Then, I got a little spoiled when we went to Vegas for the weekend. No, I didn't go to bed at 9:30pm either night. In fact, the first night, we didn't even leave San Diego unti the 9:00pm flight out. But while we waited for our flight, we sat in the airport bar, where I consumed a Vodka and Red Bull (a double, thank you very much) and a hot dog. Jason had a beer, I think, and a sandwich. Apparently that Red Bull did the trick, because we fell into bed some time between 3:30am and 4:00am (maybe even after 4:00am) Friday morning.
That was after several hours of gambling at Binions (which used to be the Golden Horseshoe) downtown. The nice thing about gambling downtown on a Thursday night is that it's a $5 minimum. So you can play for a much longer time. Yeah, you don't win big. But I don't ever actually plan to win when I go to Vegas (maybe that's the wrong attitude, huh?). I'd show you photos, but they don't really like it when people take pictures in the casino, so I don't have any from Thursday night. I can tell you, though, that Pai Gow is the game to play if you want to play for a long time without losing much. I was ahead after a couple hours of pai gow, and Jason was a little down-- but overall we were up.
Then we moved to blackjack. There, I was down and Jason was up. But I was more down than he was up. Still, all in all, losing only $25 after playing for four or so hours isn't bad. Especially when you consider all the free alcohol we consumed-- more than $25 worth, I'd wager.
We wisely stopped off at Fat Burger before heading back to our home base-- the Mirage-- to grab a bite. Jason and I shared a fatburger and fries. And some diet coke. I think that did the nice trick of ensuring we wouldn't be hung over the next day (well, I don't really get hung over-- knock on wood-- so it was really good for him, I guess).
We wandered over to the Paris hotel for crepes (did you know that word is actually pronounced more like "craps"? I didn't know this until Lisa, our French-teacher-friend-who-is-adopting-from-China kept saying it that way and I finally asked, "Is crapes the wrong way to say it?" I guess it is!). I've never had food crepes-- just dessert crepes. So it was cool to try a ham and cheese crepe for a lunch snack. We actually walked to the Paris from the Mirage, even though it's a bit of a hike. Though it was on the chilly side, the sun was nice-- and it was great to get out in the fresh air for a while. This is a picture of Grace and me and Lisa. I forgot my sunglasses. It was just coincidence that we all opted for black for the day-- and I always forget how short I am until I see a photo with normal-sized people in it next to me. Anyway, there we are.
After we stopped off at Paris for a snack, we continued out to see if we could find some more, inexpensive pai gow-- on the strip. This is not an easy thing to do. After stopping in Casino Royale, we sent the boys on to Barbary Coast and we swung into Sephora, which was right outside the Casino Royale. The Sephora experience was actually pretty cool. We asked for some advice for lipstick for Lisa, and Lisa and Grace both proceeded to get (unintended) make-overs with surprising (in a good way results)! We weren't without our hesitation-- when the woman started putting a coral-colored lipstick on Grace, Lisa and I were definitely worried. But by the time she was finished, she had made believers of us!
Now Jason and I haven't spent all that much time with Lisa and Tito. I met Lisa when I was in grad school and she helped me get set up to teach Spanish (at Grace's request). But I've only ever met Tito at a couple parties. Our major commonality (other than the fact that Lisa and I both love Grace to pieces and have taught foreign language) is that they are adopting a baby girl from China through CCAI. We are so excited for them. I wish we'd been able to travel overseas together, but it's still a cool thing to have in common. And they are just really neat people. Lisa is Persian and Tito is Spanish. They speak Spanish and English in their home. And they will be introducing Chinese culture into the mix soon. Their daughter will be multi-lingual, which I think is just so incredible. Anyway, they are just really easy people to be around-- and it was nice to spend the time with them.
So Matt and Jason have been to Vegas quite a number of times without me and Grace to see UFC fights. Every time they go, they have dinner at Mona Mi Gabi, a restaurant in the Paris hotel. They always, always get the hanger steak. And this time they invited the rest of us to join them at "their" restuarant. (This is a picture of the two of them. ) The food was excellent. I had filet mignon, and the bread was delicious. And the wine was great. If you know Matt, you know that he is the guy to take with you when you want to drink good wine. He has impeccable taste.
Matt and Grace
Lisa and Tito
After dinner, we headed back to the Mirage to see the newest Cirque show-- Love, which is sort of a tribute to the Beatles. It was beautiful. It wasn't all acrobatic like I thought it would be, but there was a lot of stunning choreography. I was exhausted after the show, and we went to bed around 12:30am. As it turned out, my dad was going to be arriving in Vegas that Friday night/Saturday morning around 10pm and would get to his hotel around midnight. It was a total coincidence, which I didn't even discover except that my mom called me on Friday during the day and told me I should call him if I want because he might be in Vegas, too. (My dad is a pilot and one of his routes is through Vegas, which he does relatively frequently.)It took a tiny bit of cajoling, but I convinced my dad to meet the gang for brunch at the Four Seasons on Saturday morning. Jason and I met up with him a bit earlier so we could chit chat. Then we went over to the Four Seasons. Now this is not a cheap brunch, but it. is. amazing. I love getting the weekend brunch there. They have a guy who makes donuts on the spot! Anyway, I don't get to see my dad as often as I'd like (he used to do San Diego overnights so we'd see him once a month, but now Las Vegas is the closest he gets). We had a lovely brunch conversation, and I know my dad was glad he came to join us.
Before Jason and I headed off to the airport, I insisted we take some photos of me and my dad. When I was a kid, we used to do this thing-- which is probably really dumb, but I loved it as a kid. We would pick a funny face to make and then we call out to my mom (or whoever was nearby), "HEY! Don't we look alike?!?" And then we'd make the silly face. So I say to my dad, "Hey let's do a 'don't we look alike face' for the camera." And he says, "Ok. Stick out your tongue and look to the left. Ready?" And then Jason shot the photo. But my dad played a trick on me! Here's how the picture came out:
But it was too funny for me to be at all mad at him! After that we had to say our goodbyes, and Jason and I took a cab to the airport, my dad walked to his hotel, and the other two couples headed off to a movie (they were taking a later flight home). I wrote in my last post about how we talked about our children all. weekend. long. We missed them. But it was the perfect time to be away for the first time.
And since I got consecutive and uninterrupted hours of sleep while in Vegas, you can imagine how very grumpy I was that both the kids insisted on sleeping WITH us last night or crying. Marcie was up no fewer than FOUR TIMES. Every time I'd put her back in her own bed, she'd wake up again. And Casey tried to come to bed with us once (I walked him back to his own bed and laid with him for a while because Marcie was already in our bed at that point, and four bodies in our queen-sized bed is just too many bodies!). I am so glad we don't do the family bed thing-- but this was a little ridiculous. If we have a repeat performance tonight, I may have to resort to shutting off my baby monitor and putting a pillow over my head for 20 minutes at a time. I have no idea where our kids got the idea that we wanted them to join us in our bed; it's certainly not our usual routine. And not much makes me crankier than lack of sleep (though lack of food comes in a pretty close second!). Don't get me wrong-- I still love them to pieces. Just in their own beds.