Recently, several people have inquired how I got into the business of Blogging. Although my profession was teaching, I fancied myself a writer having authored several nonfiction texts for young people (to provide authentic, researched text and illustrations for young readers on Ancient African history) and labored over the Ultimate Memoir/Fiction tome-All The Lies Are True. I was also a modern day Griot (storyteller) and known for regaling party goers, insomniac phone callers with my tales. After a life changing visit to Vegas, I found myself retelling the adventure over and over to the delight of the listeners. (Funny how people take pleasure in others’ misery). So I decided to start a Blog and post the Vegas Tale there for all the world to see. It is lengthy and I will be posting it in readable segments always conscious of the time constraints of busy Readers. Part 1 awaits…..Enjoy!
It all started back in March when the unnamed one asked me to accompany him on a trip to the wild wild west for a family reunion. Mind you, this is not his true family, but some kind people he lived with as a teen and who considered him their ‘brother’. I had previously accompanied the unnamed one a few years prior to the lovely Myrtle Beach for a similar event and made note that June in MB is akin to running with scissors.
But the chance of going to Vegas made me go blind and lose my mind for a moment and I said yes. Somewhat like the proposal from husband #1 when the ring fell in the gutter and washed away…Warning! Warning! I was blinded by the visions of desert, cactus, prairie flowers, casinos, bright lights, and the Bellagio fountain. Plans were made, Expedia was googled, securing a wonderful package via Delta complete with a room with a view at the mgm grand.
My first hint that something was askew happened when Delta changed our return flight time from early to late. This meant we either checked out of the hotel and wandered the halls of the grand (must be a marketing ploy for casino) or pay for a whole ‘nother night and remain in the room a few hours until flight time. But dilemma solved when I remembered I was in possession of a coupon for a free room in Vegas courtesy of eldest daughter who had sweet talked me and my cash into going with her and youngest daughter in the dead of February to Atlantic city via the ‘hound’. That is another Adventure not to be regaled here.
For all of you horror movie fans, this is when the music changes and you start to clutch your seat. What I failed to notice in the email from Delta was not only had Delta changed the flight time, they had also given us new seats which were 12 rows apart! Did I mention that neither the unnamed one nor I had been on a plane since 911? I, who used to blithely fly from LA to the East Coast and then anywhere else my wandering soul wanted to go suddenly found myself earthbound and limited to snail travel. But we rationalized it would be foolish to drive or take the train to Vegas. The only way to go was in the friendly skies and besides we would be together (if something happened), wouldn’t we?
And we’re off…bright, sunshiny morning. Bags weighed and measured, liquids and powders in right sized containers, easy to remove shoes…we were the perfect travelers. I got pulled over by the TSA as soon as I walked through the scanner. The frisker said it was my cell phone. What? its in the bin like the sign said. He took out a special cloth and calmly wiped the phone around the edges, slid it across a machine and said, you’re okay…have a nice flight.
And a nice flight was had by all. An hour and a half later descending into ATL with enough time to grab lunch and run/walk/take a people mover to the gate for our connecting flight. Did I mention that the unnamed one sustained a flying insect bite while we were in the ATL airport?( I think they are attracted to people with high alcohol counts in their blood). This Reader, is what is known in literary circles as Foreshadowing.
We arrived in Vegas tired but happy to be on the ground. The temperature was a mere 100 degrees as we waited for a pricey shuttle to take us to the mgm grand. They did not offer free service, one of the many things I was about to learn about the not so grand, grand. Business was a little slow at the front desk, however, a couple next to us was engaged in a serious discussion with the clerk about the condition of their room. Words like substandard, dank, dismal were being tossed around by the angry, red faced man. Having been the recipient of some poorly outfitted rooms in the past at my favorite haunts, I was all ears and calmly asked the clerk about the room we were being given.
She looked at me as if I had had just arrived from Pluto and said tartly, It is a king like you requested and is 350 square feet! She then directed us to pictures from a notebook showing what seemed to be a modern, stylish room. After paying the abhorrent daily ‘resort fee’ (not mentioned in the Expedia small print), She politely pointed us to the West Wing where we were instructed to walk down a long corridor, turn left, pass through the bar, continue on to the row of elevators that would deliver us to our suite.
Hah, words fail me here. The corridor was indeed long and dark and painted with some metal gray color left over from a battleship. The rug reeked with the scent of wet feet and musk. I could barely breathe by the time we got to the room, as we were in what appeared to be the basement of the grand. And the room. Someone must have photoshopped the picture she showed us. Yes, it had a king bed, but there was no desk, no drawer, no tub…only a shower and the view was of an alley. It didn’t even have a coffee pot. I later learned that Starbucks was doing booming business selling caffeine craving guests their expensive $10 a cup coffee.
Motel 6 had better rooms. But this was the great mgm grand. Beyoncé and Jayz had stayed here. Surely, there had been a mistake. I was disheartened but summoned up the strength after our $70 dinner of Mexican food (isn’t that just beans and cheese?) to call Expedia and complain about the accommodations. Any of you readers who have dealt with these third party booking services already know what I am about to tell you.
The representative was in the Philippines. He was reading a script. He was sorry I was having a problem. But there was nothing to be done. Oh, you want to speak to my supervisor? She is in a neighboring country, but hold on a minute. The supervisor listened patiently and then informed me that she would note my concern about the room and the misleading information on the website for future use.
And by the way, I would have to take up the room issue with the grand because they had no relationship with them and no power to change the room. Is there anything else I can help you with?
The heat, the stifling air, the loud noises of partygoers in the hallway, the sudden 4 hour time change And the two margueritas And shot of Patron together with the nouveau chille relleno all conspired against me and I surrendered to that wonderful panacea…sleep.
I would deal with this, or rather I would have the unnamed one deal with this in the morning. But wait, tomorrow was our trip to the Grand Canyon and the bus left at 6 a.m. sharp…was that eastern or mountain time…so the room issue would have to wait. And so will you dear reader for Part 2 of the Exciting, Adventurous, no good, horrible, terrible*Las Vegas trip.
(*Reference to popular children’s book about Alexander)
Love and Light! Comments always welcomed.