What Happens in Vegas…

 Isn’t going to stay in Vegas…I mean I went with my senior citizen mom and Aunt G, what did you think was gonna happen?  I wasn’t going to be sleeping my way though the crazy City of Lights with every Tom, Dick and Harry! 

Instead we gambled, ate, drank and shopped our way through the tourist trap city of Las Vegas Nevada. 

Wednesday morning my uncle picked me up from my home and drove the three of us to Pearson airport in rush hour traffic, however we still made great time.  After what seemed like forever, we managed our way through security and customs and looked for a place to have breakfast snack and coffee.  We had to settle for Freshii because the part of the airport we were in had nothing – not even a Tim Horton’s (seriously as a Canadian I object to not having a Tim’s within a five-minute walk of me) 

After boarding we were off to Vegas!  The flight (we flew with West Jet) was great, minimal turbulence and I actually napped for about 30 minutes.  We got out of the airport, grabbed a taxi and got to our hotel all within an hour.  This made me happy – no lineups, no long wait – quick and efficient, just like the city we were in!

 We stayed at the Mirage Hotel and Casino on the Las Vegas strip and after a minor slip up (gave us the wrong room number) we were in our rooms with  a $75 dinner voucher for the mistake.  We ordered room service, showered and got ready for SHANIA TWAIN!  I am going to blog specifically about this concert later because this woman and her concert deserve an entire blog post dedication! 

When the concert was over we walked around Caesars palace, took pictures and marveled at the lights and scenery! 

Thursday included gambling at Casino Royal and the Mirage, a gondola ride at the Venetian (where I almost got married to my gondolier who is Italian, an opera singer and sexy as heck thank you very much) and watching the Volcano erupt from our hotel.  The great thing was we also had a great view from the 17th floor to watch the volcano erupt every hour! 

We went to Treasure Island Hotel and Casino Thursday night where we saw the sinking of the pirate ship and gambled some more.  By the way, if you are a female pirate, supposedly you don’t need bombs and canons, you only need a good wardrobe, hair and makeup and you can sink another ship (according to this story at least). 

Friday we were lucky enough to go to the MGM Grand and eat at Wolfgang Pucks restaurant where I WAS CARDED!!!!  Woohoo!  I still got it!  What “it” is, I am not sure, but he thought I could be under 21 so I’ll take it!  We also saw Ka the Cirque de Soliel show.  It was beautiful and the first Cirque show for both my aunt and mom.  It was visually stunning, wowing the crowd with powerfully emotional moments that left us at the tip of seats! 

Cabbing it back to the Mirage after Ka was over, we gambled some more – oh ya and my mom won a freaking slot jackpot of almost $7000.00.  Damn woman!  Out of the three of us though she did need the money more so in the end we were extremely happy for her (plus it’s only her second  trip since her honeymoon to my dad in 1965!) 

Saturday I went to the South Premium Outlets completing my souvenir shopping (Michael Khors is totally a souvenir… to me…) 

By the time Sunday night had rolled around, I truly felt like Vegas was a place I could easily vacation at again and again because there was so much we didn’t see.  It had eaten us up and spit us out and we were ready to go home (even though we REALLY wanted to take the hot sun with us).  The red-eye flight home Sunday night was brutal because of the three-hour time difference and the serious lack of sleep, but by the time we arrived home Monday morning, I was happy to be back where I belonged. 

I. AM. CANADIAN.

XOXO Nikilee

I had a “GOOD” childhood

According to Google, good means “To be desired or approved of”.  My childhood was ideal.  I had two parents whom I knew loved me, a brother, a dog, a three-bedroom house on a nice street and was involved in many extra-curricular activities. 

However, most of my friends had the same…what they had, that I did not was the presence of family vacations.  Whether that was Florida in the winter or England in the summer, my friends travelled with their families. 

My dad is not a travelling man.  He was a working man and a golfing man.  He did not want to go on vacations with his wife and children to see the sights or become cultured, it is not who he is.  My mom probably would have gone anywhere had her husband said “let’s go”. 

I never really felt deprived at the time because I didn’t know any different.  Once when I was four or five, my brother had a soccer tournament in Niagara Falls, ON.  A short two-hour drive from Toronto, but my dad brought my mom and me with them.  I don’t remember that trip at all.  I was too young.  I have lots of pictures from it, where we are all smiling and happy, but nothing like that ever occurred again.  

When I turned 24 and had some money in my pocket, GBF took me to New York City and two years later Dominican Republic.  I have since been to Cuba twice, Bahamas and back to the DR again.  I have also been to Chicago, Montreal, Cleveland and Niagara Falls about a 287 times, give or take a few.  I have the travel bug.  I love it.  I will travel anywhere, anytime I can.  

My brother however has not caught the bug.  He went to Florida with his best friend when he was a teenager and then went to St. Lucia on his honeymoon almost 25 years later.  I always thought it was sad.  He seemed more interested in golfing and working, just like my dad.  Spending time away with the kids and his wife is not a priority.  This isn’t a bad thing.  He works hard and his family loves him – just like we loved my dad regardless of our lack of travelling together. 

But a few weeks ago, I got the surprise of a lifetime.  T told me her and my brother were planning a Disney vacation with the kids!  DISNEY!!!!  Not only that, but they were driving down so my oldest niece would go too (she is TERRIFIED of flying).  Now, this was enough to catch my breath and bring a sweet tear to my eye, but then I found out they were going after March Break so it was less expensive and less busy!  REALLY?  My brother was allowing his children to miss a week of school – on purpose!!!  I know most of you don’t know my brother, but this put him in the hero category in my eyes! 

Funny Family Ecard: This family needs to start spending entirely too much time together.

The cherry on top of all of this, is that my mom is going with them.  She is retired and hasn’t really gotten to spend quality time with her grandchildren since she was living up in Bobcaygeon until a few months ago so this will be a great adventure for her and a great chance to really get to know her daughter-in-law and grandchildren!  

Of course me being the lovely smart-ass child I am, teased her mercilessly about how her son is a back seat driver and the kids are crazy, but I am genuinely so happy for all of them.  They get to do what my brother and I never did – spend quality time together as a family doing something special. 

I received a text from both my mom and brother and the drive down was good and they made great time, everyone was happy.   

Next month, I will get the same with my mom and Aunt G.  We are going to Vegas!  VEGAS BABY 

XOXO Nikilee