Jorge told me to keep my Friday open: no appointments at work and give my bosses a heads up about possibly being out. It would be tough since we had our Mexican Artisan Expo coming up, but I made sure to complete my daily to-do lists to leave everything ready, just in case.
Thursday afternoon comes around and I get a text from Jorge: “Fill out your absence form, the trip is happening!”
I was in disbelief and panicked since I hadn’t filled out my form because I didn’t think we were actually going anywhere; it was already late in the week AND we had lots going on, like La Guelaguetza that evening and leaving work early for Alaethia’s Awards Ceremony. But I get my form filled out, signed and submitted with no problem. Our events ran late, we grabbed Whataburger and although we still needed to pack and I needed to put a few things in to wash, we were exhausted so I would do it all in the morning.
It was kind of like I was floating around witnessing my own life from the outside; we were going on an All-Expense-Paid trip to VEGAS, and I just couldn’t believe it. Never in a million years did I think we’d get to go–and for practically FREE??
I took my sweet time the next morning since our flight had changed to a later time, making myself a lovely, un-rushed breakfast and then chit-chatted with Linda and Mom…for a while.
When Jorge texted about needing a few things packed I finally went into panic mode when I realized that I had 2 HOURS to finish getting ready, so I started showering, doing my hair and packing. I had to admit that I had butterflies in my stomach. At the tender age of 35, I’d still not flown in an airplane, nor had I been to Vegas and wasn’t sure what to expect. I had visions of myself flipping out like Annie in Bridesmaids.
Jorge gets home and we finish packing. I check my lists and re-check to make sure I didn’t forget anything. We start getting everything in the car and I start to feel super nervous, but I will not admit it. We load the car, I give Mom an hug and we take off.
Jorge, being a Veteran flier, gave me a rundown of what to do and not do to make our airport experience quick and easy: no earrings, put your jewelry in your luggage, don’t wear socks and wear slides. I dressed as appropriately as possible.
We’re near the mall almost to the airport when I realize, “Holy shit! I forgot my fucking flat-iron! And I didn’t bring hair gel or anything!!”
(And my toothbrush, his toothbrush and toothpaste! FAAKKK!!)
My wonderful husband–who isn’t too good about gently telling you to calm down–says, “You had all day, how could you not pack that??” And then I see him take a turn into the JC Penney parking lot. I tell him, “No, I am not buying a new one. That’s ridiculous.” He said, “You’re not buying one, I’m buying one.” So he practically drags me inside and he’s showing me all these awesome CHI ones with really cute patterns and shows me one he really likes and suddenly I feel overwhelmed. I tell him just to get the one he liked and I step outside for fresh air. And then I get teary. I attribute it to the fact that I’m nervous about flying and just not knowing what to expect.
I finally calm down on the way to the airport. Jorge packs my flat-iron and we’re off to have our baggage checked in.
It was a long-ish wait, but we went through just fine and the portly, kind TSA agent told me my pink fuzzy slides were the coolest shoes he’d seen in a long time, aww!
We found the correct gate and stopped by a gift shop so that I could get some water and a snack, since I decided to be an idiot and not have lunch 🙄 . I was going to try my best to stick to Keto foods, so that left me with the option of jerky a snack protein pack and water.
They start boarding and we walk down this tubey-tunnel and into the airplane. It’s cold, so I’m glad I brought my Pikachu hoodie 😆 . We make our way all the way to the end. Jorge says, “If we got window seats, you sit there so you can experience it.” My nerves turn to excitement–I can’t believe I’m about to fly on a plane!! We get to our seats and we’re in the middle and aisle seats. Boo. Everyone’s seated and the flight attendant tells the people behind us that if they’d like to, they could move to a window seat in an empty row. Jorge overhears and asks the flight attendant if we can do the same and tells her I’ve never flown before, and the flight attendant cheerfully says, “Sure!”
Jorge tells me to chew some gum so my ears won’t pop, so I frantically lift my bag from between my feet and get us some sticks. A flight attendant does through all the instructions, like in the movies 😆 . My heart is thumping as the plane starts to move. As we ascend, I begin to take video, and as we get higher Jorge says, “Do you not feel that, or are you ignoring it?” As I’m still taking video I ask, “What? What should I be feeling?” He says, “No, you’re good, I think you’ll be okay.” 😆
I had only seen people’s photos of clouds and the earth below from social media, and couldn’t believe I was experiencing it myself! It felt surreal!
We entertained ourselves with the snacks we got at the airport.
About an hour in, we ordered some mixed nuts and mixed drinks 😀 .
Jorge fell asleep and I blogged a teensy bit before I started nodding off, too, but I was too excited to fall sleep! And then I started seeing this:
We finally arrive (it was a 2-hour, 45-minute flight). I’m in awe of the scenery and then by how enormous the airport is. So much walking!
Our friend texts us briefly to let us know there’s a car waiting for us; just look for our name in the crowd.
I immediately felt fancy 😆 . Flying, Vegas, our name on an iPad?? And riding in a brand-new Escalade to MGM??? What is this life??
We see skyscrapers and screens and lights, like in the movies! You can even see the Mandalay Bay, and the windows that were still broken due to the shooter. 🙁 Such a sobering view.
We arrive at the hotel…
I can’t believe how huge and luxurious it is and how many people are in there. We’re like real tourists, standing in the middle of the lobby, stumped on what to do, where to go. Our friend had made our reservation, obviously, and we weren’t sure what row of people to stand behind to be helped. Jorge couldn’t get ahold of him because he was on his own flight on his way to Vegas.
2 people with anxiety in large crowds is a recipe for disaster LOL. Jorge remembered seeing a certain name on the water bottles in the Escalade and I found a counter with the exact same name. So, me, being the one with less anxiety found a concierge that wasn’t helping people and asked her if she could check on our reservation at that counter. After a few calls because our friend wasn’t present, we were in the system and were taken to our room.
We organize our things in the room and snap photos. I’m taken aback by how huge the city is, how tall the buildings are at every turn. We flip through the menus on the TV and relax for a while till we meet our friends in their room for hors d’oeuvres.
Our friends are staying in one of the penthouses and it’s just incredible!! The decor, the ceiling height, the food that was catered in from the kitchen–it’s all amazing. We had some Champagne and bits and pieces from a charcuterie board and got ready to go to actual dinner. I was already stuffed!
We went downstairs through the casino and to the Wolfgang Puck Bar & Grille.
I didn’t want to take a photo of my food because I felt silly in front of these wealthy people, heh. But I did snap a quick photo of the hubs:
I had never had such amazing chicken wings in my life! The pomme frites and everything else we shared were incredible as well!
We ended the evening watching our friends play baccarat in the high roller’s room. I was amazed by how much some people were spending! All I kept thinking when they would lose was, “Just give it to me instead!!” 😆
We were up till 3am, which is something I haven’t done in YEARS. We had to get some Starbucks so I could stay awake lol.
We woke up late the next morning and ordered room service. Jorge had a Bacon Bloody Mary; it was so good!
I started feeling kinda groggy and my nose was running like crazy. So we showered and got ready to explore a bit. And find some Dayquil 🙄 . Only I would get sick in Vegas.
We found a Walgreens, thank God. Got some toothbrushes, toothpaste and Day/Nyquil.
We looked around and visited several stores before our friends wanted to meet up again. As we’re walking back into the MGM, some guys dressed up as a Transformer and Iron Man come up to us and say, “Want a picture, Beautiful??” Jorge already has his arm around my waist but pulls me closer and angrily says, “NO.” I giggle and say, “You’re so overprotective!” He says, “Hello, they were talking to ME!” Buahahaha!!
We played some slots and had some drinks…
And then we met our friends at the High Roller’s Room again. There was a tournament and the amount of MONEY that was being bet! One man was switching back and forth between two tournaments and had $14 Million at one table 😯 I would pretty much cash out right there–or is that something you can’t do yet? LOL
We did some more day drinking:
And then we had lunch at Wolfgang Puck’s Grille again. It was incredible!
Our friend surprised us with tickets to Cirque du Soleil’s “KA”!! So we had about an hour to just chill out in our room. Of course that meant taking a selfie:
We got ready to head out and were already running late somehow so I only got to do a quick drive-by photo:
I had never seen a show more spectacular than this! It was breathtaking and I found myself asking Jorge, “Is that actually happening or is it an illusion??” several times throughout the show. The aerial performers were incredible, it was funny just enough and the crazy stage floor that would rise up to a 90-180 degree angle and drop sand and water was crazy!! I was impressed and so was Jorge.
We headed back to our room, but not before grabbing some Starbucks; my old ass was ALREADY getting sleepy at 10pm! We ordered some drinks in and were all set to relax before we met our friends for dinner.
I was feeling so sick and groggy that I couldn’t enjoy my Starbucks or my drink at all 🙁 . It was quite depressing. Next thing I knew, Jorge was on the phone saying, “We fell asleep…” I shoot out of bed and look at the time: 12:00am!! Apparently, we’d crashed out and our friends had been trying to get a hold of us for the last hour to have dinner! We thanked them, but opted out, washed up and changed for bed. We had to be up early the next day anyway.
We showered and were up by 6am. We were going to get breakfast at the airport and be ready for our flight at 9am. Since we were anxious about our transportation and didn’t really know the airport, we wanted to be ready.
We grabbed all our luggage and checked out. I was feeling better from my cold after all that sleep, heh.
We’re waiting outside for our car and don’t know which in the world it is; there are tons of Escalades. So I ask one of the gentlemen and he calls in to the office. He asks for our names and says, “Your car is on its way, ma’am.” A black Bentley (that Jorge tells me is worth about 3 houses) drives right up to us and the lady helps us load our luggage.
Then she turns on our back massagers. I couldn’t believe it.
We arrive to the airport and do the whole check-in and baggage thing. The lady writes out our gate number on a tiny slip of paper and Jorge sticks it in his pocket. We start the trek towards our gate and snap a pic in the tram
And then we grab some Burger King. It was the most expensive Burger King meal, ever. Ah, Vegas!
It wasn’t 100% Keto; I left the bottom croissant on it 😳 .
Jorge and I eat quickly and make our way to the gate. I don’t remember if he checked the little ticket with our gate number or if I asked him to, but we were at the wrong gate! We hightailed it across the airport, no tram or anything! Then we hear over the intercom that it’s the last call for our flight, so our brisk walk turns into a trot lol. Thankfully, we make it!
It was a cloudless day.
We get to the airport 2.5 hours later and grab our luggage. We’re still reeling from the last couple of days, but We’re glad to be home, too. We head to Kusina Restaurant for some lunch.
I still cant believe I visited Vegas! Another check off the Bucket List!