The road from the Grand Canyon to Las Vegas is not terribly long, nor terribly hilly. It’s five hours of mostly flat, quiet space that Megs and I filled with listening to the Dan Savage Lovecast, debating what his advice would be (and what our advice would be), and also long stretches of silence between us, with only Mr. Savage on for company. Knowing it was the second to last day of our 48-state tour meant contemplation was abound, nerves were jangling, and I was wondering what the new normal would be for me once I arrived home.
But before “What’s next?” there was “What is now,” and now, of course, was a first date in Nevada.
Mere hours before getting to the Hoover Dam, a must-see for any ladies on the road and the biggest sign that yes, you are in the salacious NV, I didn’t have a date lined up. Given the propensity for so-called sin, I assumed women might be interested in going on a date with me. I was mostly wrong, as most gals I contacted ignored me or politely declined, one in particular saying I looked like the sort of girl she’d go out with but not on camera. The only lady that had said yes went by the nickname “Radon” which conjured images of blasting rays of light that would overpower and overtake, and honestly kind of scared the bejesus out of me. Plus, she wanted to go to the Cheesecake Factory, which despite explaining we couldn’t do (they wouldn’t let us film, and the cost was beyond my means) she was rather insistent about. Okay, Radon out.
So then there were guys. Off the strip, Las Vegas is oddly a hotbed of locals, trying one way or another to get by. One potential date attempted several times to get his shift at the gas station covered so we could go out. A few more texted then faded away. Finally, C not only agreed to hit the Pinball Museum with me, but did so with gusto.
However, before the date, there were a few items of business to take care of. Like unloading equipment in our smoke-free, gambling-free luxury hotel suite.* And drinking coffee. And getting Megan her first very real meal since the stomach flu wiped her out: a buffet. And, meeting up with my two BFF’s, Angie and Mala, who flew into Las Vegas to caravan back to San Francisco with us.
I’d never been to a buffet, and after squealing and hugging “the girls,” we were all a bit taken aback by what was served at brunch: everything. Everything, plus free champagne. Mexican food, breakfast food, sushi and salad later, the buffet was attempting to kick us out politely by handing us four to-go coffee cups. I thought it was so polite of them to help sober us up on our way out the door, and it wasn’t until all four of us had left and were headed to the strip that we realized we’d each just been handed a twelve ounce cup of champagne.
And there’s really only one thing to do with that much champagne: drink it while in line for the New York, New York roller-coaster. Four giggly girls, Vegas, and one pending date meant there was time for still a few more things (it’s amazing how much one can cram into a Vegas day): dolling up, dancing, a bubble bath, gossip and candy. Yep, we pretty much acted like Jessica Simpson might.
Still made it to the date on time, too.
*Totally courtesy of our sponsor, ZOZI.