Monday, June 23, 2003
Yes, I'm back. I had a lovely time, thanks. But it's been hard to get back to writing again, especially now that I'm the hospitalist for this week... in fact, I'm only here because I swore an oath to myself that I couldn't read another blog until I posted something.
So. Las Vegas. I hadn't been to Vegas for about two years, and wasn't sure what to expect when meeting a clutch of women I'd never met before - all friends of my brother's fiancee and all of whom will be in the wedding party. But we got along fine, and had a great time. Vegas was hot - about 104 degrees - but none of us minded all that much because the spring in California and on the East Coast has been so cold and overcast. We stayed at the Bellagio, which I highly recommend - if you saw the remake of Ocean's Eleven, you know what it looks like. I kept hoping that Brad Pitt or Matt Damon would pop up, but no such luck.
We spent a lot of time at the pool. Did I say "pool"? It's actually a series of four or five pools spread over a huge area - looked like about two acres. It's jammed at noon, and too hot for me, but I went down at five pm and really enjoyed it. It was plenty warm enough then and there was almost nobody there. So that's my travel tip - don't go to the pool until four-thirty.
The first night we went out to dinner at the House of Blues, thanks to Vic's cousin who got us into the Foundation Room. (Vic is my future sister-in-law.) It's very lovely, very expensive. We all stood out on the patio looking at the view and waving our "Vic on a Stick" party favors. Yes, one of Vic's friends cut her face out of a photo, copied it 15 times, laminated it and glued the resulting images to tongue depressors and paint stirrers! What are friends for, if not to humiliate you in public in this fashion??
The next night came what we had all been waiting for... the inevitable... The Thunder From Down Under. Yes, every bachelorette weekend involves seeing male flesh at some point, and this was it. Let me just be frank and say, I had a blast. When is the concept of Australian men taking off their clothes not a good idea? Answer: never. Yes, the choreography left something to be desired; yes, all the dance numbers were more or less the same; yes, watching them prance around in drag at the end was more than a little reminiscent of "Benny Hill." But who the hell cares? And the show got bonus points from me for its location: the Excalibur, the tackiest place I've ever EVER seen. Sherwood Forest Cafe, anyone?
When we arrived for the show, we were 45 minutes early but already there was a very long line of eager females. (Where are all the guys?" asked one of our group, sarcastically.) Our fellow audience members were not exactly dressed for a night on the town - I saw lots of ripped jeans and tank tops. Standing next to them in our pseudo-medieval surroundings, our semi-dressed-up group felt like we'd wandered into the wrong place. But we weren't in the wrong place. I kept staring around and muttering, "This feels like the Renissance Festival from hell." We were surrounded by the Excalibur Shoppe, The Dragon's Lair (another gift shop), Sir Galahad's Pub and Prime Rib... oh, and a caricature booth. It was like being at Fantasyland, only much tackier.
To sum up, when in Las Vegas, DON'T stay at the Excalibur. DO stay at the Bellagio. And always drink beer before going to see an all-male strip show; the whole experience is easier that way.