Desperate for a few days away from dishes and domesticity, I decided on a trip to Las Vegas, because it contained everything I thought my trip away required: A nice pool, a comfy bed, a deep, clean bathtub plus plenty of spectacle and ridiculous alcoholic beverages.  It also called for a good friend for bonding and girl talk.  This is where Jacki comes in.  The glitz and controlled fakery that is Las Vegas is not really her cup of tea, but she knew I needed a quick escape and agreed to be my cohort.

Going on 25 years of friendship, Jacki is a quiet, shy friend I met in high school who was somehow always game to share in my displays of teenage silly antics.  As kids we would drive down the main street of our small town in her white VW Bug blaring Nitzer Ebb to drown out the country music playing in every other car.  In the Denny’s parking lot we would engage in what we called “Fake Fighting”, where we pretended to pull each other’s hair and wrestle while yelling obscenities at each other, all the while laughing hysterically as people stared.  At school dances we would dance free-style, mocking the other too-serious kids with our wild swaying and fanciful swirling.

We are now physically separated by a few thousand miles, but still see each other often and keep in close touch.  Jacki keenly picked up on the queues and selflessly agreed to meet me in Vegas.

The plan was a perfect one.  I would fly in from Seattle and she would fly in from San Francisco; our flight arrivals separated by a mere 8 minutes.  Of course she being the Good Samaritan in this scenario meant her flight was delayed by almost 2 hours.  I was on my own to get the car, and somehow got bamboozled by the town in the very first minutes of being there.  The smarmy car rental guy talked me into paying for an upgrade and buying the gas from him.  The gas seemed like a great idea, because it was actually cheaper than the pumps just outside and now we would not have to worry about filling up the tank before returning the car.  It did not occur to me until a day later that there is no way in hell we would be able to use a whole tank of gas in a weekend unless we changed plans to drive down into the Grand Canyon and back.  To balance out my snafu, I expertly refused to buy any of the three extra insurance packages the guy strongly suggested.  He ended up making me totally paranoid that I was going to crash the car and owe him $30,000 plus a kidney before the end of the weekend.  Despite this, I ended up picking out the silver PT Cruiser for our weekend car.  I figured it would be the most fun for me and the most likely to embarrass Jacki, but a weekend in Vegas called for the mini hearse.

Once getting the car I realized I had directions to the hotel from the airport and not actually from the car rental place, so I had to wing it on my solo drive.  Luckily I could actually see the gold monstrosity that was our hotel from there and worked my way over.  I found the hotel and the valet parking, but not the self parking and proceeded to prove myself to be the biggest dork on the planet when I required the help of the bellman because I could not figure out how to open the trunk of this new-fangled car.  I was massively confused and unnecessarily gave the Bellman my suitcase to store plus a crumpled wad of one dollar bills totaling about three bucks.  I am sure he was very impressed.  Of course as soon as I figured out where to temporarily park the car, Jacki called from the baggage claim.  I rushed in to register and then to take a gander at the hotel room even though I did not have my bag to leave in there.  The room was approximately one mile away from the front desk and I ran all the way there like I was 4 years old.  I took note of the nice room with a mini flat screen TV in the bathroom and sweet view of the multitude of swimming pools before sprinting all the way back to the car.

I somehow found Jacki at the passenger loading and thus began our weekend.  Back in the room we inspected the honor bar and the fun little beverage items we had no intention of consuming.  I could not help but take out a beautiful mini bottle of Belvedere vodka and then looked to see that it cost $45.  I quickly returned it to its perch, but later Jacki discovered that if you so much as breath on the bottles of booze, there is an automatic charge on your room bill.

We spent the first morning and afternoon at the pool.  Our package deal came with $50 off food & beverage at the pool, plus $50 off a cabana: a little tent you can rent with chaise lounges and a TV.  We called ahead to rent one and Jacki bet me that the cost would be way more than the discount, but I scoffed.  How could a tent rental cost more than $50?  Luckily they were sold out already, so we avoided the awkward moment of having to back out of the rental, because the pool guy said they went for $350 to $1000 per day.

The temperature was an unseasonably perfect 75 degrees.  Jacki lounged by one of the many swimming pools while I tested out the Lazy River pool that pulled you along in a lengthy, meandering circle at a fairly rapid pace as you dodged other swimmers and waterfalls.  I loved it.  It felt so damn good to just let go of my responsibilities and the thousands of tiny worries.  Next I experienced the wave pool, which was nice and warm.  It had a coveted deep section that was fairly empty where I managed to just float and tread water for a good amount of time as I let the fake, ocean like waves pull me back toward the fake beach shore; the gold hotel glistening in the background.

Soon I joined Jacki on the lounge chairs and just soaked it all in. With tropical drinks in hand, we girl-talked to our hearts content which felt to me like a perfect moment.

There were several more perfect moments to follow:

 -The bottom of the Shark Reef aquarium was decorated like a sunken ship and really did make you feel a bit like you were at the bottom of the ocean with the crazy sand sharks and a giant sea tortoise.

-The blissful feeling I got toward the end of that first night after one too many drinks as we reminisced in the bar in the middle of the casino surrounded by all the clichés of the town.

-The recollection of all the bands we had seen together over the years: New Order, Echo and the Bunnymen, Gene Loves Jezebel, Love & Rockets, The Sugacubes, Ween, King Missile, plus a thwarted show of Throwing Muses that we had to miss because the last BART train was leaving.

-The road trip to Red Rock Canyon and getting caught in the sudden torrential downpour of giant drops of hard rain.

 -The waitress named Barcy, which was short for Barcelona.

I could have used one more day at the pool and I never did fulfill my quest of drinking a 5 foot long container filled with frozen lemonade and vodka, but the girl weekend in Vegas was a lovely success. Thank you to my dear friend.  Let’s dance free-style together into old age.
















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8 Comments on “NO FEAR NOR LOATHING”

  1. Becky Says:

    Awesome! I love the insanity that is that place. Free buffets, yet $1000 tent rentals. Whee!

  2. Greg Says:

    When I saw you guys last, Jacki claimed that she isn’t actually quiet in a shy sense…she just talks low because she has sensitive hearing. Which was a plot twist on a level with The Usual Suspects or The Crying Game, but there you go.

  3. jumblygiant Says:

    1. I am so jealous you saw King Missile. I discovered them just a few years ago (I live in a black hole when it comes to everything).

    2. Also v. jealous about your girls weekend. sounds like it was fantastic. I want a relaxing weekend with a friend like that – so much I decided to plan one for the fall with my BFF.

    3. hi!

  4. Aimee Says:

    lovely! I like how you two are almost twins at red rock; bfs do stuff like that 🙂 jackie’s skirt is somehow missing in the shark photos – see thru in a different way.

  5. geekbetty Says:

    yay! I’m just ever so slightly jealous that I can’t get a break from domesticity for a bit. But I’m so glad you had fun!

  6. Whystinger Says:

    I am glad you (two) had a good time. Good friends are truly a treasure.

  7. Kim Says:

    JEALOUS TOO!! But so happy you had such a lovely girls’ weekend, that is AWESOME!! Looks like so much fun!!

  8. kathy Says:

    So lovely. You both rule!

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