Hotel Soap

My friend, Gene, doesn’t get out so much. This is because he can’t breathe very well.  Why am I always keeping company with people who can’t get enough air? It must be kismet or something. Whatever. These short-of-breath folks seem worth their weight in portable oxygen tanks (which are not so light) so I’m glad they land in my space bubble.

I, on the other hand, get out a lot. Sometimes by choice: I’ve done some great wilderness and adventure travel, a lot of it with my darling daughter. Sometimes by opportunity: My husband travels with his work and once in a while the destination draws me along. These past months it’s been out of necessity as I flit around in little Saab prop planes to the hinterlands on family matters.

And so, a little jaunt to Las Vegas is not the sort of trip that would be on my radar right now, or ever. I don’t gamble. I don’t like crowds of people. I don’t like noise and commotion and bright city lights. I hate cigarette smoke. I get a headache if I drink much. Between you and me? Looking forward to this trip? Not so much.

Flying out of Detroit’s abandoned and dejected Smith Terminal  on a dingy American West plane late at night wasn’t lifting my spirits. (Northwest Air, bankruptcy aside, owns the Detroit Airport. Every other airline gets the condemned part of the airport.) And when the world’s BIGGEST person lowered himself into the seat next to me I really started feeling sorry for myself. I was trying to politely ignore the fact that he needed two seat belt extensions but he insisted on telling me his own personal weight loss saga that took exactly 3 hours and 18 minutes to recount and that, coincidentally, was the length of the flight.

(Just FYI, he used to weigh 827 pounds but now, thanks to gastric bypass and a low carb diet, he’s down to 485 pounds and he sells vinyl replacement windows for a living and is this your first time to Vegas? Because you are just going to love it you can really let your hair down there and do whatever you want because that’s what everyone else does there and if you like to eat there’s no place on earth like Vegas you can get a 38 ounce cut of prime rib and potatoes and creamed corn and baked Alaska for under twenty-five dollars and then if you’re hungry again at 3 AM you can go and get fried chicken and mashed potatoes and gravy…)

He must not have noticed that I was gagging, had the blanket over my head, moaning with a migraine, trying to sleep. When we landed at midnight there were a mere 2000 people waiting in line for taxis outside the airport. And this is another big number that is also not an exaggeration. People were cued up like they were waiting to get on Space Mountain, zigzagging back and forth seven times down these long, long lines.

Finally I got to the hotel, which is amazing, even late at night with a headache. Gene and I are going all out and staying at the Bellagio.  Rich suggested this because he has some Las Vegas experience and he pointed out that a suite here, at this gorgeous hotel, costs less than two rooms anyplace else and it’s the only non-smoking establishment in Vegas. We have two rooms and two and a half bathrooms so we don’t even have to look at each other in pajamas. And Gene and I have had a year, each in our own lives and we are worth it. And I wasn’t coming unless I could see plants and art and Chihuly glass and Cirque de Soleil. (Rich is at home feeding the cats and dressing up in his cap and gown again for Michigan’s Commencement festivities.)

This works out well because I can push Gene around, both figuratively and literally, order up some air from the concierge (did that this morning) and go for ice. Gene can tell me that it’s not a good idea to keep asking for cards if I have a queen and a nine. We’re simpatico.

Gene is a wonderful person. He is not only very smart and very funny; he is determined and optimistic and good spirited. And he is not a potty mouth in person. He is not really fascinated with dung beetles- he just writes about them for your entertainment. He is a perfect gentleman. We have gotten tangled up at the door more than once fighting over who goes first if I’m going to push.

SoapThat being said, would you like to know the best thing about this trip? The hotel soap. I am not kidding. I am a connoisseur of hotel soap and this place is cracking. Look at this. And when I walked into the bathroom and saw all this soap and yelled, “Quick! Hide it! Then they’ll bring us some more!” Gene did not object. So I gathered up all the soap and shampoo and lotion and hairspray and toothbrushes and razors and sewing kits and mouthwash and put them in my drawer and the next time we came back to the room, 40.00 poorer, well, there was all new. This is good stuff. If I stayed here any longer than Sunday, I could open my own bed and breakfast

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15 responses to “Hotel Soap

  1. How delightful! I love the Bellagio and Cirque du Soleil. Last time we stayed in Vegas it was off the strip, but close to the gymnastics meet. The first time we took the family, we were at the Luxor. If I ever go back, I would love to stay in the Venetian.

  2. Las Vegas is such an odd place. I’ve only been once, with college friends who like to gamble (but just a little). We saw O, perhaps the most amazing piece of theater I’ve ever experienced. Are you seeing it, or one of the other Cirque shows? We also thoroughly enjoyed the Star Trek Experience. We had lunch in the Trekkie-themed restaurant afterwards, and five of us shared a Warp Core Breach, the largest tropical drink I’ve ever seen, which came in a fishbowl with dry ice smoke spilling over its top, eight straws, and enough alcohol that we were glad we’d taken a cab from our hotel.

    Sounds like you and Gene have much fun planned. Enjoy, and please keep us posted.

    Oh, and the ARCHITECTURE in Las Vegas! I couldn’t decide whether to laugh or cry, so I did both.

  3. That is some beautiful hotel soap, I am inclined to agree.

    And since I can’t do it myself, would you give dear ol’ Hoss a hug for me? I feel okay asking now, since I know he’ll be nice and clean from all that soap.

    Have a great time – you both deserve it.

  4. Seattle bloggers represent!

    The thought of our Vicki and Hoss living large with the soaps and shampoos in Sin City is marvelous, indeed!

    You didn’t mention the loofah?! Find your inner Sisu! FU!

    I’ve never been to Las Vegas, but my husband’s little brother (18 years younger!) helps manage the Hard Rock Cafe there. Please say hello to Ned “Tex” (you know the last name) if you are anywhere in that vicinity! His darling new wife, Rebecca, works at Nobu. Ned is one of my favorite people in the whole wide world!

    Rich deserves an honorary Ph.D. on top of his other noted degrees. But, why, OH WHY, does he teach at the WRONG university in Michigan??!!

    J’adore Chihuly glass, the Cirque, Vicki, and Gene!!

  5. Vegas is truely a strange place, alien, another world, more so than anywhere else in the country. Love the glass ceilings at the Bellagio. I have been twice. Once for a mandatory meeting of our national lab company about three months before I found out I was leaving. Total waste of time. One of those meetings where the big shots stand up and pat each other on the back. First order of business… they divided us up in groups to go out into the night streets of Vegas and do a scavenger hunt. Really stupid. Supposed to be a time to meet others?

    The other time there was just an 8 hour layover on the way to Lake Tahoe. Back at that time it was desert at the airport. Driving into the city, I wondered…. “Where is it?” Then WHAM! A five mile stretch of pure unadulterated (not really unadulterated, maybe adulterated?) GAWDY! Then just as suddenly back to desert. It was so strange, or I was so young, or still married at that point.

    The only place that is a MUST SEE. The M&M store. You can get them in every color imaginable and SKIDDLE’s in every flavor. I think it is right next to a Coca-Cola store. I thought pretty much everything else was a bust.

    My room there was not so posh in the soap. But, how are you going to lug that all back to Michigan?

  6. Vickster: How come I don’t see any of this soap in MY backpack?

    (Bonnie: There is no RIGHT university in Michigan. Only in Oregon.)

  7. I laughed so hard about the soap, Vicki. I do that too!! One day we’ll have to compare collections.

    I was wondering where you where and now I see that you’ve been off raising hell with Hoss in Sin City. Hoo Boy 🙂

    xoxo

    PS – I spent one full summer in Vegas and could never quite get used to the “am I the only normal one here?” feeling. Finally, we took the plunge and got crazy too – and eloped on our last weekend there. Any plans like that ?

  8. The photo is aromatherapy.

  9. I just love the way you write. It’s like an ongoing conversation. I’m nodding and laughing, you just don’t see me.

  10. I also collect hotel soaps, Vicki and I hide mine too. I don’t blame you for wanting that stuff – it looks wonderful. Rich is so nice to let you go with Hoss without a fight…LOL

  11. Sounds like fun.

    What is it with girls and soap?

  12. Dang, that *is* an impressive array of toiletries. I totally get the whole soap thing. Yum. Glad you guys are having fun — on top of the soap acquisition… ;^)

  13. It was nice to meet you V, I hope you and Hoss had a grand old time!

  14. I am really, really, enjoying your blog posts because I’m getting ready to go to Las Vegas. Just can’t decide which month to go…July or August..or even September. Would you have any suggestions? I’m going to take my camera and laptop and record the whole trip from the time I step on that plane to the time I’ll be relieved to get back. It ought to be interesting. You didn’t happen to rent a car and go see California, did you? That’s on my agenda..actually the whole point of me going. ;o)

  15. You know what? Mandy was right. We WERE in a slum compared to you guys…haha! It was great meeting you! I understand about the gambling and the crowds thing. I never gambled and have no desire to do so, and crowds give me hives. However, I DO like to drink, and Vegas is an interesting diversion from my more rural town. I’d go back to see the shows. Next time, we might go to see O since you sold Alex on it over lunch!

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