Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Viva Las Vegas!

Vegas. My God. Vegas. What a blast! I tell you folks, if you want to get away and forget this IF crap for awhile, that is THE place to go. Talk about Sin City! RAWR! If you've never been, I suggest a romantic, indulgent weekend (or week!) for two. Believe me, I know we all deserve it.

I started my holiday in Washington, DC on August 3 where I spent a week with my sister while she attended a conference, and I spent a fair bit of time with my best friend, MH. He's now living on the east coast in VA while his wife (KC) and twins are still back in California. With luck, they'll all be settled in their own home again by November at the latest in Virginia. I may even pop down in October to help him look for a place. We'll see.

Anyway, Washington was relaxing. I did take the time to do a couple of tours and I took TONS of photos. MH was kind enough to chauffeur me around a bit and even came out for dinner with me a time or two, foregoing his regular gym routine to spend a bit of time with me. And on Sunday the 10th, MH and I hopped a plane from DC to Vegas where we hooked up with KC first (it was so amazing to watch them reunite after months apart!) and then we found my hubby!

The four of us picked up our luggage and then went to get our rental car before heading for the Luxor hotel. Wow. Just WOW. Pics to come when I get a moment, promise! There's an Egyptian pyramid theme for this hotel, complete with hieroglyphics and pillars, a sphinx out front and stores named things like The Scarab Gift Shop. The room we had was lovely: there were two queen-sized beds, a mini-fridge, a sitting room with couch and chair, a huge jacuzzi tub near the beds and KC and I indulged in that tub on more than one occasion. It was so nice to unwind in there after spending the day in 42 degree heat (112 F)! Eeesh!

All in all, our week's activities consisted of...

Sunday: went to the hotel, checked in, found a quick bite and later that day, headed to the Hilton to go to Quark's bar for dinner, after which KC and I indulged in a mini warp core breach as opposed to the big one we had last year. Back to the hotel for a soak in that tub. PURE heaven. I guarantee.

Monday: Shopping with KC and I had a pedicure while she had a manicure. That was LOTS of fun. And badly needed on my behalf. It's nice to be pampered now and then. We had reservations for 8 at the Stratosphere restaurant; French cuisine. Unfortunately, that didn't sit well with MH or KC really. And that discomfort was compounded by a minor disagreement between me and KC made for hard feelings that sorta ran over into the next day. Unfortunately.

Tuesday: Pancakes for breakfast at IHOP before heading to Hoover Dam. I was pissed at hubby for a comment he made on Monday and MH and I chatted about it on Tuesday morning, as we sat on the sofa in our suite, greeting the day. He and I often chat in the mornings... just alone time for him and I to catch up and connect. Anyway, I spent the day miserable and sullenly quiet. When we got back to Vegas, MH and KC announced that they wanted to have a date night. Totally understandable and I was in no mood to go anywhere or do anything. So MH and KC went to a movie and hubby and I had a LONG talk in the hotel room. We needed that though. I needed to clarify some things with him.

Wednesday: I went to do laundry with KC while the boys worked out. God, they're ALWAYS working out aren't they? I know they want to look good for us and all but sheesh! God love them. Take a break now and then though guys. It's nice to actually SPEND time with you. We ran some errands, KC and I shopped as well for an hour or so (Fredericks of Hollywood had a GREAT corset for me, and a gorgeous one for her! LOVELY prices too!) and went to see a couple of hotels. The Bellagio (I tried on a $26,000 emerald and diamond ring that I so would love to have!), and then Caesar's Palace. Hubby and I were a bit tired, so we sat for an hour or so while MH and KC roamed and took photos. We got a lead on a new casino just outside of Vegas; we opted to remember the details for future. We returned to our room in time to get ready to go see Cirque du soleil's Zumanity at New York, New York hotel. It was amazing. This was the risqué show; nudity and all. Beautiful to watch though and boy, does it provide fodder for the audience! RAWR!

Thursday: Denny's for breakfast this morning and that was nice. We took yesterday details about the new Red Rock casino (12-15 miles outside of Las Vegas), and headed there to check it out. It was lovely! We spent a bit of time gambling, MH won a little bit of cash at Blackjack, and we had a GREAT buffet there (the restaurant was called Feast I think). We left there and went to the Fan Faire registration (for the game that we all play, Everquest II) at the Hilton before heading back to the hotel and freshening up to head to a club for a few hours.

Friday: We attended Fan Faire all day long. Whew! Lots to see and do. Plenty to hear! I met some folks from Mayhem (another guild on our server) and other notables that are RP figureheads. It was fun. I took LOTS of pics, especially about the new and upcoming guild halls! Friday night was John Smedley's (the CEO of Sony Online Entertainment) address and we stayed long enough to hear about EQ2's expansion, The Shadow Odyssey, set for release on November 18. Then we boogied outta there cause we had tickets for the 8:30 showing of Tournament of Kings (a medieval knights sort of show) at The Excalibur hotel. We headed there, saw the show and had dinner, and then made our way back to the Luxor to bed! Whew!

Saturday: More of Fan Faire! WOOTeth! We did a bit of shopping in the morning and ran a few little errands, still taking pics of the things we wanted to see. We had prepared our clothing for the banquet in the evening and the boys kindly went out to get the bags while Karry and I chatted with folks and did a bit of gambling. The banquet was really nice; food was better than last year and we enjoyed the atmosphere. Lots of fun all in all. Coming home that night, we packed up much of our luggage and hubby and I departed and gave MH and KC some alone time. An hour at the casino downstairs before we came back up and MH, hubby and I soaked a bit in the tub. The cool sheets felt good after that. Believe me.

Sunday: Oh... saying goodbye is so hard isn't it? Horrid really. We packed up bags and checked out at 11 a.m. Piling stuff in the car, we headed out to run errands. We bought bags, a new carrying case for our camera (I lost ours in DC at the Smithsonian somewhere) and then we went for breakfast. We stopped afterwards to rearrange our luggage and go check in for our flights early. Hubby wanted to look for a new pair of sneakers, so we did a bit of shopping, and we also hit the M&Ms store for KC. And we went to a jewelry kiosk named Bico for a chain for MH, but he changed his mind. All of us had purchased something from them earlier in the week; I hung mine on the mirror in the car this morning in fact. Each pendant from Bico has a meaning. The one I chose is representative of my character in the game, not of me personally. Anyway, we took our last pictures, saw the last things we wanted to see, and when all was said and done, we went to Red Lobster for dinner together before returning the car and heading to the airport. *sigh*

Hubby and I got off at the terminal with MH and KC so we could see them off. God I hated to say goodbye. Hubby and MH shook hands and hugged and KC and I embraced. I started to cry, but I tried so hard not to! It's tough to leave close friends. She hugged me and said, "Take care of him for me will you Gil?" I replied, "You know I will. We're all just waiting for you honey. It'll come soon. Hang in there. We love you." And she told me, "I love you too." It was tough to part from her. Not only because I knew that it meant we had said goodbye, but because then I had to say goodbye to MH.

He is my best friend. He 'gets' me like no one has since 10 or 12 years ago really. He is the closest to me that anyone has ever been. And I adore him for that. He hugged me; and I tried to stem the tears. I smiled and reminded him that it wasn't "goodbye"... he's coming to visit for the Sept. 12 weekend I think. It's still so hard to leave him and KC though. But they needed time to say goodbye to each other alone. In private. I watched as they hugged and hubby and I turned for the escalator, leaving them together. I know it's hard on KC. I do. I know it's hard on MH too. Soon enough, they will be in their own home again on the east coast. And closer to us.

Yes, there were days during the vacation when one of us wasn't up to snuff, or one of the two couples was bickering but that is bound to happen when you put four personalities in tight quarters together. Normal and natural. The trick is... handling it. If you handle it well, talk things over, resolve minor differences (or major ones!) then it bodes well. If you let things fester and blow up, it makes for a messier scene. All four of us tried to work things out as much as possible and in the end, it was SO hard to leave them.

And now it's back to the grindstone. Ho hum. Vegas was so much more fun than this...


Kate said...

It sounds like you had a really good time! :)

Anonymous said...

Congratulations and glad to hear you guys had a good time. You should check out the video on Vegas at in their journey channel, as should anyone else planning to take a trip there.

Angie said...

Glad to hear you had a good time! Vegas is awesome!