Warning. I was wild and out of control and most of this should stay in Vegas, but if Gene has no issue with this, and he does not, then no one else should breath a word. No e-mails telling me I'm a wild and odd person and going south after death. I already know that.

I love informative, interesting trip reports that introduce me to new Vegas experiences. This is not one of those.

This is a drunken, stoopid trip report that amounts to an aging 42 year old mom trying to hang onto her youth. Sure, sit there and laugh, but you've either done it or will do it at some time. *I* have the guts to write about it.

FRIDAY:

I CAN'T BELIEVE I AM IN VEGAS!

Left Detroit far too early Friday morning. Took Northwest. Saw NO obnoxious, "I am supposed to be on strike, so I am going to barely do my job" behavior from the disgruntled (understandably so) flight attendants on the way there. Here's some foreshadowing for ya, that was not the case on the way home.

Landed in Vegas about 10:30. Got my luggage at 11:15. Come on people! I know it takes a while, but luggage gathering in Vegas is a pain in the butt. I would not have checked, but there was shampoo and lipgloss and no, I cannot live without it. I am not going to waste valuable vacation time replenishing those items.

Grabbed a a stretch limo and will NEVER take a cab to the hotel again. Fun, fast and fabulous. Hit Bally's and did not expect to get a room till 3. I was wrong. We were checked in and unpacking by 11:38am. I am not a huge fan of Bally's, but that netted them some serious kudos. Too bad it didn't translate to the tables.

I was traveling with my friends Colleen and Amy. Let me describe the scene. I am short. Almost 5Œ2 and curvy. Not fat, so stop. I am a triathlete, but I am not a showstopper by any means. These ladies are. I've never been with the beautiful people before on a trip. It was interesting. Amy is single and looking. Colleen and I are both married and not. They are both So Cal girls with long blond hair and thin. I'm the resident brunette. Now that you know that the rest of the trip report will make more sense.

We were celebrating. I just sold a romance novel to a publisher last Thursday, second one. I never thought I would sell a first one let alone two of the things. I was and am, VERY excited.

We tossed on our suits and headed to Bally's pool. I'm from MI and it was HOT. The ladies told me I was nuts and that it was cold. Dang, it was hot to me

We got our cocktail on (this is going to be a recurring theme for the weekend) and laid in our chairs with menus to get some lunch. There is very little eye candy in the Bally's pool. I know everyone knows that, but the number of older gentlemen in Speedos is truly staggering. LOTS of couples. Men, here's a tip, if you're going to stare at two tall and one curvy short woman in bathing suits, don't make it obvious to your wife. That guy's not getting any for a long time. Dork.

Lunch consisted of three hot wings for me. The ladies ate like they'd not seen food in a month. This will be a recurring theme for the weekend. If I hear, "You don't eat Nancy" one more time...

Here's another tip. If there are two hot blondes in the pool they are not interested in your long conversations about your bachelor party and how you want to get laid one more time before the big day. Last tip on this one. When the two hot blonds turn your sorry hind end down don't come on to the brunette. She's too nice for you and she knows she's your last choice AND she would not have been interested had she been your first choice.

We'd had enough sun after an hour and good thing. I was sunburned. I ended up looking like a red and white striped zebra the rest of the weekend.

Headed in cause Amy was feeling lucky. Amy does not know lucky cause she could not win Friday to save her life! After an hour of nothing we headed upstairs to make ourselves pretty for the evening. We had no plans and were all tired so we walked up the strip to the Forum shops. We all noticed that we were more sober than we wanted to be so we started to scope out a place for drinks. The ladies were hungry again. My girlfriends are both no more than a buck twenty, but they both eat like linebackers! I've never seen anything like it. I run five miles a day and bike another twenty most days. I eat like a bird and I am around 140. Anyone who thinks that metabolism means nothing is WRONG! Colleen and Amy "exercise." Read walk on the beach in kini's in the OC for ten minutes once a week or so. That's just wrong in my opinion (I built a bridge and got over it).

A quick note on the room. Standard Hilton type. Nothing special. Nice view of the Bellagio fountains. We were in the north tower.

We sat down at the bar at Joe's Sesfood and this was my first experience with the power of the female form. I am pretty, but the high end of average. I am not putting myself down at all here. I have cute going on and I am okay with that. I like the way I look. Amy and Colleen are STUNNING creatures. We decided to order appetizers with our drinks for dinner along with this we all wanted to split a hamburger. I asked for medium rare, but it came on the raw side. I sent it back with massive apologies. One of the managers brought it back to me, he was kind and worried that they messed up my burger.

I assured the man that the food was wonderful and we were happy. He did not leave. Then he called other managers over and there were men hovering over us in a way I have never experienced before in my life. I got a big ole heaping helping of the power of the female form for the first time in my forty two years. The funny thing was they were talking to *me* too! Odd and powerful, but glad I don't live like that all the time.

Both Amy and Colleen have repeatedly berated me for my belief that I am not as good looking as they are. They let me have it more than once and spent most of the rest of the weekend pointing out the men that were checking me out. It became a game and they had a ball with it. I was over it after about an hour, but am a good sport and as long as there were drinks, was all good. I do remember them telling Gene I was hot in a phone call. He assured them he knew that.

Then the men at the table behind us started up a conversation. This was getting interesting. I called my husband who told me to think of the weekend as research and enjoy myself, but not too much. Works for me.

We then shopped the Forum shops. I had an interesting conversation with a woman in the Playboy store about the stupid questions people ask her while I bought another lipgloss. I think I picked up four of them this weekend. I am a lipgloss whore.

We wandered through Caesar's and played a little, but it wasn't happening for us. A little blackjack here and there, but not much showed us that we had zero in the way of luck that day and decided to call it a night.

Mini-Review: Joe's in the Forum Shops has some seriously good food and they pour a mean Cosmo. I had two of them. Yum. The stuffed mushroom appetizer is beyond awesome.

SATURDAY:

THE POWER OF THE THINGS THAT GO IN MY BRA.

Woke up, got dressed in our swim gear and sundresses and headed to breakfast in the Cafe. They make a good breakfast. I was exposed to the horror of Keno with the ladies. Smart and attractive women should know better than to play Keno. Apparently they don't know that little idiom. I gritted my teeth and smiled when they won a buck. Cute.

The whole day gets really weird from here on out.

We wandered to the Fashion Show mall because Amy had a twenty dollar off coupon for Macy's. Went power shopping with women who believe in one hundred eighty five dollar pairs of jeans. You know what? Expensive jeans really are cut better than cheap ones. I get it now. I am not sure I will ever get it enough to pay that much for jeans, but I get it. Colleen bought a pair of True Religion jeans and she disapeered! Her butt looked awesome too. It was a revelation of biblical proportions for me.

Had lunch in the Cafe at Neiman Marcus. Yummy salads in a, "Ladies who lunch" atmosphere.

Our shopping Jones fed, we began to wander up the strip. The girls noticed, once again, that we needed to get our tini on. Down to a bar in the TI. I've not spent much time there in recent years, but it's okay. They had something delicious in a martini glass that I enjoyed for 12 bucks a pop. I had two of them.

Once again the power of the mammaries came into play. The bartender spent a lot of time talking about people he served and leering. I didn't know that these things could garner so much attention. I never play that card in my normal life, so it was an eye opener of awesome proportions.

Oh, almost forgot. Had a revelation about my next book at the Betsy Johnson shoe display in Neiman's. Going to outline it today.

Okay, the promised weirdness is starting.

We wander through the TI and Amy feels lucky again. They have decided that *I* am a cooler and need to play slots while they play a little blackjack. I went to a machine, dropped in a twenty and doubled it on my first spin. I am a cheap gambler. I've written here before that my hands shake if I gamble more than five bucks at a time. I cashed out and went to check on the ladies. Amy was down and about to leave (cool this sweetheart), but the moment I showed up she got two blackjacks in a row.

Amy is NOT quiet. She can turn a blackjack table into a loud and raucous place post-haste. She's yelling and high fiving and we are garnering a lot of attention from people as they pass by. Then four men came over and joined us. Colleen and I are not playing Blackjack. It was a ten dollar table and I am not a talented Blackjack player. I am rooting Amy on and very happy about it, having a ball.

One of the guys drops five hundred on the table and sits to play. We are talking with them (I will talk to people in line in the grocery store and make friends with them if I can, so this is not an abberation for me) and getting to know them and the guy on my right hands me eight twenty five dollar chips and tells me to play.

I am completly uncouth. I look at Colleen and Amy, totally lost. Nothing like this has EVER happened to me in my life. I look him in the eyes and say, "Nope, can't do it." Amy is telling me to play the money and he says, "look. I am not trying to sleep with you, just play and have fun." Reluctantly I sit down. This after saying, "I'll play the money but I am *NOT* going to sleep with you and that's a promise. Yeah, I'm a real smooth one. Sheesh. I could have handled it better, but again, this NEVER happens to me.

We played for a while. I was up to $1500 at one point and I was shaking like a leaf. Everyone thought it was cute and gave me advice. In the end I made some money for the guy and no, I did not even keep a quarter. I would have felt slimy if I had. I did, after asking, tip the dealer fifty bucks. I've never been able to do that and it felt WONDERFUL!

We had the attention of the cocktail waitress (thanks to another big tip from me with the guys winnings and it was all good. We were loud. If someone got an Ace the whole table would erupt like the craps pit. The pit boss was hovering around laughing and talking. Asked us what we all did (the ladies). Amy, who is now tipsy and smiling from some serious wins points to me and says, "She writes dirty books and just got another contract." I blushed. Yes, my books are on the naughty side, but I don't tell people that when we first meet.

Of course no one believed me, too much like one of those Vegas commercials (I'm a brain surgeon). The pit boss got a real funny look on his face and says to me, "Who's your publisher?" I answered and he asked me some pointed questions that only another writer would ask about proofs and galleys. I asked him if he wrote. Turns out he's a children's book author on the side. He's been doing it for fifteen years and is not published.

He asks me how long I've been writing? I could see this train wreck coming a mile off. Nothing pisses off an erstwhile writer than another writer who's published. I got that way before I was published (I hid it well), but it's akin to the second runner up in Miss America trying to look happy. You know what she really wants to do is kill the winner off so she can have the crown. It's a normal reaction, but normal people hide it. He started to take on the look of a demented weasel, or a kid who's gyped at Christmas. I told him. He got purple in the face.

"I'm about to cut you all off."

He switched out our dealer and then sat over the table with a stoney faced look, not saying a word till we left.

Amy gave one of the guys her phone number and we trotted off to get ready for the night. She was up. One of the gentlemen suggested we try what they were drinking, Red Bull and Vodka. More foreshadowing. I will NEVER drink them again. I was poo-faced most of the rest of the night. Everything from here on out is written from the viewpoint of a woman who was in an alcohol induced haze.

We went back to beautify for the evening. This was 5 and the girls were hungry again. We'd just eaten at two that afternoon, but they insisted on a few appetizers. They called room service while I was in the shower. I heard some minor complaints about, "no nachos and got in the shower. I came out to what amounted to a feast in our room. There were buffalo wings, shrimp cocktails, potato skins, quesadilla's. I've never seen more food, in one spot, in my life.

I ate the shrimp and watched these skinny minis scarf down the rest. Unbelievable. I'd not been resentful about it till then. This is SO unfair. Says I, as I munch on my normal diet of Lean Cuisine and Diet Coke for breakfast, while I tap away on my trip report.

Last bitter witchy comment. Amy each had the unmitigated gall to call me and inform me that she had lost weight in Vegas. WITCH!!! Snark over. I love them both to bits, and no, not chopped up bits. They are awesome and fabulous ladies. I'd travel with them ANYTIME!

We are about to head out and one of the men calls Amy. Next thing I know we are in a cab and headed to the TI and Myst to meet up with them. When I say I was drunk you need to know I am not lying. I stopped counting at 12 drinks. This started at 4 pm and ended at 2 am. I was poo faced. Colleen designated herself the, "Keep Nancy and Amy from acting like the total boobs they are" person.

Thank god for Colleen.

The men showed up, drunk and it was decided that we would head over to the Hard Rock. WHAT? So not my scene. Still, that's what they wanted and I am NOT a party pooper. I ended up spending time talking to one of the men who is married and bitched about his wife for hours. Cripes, I am so not interested, but I'm nice so I smile and listen. Then he spent a lot of time telling me I was pretty, ya-da, ya-da, ya-da. Whatever. I am so over the compliments now. It's good fodder for my next book. I think this guy's going to go in it as the embittered friend of the hero.

We decided we were over the Hard Rock and headed to Harrah's, talk abut cold water. Not my scene, again. Too, drunk night at Carnival for me. Hung around for a bit, then kissed everyone Paris Hilton style on both cheeks and wandered alone back to Bally's.

Amy and Colleen followed me about an hour later and we crash. Poor Colleen has to be up at 5 to catch a plane. My flight is not till 10pm, Amy at 6.

The gentlement called our room at three am and I lost my nice and cute-ness. "SHUT THE F UP AND STOP CALLING THE DRUNK CHICKS." Yes, I said that. I am not proud.

SUNDAY:

TURN OFF THE FREAKING SUN!

I am hung over. When I say hung over. I mean it's been twenty years since this has happened before. It tastes like a small animal has crawled into my mouth, pissed then died. God help me. Pass the aspirin and a bucket of ice water.

Amy calls for a late check out and I switch our Sterling Brunch ressies to 1:30. Woohoo for Bally's, they are letting us check out an hour later. Okay, it's not great, but I felt so bad I was grateful for small things.

Amy's hungry, so we order breakfast. She's chomping on a quesadilla and I am picking at a fruit plate within the half hour. Thank god for coffee.

We check out and wander to the pool to sit near the bar with giant Diet Pepsi's and bitch that they are not Diet Coke's. The guys from the night before rang at some point about brunch, but we are over them and I am busy mentally spinning a book outline in my head, so begone.

We sat there till it was time for brunch. We LOVED the Sterling Brunch. Okay there was NO WAY we could do it justice, but it was delicious. We sat in the steakhouse and listened to a kid, about three, run around his table yelling. That was bad news. Other than that, it was heaven. I don't remember what I ate, except that I was a tad disappointed with the lobster, but other than that, delicious.

The only problem was neither Amy, nor I, could face the champagne. We had sparkling water and loved it.

I nibbled three or four desserts at the end with good coffee. Yummy!!!

A guy came onto Amy, but I was over the whole, "Power of the Mammies" thing and sat back looking bored and unapproachable. I did a good job too, cause the guy acted like he thought I was a bitch. Snort. I've been described, by the people who meet me in person, a lot of ways, "rabid cheerleader on crack," "Living toy poodle on crack," "More fun than a box of puppies," And "insecure," but never as a witch with a B in front. Interesting.

We motivated up the strip to the Coke store and drank the nectar of the gods on the way back. Time for Amy to leave. WAAAAH!

Colleen (LOVE HER) was gone and now my best buddy Amy was heading out. We cried and vowed to go back in December for my birthday. She got into a cab, I got into lonely.

Wandered up to the Casino Royale for some cheap craps. I'd barely played all weekend and I missed it. The table was cold and the guy next to me leering. It was too late to hit the meet so I walked for a while.

I am rarely at loose ends traveling alone. I LOVE IT, but after the weekend with the girls I was sad and a little lonely.

Another guy came onto me then a guy asked me, "How much?" I laughed so hard I almost peed my pants and decided that what I really wanted to do was hit the internet cam in front of the IP, wave to my family and then go to the airport early. I had notes to take and wanted to read something interesting.

I can't believe someone thought I was a hooker, but I guess a woman alone at a bar in Vegas is suspicious at best.

Headed back to Bally's, grabbed my suitcase and kissed Vegas goodbye till the weekend of December third.

Checked in four hours prior to my flight. Hit the Borders to buy a couple books (finally reading the one written by the stripper. Interesting). Saw the Chicken Soup book I have two pieces in on the store shelves for the very first time. I cried. Yep, right there in the middle of the Las Vegas airport I got all teary. The employee asked me why I was upset and I showed her the book. She didn't believe me, and I was tired of that, so I whipped out my ID and she treated me like I was somebody. LOL! Too funny. She asked me to autograph the copy and I did. I have to say that was pretty awesome.

Amy called me to tell me she was about to take off and had food with her. Huh? After that monsterous brunch? Funny girl.

Got on the plane and had my first bite of nasty. The flight Attendants were rude. Not a little bit and not just to me. They were nasty. I get that they are flying on some serious issues, but I am not the one telling them I can't pay them more. I did not deserve that treatment and neither did my fellow passengers. I had to ask three times for the can of bloody mary mix. She only wanted to give me half a glass for a four hour flight. There were no pillows or blankets on the four hour red-eye flight.

Halfway through I got up and asked to please have a cup of ice water, she put about two inches in a cup with no ice and said, "I can't give you anymore." Huh? When we got off they either did not say, "goodbye" or said it looking down with a nasty face on.

The guy behind me was tall, he took his shoes off and tried to run his feet over mine. I finally got tired of his crap and kicked his feet, hard. Creepy guy.

I did fall asleep, but was woken by a guy telling me to, "get up sweetheart, that's my seat." Nope, not yours. There was no on in our middle. He was in the wrong row. He'd actually shaken me awake and was pissy about it.

Landed early, got my bag and headed home, to my own bed, where I slept till noon.

THE CHASE:

Slots were tighter than I've ever seen them, everywhere.

Men are suckers for breasts and I'm not sure what to say about that. Yes, I am endowed and just now figured that out at forty two (I look closer to thirty two by the way. No one guesses my age even close and very few believe me when I tell them). I had power for years and did not know it. My husband cannot believe I was that naive and has been laughing at me for the past two days.

The TI is not half bad, but we are going to stay at the Venetian in December.

Bally's is tighter thancwell it's tight.

The Hard Rock is not as full of talent as you might think. The average age is about 22 and they are all drunk.

Joe's in the Forum shops is very good.

I love Las Vegas.










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