for not only their generous hospitality on my arrival and their TAXI services to and from the Airport...
but for being "On CALL" as our seasoned Locals
whenever we had a question about *laughing* locations and and indigenous customs...
Thank-you Jaq. You were a comfort not only to Me, but to the entire wedding party.
As the lovely Bride, Yidi, said after she asked me to be sure and tell you how very much
she appreciated all of your help (though not set-into-action per-se):
I knew always, He was THERE.
And you were THERE, very present throughout the experience,
even though your face was only seen for a few moments at the very end.
You are an amazing Friend. I love you very very much.
Jaq and J picked me up at the Airport late Thursday night... and took me to coffee,
though they had both had busy days, and another one beginning early the next morning.
I stayed in their home that night, and was taken to an over indulgent breakfast the next morning!
I had an omelette bigger than my head at the original "Omelette House" (did I get the name right, Skids?)
J and I smoking INSIDE and drinking cup after cup of diner coffee from little brown mugs and talking endlessly...
(Jaq had iced tea, and tried to breathe in the other direction *laughs*)
I got to see THE MAGIC SHOP, one of the mannnnny jobs/projects
that the two of them are involved with...J starting the "First" part of her work day.
Jaq and I left, and he took me to The Freakin' Frog, to show me his local.
I swear, if Lovejoys and Casino El Camino got married in Vegas--this would be their child.
I walked in and already knew everyone. I sat down at what I knew was MY SPOT at the bar. *smiles*
He wanted to make sure I saw this place, though he had little time to do so--he did it anyway.
Then dropped me off to meet brer_rabbit at the STARBUCKS across the way.
(A good spot to meet up--but not to stay!) Jaq left me to my own de-vices,
and hurried off white-rabbit-style to the University, to teach Creative Writing to the young whelps of LV...
brer_rabbit, it was SO wonderful to finally meet YOU!!!
I dragged him back to the FROG...and we hung about drinking good beer
and chatting with the lovely Miss Caroline, the bartender whom I seemed to know instantly,
who hugged me when I left...*smiles*
Yes, there are pictures.
They will come later.
Soooooooo many pictures to come later.
Though it all seemed impossible to pull off, everything continued to fall into place.
I was allowed this time to be with my own Friends, relax a little before the festivities
began in ernest. See bits of the Town that only a Local can share with you.
brer_rabbit dropped me off at the STRATOSPHERE, the tallest tower
THIS SIDE OF THE MISSISSIPPI! An excellent Home Base for this wonderfully complicated
'Cause damnit, you can always find it!
Yidi and Charles landed at 3 PM that Friday afternoon...
I was very nervous.
I shouldn't have been.
We found each other quickly, despite my lack of cell phone.
(this trip has almost convinced me that I need this brand of technology. Almost.)
They were adorable. Wearing their matching U2 T-Shirts from the concert
they had attended in PA before they began this adventure, Yidi's first Rock Concert!
I hugged the woman who was about to become my very dear Friend, for the very first time.
After that it becomes a bit of a blur...
I will try to recall the events in order, give me creative license. It's Vegas, Baby.
They got checked in, bags dropped in the room, we changed clothes and headed out.
We ate at a 50's Diner in the Casino Stratosphere, where the waiters sing and dance.
(I am so not talented enough to work in Las Vegas)...
and then hit the floor. Yidi and I watching as Charles taught us how to play the games--
What a stud He was, with two pretty little girls, one on each arm!!! *GRINS*
Somewhere in here...*scratches head* we hooked up with Scott and Leia.
Charles' best Friend from forever, and his loverly wife. They were staying at (I wanna say...)
The TROPICANA, and had been there since 9 AM. Black Jack became involved...And vodka... *grins*
Time passed quickly, we raced to the Airport to pick up Charles' Mum, at 10 PM.
I hadn't seen her in over a decade!!!
It was late when we got back to Home Base, Mum and I were dropped off at her Hotel,
the Howard Johnson's mentioned in the earlier post.
She and I giggled and had a wonderful time together before crashing finally.
I had no idea how much the time difference between Nevada & Texas would affect me...
I am not a morning person. I became one instantly.
The energy of that City shakes you awake--calling like a Siren.
I rolled over Saturday Morning at 5:30 AM, the day of the Wedding--wide awake.
Charles' Mum was still sleeping in the other bed. I parted the curtains,
and saw the sun slowly opening her lashes on the endless blushing sky--of that craven desert.
I had to go watch it.
I stood outside on the curb of the strip in front of the Hotel,
in the cool of the dry waking air, staring at the sky--smoking a cigarette.
Surreal doesn't begin to describe the way I felt. Las Vegas isn't real. It simply isn't.
It is a place outside the real world. Layers and layers of Phantasy--both charming and obscene.
I was swept up in a moment that was so perfectly still, I couldn't take a breath.
Then, shook it off and took the lift back up to the room, to start the coffee.
Little did I know....
I would now be awake--for the next 24 hours.
24 BRILLIANT hours.
There are times when you realise that all you have learned,
up to the point where you are standing...was for a particular moment.
A moment that has been waiting for you to get to it.
I had many of these moments in the following 24 hours.
*Grins Hard--at Charles*
TO BE CONTINUED.....