A weekend get-away. A chance for romance with the husband that’s become upper management to your pedestrian chores.
When he said Vegas, I was instantly Nancy Sinatra in white go-go boots, a vivid post card reminder of my parent’s trips there when the now shuttered Sahara was the place to hang.
When he said Vegas I was mentally packing inappropriate bathing suits that would get me a tut-tut at any respectable shore club around here.
Deciding to go is easy. Planning to go is monumental.
The first thing on your list should be to not tell the children until the car is waiting outside. Spring it on them, nonchalantly as late in the game as possible to avoid the inevitable, ‘why can’t we go?’ to avoid giving them what should really be an X-rated answer.
When they fight back saying, “you can’t go,” alarms should sound notifying you that you haven’t gone away enough, making this a novelty, unlike your parents who would leave you for weeks on end, where your only inkling of where they are is via postcard.
Of course by the time you’ve told them, you’ve employed a small army to take shifts sleeping, eating and running your house with little real oversight. This is part of the get-away game, to select a distracting destination that has you more concerned with the quality of the early morning call girls combing the lobby as you fetch your coffee, than you are with whether anyone remembered to close the garage doors last night.
When we did Vegas almost four years ago I was pregnant with twins. Back then my husband was fetching my early morning coffee and was on more than one occasion consoled by the ‘ladies’ who went from vixens to maternal consolers after hearing his tremendous handicap.
When you start mouthing off about ditching the kids, expect naysayers who never go anywhere without their darlings, to the inevitable “Vegas?” Listen closely for the “cheesy” that follows under their breath.
Amateurs. Re-discovering your inner sleaze that’s been buried beneath your solid citizen façade is very possible in a town that has runaways handing out mini pamphlets of large breasted naked women as you meander down its main boulevard. Live porn without the shame of ordering it.
Where else can you see a cast of thousands visibly burning through money in a down-turn economy, while also being a part of the Presidential Debates, live with Anderson Cooper at the fabled Venetian! Or see Leno at the tired Mirage, and hike Red Rock Canyon in blazing 90 degree desert heat, having driven there in a rented convertible for $50.00 a day?
We took an afternoon hike on the second day, 15 miles west of the debauchery to the Red Rock Conservation area where La Madre Mountain, the highest point in the area is close to 8200 feet.
Here the visitor’s signs warn you of snakes and leaving your purse in the car. These concerns, along with slipping on the craggy sandstone hills and landing on your face make it more difficult to focus on the euphoria hiking can bring.
Lounging by the Wynn’s exotic pool at the Wynn was more my speed the next day.
You had to snag a lounge chair by 9a.m. Sleeping off gambling and boozy nights seemed to happen outside, or in the flat screen/bar LR sized cabanas that you could rent for about $400.00 a day.
There are few greater pleasures than lying around where the only question asked of you in five hours is, “Can I get you a drink?” I was left to my own devices since evidently it only takes some husbands a day to feel reacquainted with you, and then they go hiking by themselves.
I had a Bloody Mary delivered, a meal in itself, for lunch. Who with an ounce of dignity could order actual food while lying in close proximity to jeweled belly-buttons and sleek, tanned men?
By 2:00 I went to rinse off in the women’s shower. Noticing the floor hadn’t drained well I stepped lightly. After turning on the water, I suddenly saw shooting stars, and then things started to go black. I pivoted toward the glass door, thinking I had better not fall where I might not be found. I remember turning my shoulder to protect my face.
A hotel maid was on her knees saying, “Senora, Senorita” as I lay crumpled in my inappropriate suit that at least I was still wearing.
There were three guys from security in purple blazers and ear pieces. There was a lady from security who looked a lot like the hotel maids from where I lay, but in a blazer too. They brought in a chair and lifted me up.
I asked for a couple of dry towels, my head back, eyes closed. I asked if the water they gave me could be less than freezing.
They asked who I was, who I was with. Was I alone? Had I been drinking?
Did a Bloody count or did they mean like three vodkas? You could be anyone in Vegas. A paid escort or a housewife from Duluth. I didn’t flatter myself.
I declined the paramedics, feeling my face for any signs of trauma. I declined the wheel chair thinking nothing screams novice swinger more than being wheeled away from the hip crowd I had been tapping my polished toes with.
Security was silent when I said my husband was hiking. They were non-engaging when I told them we went to Leno the night before, drinking minimally and even falling asleep during the 2nd half of his overused and overlong one and a half hour monologue. “Contracts”! I cracked while shuffling toward my mod, well appointed room, as if I had the inside track on booking stand-up talent.
We flew home the next night into JFK. The following morning at around 7:00 I still felt lousy, maybe a sinus infection, but at least I was home.
The twins who naturally didn’t care that I was still under the weather and still on West coast time came bounding into our room Cirque du Soleil style. Blakey took a flying leap backward, snapping his perfectly large head on the corner of my brow bone. Within minutes my eye lid blew up to the size of a roulette ball. It promptly turned a deep shade of black and purple, an arch of blood from one end to the other, a one eyed Jack.
People haven’t felt a need to ask how Vegas was. By the looks of me, the wise-guys all think they know.
Kim Berns is a writer and interior designer living in Rye.