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Saturday, May 21, 2011

I'm back!

..... which is exciting to..... Stella! And maybe that's it.

What a journey to Vegas. Vegas is really quite the town. We ate, we worked, we WALKED. Vegas is deceptive: you think things are close that actually aren't, you can walk for 5 miles and still be just as far away from the fucking MGM Grand. Carri - as I knew she would be - was an excellent travel companion. As I soak my blisters let me reflect on the events of the trip, numbered for your convenience:

1. The flight: Vancouver to Las Vegas

Was uneventful, surprisingly. Xanax is a helluva drug. Some very nice, very unlucky man named Ian was seated next to me, and had every single bone in his hand crushed during takeoff and turbulence in the desert. Whatta guy. He was lovely. I invited him for a thank-you drink, he didn't respond. I think it was the 37th broken bone that made him decide not to hook up with me on this trip. Shocking.

2. My first meal

After Carri and I checked into the Paris, we got settled, changed and went to the pool. Cheers:

We didn't have anything businessy to do that night, so we wandered about, taking in the sights and sounds of Vegas, slightly overwhelming to the casual observer. There are skanks absolutely everywhere. And short Mexican dudes who try to give you photos and numbers of said skanks. Everything is lit up everywhere, all of the time. We went to Caesars Palace and went shopping. Then we came back to the hotel and passed out (well, I passed out, thanks to a nice big dose of sleeping pills).

Everyone had told me that if I was staying at the Paris (or anywhere in Vegas) I should have breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi, a French restaurant at the base of the fake Eiffel Tower. I had a ham and cheese crepe, recommended by the server:

I could only eat about half of it. American portions are massive. Also? No vegetables. I mean anywhere. Those gherkins on my plate and the teaspoon of fresh spinach were the only ones that I didn't have to actively hunt for on the trip. I spent the rest of the day shopping and cultivating three massive blisters on my feet. The desert is hot. That's pretty much the dumbest sentence I've ever written, but it's extremely true and needs to be emphasized so I can accurately express how I was sweating like a stevedore. Still had fun though.

3. Dinner at Spago

I made Carri and I a reservation at Spago, so we could continue our trend of appearing to be a lesbian couple. It's a beautiful restaurant and not too terribly pricey. Carri started with the pea soup, which was an extraordinary green colour and came with a spoon that resembled a canoe:

The photo doesn't do it justice. It was massive. Then Carri had a very pretty roasted baby beet salad:

Followed by Spaghetti Bolognese:

Carri is one of those annoying thin people who can eat retarded amounts of food and maintain a balanced weight, whereas I eat a Cheerio and I gain 10 pounds. Whatevs. I had the Ahi tuna:

I realized this tuna was FedExed in from the ocean to the middle of the desert but I didn't care. It was delicious.

We shared dessert. I have to say, as a world-class chef, don't you think Wolfgang Puck could find a way to make an ice cream serving look, I don't know, less than disgusting?

It makes me feel like I should look away. I still ate it though. Again again, shocking.

4. Lonely Tuesday

Shit got kind of real for me at this point. I was lonely, I missed Stella, and I wanted to come home but was absolutely dreading the flight. Started again with breakfast at Mon Ami Gabi:

Much later, after hunting for the entrance to PF Changs, I had beef and broccoli. Pretty good, pretty standard:

This would be the last meal I was able to keep down. In between working and my anxiety I threw up everything I ate from then on out. Carri, our colleague Erik and I all had delicious Mexican food together before going to the airport, but it didn't stay down, so I won't recap. That kind of waste just makes me sad. But Erik, like Carri, is terrific company so I will remember the great conversation if not the great food.

5. The flight: Las Vegas to Vancouver

We had a night flight, meaning I had all day to think about how scared I was. Big mistake. I almost didn't make it on the plane, but when push came to shove, I made the choice to get on. It's very hard to understand and equally hard to explain, but just trust me when I tell you that it's a very misunderstood and very debilitating illness.

As we landed in Vancouver, I was exhausted but thankful. My first flight in 10 years. My colleagues signed a card and got me a bottle of champagne which was waiting for me when I got to work the next day. Everyone should be so lucky to be surrounded by so much understanding and compassion. The truth and the lesson of this experience has been, for me, how kind people really are. Strangers reached out to me on the plane, both times. People in Vegas are friendly. My colleagues traveled with me and held my hand. People really are good at heart.

Stella greeted me by slapping me on the knee with an open paw and running out of the room as soon as I rolled in, about 1:30am. And I fell into bed exhausted. It was a good trip.

In the spirit of I'd-like-to-buy-the-world-a-coke, if I had my way I could make a big meal for everyone that was kind to me before, during and after this trip and serve it to them. As that's not possible, I will close with this: Thank you, thank you, thank you.


  1. pit bull party hatMay 21, 2011 at 9:21 PM

    this is the first occasion that a trip to vegas has actually solidified someones belief in humanity

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