Ever since I went to Rome in 2008, my mother has been on my case for travelling solo without informing anyone until the last minute. She was particularly displeased when I went to Barbados this February and managed to have fun on my own. To top it off, my sisters and I are planning a sibling trip later this year unbeknownst to her as far as I can gather, while she is trying to haul us all off to Ghana to display to relatives.
So a few months ago I decided I would take her somewhere on holidays.Where exactly though? I only had one week and wasn’t particularly interested in the stress involved in flying to Europe. She also doesn’t feel capable of going to Europe and not visiting family members spread out in 5 different countries there. I thought about Montreal, but how is that exactly different from New York for my mother? Cruise? Eh, locked up on a ship with no escape strategies? No thank you!
Then it came to me. Las Vegas! Why not? It’s an adult playground and there would be loads of things to do. If she didn’t like the activities I picked out she could easily choose something else. I particularly wouldn’t have cared to go there by myself. I have been there once before. In 1999, my research lab went on a louse hunting expedition among children of the Las Vegas school district and we stayed at the Rio. I was struck most then by the vast difference in show of wealth on and off the strip.
After a few weeks I had come up with a plan and started to make reservations and an itinerary. I wanted to go to the Grand Canyon for myself and after much research decided to rent a car and stay overnight in one of the lodges within the National Park (South Rim) rather than spend an entire day on a coach bus only to spend a couple hours at the Rim. Last week I found out that out visit will coincide with the twenty-first annual Grand Canyon Star Party where astronomers will be free tour guides of a mystical ride in the sky…so to speak. Woohoo, bonus!
I figured a spa experience would be nice, and again based on research (and costs) signed up for the $99 special 50 minute classic massage at Caesar’s Palace Qua Spa. It would have been $160 at the hotel we were staying at, Aria.
Speaking of Aria, I pricelined for a 4-star hotel and “lucked out” with that. Though it was a cheaper deal, not by far, I wouldn’t do that again. This week I found out that Aria was having a promotion of two complimentary buffets per day for guests staying longer than three days. Now if I had reserved our accommodations directly through them, I may have been able to finagle my way into this deal. However, I had already pre-paid through a third party agency and therefore no flexibility.
I decided on two shows and eventually picked Cirque du Soleil – Mystère™ and Phantom of the Opera based on online deals. Will you know it that this week there are even better deals for both these shows to be had? I feel bamboozled!
I didn’t think too much about formal dining as my mother is a very picky eater, i.e. no-one else knows how to cook food properly. But I did make reservations at Top of the World Restaurant at Strastosphere only because its revolving design was reminiscent of Berlin’s Fernsehturm, one of our novelty places to go in East Berlin when we lived there in the 1980s.
Argh! Anyway, I have a great trip planned out and now I’m excited! And so, we are off!
– Posted using BlogPress from my iPhone