And honestly? I don't really have an excuse though I do have a couple of pretty darn good reasons.
First of all, I have a book due September 1 and I'm working pretty much full time at the office - which I occasionally do in the summer months when other people are on vacation. I tend to do most of my traveling in the fall or the spring (not having kids in school) so I'm available. So I'm writing in every spare moment - mornings, noons and nights. Though not so much the nights as I'm usually pretty tired by then.
Second, I spent a few days in Las Vegas last week and I had a wonderful time! A perfect time. From the minute I left home (after watching part of the Gay Pride Parade out my window while I finished my packing), to the airport in Vancouver, to the flight, to the airport in Las Vegas, right through until the minute I got back to the airport in Vancouver, everything was perfect.
What did I do? Funnily enough, not much gambling. I put a few dollars in the slot machines just to say I'd done it, but I have to say that I find it kind of boring. I think if I'd been there a little longer I might have played a little roulette or craps, but maybe not even that.
Instead, I spent some time in the pool, listened to some great music (every casino in the city, and there are so many I can't possibly count them, has several bars and many of those bars have live music for the cost of a drink), had some amazing meals, spent time with a great friend. I did a tiny bit of shopping. I spent some time just looking out at the amazing mountains on the horizon.
I spent a lot of the time amazed. I hadn't been to Las Vegas in a very long time and it's a whole new city. Inside the Venetian and Paris and Bellagio and Caesar's Palace are whole worlds. The casinos are still there but in those hotels I'm pretty sure they're secondary to the other things they have.
The Venetian was amazing. How many of you have seen that great old Fred Astaire and Ginger Rogers movie, Top Hat? Remember towards the end where they're in the hotel in Venice and they're dancing around the ever-so-fake canal? Well, inside the Venetian reminds me of that - except it's much much much bigger. There are gondoliers, bridges over the canals, opera singers - it's astonishing.
The Bellagio has a beautiful conservatory - and the sight of that beautiful lush greenery in Las Vegas is probably worth more than almost anything else. Caesar's and Bellagio both have shopping areas - you can't call them malls - to die for. High end stores, set inside beautifully designed and monstrous areas with fake skies and clouds and in the case of Caesar's, replicas of Roman statues and fountains. Paris has shops as well, but it feels (slightly) like walking in Paris. Plus it has the Eiffel Tower (as you can see) and many great French cafes and bars.
But the best part of the trip? We were out late one night and it had cooled off just enough to be comfortable and then the wind - a lovely hot summer wind - blew up. For the first time we rolled down the windows and opened the sunroof and all I could think of was taking off and driving across the desert - driving fast fast fast - to Los Angeles and back. It would have been perfect.