Wednesday, April 27, 2016

Wednesday's Words, by Morgan Ashbury

Las Vegas, here we come!

We leave tomorrow for five days in that city in the desert. This will be our first trip this year, and my first trip since undergoing surgery last fall. We were supposed to visit Las Vegas last year, as I had every intention of attending a readers’ event in the spring that was being held there. Unfortunately, it became clear by mid-February that I wouldn’t be able to travel just yet. If it weren’t for the medication my doctor put me on at the beginning of April, I wouldn’t have been able to make that all-important trip to Texas in May.

I was disappointed to miss that reader’s conference, of course. I cherish any opportunity to attend where readers may be, and that’s especially true when I plan to meet with a member of my street team, as I planned to do last April.

But life happens and sometimes plans fall through. I promised the lovely woman I was hoping to meet that I would visit Vegas this year. I try very hard to keep my promises.

This will be my third trip to this city, and David’s fourth. The first one was in 1989. It was our honeymoon which we took on our 17th wedding anniversary. We only had a weekend at a local hotel when we got married, and that had been a gift from my brother. Our Vegas better-late-than-never honeymoon was also the occasion of my first flight. I remember, that when the plane touched down at McCarron International Airport and I got my first glimpse of palm trees, I cried. I’d never believed I would ever see a palm tree, or take a flight, or travel, period.  I certainly never imagined I would go on to travel as much as we have. Growing up, I was taught that a vacation trip was something that happened every few years, if you were lucky.

Thinking back, I believe that was because (aside from priorities of the day), travel was relatively more expensive then that it is now. It took far greater of a percentage of your wages to pay for a family or even a couple’s vacation than it does today.

Our second trip to that city happened in the spring of 2002, just a few months before my heart attack. The quarry where my husband works was still family owned at that time. One of the bosses always attended the ConAggExpo which is held every three years in Las Vegas. They had previously taken an employee or two with them, usually senior people. This time, the boss’ oldest son, Randy and his wife were going, and they invited David and me to go with them. That was simply amazing and very generous, for them to pay the whole tab. And I thought it spoke volumes when they got choked up that we insisted on treating them to dinner while we were there. I would imagine even rich people like to be treated from time to time. The other very clear memory I have of that trip was seeing Cirque du Soleil. I was sitting beside Randy, and I don’t think I’ve ever seen anyone as awed as he was.

On both of those previous trips, I did gamble some. It was, after all, a part of the experience. Having seen the original Ocean’s Eleven (made in 1960 and which I’ve only seen in glorious black and white), I’d imagined the Vegas casino as a place of glamour and glitter. We did dress up one night on that first trip because I had brought a couple of really nice outfits and even though most people were just in resort wear in the casinos at night, I had to have that one night of long-held dream fulfillment.

I’m not much of a fan of gambling anymore. Between those two excursions and a few red-eye jaunts to Atlantic City, I think I got it all out of my system. I may buy a lottery ticket, but I haven’t even visited our local casino in more than three years. There are games on line that I like to play, and most don’t cost a cent. We’ll likely gamble some while we are there this time, as we both like keno, and I may even indulge myself with a spin or two at the roulette table. But it’ll be under the heading of entertainment, for both of us. I’m past the age where I expect or even want to win a fortune.

This trip mainly will be for meeting good friends for the first time, and for taking time, just the two of us, to recharge our batteries.

That is, after all, what vacations are all about.

Love,
Morgan


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