The Red Hat Society had a convention in Las Vegas last week. I saw dozens of women in purple clothes and red hats in the airports. Dad stopped two of them outside our hotel and asked what they were, and they explained: "We're the Red Hat Society! All you have to do is be fifty."
"So you barely made it, then?" Dad said and they made a nice show of being charmed.
On the leg from Atlanta to Las Vegas I sat on the aisle next to a man (in the middle) and the man's wife (on the other side). I took out my Palm T2, set it up on its keyboard, and typed about 500 words on Shoelace. At one point while I was doing this, the man's wife reached across him and tapped me on the wrist. I looked at her, and she said, "Is that an iPod?"
Vegas itself was fun, though not quite what I was expecting. (The pirate fight in front of Treasure Island was not what I was led to believe, either, but that wasn't Mom's and Aunt Kris's fault as they hadn't seen it for years and were just as surprised as I was, though quite a bit less amused since Cody was along.) I spent ten dollars on gambling. I've decided I don't like slot machines because they require absolutely no involvement from me. Video poker was somewhat better. We didn't see all the hotels, but several, plus a couple of mall areas. We got lost in the Caesar Palace Forums after the Celine Dion concert, which was--contrary to expectations--impressive. Some of the choreography didn't work for me, but I liked the man in yellow and the man in white who were part of the whole show, doing their own things...sort of id- and ego-like. I didn't like the fact that she didn't talk until well into the performance, or some of the things she said. I watched it in a rather evaluative and analytical mood, I'm afraid, but overall I thought it was well done. And Mom and Aunt Kris said it was worth every penny, so that was good, too. They looked at me funny when I said I didn't want a copy of the CD Mom bought there, but oh well.
On Monday we rode in a sixteen-passenger plane over the Grand Canyon, which was worth the motion sickness it caused in all of us except Cody (who wants to be a pilot). On Tuesday we took a bus to Hoover Dam and took the tour (not worth the $10), then had lunch at a buffet--I think we went to four buffets in the five days we were there--and went on a boat across Lake Mead and had strawberry daiquiris. We had dinner at a Mexican place at my request, the Blue Iguana at Circus Circus, which was very good--they have an array of five different salsas to try with the chips. I paid for dinner, which turned out to be an excellent move. You'd think that as I was staying with Mom and Dad and not paying for the tours or most of my meals this was the least I could do, but my family was all impressed. Sheesh.
Wednesday we went up to the top of the Stratosphere (1100 feet) and saw a man jump off it--then open a parachute and float safely down, as he was helping film a pilot for some TV show. We also watched people ride this ride that shot them off the edge of the tower and suspended them there, then shook them up and down and back and forth a few times. It looked like torture to me. In the elevator on the way down a girl, about ten, stepped in looking nervous and her father or grandfather with her said, "And now we enter the worst ride of all, the elevator." He looked around and announced, "She's been on all four rides at the top of the tower but she's scared about the elevator ride." The girl murmured, "The rides have seatbelts," while all of us around her said wow and good for you and we're not that brave.
Thursday my flights were just fine, unlike Mom and Dad's whose plane was delayed three hours and unlike James's (to Hawaii, hence why he didn't come to Las Vegas) which didn't go out until the next morning. I came home at about 9:15 and at about 9:30 the power went out. My water is from a well, and the pump is electric, so I brushed my teeth with filtered water from the fridge and went to bed without a shower. The next morning the power still hadn't come on, so I rescued a few things from the fridge and freezer, including the crack bread, and headed to Eric's early to take a shower there. The crack bread subsequently got used at dinner at Jen and Pete's. It appears truly to be crack bread, as Jen and Pete had a couple of slices each despite the spread of other good food and wouldn't let us take it home (not that we intended to). Over the weekend we also decided that the bar at TBC should prominently display Liquid Death.
Finally, I am now at work again. I don't mind. I feel ready to tackle my regular schedule now and maybe even be productive with it--maybe not, but at least I feel all motivated and energized and such. (A participant of a previous workshop--the one I no longer organize--wrote, "I liked talking with [your] staff because they are so enervating." The organizer at the time wrote next to it, "I looked up enervate and it means 'to deprive of strength, force, vigor, etc.; weaken physically, mentally, or morally; devitalize; debilitate.' Great job group! Let’s keep up the good work!") Vacations are lovely things.