Derek's mom and my mom (hereafter known as the Granny Nannies) both agreed to drive up and take care of the kids while we were away, earning our undying gratitude.
How do I describe Las Vegas, Nevada?
How's this: I had planned on purchasing a whole stack of postcards and sending them to various friends and family while there; but as I perused the postcard carousel in a gift shop, the only thing I could picture writing on them read: "This is one of the dirtiest places on earth. Trust me when I say you don't wish you were. But the food's AMAZING. *smiley face!*"
Vegas is one of those places where you walk around all day, get back to your hotel room and feel your body engage in an involuntary head-to-toe shudder. It was gaudy and seedy and had the overall feeling of trying too hard.
Still, it was time away from the kids, and while it was cooler most of the time we were there (50's and 60's), there was a terrific absence of snow. And we definitely had some good times.
- Derek and I both got nine hours of sleep Monday night. In a row. I woke up feeling electric, almost painfully alive.
- On Monday, I accompanied Derek to the conference for most of the day (a massive thing for the National Association of Broadcasters). It was full of, well, broadcasters, not to mention millions of dollars worth of cameras and televisions and other fancy broadcasting equipment. At one point, Derek and I were sitting in a session on something boring (to me, anyway); I had foreseen this, and brought a book (of course). At one point, I noticed the gentleman sitting two chairs down from me giving me a not-so-subtle look, which I at first interpreted as, That is so rude- she should be paying attention to this incredibly boring speaker with his nearly incomprehensible accent! Or something like that. Upon looking around, however, I noticed that half the people in there were swiping and tapping away on their smart phones and tablets, and realized that his facial expression was less outraged than baffled. So I'm pretty sure his thought was more along the lines of Is that a... a book? Made out of... no- it can't be! Made out of PAPER?! I didn't know there were still people who read those things! It made me feel like a rebellious anachronism. Or maybe it was an anachronistic rebel.
- I left the conference a little early to return to the hotel room. This meant riding the monorail from the convention center back to our hotel. I had already registered my unease on the monorail with Derek, who thought my claims of "It just rocks around so much, and feels kind of... I don't know, loose," to be a trifle ridiculous, and did his level best to educate me on the difference between trains and and monorails and why monorails are so safe. I won't quote him because I'm still not sure what he said. That whole interaction took place in the morning; by the time I climbed back onto the monorail, I wasn't really freaked out- until, that is, an automated voice decided to announce the fact that the monorail HAS NO DRIVER and in a city that likes to party this makes for the best designated driver ever and blah blah blah. I kept my head down so that my fellow commuters wouldn't see my eyes widening and whispered, "That's terrifying," which the lady next to me apparently overheard as she then looked at me and started laughing. I like to think she shared my sentiments.
- I ventured up and down the Strip Tuesday while Derek was at the conference, walking for hours. It was glorious; I was able to walk as fast as I wanted (I'm a pretty speedy stroller) without hearing little voices saying things like, "Slow down!" and "You walk too fast!" and "Why are you always trying to leave us behind?" I was also approached by a random guy in front of a casino (not a pimp or one of those people trying to force pornography in your face, and if you've ever been to Vegas you know I'm not even exaggerating) who looked respectable enough. He asked me if I would like to view and then provide feedback on a new sitcom NBC is currently filming. The lanyard and badge around his neck looked pretty official, but I still wasn't sure, so my first response was, "Is this a scam? Am I about to be raped?" He looked a little taken aback but recovered quickly enough, assured me that neither was the case, and eventually another lady and I followed him into the casino, I didn't hear any scary background music warning me that I was about to meet my demise, and finally ushered us into a room with a bunch of people watching the pilot episode on computers, fancy little clickers in their hands as they gave their opinion on what they were watching. The whole thing took 45 minutes and I was paid $15 in cash. I also wasn't raped or scammed. Score.
- So much good food. SO MUCH. I'm still thinking about that chocolate almond croissant, and the grasshopper shake, and that cheeseburger with shoestring fries (and I'm not even a big cheeseburger person), and those enchiladas... It's a good thing I walked umpteen miles between meals, or I would have been rolling back into the airport.
- So much of Vegas just makes you feel violated and nasty inside, but I really liked their airport. It had lots of interesting and beautiful artwork. Then I came to this:
|Why, yes, that IS a rabbit. I'm pretty sure they were mocking me.|
Despite the location, we had a pleasant trip. I made sure not to look back down at the city as our flight departed, lest I be turned into a pillar of salt, and the Granny Nannies weren't waiting on the front porch, bags in hand when we got back home (a good sign).