Who Goes to Vegas and Doesn't Gamble????
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Where I stayed
Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Read my review - 4/5 stars
Ok, ok. This trip has a lot of background to it. I will try to give the abridged version in order to keep the boredom to a minimum. Back at the end of March, I started talking to someone I met on a poker app. YES....a poker app. Don't judge! I was invited to come join this boy and his friend in Vegas, which conveniently fell on my birthday weekend. A fan of spontaneity, I readily agreed. Poker Guy and I proceeded to email and talk on the phone on an almost daily basis. Connections were formed and feelings began to develop.
I flew into the Las Vegas Airport Thursday evening. The airport was easy to navigate and I liked the long line to get a taxi. No, seriously. There were a lot of people, and all the running cars made it even hotter than the desert weather. But the numbered taxi spots kept things moving quickly and avoided having to flag one down. After getting to my hotel, I changed and headed to The Strip- ready to do some damage.
I was dismayed to discover that the taxi charges for the time, not the distance. As I sat on The Strip- achingly close to my destination (Caesar's), I watched the meter continue to run. I walked around Caesar's (always keeping an eye out for a bar that would be appropriate to drink at solo- and wouldn't rob me of all my money). Nothing. I then moved on to the Mirage, more to say I've been than anything. That did nothing for me, and the bars were too formal and inherently too expensive. I know, it was a long shot to hope for a dive bar, or at least something more approachable. Next stop was the Ventian. Cool scenery, but the casinos and bars were painfully much more of the same.
By the way, don't go to Vegas expecting to feel gorgeous...unless of course, you're smoking hot. There are so many beautiful, plastic people there. Perfect bodies, perfect make up, perfect hair, perfect outfits. Short skirts, sky high heels, perky breasts...it's a mecca for those that want to be ogled.
Feeling hot, exhausted and very unattractive, I decided to return to my hotel in hopes that the bar there would console my frustration. After seeing a prostitute try to pick up a cute boy for his 21st birthday and a couple of $9 rum and cokes, I decided to grab a pre-made sandwich from the cafe and go to my room. Who acts like this in Vegas???
Cue early morning texts and calls to Poker Guy to ensure that he's still coming. No response. Cue frustration and anxiety. In an effort to relax and do my own thing if need be, I look up alternative plans: How long to get to the Grand Canyon? How much is a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon? How much to rent a car? How long to get to Hoover Dam? Then FINALLY! A quick call from Poker Guy to say they are on their way. After a nice hot shower, in which I realize I didn't bring a razor, I decide to walk down to CVS. It was a toss up between the pool and the walk, but I need smooth, silky gams for Vegas!!! It's about a mile to CVS, and hot, but bearable. The Strip looks kind of tawdry and worn down on the Circus Circus end of things, and just rather sad. Maybe it's the faded colors of the circus tent, or the egregiously eerie face of the clown on the sign, but not a place I could stay. Ever. CVS found, cheap souvenirs bought. Halfway back to my hotel and I get a call from Poker Guy. They're at Harrah's. I turn around and walk back, despite the offer of a cab. I hate wasting money when my feet work just fine.
****Please note! Things on The Strip are MUCH further than they appear!!!! After a 30 min walk, that looked like it should only take 10 mins, I finally arrive. I have to say, I was very struck with the desert mountains against the cloudless blue sky that is the background for Vegas. Forget the flashy buildings, neon lights, false promises and fake people, the desert is what caught my attention as I was doing my trek. I really yearned to find a way out there to take pictures, to try and capture how breathtaking it was.
Added frustration as I try to call PG and text repeatedly to let him know I'm at his hotel. As I walk through the lobby with a look in my eyes that conveyed my fragile state, a kind guy from a cosmetic company pulled me in and sat me down to give me a free facial. His genuine concern about the upset look on my face, my anger, hurt and frustration at not having this trip go well...all boils over and I feel tears welling. He has spread some type of facial scrub on my hand. I hastily tell him to remove it as "I can't do this right now." Worried that he has somehow offended, he quickly wipes it off and asks what is wrong. Anytime someone is really nice to me, after being hurt or neglected, I usually end up crying. A few tears trickled out as I assured him it wasn't him and dashed back into the lobby. He came out after me in a few seconds to again make sure I was OK. Some people are genuinely nice. Thank you Haim (sp?)- prounounced Hime, for reminding me of that. FINALLY a call from PG and I tell him in a rather disgruntled manner that I am downstairs in the lobby. I am found and I've managed to clear away enough traces of tears to not be suspect. Thank God for dark sunglasses.
Lunch at Spago. A couple of drinks (should have drank more), jokes. I sneak in a kiss to PG when his friend goes to the bathroom in Caesar's Palace. The alacrity with which he pulls away as his friend returns tells me he hasn't been completely honest with his friend about the situation. After wandering around Caesar's, back to the hotel room to hang out. A deep conversation is had with PG in which he tells me that I have captured his heart, but that he knows I'll be leaving tomorrow. Whoa! Didn't see that coming. His heart??? This just got much more serious than I planned. Annnnd so starts my emotional rollercoaster. We lay on the bed, end up messing around a little while his friend takes a nap. Ok, not my classiest moment!!! We go back to my hotel so I can change, then back to pick up PG's friend. PG is alternately nice, affectionate, funny....then stand-offish, guarded, distant. It's hard to gauge where he's at and what's going on. I do look good that night, short short skirt, sexy but not too revealing top, and not too tall wedges that still show off my pretty nice legs. PG is appreciative of the effect...check! Things are dead on The Strip because of the Electric Daisy Carnival. We go to Diablo's for drinks...zzzzzz! After staying there too long, we walk what seems an interminable distance and end up going to a bar by their hotel called Carnavale. [Did I mention that I developed numerous blisters on the bottom of my left foot?]
We sit, quietly, at a table at this bar. In my head: this sucks!!! I want to drink more, liven things up...but drinks are $12 and PG has been paying. I can drink. A lot. He'd go broke. So I drink moderately, always wishing that I could let down my walls and come out of my shell. An entire day of trying to read someone and being on edge has made me withdrawn and unusually quiet. Eventually, I tell PG he looks tired and tell him I am too. He says to go to my hotel and that he will be there shortly. Confused, I don't understand why he won't leave with me. There's something he needs to take care of apparently. Frustrated and doubting, he tells me I need to trust him. It's hard, but finally I agree to go to my hotel. He does come over. And the night is everything I could hope it would be. The story is explained, and it's silly to me that it was built up so much. Boys.
My birthday! I'm old. 32. Waking up with PG was amazing. Showers are had, then before I can get ready, he tells me he doesn't want to leave his friend alone too long and to meet him over at their hotel room when I have packed up. I don't like the feeling of abandonment and I express my displeasure with the plan. I don a bright yellow sundress that does look spectacular against my tanned skin, and notice that PG has left his bag with his razor, etc in my hotel room. I take a taxi to their hotel and try to find the room number. I find it, knock repeatedly- no answer. I double check...this is the right number. I try calling PG over and over. Frustrated, angry, disappointed, I leave the razaor bag in front of the door and head down to the lobby. Call from PG and I realize I had gone to the wrong tower. I quickly go back upstairs and recover the razor bag and have PG come find me in the casino. I'm irritable by this point.
We go eat at The Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay. Decent food, but not exceptional. My caramel martini is weak and lacklustre. We head over to Planet Hollywood and walk around the shops. PG is still distant, sometimes cute and as he should be. And at other times, acting like no more than an acquaintance. Exasperated, I mention that I'm kind of bored...that I'd like to DO something. I know I've hurt his feelings, but assure him that I'm down for whatever they want to do. I'm not trying to change their trip, just tagging along. We go back to their hotel room and they drink beers. Not a beer fan, I snuggle up to PG. After a bit, he moves to the other bed while his friend sits in the chair. I tell him to come sit close to me, but he doesnt. He goes out on the balcony to smoke and I go to the bathroom to cry. This weekend has not gone at all how I had hoped. I come out of the bathroom, teary eyed and hurt, resolved to spend the next 5 hours on my own.
After some cajoling and consoling, PG pulls me to him, while his friend goes to the balcony. We talk and it's decided that we will make the best of the time we have left. Cuddling and stuff ensues. As my time for departure nears, PG showers, I change and his friend gets ready. PG is standing on the balcony and I go to him. He pulls me close, we both say I love you and he pulls me in for a kiss that is perfect. The moon is full, the fountains are going off at the Bellagio, the music beats down below. And for that minute, I'm floating. In love, my heart beating wildly, my breaths suspended. As we look into each other's eyes, there is something there. Going down to the taxi line, PG is distant once again. Slightly confused, I give him space. Then I'm being whisked away in the taxi....and I've got mixed feelings.
Las Vegas exhausted me. The lights, the heat, the materialism and supeficiality...I think if I had spent time where the locals hang out...less formal bars, more affordable drinks, I would have had a much better time. I would go back, only because I feel like Vegas didn't get a fair shake from me. While the strip is fun for a very short time, it's not exactly my scene. Maybe I'm not debauched enough anymore, or maybe I'm just too old. And I really want to get out to get a better view of that rugged desert landscape.
AMAZING balcony kiss!
Being called a "hot mama" by the cab driver on Fri night.
Having a deep conversation about how money can't buy health with the cab driver Sat morning.
Being told I have someone's heart.
Being given the motivation to do more situps (thanks, beautiful people!)
Doing something different and new and taking a chance.
My Review Of The Place I Stayed