Before arriving in Vegas, I didn’t know much about the place at all. Here is a list of what was in my head: 1) years ago, I made a Powerpoint presentation to convince my family to take me to the Paris Resort, an unsuccessful attempt, 2) Marlene Dietrich called it her favorite town and it made her heart feel light:
3) I know a woman there who is the president of the Alliance Française, 4) the Golden Sisters were there recently and stole from a buffet.
That’s it. Oh, and hookers, obviously. I love hookers! I don’t utilize their services, but I love seeing them in their hideous outfits and garish blue eye shadow — maybe that’s just Paris? Hookers are the best. They’ll give you directions, they’ll call you cutie, and they’ll wink at you. FYI.
Anyway, that’s all I knew about Vegas when I arrived. The airport didn’t offend me nearly as much as the one in Phoenix, which was quite a relief. I don’t think there’s a worse airport than that miserable hellhole. Here, you could gamble in the middle of the hallway! There were slot machines everywhere. I don’t understand slot machines and never have felt the urge to gamble, but there was one called “Glitter Kitten” and I would have put all my money into it.
Finally, I found the taxi stand, which was directly under a massive poster of One Direction. They were having a concert in Vegas for the next two nights! Do you know what this did to me? I had been so close to them in San Francisco and now here we were again in the same time. THIS IS FATE, READER! Of course the shows were sold out, so I knew I wouldn’t be going to one. Sad, but oh well.
My taxi quickly drove me onto the strip, which was rather garish, and then into the Paris resort, which was equally garish. I emerged from the taxicab resplendent in my finery and nearly collapsed from the heat. Much like this:
Jessica was there to greet me and was obviously delighted to see me — who wouldn’t be? I walked through the lobby/casino rather gobsmacked as we made our way up to our room. It was so tacky! I was charmed by it, though, too. It felt like a cheap version of France in Disney World. I love it there, this felt more like an immense facade…which, of course, it was.
After being reunited with Ma and refreshing myself, we made our way out to see the Bellagio Fountains. Jessica and I care nothing for dancing waters, but we had no idea how immense and spectacular these ones were.
The videos do them no justice!
After that, I bought some pizza at the FRENCH RESTAURANT inside the hotel and then went to bed, curious about what we would do the next day.
After waking up and dressing for the day, I met my family at the pool, which was not nearly as impressive as I thought it would be. It was a nice pool and all, and there was a giant Eiffel Tower reproduction, but it was just so fake.
We went over to the Bellagio for lunch. Lunch for me, I didn’t join Jess or Ma for the breakfast food. The only time I enjoy breakfast food is either at midnight or when somebody prepares it for me in a foreign country with a wide variety of tasteful cheeses. I don’t do breakfast really. I rarely eat before noon. We went to a rather delicious bakery called Jean Philippe Pâtisserie. You’re going to hear me complain a lot about Vegas in this post, but one thing they do right is French pastries. You can get them all over town and they’re truly good! I’d go back just for pastries. I’d rather go to New York or Chicago, of course, but if I’m there, that’s where you’ll find me.
I had a rather remarkable vegetarian crêpe made with buckwheat flour, which I haven’t had in years! I love buckwheat flour. I should buy some. I generally don’t care for crêpes, but this was great — probably the buckwheat. Since it was made with that, it’s actually a galette, but whatever. I ate the whole thing. Then I had a key lime tart! I don’t like key lime pie, but I love it as a tart! I’m weird that way.
It was poorly constructed, but still delicious. The white chocolate round on top was much too thick and the mousse beneath was much too soft, so, when you cut into it, the whole thing flattens. Not elegant.
After this, we got our DRANK on.
I had a mojito slush. I don’t remember what everybody else had, but mine was easily the best. I LOVE MOJITOS! I don’t have any of the proper ingredients for one, now I’m sad. I do have what I need for a gin and tonic, but I bought cheap gin and it’s really not good. I’ve tried to salvage it with some lime juice, but…no. Maybe I’ll try lemon when I go tanning in a bit. I haven’t had a gin and tonic in a while, that’ll be good since I HAVE TO GO TO WORK AGAIN TOMORROW. Summer is over and I’m beyond devastated. I’ve already got plans for next year. Back to my homeland: LA BELLE FRANCE! I’m hoping to do a bit of exploring, too. I’m dying to see Czechoslovakia, the English countryside, and Turkey. I don’t know if it’ll work out, but I always love dreaming about travel. I don’t pray, but I’m praying that everybody in Egypt cools their tits and figures out what’s going on. I’m heartbroken at all the images that I’m seeing come out of that wonderful place. Since before I can remember, Egypt has been one of the loves of my life, but I’ve never managed to get there. I’ll do it soon, even if I have to wear a burqa and sing this song:
God, I’m so glad Gaga is back. I missed her…where was I?
Oh, yes, we were drinking and melting in the heat and wandering through the various resorts that all looked the same. Finally we found ourselves at the MGM, which I’ve long been curious about, but didn’t care much about when we arrived (my reaction to most of Vegas, actually) and I gambled a dollar. AN ENTIRE DOLLAR, READER!
BEST DISNEY MOVIE EVER! Tragically underrated.
After we finally found our way out of the massive resort we found ourselves in yet another one, Mandalay Bay, where our (Jessica and my) beloved One Direction were playing that night.
I must pause to discuss this wonderful boy band with you. I wasn’t a fan at the beginning. I didn’t get it. I had heard their songs in passing. I had seen my friends on Facebook discuss them. I admired their fashion, but nothing more. Then, last year at work, many of the kids were OBSESSED. I didn’t understand, so I listened to the album, watched the videos, read interviews…and found myself obsessed too. Couldn’t help it. Jessica was never like this. I know that she liked the music, but she was never obsessed. She didn’t constantly write about how she was going to marry Zayn. (Not that I ever do that…kidding! MARRY ME! It’ll go something like this:
ME: OH ZAYN, I love you! We’re going to be so happy.
Later I had to tell Tom Daley about my engagement. He didn’t take it well:
Anyway…I like One Direction an awful lot and was sad that we weren’t going to be able to see the show. I don’t know how all those 12 year-olds managed to buy all the tickets. Ma went to buy a ticket to the Michael Jackson show while Jessica and I wandered around the resort. I liked this one. It seemed fresh. Plus, there were lots of restaurants and I was hungry.
As we were examining menus, Jessica got a call from mother who said that she had just BOUGHT US TICKETS TO ONE DIRECTION! We flipped shit. WE WERE GOING TO GO SEE ONE DIRECTION! THAT DAY! IN A FEW HOURS! ERMAHGERD!!!!!!!!! They opened up another section on the floor and there were seats available still and they were ours!
First we had to eat, though. That’s what we do. It’s a miracle that I can walk at all. I’m thankful for my metabolism and my ability to wear small shirts.
We went to a Wolfgang Puck place called Lupo that was excellent. I had a white bean soup and a bit of pizza and pasta from the others. All delicious. I also had a chocolate dessert — they all taste the same after a while, nothing compares to the Chambord Chocolate Cake at Django, I salivate at the thought of it. Jessica and I were excited, so we grabbed our tickets and hurried over to the stadium where we were confronted with a wall of screaming children.
It was ama-zayn (see what I did there?) and we used the skills our father instilled in us and pushed and shoved our way to the front using an imaginary person as a decoy. She really helped us out.
It took forever! We had to go through multiple security checks and Jessica wasn’t allowed to take her iPad into the concert. I don’t really know why. Probably something about copyright. I was allowed my handheld camera. Who knows?
We finally made our way into the arena and were immediately delighted by our seats.
We made friends with the girl in front of us, Vanessa, who I’m obsessed with. She snuck into hotels and kissed the drummer of the opening band. They’re Australian and Jessica and I did an AMAZAYN job of pretending we knew who they were and lipsynched all their songs. Whenever the boys would pop up on the monitor in prerecorded commercials, we all lost our minds. I really don’t know why, but I screamed along with them. Why not?
Finally the opening band came on and they were just “meh.” I couldn’t get into it. Mainly because they weren’t cute.
They finished their set and Jessica and I were deaf and our throats were bleeding. Then the music began to play. Lots of pop songs that we all know and Jessica and I were doing out best…this is our best:
We’ve literally practiced that dozens of times. OH SHUT UP, YOU! LIKE YOU CAN DO ANY BETTER! But, then we did. “Single Ladies” came on. Gurrrlll, you know what that song does to me. Remember how I practiced the dance for weeks? Well, it finally came in handy! I was whipping my hair and dipping it low and twisting my hand in the air. The people around me were in heaven. I have never been the best dancer in the room, well here I was the best dancer in the ENTIRE ARENA! I doubt that will ever happen again.
THEN THEY CAME OUT!
I hadn’t realized what an amazing singer he was before. I’m not just saying it because we’re engaged. He’s really incredibly gifted. I mean, none of them suck, but Zayn could release a solo album yesterday and do incredibly. Harry is a good singer, too, but he doesn’t have Zayn’s angelic range, you know?
We sang and sang and sang and about passed out as they started swinging out over the audience to the center stage. ZAYN WAS SO CLOSE. I COULD SEE HIS STUBBLE. Jessica nearly collapsed, I believe.
Harry seemed ill. We speculated that he was drunk. CRAZY HARRY. Zayn, that wonderful and sensitive young man, made sure that his friend was alright.
Then he threw water on his fans. If Zayn punched me in the face, I’d say, “THANK YOU!”
The concert was beyond amazing, guys. Like, I’ll never get over it. They were all wonderful. Louis is even handsome now. They all are. Even the sunburnt Irish one that I don’t pay attention to. I didn’t want the concert to be over! But sadly it was and we went back to the hotel to eat more pizza and try to hear, but we were basically deaf. Worth it.
Guys, Zayn is just perfect.
I was already over Vegas when I woke up. It’s really not my kind of place. There aren’t any trees. I need trees. Paris is covered in trees. There’s trees aplenty in San Francisco. In Iowa, I’m happily surrounded by them and want to plant more. Also, it’s way too hot — even for me. I love the heat, but Vegas was intense. The buildings are hideous. The whole thing is a frightening facade. I’m convinced that nearly all the surfaces are covered in STDs. And anytime that adults act like children, I’m repulsed. That’s all Vegas is. It’s a big playground for adults where they get to act out their inner slut. I don’t believe in that. If you’ve got an inner slut, and Lord knows we all do, let him out subtly in your everyday life, it makes it much more fun. Rant over. Here’s my “I’m ready to leave Vegas” face, posted soon after waking:
For lunch today we went to Gordon Ramsay’s Pub & Grill, which Jessica was rapturous about. It’s at Caesar’s Palace and I was wary since, you know, I don’t eat meat and it’s called a Grill. Jessica assured me that Gordon is very sensitive to all diners and that I would be able to find something.
We were soon seated and the restaurant was nice enough. I hated the waiter on sight, and Jess and Ma soon followed suit. He was horrible. Very in love with himself and not exactly proper. I ordered a cocktail called the “God Save the Queen.” Not sure how they’re saving her with this, it tasted more of poison. Horrible, and I’ll drink anything with alcohol in it. For my meal, I had the tomato sandwich, which sounded basic, but I love tomatoes so much that I was willing to give it a go. What I was given was a thick slab of bread with giant wedges of cold tomatoes piled on top with a bit of arugula stuck on as an afterthought. It was not bad, but it was not easy to consume nor was it worth the ridiculously high price!
Jessica was not amused at ALL! She is convinced that she is going to marry Gordon…and let’s be honest, it’s just as likely as Zayn marrying me, but she takes it to another level. She was pissed at the service and felt that Gordon’s reputation was being ruined and so she shouted at people. It was strange. I wouldn’t go back.
Jessica left us for the day, so Lady and I went to Payard Pâtisserie, another excellent bakery where I had a good lemon meringue tart and tried to get rid of my massive headache by chugging espresso. I don’t know why my head was pounding so savagely, but I wasn’t really amused at all.
We bought a ticket for the monorail and spent some time swooping around from one resort to the other before ending up at the New York Resort to try the roller coaster. This is not the roller coaster that I wanted to go on, but I didn’t realize that until the next day. This one was $14 per person and violent. I swear, I could feel my brainstem begging to separate. I saw stars. I felt ill. I looked like this:
After this, we went over to Mandalay Bay so that I could buy an overpriced One Direction t-shirt. NO REGRETS.
There was a Titanic exhibit at the Luxor. When I was a child, and still to this day, I’m obsessed by both Egypt and the Titanic. What a wonderful combination!
One of the only things that I wanted to do in Vegas was go to a dinner buffet. Ma found one at the Cosmopolitan that was supposed to be the best. Everything was served in small portions — thank Allah — and they’re supposed to have the best dessert selection. You know how I feel about dessert! So, off we went.
I hated being there. You have to wait in line with horribly dressed and drunken peasants who will not lower their voices. It was disgusting. Finally, I made it into the buffet and just wasn’t all that impressed. It wasn’t awful. They had amazing mushroom soup and cheeses, but other than that, it wasn’t worth the price. The dessert selection was basic and barely acceptable. There was meat in EVERYTHING. There was a macaroni and cheese bar, which was interesting in theory, but rather unpleasant in actuality. I liked the mashed potatoes. In the end, it was $50 for a great cup of soup. PASS.
Ma went to a Bruno Mars concert and I walked back to the Paris to coerce Jessica into going back over to the Bellagio for more pastries. This was easily accomplished and that was a better meal than the buffet!
We darted around people and had a great view of the dancing waters. They’re really quite lovely. Nicest thing in Vegas.
Then, I nearly got hit by a car. I’m not sure what I was doing exactly. We were in front of the Paris, and I didn’t notice the crosswalk, I just thought it was a driveway. I didn’t die, guys. I don’t recall the incident at all, actually. Perhaps something got me out of the way? Some kind of brain reaction or a spirit guide or luck?
Finally! The last full day in Vegas! Most people aren’t counting down the hours to go back to the airport, but I just don’t like it here.
Ma convinced me to go to the breakfast buffet, which I should not have done. I knew I wouldn’t like it and I was in a TERRIBLE mood that day. I’m rarely in a bad mood, but that day was extraordinary! I hated the buffet. There was nothing to eat! I had a decent crêpe and a passable crème brûlée, but everything else was vile. I probably would have preferred a luncheon buffet. They had more interesting looking things. Oh well.
Jess and I went back to the room and napped. We couldn’t be bothered to do anything else. I had a vague desire to go to the Venetian to look around and then see the Fashion Show Mall, but I never worked up the enthusiasm.
For an early dinner we went to Gordon Ramsay’s Burgr (that’s how he spells it). I wasn’t all that enthused, but Jessica wanted Gordon to redeem himself for me. She took yesterday’s tragic meal very personally.
There was quite a wait, so Jessica and I walked around this mall called the Miracle Mile. It was literally a mile long! There were so many shops! If I had known this place existed, I could have spent my time here. I love shops. I love browsing. I don’t mind not buying things and spending my time daydreaming. It was delightful.
Finally, it was time for our table, and I must admit, this was a much better place. I had a vegetarian burger, that was a bit ridiculous, but good. I don’t know why they insist on constantly feeding vegetarians portobello mushrooms. Do you know how sick to death I am of portobello burgers? They’re wonderful, but so passé. I want variety. Surely there are other meatless options? I can think of about ten off the top of my head.
The drink was great. I don’t know what it was called.
We went downstairs to gamble and won nothing. Then we ate some more pizza. I also had an opera cake. I love opera cake.
Jessica proceeded to have a complete and total mental breakdown.
TODAY WAS THE DAY WE LEFT VEGAS! HOORAY! I was pleased to get out and have next to no desire to ever return. I did discover that I missed out on a few things, though: 1) there’s a drag revue, 2) there’s a lion preserve, 3) there’s a buffet with better desserts, 4) I would have liked to see that mall.
I ACCIDENTALLY LEFT MY WATCH AT SECURITY! I was devastated, but miraculously, the TSA had found it and shipped it back to me! Hooray for the TSA!
Before too long we were back home and it was like I never left at all. I’ve spent the majority of my time getting the house back into shape. I really and truly don’t understand why people don’t take care of themselves. Why is it my responsibility to do everything? I’m not whining or exaggerating. I literally mean everything.
Le sigh…I’m ready for my next vacation. I’ve already planned the next three. Better go make that money.