Wednesday, November 12, 2014

What happened in Vegas...

I survived...mostly. My voice is shot and I'm living on coffee and energy drinks until I finally catch up on my sleep, but I'm home from Sin City. While it's still mostly fresh in my slightly booze befuddled brain, I thought I'd share some of the highlights...and a few lessons learned.

Moonrise over the Strip (from my hotel room)

1) The expiry date on your passport is apparently more of a "suggestion" than a hard fact. Because mine expires less than six months from now, I had to go have a wee chat with a customs and immigration officer who had the power to kick my ass back to Canada if he deemed me "unsafe." Good thing I'm cute 'n fluffy. They let me stay. 

2) Purple hair is apparently a security flag. Seriously. I was "randomly selected" for patdowns/explosive trace detection for two out of four passes through security. 

3) Mini bars are scary. Five bucks for a cute but incredibly tiny mini-bottle of diet coke? And the damned things are censored so if you so much as move the contents, you're automatically billed. 

4) The bathrooms in the Bellagio hotel rooms are bigger than my first apartment.

5) Getting authors coordinated to be at the same place, at the same time, and then having them hold still long enough to take a picture requires more dedication and luck than trying to capture a picture of Bigfoot. 

Erika Reed and I in the Bellagio Conservatory

6) If you put a group of authors together at a bar, they will talk and laugh until 2 am, and only when they are falling asleep where they sit will they finally admit defeat and go to bed. (or in some cases, go to their rooms and write...)

7) Las Vegas strip really is the place that never sleeps. It's also the place where you are likely to run into Mickey Mouse, Darth Vader, and the soldiers from HALO wandering through the crowds despite the fact it was nearly 80 degrees outside. 

8) People who live in Vegas think that 70 degrees is "cold." I swear I saw several airport baggage handlers bundled into gloves and hoodies on the tarmac because it was "winter." Please note, I was wearing a t-shirt leggings and thinking it was too warm to be wearing black. 

9) There are many wonderful cocktails to drink in Vegas, but the best one I had was a Raspberry Cobbler Martini at the Baccarat Lounge.

    1 1/2 oz Stoli Vanilla Vodka
    1/2 oz Chambord
    1 oz sweet and sour
    splash of pinapple syrup (not juice)

    Shake and serve in a martini glass rimmed with cinnamon and sugar, float a cinnamon stick. 

The Baccarat Lounge

10) If you take a picture of a bunch of women in their bathing suits. NONE of them will give you permission to post it.  Yes, it exists. No, you can't see it, I value my life too much. So instead I will show you a photo of the view from our poolside cabana. Those two heads belong to Erika Reed and Laurie Roma.

11) That stunning fountain in front of our cabana is in a pool. an UNHEATED pool that is not marked as such. Laurie Roma and I nearly got frostbite figuring that out for ourselves. 

12) If you ever go to a restaurant named "Hot and Juicy" and they offer you a bib/gloves to go with your meal, take it!  In fact, get spares. It was the messiest, spiciest, foodfest ever. Delicious. Also, corn fritters are awesome!

It was a hell of a good time, and I miss all my friends (new and old) terribly! 

Now I'm back to reality, writing, and laundry. Not necessarily in that order.