VEGAS – Day 2

It was the opening day of SEMA, so Jeff and Jeremy were up and dressed fairly early. I slept in for a while, but got up in time to visit with them over a cup of coffee before they left to catch their Uber to the convention center. I had no real plans for the day, so I dawdled, looking at emails, sales numbers, Facebook, etc. before getting dressed and venturing out.

I walked the opposite direction today, out the front doors of the resort toward Las Vegas Blvd. and made a left, heading up the strip. I wandered through some of the shops, looking at nothing in particular until I came to Hershey’s Chocolate World. Probably a place I should avoid at all cost so, naturally, I went in. See, in the past year I have acquired four grandchildren. I mean, they aren’t officially my grandchildren yet, but in my heart, they are mine! Three beautiful, smart, sharp-witted girls – Lissa, Bella & Chloe, and Owen, the youngest at 7-years old, who has the cutest little round face, a body that is perpetually in motion and a mouth that has no filter. I’m brand new to the grandparent game, but I believe the first rule is that you must spoil them. Since they live clear across the country from me, I’m forced to do my spoiling long distance, which means presents!

I circled the store at least five times, choosing and rejecting items, second guessing my decisions and choosing again. Lissa is an animal lover like me, and dyes her hair in bright, happy colors. Must find something dazzling for her. Bella is thoughtful and ambitious, a little more low-key in personality, but a girl who knows her own mind. She may be the hardest one to choose for. It has to be exactly right! Chloe is just a tiny ball of sunshine, petite as a fairy with the sweetest heart. She likes girly things, so I could buy for her all day long. And Owen, well, I could just have them wrap up the whole store for him. He would be happy with anything.

In the end, I left the store having purchased nothing. I snapped some pictures of a few possibilities, but more browsing and thinking is needed. And, just across the street are M & M’s World and the Coca Cola place. I will need to repeat this whole process over there! How come nobody told me this grandparenting thing is so complicated?

Because I was there, I entered the casino at New York New York and found myself sliding a fifty-dollar bill into one of the penny slot machines. My father-in-law has a system for winning at slots that I thought I would try. First, he says, you have to set a limit for what you’re willing to lose. I wasn’t willing to lose at all, but fifty dollars seemed reasonable for my experiment. I played for a while, losing, losing, then winning just enough to keep me playing. It wasn’t going well, so I employed his second piece of advice and cashed out at $30.00, scouted around and found another machine. Right away I began winning, slowly racking up credits until I was back to my original $50.00. Soon after, I hit the button and the machine started making bing bong noises. I won 3780 credits, which equates to $37.80. I was a winner, Baby!! I had the fifty I started with plus $37.80. Which brings me to J.R.’s third piece of advice. Quit while you’re ahead. I was done.

I returned to the condo for my afternoon nap, a habit I could really get used to if I didn’t have so many noisy dogs at home. The condo is 100% dog free, so I enjoyed the quiet and got a little rest. I spent the afternoon working until my tummy began telling me it was dinner time. I hadn’t eaten anything but a peanut butter sandwich all day and I was ready for Jeff and Jeremy to get back and take me to dinner. They showed up around 6:00 or so and I announced that I wanted food and a margarita! Jeremy pulled out his phone to search for restaurants in the area that serve good margaritas and one of the places on his list happens to be right across the street, visible from our window. A place called Nacho Daddy! Sounded good to me so, off we went.

Jeff and Jeremy texted the friends again to give them our location. The group from the night before were already engaged in other activities, but we were joined this time by Roger, a close friend of Jeremy and Jeff, along with his girlfriend Kayla. We ordered a pitcher of margaritas to share amongst the five of us and got a basket of chips and guacamole to share as well. We made short work of the guacamole and gave our orders to the waitress when she came – a burger for me, a burrito for Jeremy and something called fajita nachos for Jeff. Roger and Kayla had already eaten, but got a basket of chips and salsa to munch on while we talked and drank. The food was good, the margaritas were excellent, but the company was the best thing about the evening!

Finally, as my mother would say, our tired was hangin’ out, so we said good night and walked back to the condo, heading for bed almost as soon as we got in the door.

More to come!