Thursday, August 07, 2008

Back and better than ever...or at least back!

Hey everyone, I’m back! I have returned, slightly more tan and a lot more tired, from a 4,400-mile road trip vacation through America’s glorious southwest where, dear God in heaven, it is ridiculously hot. My vacation was made even longer by the fact that we returned to no internet in our house, something which has panicked and upset me far more than I would like to admit. I am saying fervant prayers to Neil Patrick Harris and other like dieties that my connection is restored by the time I get home tonight. If not, how will I know how many BSG spoilers I’m avoiding??

Before I write anything else, I just want to say a hearty thank you to Ms. C, Meghann and Shan for filling in for me while I was away. They were awesome and it was really kind of them to take the time to do that. A big woo-hoo for all three!

And now, like all people just returned from a vacation, I’m totally going to prattle on for hours (okay, minutes) about “this great little place we found.” Except it’s not little and we didn’t find it. I think Bugsy Malone found it – or at least filled it with gambling and 99-cent margaritas. Yes, I’m talkin’ about Vegas. (The “baby” at the end there is implied.)

Here is why Vegas is great: there is absolutely no reason for anything that exists in Vegas to actually exist in real life. It’s like everyone just took the weirdest, most random idea they could think of and then built it. One day, I imagine Joe Blow turned to his friend and said, “You know what would be cool? Live lions on the casino floor of the MGM Grand.” And his friend said, “Sure, why not!” And lo, there were lions. Or, “Hey, let’s build a miniature Venice on Las Vegas Boulevard.” “Okay!” And suddenly I’m sitting in a little motorized boat being sung to by an Italian guy in the middle of the Nevada desert. Or – and this may be my favorite one – “let’s have 20-foot tall animatronic condors nesting in the middle of the Bellagio lobby!” I felt like Scooby-Doo the whole time I was there, rubbing my paws across my disbelieving eyes and going, “Wruht?”

Besides its random awesomeness, Vegas was great for my little nerd soul, too. First, the husband and I were able to recreate our favorite scene from “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas” as we stumbled over and over again out of the carousel bar at Circus, Circus. That was the spot where Benicio del Toro’s character got trapped on the carousel after drinking too much and couldn’t climb out until Johnny Depp’s character yelled, “Jump, man! Quick like a bunny!” I’m sure the children at Circus, Circus were wondering why my husband and I kept shouting “Quick like a bunny!” to each other, but I like to think it lent a bit of mystery to their vacation experience.

Second, there was the “Star Trek Experience” which for me turned into “The Star Trek Gift Shop and Overpriced Faux Museum.” I was all geeked up for this exhibit...until I found out it would have cost me and the husband $100 to see the whole thing. So I just paid for the museum visit which was kinda cool – hey, look, there’s a model of Zephram Cochrane’s ship! – and kinda lousy, as in “that’s it?” So, I sort of fell down on the job with that one, but it was a budgeting decision. I needed money for roulette later!

The third cool thing was discovering that Caesar’s Palace has actually recreated the Roman spa experience. Seriously. You can do the hot bath, then the cold bath, then the steam and so on, totally reinventing what happened in actual Roman baths thousands of years ago. How cool is that? I can pamper myself and pull a little “Time Machine” stunt all at the same time!

All in all, I’m giving the nerd stamp of approval to Vegas. I miss it deeply with all its flashy lights, exploding fountains, rooftop rollercoasters and offers of “Girls to you in 20 minutes!” which, if they’d delivered pizzas, would truly have been something.

Also, we saw the Grand Canyon,* which really could have used some spicing up. I’d like to suggest lions. It totally worked in Vegas.

* Just kidding. The Grand Canyon was was the stupidity of the parents who were telling little Timmy and Janey to “scoot out just a little further” onto the ledge for that great family photo. Or, alternately, the “last known photo,” depending on just how far little Timmy went. Jeez.


Beth said...

Love the blog! I can't count the number of times I've read your posts to hubbo, sniggering all the while. I, too, an am unexpected Vegas fan. Went with hubbo a few years ago for the first time, and haven't been on a kid-free vacation anywhere else since (been back to Vegas a couple of other times, though). Could care less about the casinos, but the random wild weirdness, coupled with the Canyon Ranch Spa at the Venetian, which ranks pretty high on my favorite-place-on-earth scale, make it a repeat destination!

Liz said...

Hey Beth! I'm so glad you like the blog. Thank you for reading! And glad to meet a fellow Vegas fan. I'm right there with you on the casinos versus the random weirdness -- random weirdness is much, much cooler. And there's so much of it! :)

Lisa said...

Strange coincidence, I too just got back from my first Vegas trip, which also included a road trip to the Grand Canyon. Loved the nature, not so much the strip and definitely not the heat!!

Keep up the good work on the blog!

Liz said...

Lisa, hey, what a coincidence that we were both out there. You're right about the heat. It melted my brain. In Vegas, we really only went out at night when the strip was all lit up and the heat was bearable. Vegas isn't nearly as cool (literally and figuratively) in the daytime.