Monday, August 3, 2015

Next Stop, Vegas, Please

Dear Em,
A couple weeks ago I went on an impromptu work trip to Las Vegas. I say impromptu, because I only found out that I was going a week beforehand. That week was a whirlwind of preparing for the trip & fitting in family time. You were pretty bummed about me leaving for a week, & I was kind of bummed too. Summertime in Rhode Island is my favorite, & it goes by so quickly. I was going to miss a whole week of Rhode Island summertime fun with you.

My work trip was packed from morning until night with workshops. We were challenged to learn & do so much in a week's time. I barely felt the hot Las Vegas sunshine at all that week. Still, I was determined to explore & enjoy some of the glitz & glam that was Las Vegas.

I tried to call you twice a day, in the morning when I was getting ready for my day & just before you went to bed. I also texted you (via Nonnie's phone) pictures of the lights, the fun, & the interesting things I saw in Las Vegas. I started by exploring the beautiful Bellagio Garden. It was ocean themed with sea turtles, lit-up jelly fish, Nemo fish, & even a mermaid.

One of my very favorite things in all of Vegas is the Bellagio Fountain, & this trip I was lucky to see the musical fountain performances several times. My favorite time to watch was after dark, with the Paris Eiffel Tower lit up & glittering behind.

During one of our fun work events, there were performers. I was in awe over the juggler balancing on a large ball (& my coworker & I had managed to dress almost completely oppositely).

After work one evening, two of my friends & I walked to the huge Ferris Wheel (it looks a lot closer than it is) & went for a ride. From the top, there were panoramic views of the entire Las Vegas strip. We saw all of the large hotels & casinos. On the way down, we could even see the Bellagio fountain.

There was a gelato shop near our meetings, & when we had ten minute breaks I would grab a yummy gelato snack. In the shop there was a giant chocolate fountain. There was also a life sized sculpture of a woman made completely out of candy, chocolate, & sugar. When I sent you the picture, you said you wanted to eat her all up.

We went to Carmines for a team dinner one night. I felt like I had been transplanted back to Rome as we walked by a beautiful fountain on the way there. Carmines served delicious, family-style Italian food, but I think my favorite moment was when they brought out a giant dessert called the Titanic. Then one of the waiters sang a song in Italian to celebrate the fact that three of my coworkers had birthdays that week.

We had one completely free night, & some of my friends & I booked tickets to see Jersey Boys. I love musicals, & this one was incredible. Just a few minutes into the show I looked up at the lead character & thought he looked so much like a friend of mine from high school. After looking into it, I realized he was my friend from high school. He was absolutely phenomenal in the show, & it made me so happy to see him doing something in life that he loves (he was also the lead of our high school musical). We got to talk to him after the show, & it was so fun to catch up.

After passing all of our assessments, we celebrated the last night. In true Vegas fashion, Elvis & Showgirls made appearances that night.

Between the challenging work & the late nights & the time change, when I got home all I wanted to do was catch up on sleep & snuggle with you. I got a little bit of that, but then I had to get ready for a good friend's wedding. While I got ready, I asked you if you would draw me a picture of my Las Vegas adventure. Your final result made my heart smile.

You looked through my pictures for the word Las Vegas & used that to title your drawing. Pictured from left to right is: the tall Las Vegas buildings, the Caesar's Palace Fountain, the Bellagio Fountain, Las Vegas lights (the yellow things that look like lolly pops), the Chocolate/Candy Woman, the Bellagio Garden (a jelly fish, flowers, a mermaid, Nemo fish, & a sea turtle), me on the ferris wheel & the ferris wheel pod, me standing in front of the Eiffel Tower, the Carmines sign, the Titanic dessert (on top of the Eiffel tower), & the juggler balancing on top of a ball.

While I brought home a few souvenirs for you, I didn't bring back anything for myself. My fun memories were the perfect souvenir. Thank you so much for capturing my memories in your artwork.

I love you so,

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