “You Shook Me All Night Long.”

Schmutzie and Palinode retired for the evening so we bid them farewell and lamented the fact that our time together was so short. Sarah, Amber, Danielle, and I went to the Bellagio to watch the fountain show, set to that obnoxious, “I’m Proud to Be An American/God Bless the U.S.A.” song.

Back at the Flamingo we watched the waitresses shuffle about in their blazer/dress things, their eyes heavy with Vegas life and presumably landing there after they turned 30. Finally, we bid each other goodnight and farewell.

Tracey and I got room service in the morning and lounged in bed eating eggs and drinking coffee, talking about life and shit. Vegas is a tad bleaker during the day, without the darkness and flashing lights to cover up a multitude of crap. But it is constantly appealing to your senses, with mixed results. The flap-flap of the people handing out trading cards of prostitutes all along the strip, the constant ding-ding-ding of the machines, the occasional cheer of that elusive pay-out, the can’t-put-your-finger-on-it scents pumped in to the hotels, the smoke, the booze, the snippets of conversation, the palpable sense that you’re getting away with something just by being there.

I joked later that we were all ramping up for a crazed weekend, especially in contrast to the many bloggers at the wholesome Blissdom conference. But we were all in bed by 12:30, no one got especially drunk, and I even got some homework done.

You might say that we did Vegas all wrong and you might be right. But I sat at the bar in the Flamingo on Sunday, sipping on my gin and tonic lunch and chatting with bartender Lil Joe about the Steelers, killing time, the last one to leave, and felt my chest tighten. I just had such a good time. I missed my husband and my son. I couldn’t wait to get home to them.

But I really missed my friends, too.

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