It must be said, here and now, that my daughter, the brand new twenty-one year old, shown here enjoying her Dreamsicle, is the countess of consumerism. She would be the queen if she (or I ? ) were more fiscally fit. Her Vegas agenda was simply, shop until mom drops and of course, the Fights.
Before getting to the rest, let me just say that for my first flight (s) I did pretty well. I didn't scream or shriek or otherwise embarrass my daughter. Both flights were relatively smooth. I was nauseous for the first hour of so after take off on Wednesday. I didn't experience any of that on the return flight Sunday.
We visited two malls, Las Vegas Premium Outlets and The Meadows, an embarrassing number of gift and souvenir shops, sidewalk vendors and even a drugstore or two. While not my favorite sport, I did get caught up in the frenzy and even allowed myself some new sneaks, tees and jeans. There was music, drinks, food, drinks, masks and drinks all lending to the carnival and party air. We returned home with three bags more.
The only down side were the sidewalk hawkers. The time-share hawkers are situated inside hotels, as well as, up and down "The Strip" or Las Vegas Blvd. Some approach with a hard sell, most are annoying. We discovered pretty quickly the magic words to turn off their motors; "we're flying out tonight."
All the trips up, down and over the boulevard and beyond were fun, tiring (we came quite close to developing the 'Las Vegas limp') and illuminating. We found out many fun facts, like, women are not allowed in strip clubs (or sections of clubs) where women perform, unless they are accompanied by a man. Not, mind you, that Dani and I were planning such an excursion. One of our cabbies, Mary, offered up that tidbit. She also related a story of how she'd been verbally attacked by a performer when she'd gone to a club to pick up her husband. The performer thought Mary might have been a pro who was trying to poach. It seems that pre-rule, prostitutes would go into the clubs to make...connections. The dancers took offense and after many scuffles and skirmishes, the clubs started banning un-accompanied women. Mary provided us with our Las Vegas quotable, 'Bitch! You tryin' to take my buck?' We didn't see any strippers, male or female or prostitutes, for that matter-at least we don't think so. There were billboards advertising in-room service, guaranteed to arrive in 30 minutes or less, like Dominos. Sin city, you know.
Our hotel, the Luxor, sported an Egyptian theme. There were pyramids, pharohs, rivers, rocks and well, Egyptian artifacts all over. One of the most popular spots, New York, New York sported faux Liberty and Coney Islands and a monster roller coaster that went through, up and out of the building. No, I did not try it. I don't do roller coasters, the plane ride was plenty, thank you very much.
The fight. Dani is a huge UFC fan. Prior to planning for this trip, I was oblivious to UFC, it's players, rules and so on. Still, not an expert, I know more than I ever thought I might. There were title bouts on Saturday, the 14th and according to my daughter, her birthday celebration trip would not be complete unless she could be in attendance witnessing fighters box, kick and wrestle each other into submission or better yet, a knock out. This event was the talk of the town. Everywhere we went, when discovered we were there to see the fights, stats, predictions, proclamations and grunts were exchanged. It was quite the spectacle.
Fight night found us in a throng of several hundred guys. So many guys that I though we'd od on the testosterone. Some guys brought babes. Some babes came without guys. Some brought kids. There were some celebs, like Jason Giambi, who was booed LOUDLY, in attendance. Everyone, it seemed, screamed allegiance to their favorites. Dani lost her voice. I didn't. She was in birthday princess heaven. Her main guy, Kenny Florian lost in five rounds, but he didn't 'tap out' (cry uncle). He held is own against a heavier fighter, and she was pleased with his effort.