Thursday, July 26, 2012

My New Profession: Tour Guide

Since I became a Las Vegas citizen, I frequently find myself giving tours to my friends that come to visit.  It’s such a great joy to see my friends and show them my new adopted city.  I like to show them that Las Vegas is more than the Strip, which is all they know.  The main stop is always my home because everyone wants to know where I live.  Like I live in the Taj Majal.  Ha, ha!  So, when I plan my excursion, I know my home is a main attraction and I make it my first stop.  

I remember that when I decided to move to Las Vegas, someone told me:  “Delma, when you live in Las Vegas, you never say ‘mi casa, tu casa’ because people will come to Vegas and use your home as a hotel.”

Well, that hasn’t been my situation.  When my friends tell me they will be in Las Vegas, they have already made a reservation at a hotel or timeshare.  So, my job is more like a tour guide.  And I still feel like a tourist myself!  I still haven’t seen it all and I want it that way for a while.  I guess, once you’ve seen it all, it will become less exciting.  Hmm, I don’t think that will ever happen in Las Vegas.

So, this past week, I had one of my best girlfriends from CA staying in LV for 4 days.  It was her mini-vacation, she stayed at her timeshare, which was a cute one bedroom apartment.  We had some fun days catching up and having a little entertainment.  We hadn’t seen each other since I moved to LV.  During that time, she lost weight and I gained weight.  It’s all the buffets fault!  

I just had one concern.  I was broke since my tenant had not paid the rent.  So I was going to be at the mercy of a credit card.  I also  used my local discounts and free venues to entertain my friend.  She is very easy to please, not like me.  She also came to get some much needed rest, so she didn’t want anything too hectic.

On Monday, I gave her the traditional tour of my home, my neighborhood, showed her the places I go to, the things I do, etc.  Then I treated her for lunch at one of the Station Casinos.

On Tuesday, I used my House Seats membership to take my amiga to see the Divas, Frank Marino show, which I had heard so much about, but hadn’t seen yet.  For those who don’t know, this is a show of impersonators. 

First of all, the show was at the Imperial Palace, a hotel that I had never seen nor knew of its existence.  Now I know why.  It’s an old hotel on the Strip and it’s towards the back with bigger hotels on each side, so it’s hard to see.  They are renovating the hotel (it’s about time!), so there was a lot of construction going on and detours to get to the main entrance.  The hotel is old and smells old.  However, this hotel was packed!  I wonder why there were so many people in that hotel.  Maybe it’s cheap, I don’t know. 

We wanted to have dinner, but didn’t have too much time before the show, so we decided to stay in the hotel and find a place to eat there.  None of the restaurant choices were appealing to me, so I suggested Hash House a Go Go.  Well, you know this place, one order is good for two.  The food was excellent, as usual, and we both had good portions of food to take home in spite of having ordered just one entry.  

Then the show.  I had heard so much about this show that I had high expectations.  I didn’t like it.  The hotel is old, the show is old.  After seeing so many hi tech shows in Las Vegas, this one was totally non-hi tech.  Until this show, I always got front seat when I went to see a show through House Seats, but this time that I was with my girlfriend, we got a table towards the back of the showroom. 

You must see the face of the impersonators, otherwise it’s not much fun.  We couldn’t see their faces close enough from the table we were assigned.  This is easily resolved by having a couple of big screens on each side of the showroom.  They badly need a couple of big screens, if nothing else.  I didn’t like the dancers either.  I found them mediocre.  Except for one.  A blond guy with a punkie hairstyle stood out from the other dancers throughout the whole show.  For me, he was the only professional dancer.  The rest, they just learned a choreography.   He caught my attention to the point that at times I looked more at his dancing than at the impersonator.

My girlfriend said she liked the show.  I don’t know if she really did or if she was just being polite.  For me, it was “ok” only because I didn’t pay any money for it. 

On Wednesday we went to Freemont Street because, although she had been to LV many times, she never went to Freemont Street.  Oh yes, she wanted to have the Freemont experience.

We had dinner at the Golden Nugget and went to the buffet.  Good buffet and we stuffed ourselves.  Then we went to explore the F experience.  She loved it, so I was happy. 

Then I took her to the Venetian to see Il Carnevale.  To my disappointment, il carnevale I saw with her was half of the show I saw last month. Fewer performers, shorter show, lacked energy, nothing like my experience in June. 

After that, I drove back to her timeshare ready to say the sad goodbye.  She was leaving the next day and I was unable to take her to the airport due to a previous engagement. 

I had a good time with my girlfriend.  Except for our lunch the first day, she insisted in paying for all our meals.  When I got home and took my purse from the back seat of my car, I saw an envelope on the floor with my name on it.  I stepped into my kitchen, sat on my small dining table and opened up the envelope.  It was a thank you card from my girlfriend with a beautiful message and $100 dollars!  Then I started to cry.    

Showing hospitality to our friends doesn’t need to be paid.  That’s what friends are for.  I do it out from my heart.  What can I say:  I’m honored to have a good ‘amiga’ like Esther.  

Ribs on top of garlic mash potatoes with greens and carrots
Attacking the ribs at a retro Hash House a Go Go

This is Frank Marino.  Isn't he, I mean she, beautiful?

Me and "Tina Turner"

The best dancer

And he was so sweet and down to earth.

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