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 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, polite strangers and 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 a long tale. But each segment ONLY takes 6 min. To Read
I will be posting it in weekly 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.
Blinded by the visions of desert, cactus, prairie flowers, casinos, bright lights, and the Bellagio fountain, plans were made, Expedia was googled, booking 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. This meant we either checked out of the hotel and wandered the halls of the grand (must be a marketing ploy for the casino) or pay for a whole ‘nother night and remain in the room a few hours until flight time.
But problem solved when I remembered I was in possession of a coupon for a free room in Vegas courtesy of eldest daughter T who had sweet talked me and my cash into going with her and youngest daughter J 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 assigned us new seats which were 12 rows apart from each other!
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? it’s in the bin like the sign said. Wand waver took out a special cloth and calmly wiped the phone around the edges, slid it across a machine and smirked, You’re okay…have a nice flight.
And a nice flight was had by all. An hour and a half later, we descended 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 an 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 hotel rooms in the past, 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, ma’am and is 350 square feet!
She then pointed 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 directed 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. 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 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, I groaned. 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.
20 minutes later. The supervisor connected. She 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.
BUT I would have to take up the room issue with the grand because Expedia 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 $70 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 was scheduled to leave 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.
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