In the past two weeks I flew from Vegas back to Seattle and from Seattle to my sweet home Chicago to be Matron of Honour in my best friend’s wedding. It was two weeks of summer dresses and giant sunglasses. Two trips, two weeks of fun. Finally feels like summer.
Lots of posts to come, including my flight from hell: how I discovered a plane full of teenage girls is far worse than a plane full of babies.
But for now, enjoy this photo mosaic.
What happened in Vegas
It’s already a neon blur. The red desert sun hung in the sky like a giant ornament.
I learned about Vegas’ sordid past through neon signage at the Neon Museum. I am now a Vegas neon sign expert. That was a trick. The signs aren’t neon anymore, they’re actually LED. I can’t wait to correct a stranger.
Actually [thought-gathering pause] they’re not neon anymore. They’re LED. And the sign designers own them, not the casinos. And Moulin Rouge was the first casino that allowed black performers. Just to let you know.
I won $200 in slots/craps. If you want to squeeze the most fun out of Vegas, start with the free craps lesson (the Monte Carlo has one) and learn how to bet beyond the pass line. It’s a super fun, thrilling game and has a special vocabulary: the shooter, hard eights, aces, crapping out, playing the field. It’s rife with nickname material, but the game moves fast and so does the money. I start with $20 and see how fast I can double it.
I went to Michael Jackson’s One. I highly recommend it. I had forgotten how much I liked MJ. When he was a kid, he was perfection and the world twisted that perfection into something horrible. It’s a fantastic tribute, well worth the money. My only criticism is I want more Jackson5 or 80’s Jackson, less of that slower new stuff he did in his getting-naked-with-Priscilla phase.
There’s a tarnish just beneath the bright lights and if you’re observant, you’ll witness some sad things. A woman strutted through our hotel lobby in nine-inch heels and a pair of daisy dukes completely unzipped like it was a fashion statement.
I walked past a homeless lady on the bridge who held a cat. It wore retro sunglasses and looked near death. I closed my eyes and half-prayed it was fake. It couldn’t have been.
Later, I encountered another woman who sat with her child and had a sign that said, “my other job is better than this.” I contemplated kidnapping or giving the girl a wad of cash. But I just shook my head and kept walking. No one gave them a second glance. We were all onto the next glittering casino.
PRO TIP: There’s a pizza place on the third floor of the Cosmos that’s so secret it doesn’t have a name. I call it The Clandestine Crust, though it really just goes by Secret Pizza. Delicious, fast, perfect after-midnight bite.