so today . . . we are in las vegas.
and i am not going to blog about my packing ordeal (you can thank me later,) or my school feast for 44 (which went surprisingly well.) i am instead going to blog about las vegas!
getting here was less trouble than i thought it would be. we were able to leave early in the afternoon, and while there were some traffic issues, most of the trip was fine. (i say this, having slept most of the way here...) it is a looooong desolate trip across the desert.
we didn't have any trouble finding las vegas. we just got on the freeway and drove until we ran into it. but finding our hotel was another matter. we have a gps, but sometimes it is a little hard to know exactly where she wants us to turn! and so we missed the first turn. she recalculated the route, and then we missed the next turn. let me just say, it doesn't take long to get away from the shimmer and shine of the strip and into the darkness... but we kept working at it and finally arrived at our hotel.
and then there was the parking.
i am not totally convinced that they have as many parking spaces as they have rooms. they have a lot of rooms. we are on the 33rd floor. but the parking structure only looks like it is 4 levels high! this seems like a problem to me. we ended up on the third level, and played parking lot shark until we found a spot. (of course, as always, diandra prayed for a spot. which turned out to be a good idea, because there were a lot of cars cruising for parking places...)
we decided to leave our stuff in the car until we got checked in. that turned out to be one of our better ideas today, because there was a LINE to check in--one of those zig-zaggy lines like at disneyland! when we had our room keys in hand, we went back out to retrieve our luggage.
did i mention how cold it is here?
yes, we were piling on coats and hats and scarves... and i was carrying my trusty polar fleece blanket. we entered the hotel from the parking structure and got in an elevator--only to discover that it didn't go where we wanted to go. i find this odd, but you can't just get into any elevator and go to any floor. so we got out and went to another elevator. a tiny one. a really tiny one. it was barely bigger than a large sized shower! and we had to use it, because for some strange reason the escalator was stopped. and we had luggage. so we got on--all three of us with our luggage. we filled up the space pretty well. and THEN a lady got on with a toddler-filled stroller and another small child. the doors closed, diandra pressed the right button. and nothing happened.
NOTHING HAPPENED! we were in a teeny tiny elevator with a woman and two small children, and we were not moving. diandra pressed the button again. "i don't think we are moving," she said. "are we stuck in here?" "no," i said, pressing the button repeatedly, "no, we aren't stuck."
i said this is a calm rational voice. but inside my head i was screaming, "WE HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE!!! THERE IS NO AIR! I CAN'T MOVE! IT IS SOOOO HOT IN HERE! I HAVE TO GET MY COAT OFF! WHY IS THAT BABY LOOKING AT ME! WHAT IF WE CAN'T GET OUT! AAAAGGGGHHHHHHH!!!!!!!"
i continued to press the button. finally i felt a little movement. finally the doors opened and we were free! it took every ounce of self-control that i possess to let that mom and her two kids get off the elevator first. if those doors had started to close, i would have thrown diandra between them in a heartbeat! i love my daughter, but if it meant the difference between being in that elevator with the doors open or closed, i would have thrown her under the bus without a second thought! (sorry, diandra... i love you...)
after unpacking and eating, diandra and i were not yet ready to call it a night. rollie was. so we left him in the room with netflix and headed out. our plan was to go across the street to the venetian hotel and look at the shops. the problem with that plan was that we had to go outside. and we didn't have our coats. because we didn't know that was going to be our plan when we left the room...
so out we went. and did i mention how COLD it was?!?!?! and not only was it cold, but the wind was blowing like mad! my phone said the "real feel" temperature was 38 degrees! and we didn't have our coats on. we did have on sweaters, but it wasn't enough. and yet, we stopped and took pictures. outside. repeatedly. because that is what we do...we got into the venetian hotel and were suddenly glad that we didn't have coats. it was pretty warm inside. we hadn't gone far when we saw a sign with the shop hours on it. i thought everything here would be open all the time, but it isn't. the shops close at 11:00 p.m! this was news to us, and a little bit disappointing since we didn't venture out until 10:00. but it was enough time to take more pictures and get lost. that hotel is a labyrinth! a labyrinth with a river and gondolas running through it!yeah, i kind of love it :)
so, we are spending this thanksgiving in one of the most self-indulgent cities in the world. we are going to be surrounded by people spending a lot of money and probably making some bad choices. it is going to be interesting. but i can tell after today, it is also going to be a lot of fun!
because one of the things i am most thankful for is my family. this year we are all together, just the three of us. and we will be together in a way that we are not when we are at home. i am thankful for that opportunity, because my favorite people are the ones who are related to me! and i get to spend the next three days discovering new and interesting things with them.
"we may be small, but we are mighty!"