Friday, November 26, 2010

things to do, places to go...

so today . . . we got seriously down to business and found a wedding venue. i think. i am pretty sure...

diandra and i did a lot of internet searching for a venue for her wedding. it is going to be in las vegas, but she doesn't want it to be a "vegas" wedding. that narrows the choices considerably. thank goodness! i am of the opinion that most of the wedding chapels here look more like funeral parlors. they are draped in hundreds of yards of white satin with enough clear twinkle lights to power a third world country, and so many fake flowers and greenery that my allergies feel threatened. let's just say, this is kind of how i picture death.

not a good feel for a wedding.

we had four places to check out. we sat in the car, making a plan. where should we go first...? we decided on the premium outlet mall--which was not on our original plan. our original plan was to GET SERIOUS and do wedding stuff today! but we ALWAYS shop on black friday. so we decided to skip the three venues that were going to charge astronomical fees if we chose NOT to use their photographer, and headed for the premium outlet mall :)

we "shopped" for a bit, ate some lunch, checked out a really great venue, and then found our way to the neon boneyard.

diandra is in love with the neon boneyard. it is the place where old neon signs go to die. it is visually very interesting, and having pictures taken there was the first wedding decision she made. we thought it might be good if we knew where it was before she tried to make a timeline for her wedding day. so we followed the gps... and ended up in an empty abandoned building's parking lot. "this can't be right," she said. um, no, i'm pretty sure it is not right...

so she did something to the gps, it gave us different directions, and soon we were there. of course it was closed, but you could still see through the gate. diandra wanted to look through the gate, but it isn't in the very best part of town. but it was daylight. we looked around, and saw that there was no one close by. and came up with a plan...

i parked on the street as close to the gate as i could get without putting the suv into four-wheel drive and climbing onto the sidewalk. i kept the engine running. diandra left her door open. she ran to the gate and snapped a few pictures. i played lookout, ready to yell in case anyone started our way. diandra was prepared to dive headfirst into the car and hang on tight, if necessary, while i made a fast getaway...

fortunately, it was not necessary.

we were on las vegas blvd, but a long way from the strip. we decided to take the boulevard all the way back to our hotel instead of going on the freeway, and i am so glad we did! yes, there was a lot of traffic. yes, we saw a seedier side of town. but we also got to see some of those places you just see in location shots of las vegas. it was interesting to put all the pieces together into one picture.

we went back to our hotel to meet rollie for dinner, only to find out that the ducks game was on. (i would say oregon ducks, just to be clear, but if you have any knowlege of college football--ANY knowlege--you know who the ducks are!) so diandra and i decided to make good use of the time by going across the street to... shop.

(lest you think all we do is buy stuff, we didn't actually make very many purchases. we went in a lot of stores, picked up a lot of stuff, put it back, and moved on. there are a lot of very exclusive, expensive stores here. we have these same stores at home, but we don't spend much time in them, because they are a bit beyond our pay grade. but it was still fun to look...)

we hadn't been in this particular mall yet, and we didn't have a lot of time. and yet somehow, we got horribly turned around! when it was time to go, we couldn't find our way out of the building. and i don't mean we couldn't find where we came in--we couldn't find any exits at all!!

i tend to get a little claustrophobic from time to time, and this just about did me in! it didn't matter that we were in a huge mall with high ceilings. it didn't matter that it wasn't all that crowded. the problem was, we were trapped! there was no way out!!

it was the elevator all over again...

we finally found a door that led outside, and we took it! we looked around, and knew we were on a different side of the mall than where we came in. we didn't care! at least we had escaped!! i looked above the mall at the names on the tall buildings, and figured out where we were. sort of. and then we started walking. again.

we walked, and we walked, and we walked, until our hotel came into view. when we got on the bridge going across the street where i could look around, i realized we had walked almost all the way around the mall. THE MALL!! and the almost funny thing is, if we had turned left instead of right when we came out, we would have been much closer to finding our way home. much closer.

our feet and legs hate us.

i usually have an exceptionally good sense of direction in shopping malls and their parking lots. but apparently las vegas is oriented differently, because i seem to be having trouble finding my way out of places. for some reason, when we get in these shopping areas, my sense of direction leaves me. completely. i think it is all part of some evil plot...

we did, however, find the world's largest forever 21 store in the world! IN THE WORLD!! and as we found out, the world's largest forever 21 store makes it almost impossible to buy anything! who can even think when surrounded by so many choices. but it was ok--it was only 9:00--we figured we had a couple of hours to navigate the store before closing time. and then we found out that the store closed at 10:00. P.M!!!

are you kidding me?!?!? the forever 21 that is a mile from our house stays open that late. we are on the las vegas strip!! where are the shops that stay open all night?!?! what is the matter with these people!!!

it turned out ok, though. i think i found a dress for diandra's wedding--yes, at forever 21! and when we went in to the mall the second time, we paid closer attention to where we came in, and so we didn't have any trouble finding our way home.

we went over the river and through the woods and back to our room, where we found rollie--still watching football. on espn. a channel that we don't have at home.

i guess las vegas does have something for everyone...

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