Last week [June 27th, to be exact] I celebrated two greatly important dates in my life – the ninth anniversary of the day my husband and I officially became a couple, as well as the fourth anniversary of the day we got married. In honor of the occasion[s], we took a three day vacation to Las Vegas. We had visited the city once before, but it was during a four hour layover during a flight from Arizona to Tennessee, therefore we didn’t actually see anything beyond what was outside the nearest windows. We did, however, see the sphinx from the Luxor hotel through the aforementioned windows and both agreed that it was neat. The Luxor ended up being the destination choice for our mini vacation, and I have to say that I was pleased with our choice of a temporary place to stay.
When we arrived, we were tired from sitting in a car for five and a half hours and ready to get to our room as soon as possible. We lugged our belongings across the street from the parking garage and walked all of the way through the casino toward the registration desk. Unaware ahead of time that smoking indoors wasn’t outlawed in Las Vegas, we were dismayed to find that people were openly smoking everywhere and it was essentially inescapable. That was one of the few flaws of our vacation as a whole, but being asthmatic, it created some issues. Getting the keys for our room wasn’t easy and left us standing in this room filled with smoke – all because we registered via AAA and the information somehow didn’t get through all the way. However, in the end, it was worth it. The guy at the counter – after being on the phone with AAA for more than twenty minutes – kindly upgraded us to the Tower Premiere Suite, which was a huge upgrade from our basic Pyramid Deluxe room [a price difference of about $200 a night and 600 more square footage]. I admit that I figured we’d get something in return for their error and the time spent waiting, but I was not expecting that! Maybe one room up in price, not all of the way to the top! Either way – no complaints here!
The room itself was gorgeous and huge – and we’d initially thought we would be without a refrigerator because the Pyramid Deluxe doesn’t include one, so we brought along a cooler to store ice and soda bottles, but it turned out the new room had a fridge! I won’t go into much detail on the room in order to avoid boring you to death, but it was lovely and decked out in Egyptian themed items and furnishings. I wanted to take the bed home with me, it was that comfortable… and don’t even get me started on the soaking tub, that was the most comfortable thing in the world.
Our first night there was mostly dedicated to exploring the casino and the Excalibur Casino across from it. During the exploration, we came across some animal statues – a camel, ox [I think it was?] and lastly, a hippo. For some reason, I decided to name that hippo Borris and said hello to him every time we passed him on the way to our elevator. I even left him an autographed note saying I would miss him.
We spent the next day wandering around practically aimlessly, going through various casinos and shopping areas. We visited the M&M’s World store, Coca Cola World, and Hershey’s – I can’t believe there is so much merchandise dedicated to each of those! It was hot out, and regardless of the fact that I live in the desert, I do not bode well with heat – it makes me sick and miserable. At home, I am indoors the majority of the day and thus avoid being in the heat… but being that we were in Las Vegas to have fun and see the sights, I had to go out. By the time we made it to The Mirage, the one place I was most excited to go, I started getting sick – dizzy, nauseated, lightheaded, all of that fun stuff – and had to sit around drinking water until I felt stable enough to enter The Secret Garden.
I have adored cats, big and small, my whole life. I’d seen orange tigers in person before, but never a white one – so I was ecstatic about seeing them inside… so much so that I paid the fifteen [thirty if you include my husband's ticket] dollar entry fee just to see roughly ten different wild cats and a bunch of dolphins. It was my favorite part of the entire trip! I’d never seen dolphins before and have always been a little uneasy about them because they’re large sea creatures and I do not favor large sea creatures [mostly ones with jagged teeth and empty black eyes... you know the ones], but they were a thrill to see. We got to the dolphin area right in time to watch a training session, where some trainers fed the dolphins and had them demonstrate a few tricks while also telling the viewers all about the amazing creatures. They reminded me of dogs, in a way. I loved it.
Then came the big cats! White tigers, white lions, orange tigers, panthers, a jaguar – all beautiful and a wonder to see. Most of them were resting in the shade, but there were a couple that were playing in the water and climbing on the trees; it made me miss my own little kitties at home.
The worst part was the trek back to our hotel. We were three miles away and it was about 104 degrees out. And… we got lost. We’d been out since roughly 9:30 that morning and had been wandering for hours. It was about 2pm when we got to The Rainforest Cafe inside The M&M Casino. I was miserable. Actually, miserable doesn’t even come close to describing how I felt. My food was barely touched and the majority of the time I sat with my head in my hands. I ended up taking my food back to the room and eating it about thirty minutes after we got back. That was actually probably worse than the walk back to The Luxor.
It was a great experience and I had a wonderful time alone with my husband, exploring somewhere we’d never been and doing things we’d never done. We barely gambled, that being of little interest to us, and just enjoyed the time and experience together.
After returning home and resting for a day, I sat down and typed away at my new miniature laptop [it's a slim little 11.5 inch machine that I adore] until I reached over 10,000 words written in one evening. I had to go to bed despite wanting to stay up and finishing the book, but got up and completed it the next morning. Now it’s going through editing and soon will be sent off to my beta readers. I’m thrilled about it and can’t wait to hear everyone’s input!
Here is the cover for the second book, as well as the title reveal!
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