Friday, June 12, 2009

Too Much Week

Wow, it really has been a week since I last posted. As the saying goes, time flies when you are having fun. However, too much "fun" crammed into too short of a time is like eating too much candy and you end up with an upset stomach.

Sherrie and I were able to take a little vacation to Las Vegas (although I'm not sure Sherrie would ever consider a trip to Las Vegas a real vacation). She had a training seminar Monday through Wednesday, so we flew down on Sunday morning and returned Wednesday evening. She spent the days acquiring knowledge and I spent the days lying next to the pool and wandering aimlessly up and down the Las Vegas Strip.

Sunday morning we made our way off to the airport for a timely arrival in the long term parking. I had tried to talk on the children into driving us there, but it would have required to them to arise too early on their "day of rest." It was probably better in the end because I didn't have them getting lost trying to get out of the airport or forgetting to pick us up on Wednesday evening. Upon our arrival, I had to figure out how to get to the hotel. In past visits I have either had my own car or a rental. I found out that you have to pay for a shuttle ride over to the hotel. The city that use to offer all sorts of free amenities offers none now. The school superintendent and her husband followed us on to the shuttle along with several other teachers. We stayed at Caesar's Palace, but arrived before check-in time so we had to leave our bags at the bell desk and kill a couple of hours before we could check in. I was up late the night before fixing a leak under the kitchen sink so all I really wanted to do was take a nap. We decided to grab an early lunch and went to the brunch at the Flamingo Hotel across the street. It was surprisingly good (probably better than any other buffet we had the rest of the week - at least in my opinion).

We spent a little time looking at the flamingos and then it was time to check in (yeah!!!). I'm think to myself, here I am in Las Vegas and all I want to do it take a nap! We had a nice room with a view of the Las Vegas Strip (and the whole side of the Flamingo covered with the Donnie and Marie advertisement).

It was kind of eerie having superhuman sized Donnie and Marie staring at me for three days. Well, I did get my nap and slept for 4 hours. Neither of us felt like eating much after the huge brunch so we decided to stroll down the strip and look for a slurpee. We found a 7-11 (probably the scrappiest one I have ever been in) and had our slurpees while we people watched. It was early to bed because Sherrie had to be at her class at 6:30 am.

On Monday morning we got up early and made our way to the conference center. Caesar's Palace is huge and so I didn't want to get lost (never to be found amidst the ocean of slot machines). We easily found the location and I had a continental breakfast with Sherrie. I headed back to the room to plan the rest of my day. I took another stroll south on the strip to get some sunscreen at Walgreens. It was interesting walking the strip early in the morning. The maintenance people were out cleaning and spraying everything down. They were performing the daily maintenance on the Bellagio fountains and most of the people out and about were jogging or had small children. All-in-all there really isn't much to do on the Las Vegas Strip in the morning (it is definitely a nightlife town). The pool opened at 9:00 am so I found a nice lounge chair in the shade and proceeded to start on the book I borrowed from my Dad, Bones by Kellerman. It was a good crime novel. I made my way about half way through it before it became to hot to sit out by the pool anymore. I didn't want to eat any lunch because we were going to a buffet for dinner (after looking at my Las Vegas arrival pictures I'm thinkin' that I should have stayed away from the buffets the whole time I was there). Well, what's done is done. Sherrie finished up for the day and we decided to go to the buffet at Planet Hollywood. It was good and we ate a lot of crab legs and prime rib. We headed back to Caesar's Palace to find out that the pool closed at 6:00 pm (I guess they want you inside drinking and gambling rather than lounging outside when it is actually tolerable to be outside). We ended up sitting up in the room and looking out or window watching the traffic and lights on the strip.

On Tuesday morning we made our way up to the training session and had some more cream cheese danishes and cranapple juice. I decided to walk around so I sent north on the strip to see some of the sights. I ended up at the mall which had mainly high-end, expensive stores (i.e., Neiman Marcus and Abercrombie and Fitch). I went back to the hotel to hang out by the pool, but Sherrie had a free lunch time so we sat up in the room looking out over Las Vegas and talking. After lunch I finished my novel up in the room where it was cooler. After Sherrie class was out we went down by the pool for a little while, but it was starting to cool off and we didn't want to get wet before going to dinner. Tuesday evening we caught the shuttle over to the Rio for dinner at the seafood buffet (they have lobster on it). I had delicious sushi, ahi tuna, and a TON of lobster. It was soOOOOOOOO good. After dinner we took the shuttle back to Harrah's and walked over to see the Mirage Volcano blow and then to Treasure Island to watch the Siren's outdoor show. By the end of those two short, but entertaining, shows we were tired and headed to the hotel.

Wednesday morning I got everything packed up to go while Sherrie finished up the last of her class. We caught a shuttle at noon back over to the airport for our 4:30 flight back to SLC. I figured that I could have driven back to SLC faster than flying after all the time we spent waiting around. We had a Quizno's sandwich in the airport, which tasted really good after three days of buffets. I don't think that I will eat for a week. I actually came back with an upset stomach (too much rich food).

We arrived home at about 8:00 Wednesday evening to find the house still standing, the yard still alive and all the children accounted for and in good health. Fortunately, it rained the whole time we were gone so the yard suffered no damage. I'm not sure that would have been the case if it had been hot and dry. I spent Thursday trying to recoup from the "vacation." It would have been nice to have Thursday and Friday off work, but I didn't want to burn days for nothing. We will have several vacations to take before the end of the year. So, it was fun to have a little vacation with my wife. When I see her outside of our ordinary life, I realize how beautiful and vivacious she really is. I guess the doll drums of every day life do damper our spirits somewhat. That is why it is good to break out of it all on a somewhat regular basis. As for Las Vegas, about one day is enough for me. It you don't drink, gamble or participate in other illicit activities there isn't much to do. I relate it to a couple of Dr. Seuss books (and anybody who reads this blog knows that I relate a number of things in life to Dr. Seuss). First, from the Grinch - "All the noise, noise, noise noise." It just seems that when you are Vegas you cannot find any peace and quiet (I guess they do that so you will pay to go to one of their spas - the only place you can relax). The second is from my all time favorite, "I Had Trouble in Getting to Solla Sollew" where the character is in the tunnel with all the birds trying to walk. That is what it felt like to me everytime I walked on the strip. It sure felt good to get home (even if the neighbor's chihuahuas bark).

1 comment:

Kimberly said...

Sione LOVES Vegas. I guess the Strip is about as different from Tonga as you can get. I, on the other hand, enjoy lounging by a pool, reading, and swimming--but you don't have to go to Vegas to do that, so why go? ;-) I'm going to Vegas in December for a conference, so hopefully Sione can come with and we can have a mini vacation too. Sounded nice.