It began with a characteristic mad dash to the airport. I had set my alarm that morning for 5:30 AM so that I could make the 7:30 flight. I did manage to get up on time, but a last minute escape made by one of our cats put my companion and I a little behind schedule. When ran to the counter cursing all the way and luckily my navel piercing didn’t set off the security alarm this time. We were stopped at the gate and given a stern lecture about arriving thirty minutes before the scheduled departure time. In fact the man giving the lecture was perfectly prepared to tell us that we weren’t getting any farther, but another airline employee who was apparently his superior, told him it was okay to let us through.
The adrenaline rush of fear I received from not having been on a plane in almost four years, was mixing with the dramamine in my stomach. I had managed to eat a bowl of cereal earlier and I desperately wanted to keep it in my stomach where it belonged. My boyfriend had been so kind as to provide a wonderful Las Vegas vacation for me, I didn’t want to start things off by showering him with cornflakes.
Thirty-seven minutes later we touched down in Atlanta and again had just enough time to make it to the next gate for our connecting flight. It was a three and a half hour ride to Vegas and I tried to concentrate ont he movie screen in front of me and not the gut wrenching dips the plane liked to make. When we arrived there was finally a moment of peace as we made our way through the airport excitedly talking about what we were going to do that night. Then my boyfriend noticed he didn’t have his wallet. It was soon very clear that he’d left it on the plane and there was a third mad dash through an airport. The attendant wouldn’t let him back on board the plane and I thought his eyeballs were going to pop out of his head. She did however, go on the plane herself and retrieve the wallet. It was a stroke of good luck, and it wouldn’t be the last for that day.
We arrived at Paris Hotel about an hour or so later than schedule because or limo driver wasn’t where he needed to be at the appropriate time. He made up for his lack of promptness with witty banter. The hotel was amazing. Admittedly it might not have been the fanciest but the floor was made to look like cobblestone streets and the ceiling was painted like a blue sky with clouds. There were french restaurants throughout and street signs on the corners. It was made to look and feel like you were walking the streets of Paris. I loved it. Our room was so high up my ears popped every time I got on the elevator and the view outside our window was magical at night.
We had tickets to see Criss Angel later that night but before we went to any shows or dinner we hit the casino. The first table we went too was roulette. He had always had amazing luck with this game and I was fascinated with idea of winning money. He turned to me and asked “what number?” I didn’t want the responsibility of his losing but I blurted out “13.” He put one hundred dollars on 13 and the lovely white ball did us the favor of landing on that number. Instantly, he was five hundred dollars richer and we got in a cab to go buy me a new purse.
I wish I had any pictures to show of all the incredible shows I saw. One of the first things they all say when you sit down in the theaters is “no pictures or video taping.” Criss Angel had a few hiccups including a man falling at the foot of his stage and causing the paramedics to come and interrupt his show. Also, when he tried to saw one of his girls in half the “blade” go stuck and didn’t go all the way through the table. So the illusion was ruined for the audience. I was however impressed when he disappeared into a handkerchief. And then later when he took off his shirt at the end.
The next night we traveled to the luxurious Wynn Hotel for dinner at Okada. The food was nearly as good as the view. I can’t say that I’ve ever eaten dinner by a waterfall before. That sushi roll had some kind of Japanese rice crackers on the outside and the dipping sauce had tiny hearts in the center! The cucumber martini is not pictured but was equally fancy and delicious. We had short ribs, pork belly and some kind of vegetable medley. I felt strange to leave my date after such a nice meal, but I had to hop over to Excalibur for Thunder From Down Under. I have two things to say about that. #1 I realize they are all gay and don’t like me. #2 I still screamed for them until my voice was gone because it was fun. They had a fake orgasm contest at one point and let three girls onstage to compete. I was very glad to have not been chosen at this point. The winner turned out to be a shy 300lb or more young girl who was having a birthday. We all screamed for her because she made weird noises will rubbing her enormous backside on the MC.
We went to Madame Toussad’s wax museum the next day and I realized that all celebrities are tiny. I’m not sure if those models are up to scale but if they are, everyone is just a lot shorter than me! Later on that same day we ventured to Planet Hollywood and got tickets for Gregory Popovitch’s Comedy and Animal Circus. I wish I could put into words how adorable and funny this act was. There is no possible way you could sit through this show and not laugh out loud. Who could help from smiling at a cat with a glittery scrunchy around it’s neck pushing a tiny dog across the stage in a shopping cart? Or a cat balancing all four legs on a ball and walking across a plank? And the list of adorable animal activities goes on. Again, I wish I had some pictures of this!
I’m sure that it must be getting obnoxious by now to read about how I did one fun thing after another. But I can’t help but mention Tom Collichio’s Crafsteak, because this meal made me cry. It was literally so much better than anything I’ve ever eaten I cried right there in the booth because I was so grateful for having experienced it. We sat in an enormous booth meant for four people and at least five different persons waited on us. Even the simplest things like heirloom tomatos with salt and pepper or the grilled corn with dill, were all so amazing. I had lobster bisque, prawns and salad for the appetizers. The main course was garlic mashed potatos filet mignon and skirt steak, grilled mushrooms. And everything was brought out in gorgeous copper colored dishes. See how happy I am? Usually I can’t have dessert but when they brought out the monkey bread and sour cream ice cream I had to at least give it a try. There was also cheese cake, fresh fruit and sorbet but after tasting the monkey bread with pecans and caramel drizzel I wanted to slap the other things off the table.
Later on that night I had my first experience with Cirque de Soliel. We knew there would likely be only one Cirque show on this trip and we chose “Ka.” I wanted to see it because I’d seen a special about it on the travel channel. I knew the stage was a beach at some point that tilted upward making a waterfall of sand. Of course, it was actually a lot of cork and no actual sand. It was an amazing show. The dancing, acrobatics, scenery and at the end explosive fireworks that made me just a bit nervous. Plus at one point those people were fighting and climbing up a stage that was tilted so much as to almost be completely vertical. Also, I realized that in order to be an acrobat you must be under 5ft tall. So I guess that is one career path I can cross off my list.