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September 15, 2010

What Happens In Vegas

http://www.jewishjournal.com/blog/item/what_happens_in_vegas/

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I think I am ready to tell my Vegas story now.  What happens in Vegas truly stays in Vegas…on the bathroom door of the hotel room, apparently, which was the start of my Rosh Hashanah/birthday week in Vegas.

I headed to Las Vegas with my mother, husband and son last week to ring in the new year and celebrate my birthday, because what better way to atone for one’s sins than in Sin City itself?  By the way, whoever says Vegas is crowded on New Year’s Eve was wrong, at least that wasn’t my experience for the Jewish New Year.  (That is what they were talking about, right?)

We arrived in Las Vegas with plenty of time to settle in before the chag, so that we could truly spend some time celebrating.  Not in the way others probably celebrate in Vegas.  Does spending time in the Apple Store almost every day at the Caesar’s Palace Forum Shops count?  Thanks to my son and the heat, that is where he and my husband spent most of their time, while I snuck over to the MAC store across the way.

We checked into our hotel and made the mile trek from the parking lot to our room.  My son, husband and I settled in…well, almost, until I made my way to the bathroom.  And there it was: remnants of something I probably should not have witnessed.  The bathroom door was splattered in…wait for it…what appeared to be….dried blood.  Yes, dried blood.  I am making an educated guess here, because I would only get so close to the door itself.  (Mind you, we stayed in a well-known upscale Vegas hotel.  I can’t imagine what one would find at a dive motel.)  I stared at the horrid splattering of blood and instead of calling the front desk to have us moved, my mind wandered.  There has got to be an interesting story here, I thought.  And I will spare you the details of where my mind wandered as I envisioned a night in Vegas in the hotel room.  The possibilities were endless.  Thankfully, my thoughts were interrupted by my husband, since there was not enough time to write a screenplay, novel or short story (and TV and film are inundated with vampire sagas already).  There was a lot to be done before the holiday.  My husband called the front desk and we headed out for another half-mile hike with our suitcases to the registration area. 

We cut in front of the line of anxious tourists wheeling in their suitcases, itching to gamble their Euros away.  We felt our issue was more of a priority at the moment.  (My apologies to the French folks we cut off, who were trying to come up with a coherent sentence while using their electronic phrase books.  I would have helped translate, really, but I took Spanish in high school.)

The front desk attendant greeted us.  He must have had short-term memory loss because he had greeted us only moments before when we checked in, but nonetheless he greeted us yet again. “Hi, checking in?  How can I help you?”

“We’d like a new room.  There is blood on our bathroom door.”

“What?”

“Blood on our…”

“No, I heard you.  I just…let me call my manager and see what I can do.”  What he can do?  How about changing our room?  An upgrade?  A complimentary post-traumatic therapy session?  And then he returned.  “Ok, we have a new room for you.  Sorry about that.”  And he handed us two new room keys.

‘Sorry about that?’  How Vegas of him to apologize for evidence of some crime scene and blow it off as if we had just complained about our pillows not being fluffed enough.  But what could I expect?  The line of anxious tourists were waiting to take in breathtaking views of smoke-filled casinos, brightly-lit marquees and ads above taxis advertising guns, discounted women and buffets.

Needless to say, we did not let the incident stand in our way.  We had plenty of time to have fun in Vegas, and by fun, I mean walking from hotel to hotel comparing the shops and imaginary skylines.  We even had time to take in the games at Circus Circus for my son, of course, since according to him, “there are too many adult games and not enough kid ones.”  I would have to agree with him.  I enjoyed watching my son play games and win stuffed animals that he really did not want in the first place and I don’t know what to do with (I am not going to call it the precursor to gambling).  I would have enjoyed my time more if I did not have a fear of clowns and circuses in general (but that is a whole other article).  I am happy that we did manage to keep my son away from all things typically “Vegas.”  He missed the blood-splattered bathroom door and ads for discounted “women.” (Yes, that is not a typo.  Perhaps due to the recession, there needs to be a discount on those services as well.)  He also missed the gun ads, the half-naked women on marquees and Barry Manilow.  I am thankful that in the end, this trip did not turn into homeschooling about gambling, drinking and the oldest profession around.  To him, Vegas was “cool.”  Vegas was Circus Circus and the Apple Store. 

He was disappointed, however, that on my birthday, my husband ordered a vegan carrot cake from a local bakery instead of a princess cake.  (So, we will have to order one of those soon to make up for that Vegas trauma.)

Overall, we had a great time ringing in the new year and my birthday as well, without leaving any money behind (to be honest, I did leave some at the MAC counter, but that doesn’t count).

With the exception of my new eyeshadow and a collection of stuffed animals that will end up collecting dust somewhere in our home, everything else truly stayed in Vegas…as it should.

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