Wednesday, May 06, 2009

The Happiest Place on Earth

I never thought I’d become a Vegas person. You know, the people who go every year and stay at Bally’s and get to know the concierge and can tell you where the highest-paying slots are and which buffet serves the juiciest prime rib. Normally these people are very tan and like to wear flip flops. They also know what “double down” means.

I am and know none of these things. I have ugly feet so avoid flip-flops, the last time I had a tan was 1987 (seriously) and I just don’t enjoy playing cards that much or even trying my hand at the slot machines. But I could happily spend a long weekend in Las Vegas annually. When I’m there, I feel like I am On Vacation. I order strawberry-flavored drinks poolside. I sleep in the sun. I shop for impractical clothing. I send Jeff off to the roulette tables with a wave and nestle in with a book. I sip fancy cocktails at bars on the 39th floor. I use an excessive number of white beach towels on my deck chair.

The Vegas people surround me while I’m there, of course. They talk about taking a taxi downtown, and where to get tickets to see Donny and Marie. They wear sparkly sunglasses. They smell like coconut oil. They possess cards that fit into the slot machines. And they provide the best people-watching on earth. When Jeff and I took a little getaway a few weeks ago, we lounged and gambled a bit but mainly we sat at restaurants and in bars, eating fantastic meals and delicious drinks and eavesdropping. We watched two families meeting for the first time, making small talk while they waited for their engaged children/siblings who were over an hour late for dinner (maybe on purpose?). We witnessed a man trying to coax his bronzed teenage daughter, who was wearing earbuds and lying face down in her bikini, to come inside already because WE HAVE TO CHECK OUT IN TWENTY MINUTES, CECILIA. CECILIA, CAN YOU HEAR ME? We overheard a tableful of Euro hipsters wearing pencil-leg plaid pants (men) and purple eye shadow (women), fighting over the check in their various accents. We must have seen twenty wedding parties, most of whom were on their way to or from taking photos in front of the “Eiffel Tower.” I loved every minute of it.

I’m already shopping for some rhinestone flip-flops and am thinking of signing up for a special affiliate card at Caesar’s. Because despite denying it, I guess I really am one of those people after all. Who needs Europe when we’ve got Vegas, baby?

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