Anglo Adventure

Travel with a sense of humor


48 Hours in Las Vegas, A Photo Narrative

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



Neon sign at Vegas Neon MuseumIMG_1508 IMG_1511 IMG_1464 IMG_1478 IMG_1501

It’s already a neon blur.  The red desert sun hung in the sky like a giant ornament. 


Desert sun

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.

Unseen Vegas


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.



An open letter to the gay basher I met in Sin City

Dear Homophobe:

You would likely remember me as the girl at the craps table who kept accidentally bumping into you because you didn’t move over.

I remember you as the rude one who kept swishing her long, straggly black hair into me. You didn’t smile; you glared at me, like you owned the table.

You weren’t having a very good time.

Two women walked by behind you. The dealer pointed and said, “Oh my god, they’re holding hands,” like he saw a two-headed giant lumbering through the casino. We all turned. Two attractive older ladies blurred by, arm in arm, the way girls do when they’re just having fun.

You loudly exclaimed, “That’s nasty. God made Adam and Eve; not Eve and Eve.” No one laughed. The women just kept walking. I silently hoped they didn’t hear you. A few moments later, my friend and I grabbed our chips and left in a sort of stunned huff.

We could have been lesbians, what would you have done then? Would you have given us a speech about how we were ok and it was just the rest of the gays you were referring to? Would you have told us you thought we were perverts?

“I didn’t mean you…”

“Some gays are ok…”

I wanted to tell you that your joke is as stale as casino air.

I wanted to tell you about all the gay people I’ve gotten to know. Some are friends; some are family. They are all different.

Some put themselves out there on a regular basis; some are still in the closet because they face the most awful kind of rejection, rejection just for being different than the majority.

Imagine going to touch your partner on the arm and someone telling you you’re going to hell. That you weren’t created by God. Imagine everyone turning to stare at you from a craps table because you happened to link arms with someone of the same gender.

Imagine being kicked out of your house; imagine being torn away from your nieces or nephews. Imagine ridicule, torment, and abuse.

I am not gay and I cannot comment on what it’s like to be gay.

However, as a human, I easily recognize hurt. I wanted to tell you that ignore and ignorant are almost the same word. And that as you sit on your throne of moral superiority, you’re missing out on some fantastic people.

What, exactly were you doing in Sin City?

I would have said all of this. And C*, my friend to the left would have said it too. But it was well after midnight. I was not at my most articulate and you weren’t at your most receptive.

We wouldn’t have changed your opinion. You wouldn’t have accepted the challenge on your beliefs. And I’m pretty sure if we “threw down” you might win. Might.

We collected our chips and walked away. But while the unsaid still whirls freshly in my mind, I thought I’d write you a letter. To let you know that you’re the one who came across as nasty.



*Whenever I write about friends, I use their initials.