Friday, June 11, 2010

Bright Lights, Big City

Yesterday morning I woke up feeling like I had been given a gift. You see, I thought we were flying out at 10, then Mark informed me it was actually 2. I was given a gift of four hours to get ready that I didn't think I had.

I got up, headed out the door for some errands, and returned home with just enough time to pack (I had gotten some things on the errands that I needed to take). Mark was already there packing. I was watching the clock, happy that I had about twenty more minutes to finish up the final details. Then I made this comment, "Honey, it is so fun going on a trip that I didn't plan." You see, I am typically the trip planner of the family. However, since this trip is for Mark's job, he was the planner, though I have inserted some of my own plans. :) But for the most part, the details have been his job. I love my husband, love so many things about him. I will be the first to admit (well, probably behind him) that details are not really his strength. He is a big picture person. I am a details person. See how that works? Well, it usually works. Yesterday it did not. I am not joking about this, because there was not a smile on my face, trust me. I made that comment at the exact same time that Mark pulled out a copy of our flight details and informed me (at 11:40) that it appeared we actually were flying out at 1:00. I went very pale (which is tough to do when you are already as pale as I am) and said, "You have got to be kidding me!" Only he wasn't. One of my biggest frustrations is having to rush in my packing. Suddenly we kicked it into overdrive and somehow managed to get out the door with what we needed. At least I think so.

I will say that the first hour of the trip was not our most romantic getaway because it was a bit tense. Mark apologized and joked all the way to the airport, I imagined us being stuck in the airport the rest of the day trying to fly out since we missed the flight. It didn't help that traffic was terrible, the lines for dropping off luggage were REALLY long, and then security lines were the longest I have ever seen for our little airport. I will give him this much. We did make it on time (barely). For once, our flight was on time. In fact, both flights, including the one connecting in Dallas which is my despised place to fly through, were on time, and actually both arrived a bit early. So that helped ease the tension. At least a little bit. :)

As you know, I am not much of a flyer. I did okay on this trip other than lots of prayers, especially on take off and landing. One of my errands involved a stop at a Christian bookstore to pick up some cheap novels. The bad part is that I only brought one, thinking I would save the other two for our trip to the beach. Unfortunately, part way through the trip I had to stop reading just to save SOMETHING for me to read on the way home. And it is killing me not to go finish it. :)

I am not naive by any means (well, maybe a little). I have heard enough about Vegas, seen enough, etc, to know what kinds of things we would encounter. For some reason though, seeing slot machines as soon as I got off the plane was still a surprise to me. I also had to laugh when the shuttle company gave us our "tickets" to ride the shuttle to the hotel in casino chips.

Anyway, here are a few pictures from our first night here (we didn't arrive until late afternoon). Probably not the most exciting pics, but I took many of them with my own kids in mind. I kept seeing things that I knew they would like, though I would be hard pressed to ever bring my children here!

One of the first things on the strip I saw was New York, New York. I knew our son would LOVE this picture. The funny thing is that I have been wanting to go to New York for some time, more than my desire to come to Vegas. I told Mark he should have booked our hotel there, so I got a little bit of both. :)

This is where we are actually staying...the Luxor. I haven't gotten a photo from the front. It is actually shaped like a pyramid. When we ride the elevator, it goes up and sideways...very strange feeling! I think I thought the accommodations would be a little "glitzier" being here and all. And it is decent for sure. But the internet is wired (we are SO spoiled at home), and the t.v. is last decade's model. And no refrigerator which was a bummer for me since I brought my own breakfast and bought some juice when I got here. We are using the ice bucket instead... Anyway, it is not bad, just not quite what I expected for the price. I am finding there is a lot of that in Vegas. :)
For dinner, we took the tram over to Mandolay Bay to search for a restaurant. We were in the mood for Mexican food, so we ate at Border Grill. It was pretty good food (kind of like the hotel, not quite what you would expect for the price :). I think the view was even better! (Please disregard the fact that I had traveled all day and had given up looking decent back in Dallas)

After dinner, I was still eager to look around. I know Mark was tired, but I appreciate the fact that he was willing to walk with me down part of the strip. We took the tram to the Ex Caliber...
then we crossed a pedestrian bridge to New York, New York...
then we walked down the strip. I spotted the famous M and M World store that everybody said we must check out. Unfortunately it was on the OTHER side of the strip... Had to take a picture of this for my little Frenchman at home. :)
Halfway down the strip, we crossed another pedestrian bridge to the other side of the strip. Here is a shot of a bedraggled me looking back toward our hotel which was WAY down there.
While on the bridge, we looked the other direction and caught the water show at the Bellagio. It was really pretty to watch. (I know it looks like it is at Caesar's Palace, but it truly is at the Bellagio.

Another photo for my son...We did make it to M and M World. I had no idea there was so much M and M merchandise out there. I may have to go back to that one...
This is for my sweet toothed daughter. :)
We finally made it back to the hotel and were ready for some sleep. My time clock is a little off due to the time change. Right now, Mark is at a conference, and I am lounging, checking e-mail and writing this. I suppose I will get up and around.
Hope to check in later...

PS I learned very quickly to walk with my eyes straight ahead when people tried to give BOTH of us cards for things we would rather not see. What hurt my heart with that is that everyone I saw was a minority...some very young. I also have gotten spoiled in NWArk where it is prohibited to smoke in most public places. The smoking EVERYWHERE and the open alcohol/drunkenness everywhere has been a bit of a surprise. It is not that I didn't realize it was out there, I just don't usually see it in a public setting...


  1. Welcome to Vegas!! I really hope you guys enjoy your time there. We absolutely loved it and can't wait to go back!

  2. We went to Vegas a couple years before we brought Lili home. Stayed at the Excalibur. Love Vegas!!! Yes, probably a bit different than NWArkansas, but quite the experience.


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