Blog: Escape To Vegas, Part Three
(originally written 8/23/17)
The next day, Saturday, Arnell continued to amaze me with his relentless energy—going to bed later than me, yet still rising earlier than me and having breakfast made for us when we came downstairs. Of course, he isn't 80-90 pounds overweight as I am. That could play a role.
On this day, about, oh, 30 seconds after eating, 'Nell was ready to hike. We headed to a trail just outside of town, burned off breakfast, took a ton of cool photos and saw possibly the largest beetles in creation. These things were the size of golf balls, so big that the Junio family dog tried to eat them out of the sky.
Back at home, I noticed something odd about my flight itenary. As in...it wasn't for the date it was supposed to be. I called the airline and yep...somehow I'd booked my flight for the wrong date, and I had to scramble to find a ticket for Monday (the soonest available). THIS is why I don't set up events, people. I admittedly lack planning skillz.
Sunday morning, I did something I hadn't done in 32 months: played a game of softball. I'd retired from the sport in August 2014 in a haze of physical problems and diminished skillz, but when your boy—who's housed and fed you all weekend—asks you to participate, you do it. While I did do decently with the bat, I showed absolutely nothing at SS; it's fortunate only two balls were hit to me.
Driving out to the field, yet another Vegas misconception fell by the wayside. I'd assumed the city was all busy all the time, hustle and bustle 24-7. But no, most everywhere outside of the strip was peaceful and traversable. We got everywhere we needed to go without struggle, be it on city streets or freeways. And the parks...so many parks. You don't think parks, schools and communities when you think Vegas. But they're all plentiful. Actuality 3, Assumptions 0.
Our long weekend ended the only way it could—with buzzed karaoke. Finally ready to relax after three straight days of playing (excellent) hosts/tourguides, the Junios spent most of Sunday chillaxin' at the crib. After Josie and Abby regaled us with the below performance, their fathers—under the influence of alcohol—took over the mike. Click below if you dare. But don't send me your glass repair bills.
This worked out well, however, because Arnell badly wanted to attend an 80's concert by a cover band called The Spazzmatics held late Saturday night—but obviously not alone. And though I did want to attend it myself, staying out until 2am with an upcoming 7am flight would've resulted in me flying to Greenland in a sleep-deprived stupor the next day. (Hmmm...now I have to wonder if my friend might have had something to do with that "booking error"...)
Prior to the show, I did what would be my last bit of gambling. I have zero recollection of anything I played—just that they were all slots. In all, over three nights I gambled about $30 and won back just under half. Reading that in print, I'm a little disgusted. That's like owning a Mazerati and only driving it to and from church.
The Spazzmatics' act is four guys covered in various bandages, wraps and slings—presumably from spazzing out—who want hotties but have no game and can barely keep their composure around them. Still, they managed to pull this off without being annoying, and since they have true musical skillz, we enjoyed the show.
"Let's Go Crazy", "Wake Me Up Before You Go-Go", and "Money For Nothing" were among the many 80's hits they covered, but what I'll always remember was the birthday girl they summoned onstage from the crowd to dance—her name was Jessica or something like that, and she was cut. Built better than some pro female athletes. I'd never seen such a ripped woman in person. She could have beat up Xena and Wonder Woman at the same time.
Perhaps the only negative of the whole trip was the flight back. As I mentioned, I wanted to fly back—my lone previous flying experience was seven years prior. While I did okay on the plane, after landing it sunk in that I was thousands of feet off the ground...cue mild internal freak-out. I'm not close to following John Madden's lead, but let's just say I will probably not fly again just to do it.
There will be no return visits to the Junio home in Vegas; Racquel's employers have since summoned her back to Virginia. Still, I could see myself back in LV one day, dodging mega-beetles and rental-car cacti all the while.