In need of some serious respite and spiritual restoration, my pal Blondie and I (both New Yorkers) decided that Las Vegas was perhaps the best place to salve our aching psyches. Seeing as my last trip instantly cured me of 7 years of vegetarianism and provided 2 of the most purely blissful moments of my life (involving the fireside lounge at the Peppermill and video poker bar at the Bellagio) that I can honestly say made me a better person, I have high hopes for this visit.
I've done Big! Glossy! Vegas!, and I suppose what I'm looking for this go 'round is something...I don't know...less obvious, I suppose. Small, joyful things - like the "Cocktails" sign on the door to the lounge at The Algiers, the swizzle stick and detonation exhibits at the Gambling Museum at the Tropicana, ice cream rather than cream in my Brandy Alexander at the Fireside Lounge and the reverent, expensive hush around the blackjack tables late Thursday night at the (sob!) Desert Inn are what really hit home last time. What shouldn't I miss this time? Some of this will have to do with eating, and some of it will not.
Definites thus far include Tom Jones at the MGM, lunch with my pal Kid Cary DeGrosa - Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Champ of Las Vegas, the El Cortez, the Double Down, a jaunt to the Hoover Dam in a rental convertible, Lotus of Siam and the tail end of the National Association of Convenience Stores convention (it's for work...and aw hell, for the sheer joy of nitrate laden goodies!). You tell me what else.
Side note - I saw Ann Magnuson's new one woman show last night, and there's a great section in it about the healing powers of Vegas. Granted, I won't be using, uh, chemical assistance like she describes, but I'm hoping for similar rejuvenation.