Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Back to Reality

Our little jaunt to Vegas was a fun one. The morning we left started out pretty good, I decided that Southwest airlines were my now number one when it came to flying (mainly because you can seat wherever you want) and although it was about 105 degrees the entire time we were there, I might actually take that over humidity. No frizzy hair when there's no humidity!
Circus Circus was a nice hotel, and of course my first experience in walking through the maze of casinos to get anywhere-your room, a restaurant, to the outside world. Whoever came up with the idea of casinos totally got the floorplan right when they decided to make it to where you had a hard time finding your way out. I'm sure that they knew people would eventually throw up their hands and sit back down to play :)
The first evening there did start out a little less than happy as my cheapness turned to catastrophe. I had packed a bubble wrapped bottle of vodka in my checked bag for the plane, and the plastic cap subsequently busted, allowing the alcohol to spill all inside my luggage and on my clothes. Justin and I spent the first few hours of our vacation finding the laundry facilities at the nearby KOA campground to wash all my clothes. I definitely used up my quota of profanities for the week in about two minutes.

We toured the strip several times throughout the days, walking the first night and taking a co-workers advice by purchasing an all day bus pass for the double decker buses that run up and down each side all day long. It amazed me to see all these huge, intricate buildings in the daylight, but at night it was even more spectacular. The insides of the Bellagio and Ceasar's Palace were so ornate and rich, I definitely felt out of place the first time we walked through them as we were in shorts and tshirts. I did find a cute scene on the inside of the Bellagio that was made up of lots of moss, flowers and model trains :) Of course, I was most enarmored with the sunflowers.
Fun time was spent at M&M World, Coke World, Gameworks, Coyote Ugly, a performance of Ka by Cirque du Soliel, and the Penske Wynn Ferrari Maserati Museum I'm pretty sure that Justin got his $200,000+ car thirst quelched the first night there, although it never ceased to amaze me when he would continually point out cars driving down the strip that were an easy half million. Craziness. I'm so glad that I was able to take another trip out west, this time just a little short of the coast. It was a short enough trip to get away for a few days, and a long enough one to wear us out. It was the first vacation for Justin and I together and we can't wait to do it again. And as promised, no one came back married.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Hey baby let's go to Vegas...

So Thursday is the big day...Las Vegas! I've always been curious about Sin City and all the fun (and trouble) it had to offer and now I'll finally get the chance to see it all firsthand. Of course, no trip to Vegas would be complete without the best partners in crime, so we're making this mini vacation a group effort :)

I initally came up with the idea of heading west when it was announced that Cher would be starting performances at Ceasar's Palace this fall. I've always loved Cher and it would be the perfect oppportunity to see her amazing stage show as well as get to see the city that never sleeps. In the beginning, my fellow travelers seemed to be all right with the idea of taking in the show, but as time wore on I think it became apparent they just wanted to go to Las Vegas in general, not necessarily to see Cher. As sad as it makes me to think that I'll be there for enough time to actually see her perform twice, I don't want to sift through that large of a crowd by myself so in the end decided I'll have to just try and catch clips on youtube. However, I do retain the right to whine at least once a day while there about how I was swindled into the trip under false pretenses, lol.

We'll be taking up residence in Circus Circus for a few days. Justin and some friends stayed here a few years back on a spring break trip so I trusted his judgement on sleeping arrangements. He did make the good point that you don't need much from a hotel room when you won't be getting much sleep anyway. We'll be just a bit away from the hustle and bustle of the main strip though, which I'm sure will benefit us at some point during our stay.

With so much to see and do and four days just not being enough time to even make a dent in it, we had to narrow down our options as far as the shows were concerned. Any Cirque du Soliel performance was an option and Justin mentioned possibly seeing Penn & Teller. We're still on the fence as to what our final decision will be, but will probably decide by tomorrow night before we leave so we can order tickets a few days ahead of time. I've only ever seen Cirque performances on tv, but from that alone I know that I'd be in awe of everything on the stage.

I'm also hoping to be able to make an appearance in a few of the bars/clubs around town. I've always wanted to see Flare bartenders and I hear that there are quite a few places like New York New York that have bars just for them to put on a show. I told the boys that I'd like for us all to go to Coyote Ugly and of course they were all agreeable to that one :) The one thing that I can assure we won't be partaking in though is this:

There will be no midnight marriages officiated by Elvis. Cross my heart.

Monday, August 18, 2008

The end of an era

This weekend marked the end of an era that began what seems like forever ago. Meg and I, with the help of my mom and Justin, cleaned, packed and transported the last of our things from Apt 7 to begin the next phase in our lives- living with boys :)

After I graduated from college in 2006, Meg moved into my first apartment with me for the summer. Thus began the late weekend nights of neighbor stalking on our second floor balcony, Meg crawling into bed with me after getting in late from work to talk for a few minutes before heading off to her own room, weekly supper menus and alcohol friendly nights. She had to head back to campus (which was all of five minutes away) in the fall to finish her last year of school but we reunited a year later, along with our other friend Dre, to move into an awesome three bedroom place on the other side of town. My dad made the comment that our new place was like a train station with people coming in and out all hours of the day and night, but I really don't think we would have had it any other way.

We started out just the three of us, me assuming the role of "mom" pretty soon into the endeavor. It wasn't too long before we had the addition of Cedric, Dre's boyfriend, and then our little family fell into place. On Halloween, Michael came for a visit after work and never left. Literally. I can probably count the number of nights that he didn't stay with us on one hand, lol. I have to say that after a while you get to used to a full house, and when one or two of your "kids" are gone, things seem so empty.

After the first of the year, a lot of things changed. I met Justin and started staying more often with him than in my own room. Cedric moved into his own place in Lexington so Dre started visiting him there more often as well. In May, Dre graduated from college and moved back home for the summer, leaving Meg and Michael to their own devices as most of my clothes and such were already taking up space in Justin's extra closet. After some discussion, it was decided that at the end of the lease we'd pack our things and go our separate ways, albeit sadly. Meg brought me close to tears several times in these past few weeks by saying "it feels like we just moved in" as we piled belongings into boxes.

It's a rite of passage I suppose, at some point having to leave behind late nights, crazy escapades, collective bad decisions and those inevitable awkward moments that seemed to follow us in order to move into the next phase of things. Meg made the comment yesterday about how we swore last August that we'd be content with living in Apartment 7 for at least five years and I laughed and said "Funny how boys can change a person's mind." It's definitely a time in my life that I'm blessed to have been in the company of my girls and their guys, becoming "mom" and of course being Cedric's 'baby mama' (we all had our respective titles). But I look forward to what's yet to come. Beginning a more permanent part of life with Justin, watching Meg and Michael grow in their relationship, learning to schedule the time out to spend with everyone even if we live twenty minutes apart now instead of right there together. I've already told Meg that I'm planning ahead for the scary movie nights she loves so much that will fill the month of October. It's just another step into the adult life that you want so badly as a teen yet wish could hold off a few more years after college. Ah, that crazy cycle of life.