… At lunch
With such accommodating service I hope he tips well. We split a sandwich, on our Styrofoam plate and paper towel, with a thinly sliced cucumber, peppers, lettuce, etc. We passed some glass faces, a beautiful mask shop that makes me want to attend a masquerade, and Houdini’s shop with a $170 pink gorilla suit – I think I prefer the horse head. In the middle of the Grand Canal Shops we catch a show that seems like a puppeteer on stilts with his puppet broke loose of her strings. When they stop dancing, a caped man appears and begins to sing – possibly in French.
We walk into The Art of Shaving to talk about dads and husbands because brothers don’t shave, and I think that Caleb has all he needs (unknowingly he needs a brush stand), so we continue on to look at dresses – wedding, jaguar print, long and green, black and white ruffles; and the shoes that would go with them – green pumps, orange snakeskin heels, pink studded platforms, and black boots. Into Godiva and out again – the fear of melt over takes me and past a Barney’s that looks like a swimsuit store that got robbed. We go downstairs to see the beautiful fountain and all the people posed in front of it and catch the end of a gondolier serenading his passengers.
Lots of art galleries, shoe stores, and make-up shops – even one disguised as a chocolate place that doesn’t like their picture taken – Hormeta Authentic Swiss Skin Care. We decide to head back to the room, it’s 5:45 pm. The outside construction happening at Treasure Island is a way different scene than the party going on inside. I enjoy that Vegas is a city that can work and play at the same time. It’s neat to gain perspective on the outside of The Venetian and know that hours ago we were one of those shadowy figures looking out.
It’s nice to walk back through these places and recall memories from the last two days as everything is the same, but all the people are different. We see an eight-foot tall alien, a hip hop Elmo, and a bride on her way into the Bellagio. We make it back to our elevators at 6:45 pm when Caleb calls. Deanna will go up to the room and I will go to the car to feed and walk dogs. He lets me know that he’s been trying to get a hold of me to share good news – he has made board at work. What that means for us civilians is that his bosses will look at his certificates, job performance evaluations, education and training to see if he has what it takes to become a Chief.
I’m proud of him and the other guys that have been in for over ten years and are trying to make a career out of the Navy. This is Caleb’s second try and the race is on to beat his brother to a promotion. Caleb joined a year after him, but they made E-6/ first class on the same test cycle. Another night apart, and neither of us at home. We talk for an hour and then I join Deanna in the room for a Family Guy episode – the one where the large store takes over the city’s electricity to power their air conditioning. But we are multi-tasking while Peter’s voice is the only thing heard in the room – foot massages, freshening faces, and charging phones so that they can last into the night as we plan to do.
We make our way past the 64 oz. Sugar Factory glasses and the bedazzled basketballs to Lobster Me at 8:20 pm – a restaurant I wanted to stop at since I saw the sign for their blueberry margaritas – and I’m not usually a fan of the sweeter variety. I got one and Deanna got the blueberry lemonade – same thing, different colors, and hers was cheaper. We bypass the body scrub and back massage section to have carbs at D’ Amore’s Pizza – a slice of Bianco (spinach, peppers, cheeses) with a garlic dinner roll – crispy on the outside, soft and warm on the inside.
I understand that shopping can be a big deal here – most everything is overpriced or on sale, but what I don’t get is the need to come out of a store with seven of their bags. Could you not consolidate all your purchases into one bag? Does it matter how much stuff you bought there or just that you can afford to shop there? I’m a big fan of using one bag, preferably my purse, to hold all the stuff I buy. I know advertising is not cheap, so I’m not going to do it for free with a bunch of bags cutting off the circulation in my fingers. If a store really wants you to buy something they will give you a backpack or a cart – unless it’s the grocery store. It usually takes us three canvas bags to carry our food.
Of all the times we passed this pool of water surrounded by large rocks we had yet to do it at the top of the hour, 9:00 pm. An employee goes around to put up wet floor cones; the ceiling rains, the lights flash, and the stereo thunders; then three minutes later the same employee goes around with a mop. I suppose it’s a neat afterthought as entertainment for people that have never seen rain, but I’d much rather prefer to see, and feel, the real thing – speaking of. We walk by Journeys and I see Dr. Marten’s 1460 8-Eye sun yellow little flowers boots that I’ve window-shopped while they were $130 now on sale for $70.
I walk in knowing what I want – always a good feeling – and tell the employee as much. He takes the display shoe, goes in the back, and comes back with the last pair in my size. I’m wearing extra thick socks to make the cowboy boots fit. I ask for a disposable sock, just to make sure the boot still fits, and get sold socks (unknowingly) to go with my new boots. I could’ve returned them, but I was so elated, and now I have socks with ruffles on them in three colors.
We walk by BurGR and I want to get a picture of the place setting, but the waitress, unaware of me, moves the extra one away from the three sitting at the table. Lucky for me, one of the girls sitting there noticed and moved it so I could get a picture, but not wanting to interrupt them anymore than I already had I quickly moved to an empty table to capture the setting. The singing and dancing is starting and Deanna is ready to gamble. I need to take my boots up to the room, but not before we get stopped by an IT guy that wants to show us how some of the card machines work.
The guy then gets nervous after realizing that he’s showing us trademark secrets, but I agree not to post the pictures online and neither of us count cards or gamble enough for him to have anything to worry about – but maybe he already knew that, just like he assured us that he could tell we weren’t hookers. I’ll take that as a compliment that we look nice, but not cheap. Well, I didn’t come to Vegas to talk work all night, so I kindly end the conversation after petting a passing man’s large golden ball necklace. I could shoot a reflection photo series based in Sin City.
I come out of the elevator and there are three guys standing between me and the bathroom. I make it in and on my exit they are interested in what I’m doing – going over to find my friend playing roulette somewhere – or sitting at a random slot machine on her phone. They walk off and we make our way into PBR Rock Bar & Grill at 10:15 pm to fulfill our buy one – get one drink special. The paid drink is Sailor Jerry and the free is house rum. The side of the bar we are on has bad karaoke, so we go to the other side where the mechanical bull is and sit at the bar there next to two guys.
They comment on the bull, ask us about college (and I tell them that I’m going to SDSU instead of explaining my back history), and then one guy slides a mint over to gauge my reaction. I’m just not fast enough with cool comebacks, but he continually tries to ensure me that it’s only a mint. I started using the flash on my camera and surprised some guys. I gave them my blog address and I hope they find their picture (of them drunk in Vegas)where I said I would post it. After a bathroom break at 11:30 pm, the local guy splits and his friend didn’t last long either as we soon found someone else to hang out with.
We went into Heart Bar and found some empty seating – two large chairs and a couch that looked, and felt, like a leather covered Roman outhouse where a mortar had hit the hole and left the bowl a little larger than necessary. I was afraid of falling in, so I sat on the frame of the couch – bone vs. wood. I got the bright green drink that the waitress recommended, but Deanna stuck with rum not wanting to mix drinks and feel like crap tomorrow and having to fly. Then we talked about the girl dancing closest to us and how not happy she looked. The guys from near the elevator reappeared and one of them was trying to get a face dance, then they disappeared again.
I went to the bathroom at 12:45 am and two guys followed me to Deanna on the way back. They didn’t last long as they saw we weren’t interested, not that we were more or less in anyone else, but guys don’t like to deal with what they think is competition. I switched drinks again, this time something golden, and was back in the bathroom taking selfies at 1:40 am – something only done in Vegas to keep track of the time, not a regular habit. Then at 2:20 am we headed to KOI Ultra Lounge – worst bar ever.
Our $20 cover each that gets us certain open bar options was paid after my other drink was chugged because this ‘fancy’ club doesn’t allow outside beverages. Inside I ordered whatever, looked at the crappy dance floor, walked out to overlook the casino below, and then in the bathroom to check out the flip-flops and perfume on sale. I found Deanna back at the bar, then this kid got too close to my face. I decided to leave before fighting. We walked around with our drinks in hand and then found a bench to sit on in the middle of all the closed shops.
Some guys walked by looking for the elevator and I just pointed in the direction they were headed. I tried not to laugh too loud as they were upset coming back. This is Vegas, you will get lost, especially if you’ve had as much as them. We finished our drinks, said good night to the guy keeping us company, and I went to walk the dogs. I get to the car and realize I forgot their water. I’m not making another trip. I don’t make it up to the room until after 4:00 am – our latest night here and check-out’s at 11:00 am.