Tuesday, December 1, 2009

You can't always be a winner in Vegas

I'm old. I'm 38 going on 83. I complain. I grouse. I drive slowly. I suddenly enjoy Barry Manilow music. I forget things, like the things I want to write for you, oh dear reader.

I wanted to tell you about our mini-vacation last weekend, a beautiful time in Nevada. But it just kept deteriorating into a full-blown old-man rant about unrelated and generally unimportant things, so this is the third draft.

To sum up, first, the Bad (so you'll end on a high note, like the French resistance!):

No free rental car upgrade. Skippy would have gladly charged me 50% more for a slightly larger car, but really, I'm not going to pay more for something I don't want to drive, when I'm already getting something I don't want to drive. The exception here is if the only car they had in my class was a PT Cruiser, I do have my limits. His response to me became the title.

No hotel reservation when we arrived at the hotel around midnight.

A nearly two-hour adventure in the hotel's only open restaurant in order to get our food. He comped us, apologized profusely, but when I haven't eaten in ten hours I don't really care. Bring me my bacon and eggs. If necessary, I'll cook it myself.

DFW is a monstrous airport, just allowing them to put connecting gates further apart, I suppose. It's an impressive feat of engineering, but how can you enjoy it when you have 20 minutes to travel to another time zone in the airport?

And really, can't we join hands across America to stop people from bringing their yippy dogs and screaming children on planes? I understand that children need to get places, too, I really do. But is it really a good idea to take them on the latest flight you can possibly find? Overtired children plus overtired me will get me banned from an airline some day, I'm sure of it.

Funny how travel takes everything out of you. As nice as the core of our trip was, seeing the strip and the mountains and everything between, the periphery of a trip can really take its toll. In fact, I know this is a lousy post, but hey, they can't all be winners.

The Good:

Believe it or not, my Ford Focus. The Ford Focus with the bad wheel bearing and jangling rattle in the door. Of course, I could have taken the Rondo, but we already know how I feel about that. Truth be told, though, if I were an economy car kind of guy, and wheel bearing aside, it was a zippy little car. Not much for offroading in the desert, but zippy nevertheless. I'd actually give this car a B, for what it was.

Had a nice Thanksgiving dinner at my boss' house with his family and friends, phenomenal wine that I could never afford myself and pumpkin pie. Mmmm, pie.

Had a great drive out to Red Rock Canyon, though we failed to see any of the wild burros they claimed were roaming the land. Because Friday was their busiest day of the year, filled with people avoiding the mall, they let us use Friday's receipt for admission again on Saturday. We went back in the morning, when the crowds were gone, and it was still stunning that something so wild could be so close to civilization. That just doesn't exist here in Florida.

Drove the strip, still quite the experience, we even drove past the 'civilized' areas and on to the cliched wedding chapels and motor lodges. It's important to have perspective.

Had some great Mexican food, first thing we've had that rivalled Jalisco's that didn't come from a truck by the side of the road. Though I love me some truck tacos.

Even though it was just a long weekend trip, we got to look at houses. There's some surprisingly affordable new construction out there.

And the best part of any vacation, returning home and sleeping in my own bed, with my own pillow, nestled against my sweetie.

Dreaming of luxe rental cars, posh new houses and wild burros.


the iNDefatigable mjenks said...

Wild burros AND wild burritos!

Yeah, there's nothing like coming home and sleeping in YOUR bed. Unless, of course, there's extracurricular snuggling going on prior to sleeping. That trumps the sleep part.

Bev said...

The bad parts of your trip sounds all-too familiar, and I'm sorry for that!

The good parts sound pretty darn good though, especially the expensive wine (bought by someone else!) and nice new houses part.

Glad you survived the trip & are back safe & sound.

That Kind of Girl said...

Gorgeous picture of Red Rock! Did you take that? It makes me kind of nostalgic for home. When I lived in Vegas, I used to drive out to Red Rock all the time to enjoy the only hint of nature in the desert.

Also: Vegas/Henderson has some of the best taco trucks in the friggin' world! And there's nothing wrong with Barry Manilow! Liking his music, I assure you, is a sign of discerning taste, and not of impending oldmannitude.

Elliott said...

The snuggling is part and parcel with the whole sleeping thing. At least Lori was with me on this trip, it's even worse when I'm locked away in a hotel room by myself for a week.

And Bev, while one might argue that free wine is always good wine, there are some that are far superior to others, to be sure.

TKOG, not my picture. Lori has about 150 or so from our trip that she hasn't sorted through yet, I'll surely get some of hers posted once they're there. Love the area. The only pictures I took will go up here, too, of the 'Stormtrooper Staff Car'. Someone put a lot of work into that.

I only saw one little taco stand, and it wasn't open, but given a little more time I will explore every one of them.

Sarah J. Bradley said...

Once again, Elliott, you made me laugh out loud at work! BTW, I've enjoyed Barry Manilow music since I was 12...that's not a sign of growing old! (Just means your musical tastes are improving!)

Heather said...

Thanks for stopping by.

I agree with how difficult DFW can be. A person needs a road map to navigate that place. Glad you didn't get thrown off the plane! LOL!

Sounds like the trials of getting there where well worth it.

carissajade said...

I'm glad you had a great vacation.. I don't think there is ever a PERFECT vacation, so it sounds like the things that went wrong are pretty much expected! And I'm 27 and enjoy Manilow every so often... so don't worry... Also I have spent hours lost in that freaking airport. I try to use Dallas Love whenever possible!

Elliott said...

Sarah, I know you've loved the Manilow man for some time, part of the reason I chose him when I wrote that...

Heather, Carissa, I really didn't want to dwell on the negative of the trip, and I worried I was doing that. And as much as I love Dallas, if I never have to fly through DFW again I'll be quite happy. For that matter, if I never have to change planes again, I'll be happy. Does Southwest fly into Love Field?

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Elliott said...

Wow, my first spam comment. I feel almost as lucky as Bev!

Be nice and share!

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