I should be sleeping right now. I returned home from the airport after 2 a.m. this morning, having flown from Las Vegas to Los Angeles to Charlotte, N.C., to Columbus, Ohio, then driven two hours from the airport. My noisy neighbors woke me this morning at 8 a.m. No big surprise there.
I arrived in Las Vegas on Friday morning following about 29 hours without sleep - and only about 4 and a half hours' sleep prior to that. I was quite exhausted by the time I got there, but F was considerate enough to leave me to shower and change clothes and try to revive myself again.
We spent some time wandering up and down the Strip for a while with his colleague A, had some lunch at one of the famous buffets, then his friend decided we should wander down to the Outlets for some shopping. I'm not sure who decided to make him the navigator, but we ended up wandering a bit before we got there. I have no idea how far we walked. It felt like about 300 miles. Surprisingly, neither my knees nor my hips decided to give out on me. I'd done a lot less walking when I was in Vancouver and was almost incapacitated for two days by the knee and hip issues. Anyway, by about 8 p.m. local time I was completely spent, so we got a taxi back to the hotel, and I went straight down for a nap while F and A went downstairs to enjoy some of the entertainment. Two and a half hours later, I was up and ready to go again, but by that time F was ready to sleep himself.
Saturday morning we were up bright and early - my body clock was still on Ohio time - and the three of us had a light breakfast at the espresso stand before heading out again. I quite enjoyed my cappuccino and thought the croissant was one of the best I've ever had, but apparently the espressos were not done as they should be. I wouldn't know. I don't do espresso.
We took a ride on the Manhattan Express roller coaster at the New York-New York, where we stayed, then we went back out to walk the Strip some more. I found it slightly obnoxious that the guys handing out cards to have prostitutes sent directly to your room seemed to have no compunction whatsoever about trying to give them to F, even though he was walking with me. He did have the good sense not to take any of them. We had lunch at a Chinese buffet, where the food was actually decent but the entire staff appeared to be walking dead. More time wandering the Strip. The fountain show at the Bellagio is pretty impressive, which I tried to capture in a video clip, but my camera kept insisting that the memory was full. It should not have been, as I'd deleted everything on the card and taken very few pictures since arriving. I'd hoped to get some good photos, but F wouldn't let me take his picture, and no one took any pictures of me, so all I have are some shots from the plane that I took for the girls and a few scenery photos. Pretty generic. Based on photographic evidence, you'd never know I was there at all. I guess what happened in Vegas is indeed staying there.
After returning to the hotel, we stopped into one of the bars on site for a drink then met up with another business associate who'd just arrived. We all had some dinner at the Mexican restaurant at the hotel. I felt a little bad that I wasn't all that hungry, having indulged myself at the Chinese buffet earlier in the day - and usually I only eat about once a day anyway. Since it was an early morning, thanks to me, it turned out to be another early night, and F had to get up early to work the next day.
When F left Sunday morning to see to his business obligations, I headed downstairs for breakfast - another lovely cappuccino, cheese danish and some fruit. After that, I didn't really have much to do, so I decided to take a seat at the slots and kill a little time. I'd forgotten that you can sit at a slot machine and get free drinks served to you all day long, so that was what I ended up doing. I played for a few hours, while enjoying my drinks, then I wandered around the hotel and found a nice little deli where I had lunch. The pastrami was quite tasty and the rye bread was some of the best I'd ever had. I noted that they offered authentic New York egg creams as well, but I didn't have one, as I was still drinking my whisky sours. I figured I'd come back for one later, but I never did manage to get around to it. I love egg creams, and I haven't had one since I went to New York in 2001, but apparently, F found the whole idea of them to be completely ridiculous when I mentioned them later. I think I probably shouldn't have mentioned them at all.
After lunch, I went back to the slots and played and drank some more. I took a break for a bit and went back to the room, then I got bored and went back down to do it again. I figure with what I drank, I broke about even with what I lost in the machines, and it was kind of fun anyway.
F gave me a call around 4 p.m. and let me know he'd be back in about an hour, so I killed some more time at the slots and headed back up to the room to wait for him to get back. (I had the room key, so I kind of needed to be there when he arrived.) He got back about 6, and I filled him in on my day, then we went downstairs to meet his business associates for a drink and have dinner at the Italian place in the hotel. I had just a salad and some bread. General consensus seemed to be that the food was pretty good, although not quite on par with real Italian. F said that Americans are "ruining the brand." Yes - we do that. Our Chinese isn't "real" Chinese. Our Italian isn't "real" Italian. And I suspect that our other "ethnic cuisines" are off as well. After dinner, it was back up to the room to sleep again. Seeing as it was Super Bowl weekend in Vegas, I think we were probably the only people in town who were sleeping by 11 p.m. every night.
On Monday morning, F had to go back off for more work, so I got up and got everything ready for my trip back home. He came back to see me off to the airport, and that was the end of my weekend in Vegas.
My return trip had some interesting notes. I flew from Las Vegas to Los Angeles for the first leg of the trip, and there was a medical emergency on the plane, so we all got to wait for the paramedics to come on board and carry off the man. By the time they were finished, I was off the plane and went directly to my next one, just one gate over. That leg took four and a half hours, during which time I got an inspiration to do some writing, which prompted the young man in the seat next to me to strike up a conversation. He asked if he could buy me a drink when we got to Charlotte, and I was so stunned and flattered (he was about 15 years younger than me) that I took him up on it. It's been a while since a 21-year-old made a pass at me. :)
On my last leg of the trip - from Charlotte to Columbus - I got another little ego boost, when the gate agent took my boarding pass. He looked up at me as he handed me the receipt, got a big smile on his face and said, "Oh! Pretty lady!" That gave me a smile.
I arrived in Columbus near midnight then drove another two hours home.
I'm still off work today. If the neighbors ever get quiet, I'll have a nap.