Vegas, baby! Once again, Chris and Kent kindly opened their hearts and their timeshare to us this past week. I flew out with them on Wednesday, and we met up with Maggie and Sarah F. Between Maggie's desire to see shows, Chris' love of hiking, Kent's interest in slot machines, and Sarah's hope to experience all the sights/sounds/smells of Vegas, it was a jam-packed vacation.
Our first day was spent provisioning ourselves at Wal-Mart (the only time of year I voluntarily give the Evil Empire my custom) and scoping out the timeshare property. Tahiti Village, as the place is called, is located off the Vegas Strip and boasts such amenities as the Lazy River (a quarter-mile loop of pool water with a gentle current that carries you through the full circuit as you are splashed by playful waterfalls ... no, really), a well-appointed barbecue patio, and frequent shuttles to The Strip. The rooms are very nice, and this time we got a suite - with this many girls and gays, two bathrooms was a must.
We woke up early Thursday morning to hike in Red Rock Canyon - and discovered that a "moderate" difficulty trail translates into 20% hiking and 80% scrambling over dusty rocks. The end of the trail led us to a fascinating natural lake, which Maggie, Kent and I stopped to admire and which Chris and Sarah immediately hiked around. Purportedly, there was a lovely view of Las Vegas on the other side, but I was too exhausted to see for myself. It seems I am less prepared, fitness-wise, for the zombie apocalypse than I originally thought.
On Thursday night we celebrated Chris' birthday - first at our favorite bar, the Blue Martini, then with dinner at Khotan for pan-Asian cuisine and a birds-eye view of the Siren Show at Treasure Island. Literally - the guy dressed as a parrot waved to me! Then, as a surprise, we took Chris to the Minus 5 Ice Lounge. As you might imagine, the glasses, decorations, chairs, tables, walls, and ceiling were all made of ice. We each rented a thick coat, boots and gloves. A few wolf pelts were through around to allow us to sit without freezing our bums off. It was a rather surreal experience - and a rather brief one, since apparently the human body cannot withstand such temperatures for more than 30 minutes. I felt sorry for the bartender, who was more scantily clad (though she was wearing an enormous fur hat) - but happily they rotate out frequently so as not to suffer from frostbite.
I will stop there and save Friday and Saturday for another post. I also owe Maggie and the world several TV blog posts, which I will attend to post-haste!