When we left Las Vegas to move to Cuenca I didn't care if we ever returned. Once you see the shows, visit the properties and eat at the restaurants there's not much left except heat, flatness, and a lot of brown.
So how weird it feels, barely over a year later, to be writing this blog post from---Las Vegas. Granted, this is a one day stop on the way to an awesome trip in Montana, but still----------. We immediately got slapped in the face by 111 degree temps. I was told that it felt "good" today; yesterday was 5 degrees hotter! The buried memories of having to move slowly because the air actually hurts your skin on those days were instantly exhumed.
We are doing what for many is the unimaginable--staying at a Doubletree hotel near the airport and off the Strip. Like New Orleans is Bourbon Street for most visitors, and Las Vegas is the Strip. For us, it's been-there-done-that; we're happy just to have a relaxing day to ourselves and skip all the madness. Especially on 4th of July weekend.
People act differently on planes en route to Vegas. Our connecting flight left Memphis at 9:30 AM on a Sunday, but still there's energy and excitement that just aren't present on the way to, say, Portland. And there always seems to be at least a couple of loud "yeah, Vegas, baby!" knuckleheads pounding drinks at 9:30 AM on a Sunday, gearing up to return to their mundane daily lives in a few days with a "Vegas story" ("man, you will not believe what happened to us------"). It's all part of the Pleasure Island mystique that makes Vegas--Vegas.
I guess I didn't notice before how many ATM's there are in this city. All the bakeries, copy stores, and hole-in-the-wall restaurants in Cuenca combined don't hold a candle to the concentrated ability to have instant cash to spend here. And imagine my surprise when I punched in $300, waited for a fistful of dollars like at home, and got a measly 3 Benjamins. I had an odd feeling of confusion, followed by disappointment.
So now we're off to the Applebee's across the parking lot for dinner. We never ate at Applebee's before. Why am I looking forward to this meal? Honestly? Because when I order whatever I order, I have read a detailed description of the meal and will pretty much know what's going to be on the plate. Mediocrity sometimes trumps surprise.
Tomorrow, horseback riding, trout fishing, hiking, gourmet meals, in-room massage, gorgeous scenery, and memories galore. Giddy-up!!