Las Vegas – Chapter 1: “Welcome to Vegas!”

Las Vegas is seriously a land of its own. I come from a quiet, little country town nestled in the mountains of western North Carolina, where we have one red light and a McDonald’s. I knew what to expect coming into Vegas and just the desert area in general, and in some ways it was more over the top than I expected, while in other ways, my thoughts were definitely overkill for what I experienced.

If that makes any sense. I’ll try explain.

Las Vegas is more like its own planet. Las Vegas never sleeps. You can’t see the stars unless you leave the city. The buildings are so lit up at night, but the drinks and music are everywhere at all times of the day. You’ll be walking down the street and then a moving billboard will pass you with topless women and strategically placed black lines that you can “order” to have a good time. Seriously, order a pretty much naked woman like a pizza.

Bless her heart, I said. *sips sweet tea with lemon with pinky out*

There is no such thing as “elbow room” on The Strip in Las Vegas. The streets are crowded, and there is a constant hustle and bustle to keep up with the foot traffic. You’ll hear raunchy conversations among people in the streets of what they have done or plan to do. You’ll see the show girls, some more covered than others. Las Vegas is the city of sex and sin, but it isn’t completely all about that.

There’s GREAT entertainment, from magic shows to icons like the Backstreet Boys (who I wish I could have seen!). I’ll go into more details in another post on the entertainment we saw, which was all fantastic!

I will say though, I definitely got some good exercise while I was there because you have to walk to get anywhere or take the monorail to cut down on the walking some. Don’t be fooled–you still have to walk. I was logging about 8 +/- miles of walking a day during our trip. In addition to all the walking, my guess is that you will also have to enter into some sort of hotel/casino combo to get to anything, even a Steak and Shake. There they are, the loud jingles and ka-chings! from the gambling machines, paired with cigar, cigarette, or some sort of strawberry-banana e-vape “smoke.”

[I learned you are a big shot in the entertainment industry if you have your own slot machine. Britney Spears, Mariah Carey, Adam Levine…I’m talking to you!]

But, even with as much fun as we had, it wasn’t all play.


My hubby and I are part owners of a collision repair shop, and we went as a business trip to the Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA) and got lots of samples, met Richard Petty and Rutledge Wood, and ordered some great equipment pieces that will make our shop more effective and efficient. I learned some things that I did not know about the collision repair process thanks to new tools and technology, so I know my husband will be excited to get this new equipment in to try out.

However, to be honest, we were not sure we were going to be able to make this trip. We got stuck in Atlanta traffic and literally made our flight by a minute or two…

I will never make fun of those people in the movies who are running to catch their flights ever again! That was literally us. It is a scary feeling when you have spent $1500 on flights that are literally about to take off.

Part of me was like, “RUN GIRL!” The other was like, “We’re gonna miss our flight.” My heart sank as my stomach turned and twisted itself into knots. My mind went through this constant back and forth.

Seemed we ran into every issue that you could run into at the airport. My husband’s bag had to get checked because there was “stuff” on the laptop (I assume residue left over from the collision repair work he does, but I am not sure. Happens every time, though), and we got in the lines in security that seemed to stand still as the clock ticked away the few minutes we had to spare until a super nice, young couple let us cut in front of them so we could hurry through. Then when we got on the plane, with my red face and borderline anxiety attack, it was like Las Vegas was already on the plane with a bachelorette party in their white and purple wigs and loud mouths.
Not what I was in the mood to hear for the next few hours, even with noise cancelling earphones. But we made it, we landed, and we arrived alive, which I am always thankful for.

Whew, we made it!

We ate at a small restaurant called Coco’s when we arrived. (It was so good that we even returned for breakfast, which was pic below.) We were tired, aggravated, and ready to eat after traveling all day. When we were getting ready to leave, I still had some Cabernet (my favorite wine!) in my glass, but I just could not finish it. I was seriously feeling the buzz, and I had to walk back to our hotel.


Our waitress, who had wild pin curls and drawn on eyebrows with bleach blonde hair, asked me, “Do you want one to go?”

My jaw dropped and I smiled. “Are you for real?” I said, my eyes probably as big as saucers.

Surely not. An open container walking down the street? Is that even legal here?

(I looked it up and yes, it is in that county. Glass is not allowed on The Strip though).

Still in shock that she was being serious, I waited for my wine to enjoy as I walked back to our hotel, and she brought me back a child’s cup filled with wine and said…

“Welcome to Vegas!”



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