Day 1, Tuesday
It was 105 degrees when we arrived, with a very hot wind blowing. Got checked in to the hotel (Bally's) and walked over to Paris for lunch. After that, we wandered across the street to the Bellagio to check it out and do a little gambling. Mom won nearly $200 at a nickel slot machine. I didn't win jack squat. Went back to the hotel to get ready for our 6:30 dinner reservations. Met my friend Lisa at Todd English's "Olives" at the Bellagio. Got a seat close to the windows over looking the Bellagio lake. Had a couple of cocktails. AMAZING food. Great service. Mom went back to the hotel after dinner. Lisa and I wandered over to Ceasar's to gamble. We parked our butts in front of a couple of blackjack machines and ordered a couple of cocktails. Lisa was doing math and really paying attention to what she played. I was just punching buttons. I ended up winning about $80. I don't know if Lisa won anything. Went back to the hotel, took a shower to wash all the cigarette stink off of me (you forget how annoying that shit is when you live in a pretty smoke free environment most of the time), and went to bed.
Day 2 (Wendesday...or Dia de la Diva!)
Woke up fairly early because both mom and I had booked spa appointments at The Spa at Bally's. Her: Classic facial and 1 hr. Swedish massage. Me: Express facial and 1 hr. Therapeutic massage. The spa was pretty nice, and I enjoyed my facial (although I hate it when the aesthetician wears latex gloves...it feels icky and smells funny). However, the massage? Worst. Massage. EVER. I swear, this lady just gave me a glorified back rub. I bet you she didn't even have a license to practice massage--THAT'S how bad it was. And I'm such a weenie, all I did was fill out a comment card to complain. I should've asked for my money back. For reals.
After that, mom went and bought this because she felt like her hair looked bad, and that a cool "Las Vegas" visor would do the trick on making it look better. I will NEVER understand that woman's relationship with her hair. Never. Then we walked our hungry asses down to the Wynn to check it out and eat at Red 8. Luckily, it was much cooler on Wednesday than it had been on Tuesday. Cooler and very sunny. Two observations: A city block on a map looks waaaaaaaaaay shorter in length than it actually is when you walk it. And seriously? The amount of old geezers clogging the sidewalks on rentable Rascals is sort of mind-blowing. Anyway, we finally made it down to The Wynn (gorgeous, by the way) and to the restaurant. But I gotta say, I was really underwhelmed by both the food and the service. ESPECIALLY given the price tag. Gambled some at the Wynn (lost!), and then made our way over to the Forum Shops at Ceasar's Palace where we did a lot of window shopping and only bought one thing...for the Geej (natch)...at FAO Shwartz. And y'all? There was an entire FLOOR of that store devoted to babydolls and babydoll accessories. The Geej would have lost her everlovin' mind!!On the way out of Ceaser's, back to our hotel, we stopped at Spago and made reservations for dinner and stopped by the "Will Call" desk and picked up these:
The show was supposed to start at 7:30, but the dude at the ticket desk said, "You need to be here by 7:00pm." By the time we got gussied up and got back over there (at 7 sharp) there were already 4 LONG lines coming out of each one of the auditorium entrance doors. And this guy was next to us, and his ass was seriously fantastic:
God bless drag queens!
Once inside, I was SUPER happy with how awesome our seats were: orchestra level, stage left. We were about 12 rows back from the edge of the stage. The audience was a mixed bag: Women and men my mom's age (and Cher's age), some people my age (primarily coupled gay men), and a few random "what the Hell are these tow hefty fanny-pack wearing farmers from Iowa doing here" types. It was packed.
To start the show, Cher--in true diva fashion--descended from the rafters in a golden chariot looking contraption wearing a truly undescribable golden glittery ensemble, complete with insane head dress while singing U2's "I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For." And it only got more outrageous from there. I managed to sneak my camera in, but was too scared to whoop it out and start shooting since we were so close to the stage. So, I suck. But Cher didn't. She was funny, her voice was in fine shape, and girlfriend DELIVERED on the glitz and "Vegas" factor when it came to the costume changes. It was seriously hilarious. The dancers/aerialists were very good, but they were really only there to distract you for a few minutes while Ms. Thang got in to her next fabulous get-up. And when she came out in a tastefully updated version of the "If I Could Turn Back Time" outfit, the audience--including my mom--went wild.
After the show, we went for a late (and yummy/extravagant) dinner at Spago where we got to watch a transvestite hooker dine with a Russian mafia type--complete with frosted mullet, acid washed jeans and chunky gold jewelry AND a dude pop the question to his lady with a box from Tiffany and she didn't say yes, instead she kept him on his knee squirming for a loooooong time and then finally took the ring and placed it on her right hand. They spent the rest of the meal in a very serious and uncomfortable looking discussion.
Went back to the room and crashed.
Day Three, Thursday
Tried to sleep a little late, but was woken up at 7:20am by a work-related text message on my cellphone. I texted back, "I'm on VACATION! Can this wait until Monday? If not, please as [my boss]." I get no respect, people.
Ate breakfast, checked out, and headed to the airport.
We were scheduled on one of those Southwest flights that's kind of like a bus because it makes so many stops (this one was Denver-Dallas-Austin), and it got delayed because of storms (that turned out to be deadly tornadoes) in the Denver area. Finally, they moved all the passengers that were going to Austin on to a flight that was going to El Paso-Austin, but that left a couple of hours later. No big whoop, really, other than the fact that we got back around 10pm rather than 7:45pm as originally planned.
The good news is that mom and I got along famously and that, although I certainly didn't win, I really didn't lose my ass gambling. I was also smart enough to plan on taking the next day--a Friday--off to recuperate, run errands, and generally catch my breath before the weekend.