even though we ended up with the dreaded "c" boarding pass (gotta love southwest), our luck took a happy turn when a guy sitting by himself in the back of the plane offered to move so that R, K and i could sit together. stupid vegas.com - paper tickets are so 1974. but the rest of the traveling was blissfully uneventful, so i won't bore you with the details.
rocky III/IV, anyone? and there was much, much more sly memorabilia in there...including a rubber knife from "rambo", a cigarette case from "the specialist", a machine gun from "cobra", and movie stills galore. i peed (a lot, because, well, you know...) under the watchful eyes of rocky and adrienne. COM-E-DY.
once we got settled, we tackled planning our one full vegas day:
* booking the spa treatment. seemed the only option i had was a pregnancy massage (something about the oils used for the other treatments not being suitable), so i sprung for an extra-long session. 75 minutes of bliss. the girls booked something fabulous called a "coconut milk wrap and float" - it involved a swedish massage, a coconut milk wrap of some sort, and then some time spent on a water mattress that apparently "floats" above the massage table. it sounded very david copperfield to me, and i was INSANELY jealous.
* making a dinner reservation for our one big night out. we decided to check out tao at the venetian, and our hotel concierge magically got us a spot at 7pm. "it's going to be pretty hard to get you in", she said - and two seconds later "OMG! wait! i found one spot for you!" sweet.
* checking out the pool situation. but i got one toe out in the vegas heat, surveyed the shadeless pool area, tucked tail and ran right back into the air conditioning. no effing way.
it wasn't long before we found ourselves sitting at a pai gow table, happily ordering drinks (ick - planet hollywood serves pepsi) and tossing chips onto the felt-covered surface with reckless abandon. it's a good thing i don't live anywhere near vegas. you'd have to pry my ass out of the chair wearing protective gear to save yourself from the kicking and punching.
dinner was at the spice market buffet - apparently, they decided it was too much work to rename (and redecorate) the old aladdin-themed buffet "voted #1 in las vegas". surprisingly, it lived up to its name, with endless stations with themes from around the world. i ate myself into oblivion and topped it off with one of my most favorite treats on the planet:
dudes, i was SO GOOD. i got up early the next morning, grabbed a pastry and chai tea from coffee bean, and hit the gym. i suppose all i did was burn off the calories from that "breakfast", but whatever. i did my time, took a shower, and then met the girls in the spa for our massages.
oh. so. lovely. i managed not to fall asleep (partly due to the overly chatty but sweet masseuse), and then took another, longer shower before going back up to get ready for some lunch and shopping. lunch was a fabulously ginormous burger at cheeseburger las vegas, which i love - there's a hilo hattie's and an abc store, too! it cracks me up to find little reminders of hawaii in the desert. then we hit up the victoria's secret sale, paid homage to the urban outfitters gods (who blessed me with 2 tops and a dress and a pair of shorts for the kid - all for $35), made a pitstop at sephora, and checked out the body shop (nut foaming bath, anyone?).
we managed to squeeze in a bit of pai gow before heading back upstairs to get ready for dinner. mind you, we'd just had our enormous lunch a few hours before, so we were a little worried about our ability to enjoy the tasty tidbits that awaited us at tao.
but just a LITTLE. we did just fine, believe me. after perusing the menu, we decided to order a bunch of things and share them. there were lobster dumplings, crunchy spicy tuna rolls, chilean sea bass skewers, king crab california rolls, sauteed shiitake mushrooms, peking duck spring rolls, and asparagus tempura. my stomach is grumbling at the memory! everything was so delicious. i wanted to pop my mochi cherry, so dessert came in the form of a mochi sampler, which i'm kicking myself for not capturing on film. six yummy mochi balls (blueberry, jackfruit [barf], tiramisu, chocolate mint, lychee [double barf], and strawberry) decorated with pocky. how fabulous is that? and let's just say that i'm dying to get to trader joe's to pick up a box of mochi. yup, i'm officially a fan.
just before dessert was served, we were approached by some blonde heffa wielding a handstamp, asking if we were interested in checking out tao's nightclub. K had previously raved about this place, calling it her favorite vegas club, but i honestly had no interest in doing any clubbing...till that moment. i mean, seriously - the thought of literally bellying my way through a crowded dance floor was less than appealing. but the curiosity overwhelmed me, and with a $10 cover charge, in we went.
fishnet clad go-go dancers. chicks wearing rose petal pasties and not much else writhing in a rose petal-filled bathtub. a giant birdcage just waiting for a dancer to enter. and, on the way out, an obviously topless heffa lounging on a bed, with another scantily clad broad sitting behind her, petting her. i am too damn old for this stuff, but i was weirdly entertained. fully and completely.
in any case, i didn't last long, and by midnight we were back upstairs, where K decided to forego the pai gow tables for some alcohol-induced shuteye. R and i threw on some jeans and flip flops, and managed to find two spots at the crowded tables. about halfway through, R decided to head off in search of snacks and managed to pick up a vitamin water and a bag of shrimp chips, which she happily munched from a distance in between hands (because the pit boss wouldn't let her eat at the table, like she said they do at hollywood park). and three hours later, we realized we'd have to get up to pack, have breakfast, and head back to the airport. i threw all my chips on the table for one final hand, and won...although i sure didn't break even. heh.
our final morning found us packing, expressing our amazement at the fact that we'd managed to avoid the heat by staying at our hotel the whole time (except for our dinner at tao), using our coupon for the breakfast buffet (nowhere near as yummy as dinner), dropping our last chips at the roulette and pai gow tables (i told you i was an addict), and checking out the PH souvenir shop, where i picked up a cute tank for the kid. and apparently as i was perusing their souvenir selection, i missed a much-anticipated call from the hub, who'd rented a satellite phone for his african adventure. i was sad, but realized he'd left a voice mail, which told me that he'd arrived safely.
crap, i'm tearing up. i can't talk about it any more. hormones? anxiety? relief? in any case, if i think about it further, i'm going to get hit with the most enormous wave of "i miss my husband SOOOO much". i KNOW it's only been three days. shut your piehole.
we got to the airport about an hour before our 1:55 flight, checked in (where i was inexplicably given a "b" boarding pass, while R and K got "c"s) and took our places in line.
1:15 - "folks, we apologize for the inconvenience, but we've had a gate change. please proceed to gate c-11 for boarding." grrrrrrrrrrrrr. we pick up our carry-ons and practically run to the other gate, where i somehow secure a spot FIRST in the "b" line. yay for me.
1:25 - board the plane. it's really warm in there, but whatever.
2:15 - taxi to a maintenance space to have the faulty air conditioning unit repaired.
2:45 - captain announces that the problem has been fixed and we're taking off in ten.
3:15 - still sitting in the hot ass plane. sweating. pissed off. and ready to chuck the ice water that the attendants so thoughtfully served at the captain's head. but then i realize that would be a waste of cold water, so i down it instead.
3:30 - "folks, the air conditioning unit is still broken (no duh, foo'). we're going to have you gather your personal belongings and come back to the terminal." um, by this time, if we'd have just TAKEN OFF AS SCHEDULED, a/c or none, we'd have landed in freakin' ontario by now. iiiiiiiiidiots.
3:32 - "ONT passengers, please take a seat while we determine whether the plane is fixable, or if we're able to find another one for you. sorry for the inconvenience."
4:00 - "good news! the air conditioning unit is fixed! but it's about 140 degrees aboard the aircraft, so we're going to cool it off for about five minutes. please get back in your a/b/c lines. we'll be checking IDs to be sure you're in the right line." FIVE MINUTES? that better be one hell of a turbo air conditioning unit. and i'm PISSED. i'm somewhere in the latter half of the "b" line.
4:30 - board the plane. i somehow manage to secure the very same row of seats we sat in originally. and my magazine is gone! WTF? although i'd managed to read the whole damn thing during that first two sweaty hours on this pig of a plane, so i got over it fast.
5:05 - as i do some skymall shopping, we finally take off. R, K, and i all fall asleep within moments.
6:00 - land in ontario. THREE AND A HALF HOURS LATER. don't think i'm not writing a nastygram to southwest, as is R. we may end up with a free drink voucher, but i'll feel better as i write it.
believe it or not, R and i capped off our day with a dodger game, while K headed off to a co-worker's farewell party at hooters. bwahahahaha! hey, when we planned it, we expected to get home with plenty of time to freshen up, squeeze in a nap, and unwind. but nooooo. we barely had time to pee, meet up with the rest of the group, wrestle with the 3rd row seating in the tahoe, and go. we actually made it to the stadium somewhere during the 2nd inning.our all-you-can-eat pavilion made for a lovely ballpark dinner: two dodger dogs, some nachos, a bag of peanuts, popcorn, and soda. cotton candy for me (yes, again) and a snow cone for the kid was extra. between the food, the wave, the beach balls, and booing the padres fans who dared to sit in our section, we damn near forgot there was a baseball game in front of us. we lost, by the way. apropos.
lastly, here's this week's belly pic. i took it after a nap, so here i am in all my tired, makeup-less, bloated, 26-weeks-along glory. so cute. on opposite day. hope it doesn't give you nightmares.
this concludes the recap portion for today. did you earn your cookie?