After a brief drop in Bryce Canyon, we headed into the sunset toward Las Vegas. How vastly different Las Vegas would be from the rest of the cities and states. I had no idea how much of a perfect ending this would be to our roadtrip as a last stop. I wish I could tell everyone to make the same decision, but I know it would not have the same effects. It would not be the same trip. This last, lucky excursion was unique and could never be recreated. Here’s why.
Timing was just impeccable.
The night or so before Vegas, I realized I would be in Nevada around the same time as my friend Ali, since she would be there for her birthday celebration, gifted to her by her longest and best friend, Rachel. Mely’s and my original plan was to visit Vegas the following weekend since she bought a Brand New ticket for then/there months prior. But with Vegas as a stop before LA, and with the opportunity right there, I was excited to take it–and to see someone new and explore with them. Though it wasn’t Ali’s/Rachel’s/Mely’s first time in Las Vegas, it was mine. It was a scene out of the movie. I might as well have had my body out of the sunroof of a limo, with my arms outstretched in the night of the Vegas lights.
My buzz about Vegas didn’t die when we arrived to our hotel, The Mirage. It was perfect for a huge Beatles fan such as Ali and myself. My Vegas-virgin eyes couldn’t believe the tall ceilings, the LARGE casinos in the lobbies, the restaurants in lobbies, the lavish expenditures. This was luxury. Especially after the trip we just went through. Although it wasn’t all–or anywhere near–tents and sleeping bags, the comfort of someone’s home is vastly different from the comfort of being a hotel guest. Not that one is worse or more or less comfortable than the other–just different.
And for me of all people? I’ve worked for two hotels and this was still blowing my mind, for some reason. I felt like I was big money–and getting the hospitality for free by staying in Ali and Rachel’s second bed in their room. The 10 or so floors up, I stared down and across The Strip’s lights from their window, with a Screwdriver in hand. Elated to be with a best-good-fucking-friend and to be drinking and partying, I was more than ready for this night.
Thanks to Ali’s superb friend-making skills, she was able to score us guest-listed spots for Skrillex at XS in the Wynn. After trying to get a little tipsy in the room, we made our way over, giving no fucks that I didn’t feel my prettiest. I still felt like a hot-shot. So the Vegas “The Hangover” stereotypes out there? Are at least true for me. This was the first time I could actually party since being broken up with a month and a half prior. I could get away from it.
And the pool behind Skrillex’s DJ stand distracted me enough. With a half inside/half outside setting, and deal on Pineapple and Rum’s, this venue told me I was going to have fun. (For those of you who don’t know, rum is my favorite).
While the DJ before Skrillex took forever, the beats were still good, and we were still drinkin’ and dancin’. Skrillex came on and Ali and I were in our scene. A guy started dancing behind me, and I let them. Afraid of what I’d see, I didn’t look behind me once, though he kept trying to whisper in my ear or something. Whatever, I still did my thing, enjoying my time.
Somehow in all my excitement and hype about Vegas, that’s all that happened that night, but it was still so much fun. We headed back to the hotel, slept up, and ate a bangin’ brunch at the restaurant downstairs called Pantry (super good, super cute, overall A+) where Rachel confirmed that the dude dancing behind me was old. Then we checked out the incredible Beatles display and store and finally put our bathing suits on.
Growing up, my mom/family and I would always stop at places that had pools, lakes, rivers, etc. A bathing suit was always necessary and thankfully I was prepared. I always pack a bathing suit any time I travel, and always somehow need to remind others to do the same, even though it’s obvious to me. But I didn’t have to remind Ali or Rachel (I don’t think Mely swims). So we headed over to the 80-degree outside weather, bright sun, and paradisaical pool. Which, anyone who knows me knows that I do not like the sun or heat, but I do like swimming, so it made it worth it after just having been in snow in the Rocky Mountains a few days prior.
Baking in the sun for the first time since 2006 felt good on my florescent and Vitamin-D deficient skin. And that was how we ended Vegas. And that’s how Vegas topped off my trip.
Like I said, perfect for me and impeccable timing.