|The fountains at the Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas|
I missed the Ten Things of Thankful blog hop last week. John and I went to Las Vegas to see a couple of shows (Blue Man Group and America's Got Talent), came home for one day, then spur-of-the-moment decided to go to California to visit with the grandchildren for several days. We got back home Thursday night, and now of course the Las Vegas trip seems so distant and I've just got grandchildren on the brain (and spending time with them counts as all ten items on my thankful list), but I will try to catch you up on what I would have said last week had I gotten a post written.
We were in Las Vegas from Tuesday, October 6 to Thursday, October 8. Early on in the vacation, I was mentally composing a post in my head, and thought I would mention how we were able to visit Las Vegas on a budget. We stayed in the Luxor Hotel, after checking their calendar and realizing that the nightly charge was ridiculously affordable mid-week. (AND they included a food credit, which almost negated the "resort fee".) We drive through Las Vegas every time we drive to California, but instead of driving to Las Vegas, we decided to fly. We had flight credits through Southwest (so the flight had already been paid for), by flying we didn't need to pay to park at the hotel, but best of all, by making that quick roundtrip flight, we qualified for a free companion fare in the spring--when we will need to fly to catch that free cruise we received that I mentioned in a previous post. So, flying actually saved us money.
Once we landed at the airport and realized the hotel was less than 2 miles away by foot, we ditched our original plans to take an Uber and decided to hoof it. We had minimal luggage, we hadn't taken our usual walk/hike that morning, and the temperatures were relatively comfortable. I would not recommend walking from the airport to a hotel in Las Vegas in the summertime, but it was certainly do-able in October.
That evening, we watched Blue Man Group. Their show was unlike any I've seen. It's amazing that a show can be so entertaining and funny without any talking.
Wednesday, we walked up the Strip. Women clad mainly in brightly-colored feathers walked up and down the street, offering to pose for photos. (We declined.) A street was cleared of traffic, while film crews shot a scene with a driverless vehicle. Buildings that pretended to be famous landmarks were all around.
|John and I standing in front of the "Eiffel Tower"|
|Cars and a motorcycle film a scene on the Strip in Las Vegas|
We watched America's Got Talent Wednesday night. The show is made up of contestants from previous seasons of the show. We were privileged to hear Kodi Lee sing, but the most amazing act was Lea Kyle, who magically changed her outfit over and over again. We have no idea how she did it. After the show, we walked back up the Strip and watched the fountains at Bellagio. We considered walking south of our hotel to the famous "Welcome to Las Vegas" sign, but decided not to, as it was by then after 10 p.m. and the area seemed not so full of tourists and perhaps not so safe.
Thursday morning, we had to check out of the hotel by 11, but we didn't have to start walking to the airport until around 12:30. We could have walked up the Strip again, but decided to just sit at a table in a restaurant until it was time to leave. We then walked to the airport, again remarking at how thrifty we were being by walking instead of taking an Uber. We had an uneventful flight home.
The next morning, I read the awful news that there had been a mass stabbing on the Strip in Las Vegas on Thursday morning. It happened much further north than our hotel was located, and we were blissfully unaware anything was happening. I got to thinking about the phrases, "blissful ignorance" and "painfully aware." We were on vacation, and just a couple of miles away, innocent people were being stabbed. And then the "what-if": What if we had decided to walk up the Strip on Thursday morning? We might have witnessed that terrible crime spree. I felt bad that on Wednesday, my initial reaction to the street performers in feathers was, "Oh, my!" The very next day, one of them lost her life. I found myself wondering if we had passed her on the street. Was she one of the purple-feathered girls, or pink, or white? My heart goes out to her, the other girls, and their families, as well as the other victims.
During personal tragedy or hardship, when time appears to stand still, it seems unfair that the rest of the world continues on as usual. But perhaps it is during those difficult times--when bombs fall in Ukraine, hurricanes land in Florida, or stabbings occur in Las Vegas--that it is even more important that we also hear that there is good in the world. So, I will end with these ten things I am thankful for:
1. a relatively frugal vacation
2. the talents shared by others
3. an unexpected phone call from a friend I had just been thinking of
4. a decision that let us avoid danger
5. the peace I feel in the temple
6. the beauty of the changing fall leaves
8. my grandchildren
9. my children
How are you? What are you thankful for this week? I love to hear your thoughts! Be sure to go read what others are saying at the Ten Things of Thankful Blog! Thanks to Dyanne, Clark, and Lisa for keeping the blog hop going!