Lest you think I spent the entire trip sulking like an Angsty Party Girl, allow me to speak briefly of the high points of the trip (drinks with Harvey "Celeb Fit Club Trainer" notwithstanding).
Catalano's dad scored us a sweet time share. It really was delightful; three bedrooms (I think...there might have been four...it was a confusing weekend), kitchen, dining area, living room, three (or four?) full bathrooms, and a sweet jacuzzi. Mrs. Spaz and I put our bathing suits on and occupied said jacuzzi one evening with a bottle of wine. It was truly magic. The best part about having a kitchen (aside from the fact that we turned it into our own makeshift bar where drinks went for the hefty price of FREE) was the ability to have food on-hand. If Legs hadn't stocked the fridge and cupboards, I believe it's entirely likely we might have forgotten to eat all weekend. Except for....
Oh God, the eats. We went to Happy Hour at Koi on Friday night and had some lovely sushi rolls at half price (half price being nine bucks a pop). This was lovely, but nothing compared to the two buffets we devastated.
On Saturday we went to brunch (at 3pm, mind you...) at the Bellagio. I am well aware that there are starving people in this world; that countries are pained for fresh water and fresh eats. I felt guilty for a full four minutes until I popped a salmon mousse tart into my mouth and finally clued into the fact that there is a time and a place for human compassion, and a sensitivity for world hunger has to be checked at the door of the Bellagio along with any tight-fitting pants you might deign wear. I wore what I referred to as my "Eatin' Dress," which comfortably allows for some serious eating.
I mean, serious. Sushi, rack of lamb, prime rib, ahi poke, Kobe beef, steamed pork buns, pizza, Beef Wellington...it just went on and on. When one conjures images of buffets, it's usually of overcooked, overstarched college food sitting out to bake into oblivion under heat lamps. This is not that.
Cocktail shrimp posed sexily on mountains of slivered ice molded to look like bowls. Grilled quail splayed on a bed of rosemary. The whole thing was nothing short of food porn- and all of it up for grabs. (Although Legs's sister did comment that my mom's Beef Wellington is better than the Bellagio's...a compliment she took as the highest of praise, and rightfully so.)
And the desserts.
Oh, the desserts.
Everything dressed up to look like designer couture, complete with hardware. Chocolate buttons, marzipan bows, edible gold etching. These desserts made other desserts look like trusty farm hands. I shall now scoff at things like Milano cookies, which are overweight and clumsy compared to the slivers of shortbread and chocolate delicately placed headfirst into an air-whipped bed of chocolate mousse.
Sunday, we hit up the famous Spice Market in Planet Hollywood. Same deal with the "Eatin' Dress." Same deal with the ridiculousness. I wish I had brought three extra stomachs with me. I would have gladly paid Delta to check them.
I'm well aware of the dangers of skin cancer. I know that tanning is a blight upon humanity and has even prompted legislation (the "Anti-Snookie" bill preventing teenagers from tanning and asking for higher taxes on tanning services) .
I KNOW THIS.
One of my most favorite things is Lying Out With A Book. I'm like a cat. Give me a puddle of sun, a nice towel, and I'm in it to win it. And our hotel came with a gorgeous outdoor pool. Multiple pools, in fact, and one very nicely reserved for "Adults Only," and outfitted with a tiki bar. My kinda place.
I probably laid out in the sun for all of three combined hours this weekend and walked with a tan like the one I got after four days in Ocean City last summer.
Well, funny you should ask. My masseuse (I'll get to that...) informed me: "Enjoying that sun? Don't stay out there too long. There's no smog here, you know. Nothing to block pure sun rays. Coming straight through. You'll burn in less than ten minutes."
It was at that moment that I realized that Vegas, despite being disgustingly full of sin, is a delightfully clean city.
Say what you will about hookers and gambling, there ain't no smog. Or grime. Sure, the tap water tastes a bit off (it is the desert), but after having spent a lifetime on the east coast and four years in what is ranked one of the dirtiest cities in America (sorry, Baltimore...) it was rather a treat to breathe in a lungful of humidity- and smog-free air.
So, the pool. The laying out. Oh, the luxury. Which leads me to....
THE COUPLES' MASSAGE:
Mrs. Spaz and I, and Catalano and her sister opted for the couples' massage package that included a hot stone session. Nevermind that it was couples' massage. It was a deal we weren't gonna pass up, and no one asked any questions about the all-girl pairings.
And there was nothing even remotely romantic about it, believe you me.
Our masseuses were a pair of what I assumed to be sisters, bred of the same football coach stock and hailing from Flatbush. And, lemme tell you, while I'm sure either of them could crush my very being between her pinky and ring finger, they had the lightest touch of any masseuse I've ever had. Which was good. Because they took one look at us, raised their twin eyebrows, and said, "We are not going to do the deep tissue."
"Why not?" we pestered.
"It releases too many....toxins." They eyed us up and down. Hungover and guilty, we were.
Let me tell you things you should not do before getting a hot stone massage. First and foremost, nobody should be getting a massage after two days of hellish behavior in Vegas. Talk about toxins released. Secondly, nobody should be getting a message after falling asleep in aforementioned direct sunlight for an hour after two days of hellish behavior in Vegas.
You know that sick, cold sweat, headachey feeling you get from sunburn-slash-heatstroke? Combine that with severe self-induced dehydration, and then lie- FACE DOWN- on a massage table and have someone put hot stones on your back.
Oh, the torture.
I paid someone fifty bucks to put burning hot stones on my sunburned back, thus causing me to sweat out what I can only assume was pure champagne and sin.
IT WAS NOT PLEASANT.
I saw black spots before my eyes for roughly two hours afterward. A shaft of sunlight came in through the hotel window, and I shuddered and curled up in the corner. If anyone had approached me at that point, I might have yelled "I PUT THE LOTION ON MY SKIN."
Stay tuned for Part III.