wordy wednesday

so the sign says ...

However I am going to break the rule and tell you all about it.

First I want to thank Mary for being such a delightful travel companion, for putting up with my whining when we got suck in the Forum shopping trap from which it seemed there was no way out ... no, seriously ... for being the best driver/photo op spotter: she pulls over as soon as you go OH LOOK ...doesn't get angry when you muck up the GPS but most of all for being my friend.

We arrived at McCarran Airport from our respective hometowns last Wednesday, cabbing to our hotel, Treasure Island (TI) was chosen for the low room rate and location.  I said lets sleep cheap (but clean) and spend on food and fun.  And we did.

You can not go anywhere in Las Vegas without walking through a casino.

Yes, I wasted $5 whole dollars playing an electronic slot machine without any clue what the heck I was doing but that was it.  The rest of my money was spent on fabulous food (and shopping): we had Mexican for lunch the first day, dinner that night was at Rao, if you dont know it, Google it, its one of the oldest Italian restaurants in New York City, almost impossible to get a reservation but in Vegas,  Baby, we just walked it, of course it was late but if you think NY is a city that never sleeps, trust me Vegas has been awake longer!

We'd walked all over Vegas, seen almost every hotel lobby and casino and shop, rode on trams, experienced the fire display at the Mirage and the water display at the Bellagio; saw statuesque show girls posing with adults and kids (truly odd), a wedding at the Venetian along side a faux bridge/canal and I discovered there is no such thing as too casual in Vegas.

It was after that that we got lost ... trapped in an endless walkway filled with high end shops of all sorts and all I wanted was to get back to TI and sleep.

Thursday, having our fill of the city, we rented a car and drove out to Springs Preserve an amazing park about 15 miles outside of town where the desert is celebrated with all sorts of flowering plants, trees, cacti and workshops for kids.

On the way back we turned off the annoying GPS and just drove.  We had Indian food for dinner at a small local restaurant where we were the only diners but the food was superb.  How'd we find it?  I downloaded the YELP app!

Driving back into town, because I misentered the destination address on the GPS, we ended up stumbling upon the Fremont Street Experience.  Trust me, it is indeed an experience you must see.  There's a limited exhibition of some of the old neon hotel signs and I learned shooting at night needs a tripod.

On Friday we drove out to Red Rock Canyon.  A 30 minute drive with lovely scenery to keep you from getting bored but nothing compares with the panorama of mountains and desert that literally takes your breath away: so amazingly beautiful, so open, so limitless in feeling.

There's a 13 mile winding drive, first up and then down the mountains the scenic drive has areas along the way to get out and take photos ... or hike ... we saw a guy with two dogs waaaaaaaaaaaay up on top of one of the mountains.  We decided we'd leave the hiking to them and stick to the drive and a visit to the visitors center ... I love gift shops.

Back to Vegas to drop off the car, lunch at the Wynn's delicious '8' restaurant for Asian food then a return to TI to relax, refresh and dress for Cirque de Soleil's LOVE at the Mirage.   Its an experience that defies description except to say it was superb from start to finish and I would see it again in a heart beat.

It was a wonderful trip in every respect .. well except for that Forum no exit thing ... until ...

I flew JetBlue, love them.

I had free tickets and so I sprung for the 'more room' seats upfront which entitles you to board right after those who have kids or need assistance and you get first crack at the overhead.  I was in row 3 and the flight attendant said it was a full plane but it seemed  as if no one was claiming the middle and aisle seats in my row, row 3, until this guy boarded, dropped a carry bag on the aisle seat and walked back out.

I intended on sleeping all the way home.  I also took xanax to ensure said sleep.  I discovered that a 2 year old screaming, crying, climbing in the seat next to you can negate xanax's slumber effect.

The short version of this vent/whine is that Grandma in aisle 4 spent pre-flight time amping up the 2 yr old so that dad could not get him to sit still and/or stop crying and lets face it 4.5 hrs of a restless child is no picnic on or off a plane.

Ten minutes before we were due to land I leaned over the still squirming/screaming child to tell the dad: "I know you have a lot to deal with, but I want off this plane as quickly as possible so be prepared to let me get out and off."

He did.

When JetBlue sent its follow up customer survey I offered a suggestion that they designate the last 3-5 rows of each plane for use by people traveling with children.  Its closer to the bathrooms with the changing tables and sound does not travel forward.

I hope they listen.