Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Instant Gratification

In June, I flew to sunny Las Vegas, Nevada for a whopping 4 days of no almost 3 year-old, no work and no responsibility. It was the best 4 days I have had in a LONG time!

My little brother, Uncle Mike was finally going to marry his sweetheart of more years than I can remember. My new little sister's name is Aunt Jeannette. I'm so glad the Aunt part is official now. Robby loves her so much and literally lights up when he sees her. When we drive by the exit to their house on the freeway, he refers to it as how to get to Aunt Jeannette's house.

I flew out on a Wednesday night flight with Mike, Jeannette and their friend KEN! KEN! works with Mike and has lived in Las Vegas before, so I was looking forward to having an official tour guide of Sin City. I'm a desert girl, born and raised but every time I land in the desert I cannot help but remember why I decided to relocate to the green and cool pacific northwest. The moment they opened the door on the airplane I could feel all the moisture being sucked out of my body. But hey, this is VEGAS BABY and I didn't care if it was hot enough to fry eggs on the tarmac at 10pm!

We got in a rental car and headed straight for an In N Out Burger. If you've never been to one, you need to put it on your list of things to do before you die. I had a Double Double and an Animal Style Double Double. Animal style has mustard and pickles. That's right, 4 patties and 4 pieces of cheese in one sitting. I felt it was appropriate to start the "days of instant gratification" off with a bang. We then found the house they had rented for their stay. It was a great 2 story house with a pool and a hot tub. The plan was to have the wedding party stay in the house in the extra bedrooms and then they would have the house to themselves a few days after everyone left for their honeymoon. Aunt Mitch's mom has a time share at the Wyndham Grand Desert Resort and had graciously arranged two suites for me to use while I was in Vegas. I couldn't check in until the following afternoon, so I stayed in the house the first night. We put our suitcases away, checked the house out and went swimming! I love to swim at night. It has many advantages, like the darkness to disguise how my body looks in a swimsuit and no scorching sun to burn my extremely white body.

While we were all in the pool, I asked if we were going to the casino next. It was around midnight and I was really only joking. Everyone was excited to go, so I thought if I could stay up this late already why not a little longer. I cannot believe how much my life has changed since Robby. Staying up to midnight was never an oddity in my previous life! So, our beloved tour guide KEN! suggested we hit Sunset Station in nearby Henderson.

Now, I had managed to scrape together $200 whole dollars for my 4 day trip to Las Vegas. This had to cover food, taxis, libations and gambling. Yet, the very first night, I plopped $20 into a quarter slot machine. I played a few pulls and won some, lost some. I cashed out. I really miss the sound of the money dropping out of a slot machine. Now the machines just spit out a voucher with the amount of your winnings. I took my $10 voucher and started walking the casino. I put my $10 voucher in a $1 slot machine. A few pulls later I had three of the loveliest sevens I'd ever seen! $300! I cashed out and ran like a goat. That $300 saved my trip! I guess there is something to a good run of bad luck.

Uncle Mike and KEN! introduced us to the "gaudy" bar at sunset station. If you sit at the bar and play the quarter video poker machines they bring you free booze. A lot of free booze. If you're a slow gambler and a fast drinker, it's the best deal in Vegas you are going to find.

We made it back to the house just in time to sit outside by the pool and watch the sunrise over the desert. Sunrises are something I actually miss about the desert. I went to bed around 6 am and slept until 10am. The bedroom I had for the night had a mechanical metal shade for the window that made the room pitch dark. I'm putting one of those on my Christmas list this year. I had to put my sunglasses on to walk out of the bedroom and go hunt for some coffee in the kitchen.

Thursday we found the place to drop off Jeannette's wedding gown to be steamed for the wedding on Saturday. We checked me into the Wyndham that afternoon. I was pleased to see that the Hard Rock Hotel was walking distance from the Resort. The Wyndham chain has amazing properties! My honeymoon was saved by Wyndham and for that, they will always have my loyalty. After another day of instant gratification, I turned the air conditioner down to 40 and went to bed.

Friday afternoon, The Grandma and Nanny arrived with Auntie LJ and Aunt Lori. Auntie LJ and Aunt Lori flew into Phoenix and they drove The Grandma and Nanny over. The Grandma was 6 weeks post quadruple bypass surgery and not able to drive yet. Nanny and I would share a suite and Grandma, LJ and Lori would share the other.

I was at the New York New York casino with Best Man Diddy and his gal Manda when I got the call they were almost in Vegas. Directing them through town on my cell phone and screaming, "Do you see the statue of liberty? The Lion? The Big GOLD lion? I'm across the street from that!" was a challenge with the traffic whizzing by. They eventually found me and we headed off to the Wyndham. I managed to get food for everyone before I stole their car and picked Jeanette up to go get her dress for the wedding the next day.

On a side note, why do bridal shop people have to create such stress for brides? My Lord! The dress has been here 48 hours. Yes, we need it today. No, we cannot pick it up 20 minutes before the wedding. Do I have to get my handgun out of the car? Oh? It's ready?!?! Imagine that.

After delivering the dress safely to the house, I loaded up Jeannette and 3 of her bridal peeps into the car. We were off to join the guys, who had already begun the last night of single debauchery at a bar I couldn't remember the name of. I just called it Hand-job Joe's all night.
I spent the night playing designated driver and picking up people from the airport and other parts of Vegas to get them to Hand-job Joe's for the party. Mike had brought a GPS system with him on the trip. If I had not had this little box, I never would have made it through the night. Wrangling 8 or so drunks was fun although challenging at times. Mike and Jeannette have some amazing friends so that helped out a lot. I eventually herded everyone home safe to get some sleep before the big day.

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