April 10, 2009

Playing tourist

We have visitors, Shane from Phoenix and Katie from Dallas, they arrived yesterday and they're staying with us until Monday. This is Katie's first time to Las Vegas. It's always fun when friends visit, but nothing beats seeing Vegas through a first timer's eyes.

Frank had me make dinner reservations at Stack for 7:00. They have a prix-fixe special running two for $59.99 - 3 courses. We ordered hot rocks and pigs in a blanket to start. Yum! Then, Frank had calamari for his appetizer and the rest of us selected a BLT wedge with bacon, red onion and blue cheese. I like the wedge better at Grand Lux and the calamari better at Fiamma, but both were good nonetheless. For entrees, they all had the iron steak with whipped potatoes and I had the organic crispy chicken with greenbeans. Everyone was pleased. We had nearly identical dishes at Switch, last week, both the steak and the chicken were far better at Stack - at half the price to boot. We each chose the jelly filled doughnut holes for dessert. It was a tasty meal. I'd prefer to order off the menu, but this was a nice sampling at a fraction of the usual cost.

After dinner we walked over to Bellagio via Caesars Forum Shops and casino. Katie thought the spiral escalators were neat. She loved walking the strip, she commented that she had a smile that wouldn't go away. I could totally relate. My cheeks hurt on my first trip, I had a permanent grin from ear to ear. We watched a few fountain shows before we went inside. The first one was Elton John - Your Song. There was a couple next to us, nicely dressed and affectionate. Right before the show the gentleman asked Shane to video them in front of the fountains. He then proceeded to ask his girl to marry him. It was so sweet. Tears welled up in my eyes. I know exactly what that is like as Frank did it to me just a few feet away from that very spot. She said yes! We cheered and clapped. They hugged kissed and she was just in awe. It's such an amazing moment. I was thrilled to watch on.

Katie enjoyed the shows. After the first one we moved to get a better view. We later saw the newly engaged couple again, she was on the phone. I knew how that conversation went, as well. They were walking on air - super sweet. All the emotions of the night Frank proposed came flooding back. Hard to believe that it was over six years ago he asked if I'd be his wife. Yet, I remember the details like it was yesterday...

As a college graduation gift my mom took me to Vegas, Frank and her boyfriend joined us. Little did I know before the trip Frank asked my mom for my hand in marriage. She happily accepted and they started planning the details of the proposal.

We arrived on February 8, 2003, it was a very cold wintery night. Frank had insisted we head to the Bellagio - our favorite hotel. First stop was the Conservatory. We spotted a bride and groom having pictures taken, “emotional me” gets all teary eyed, I tell Frank I’m a nut because tears well-up in my eyes whenever I see a bride and groom at Bellagio. Then he takes me to one of the ponds and gives me a coin to make a wish, he kisses me and tells me that he guarantees my wish will come true.

We decide to head out to the fountains, but I wanted to use the bathroom first. Frank insisted I use the one in the casino, I think nothing of it and agree. We walked back to meet mom and Blaine but they’re gone. We looked for them, but they were nowhere to be found. Frank insists we watch the fountains, he told me they know we’re headed there. After hesitation I agreed, and he took my hand…his hand was ice cold, which is very odd. He had a cold and I was concerned he was running a fever. He told me he didn’t feel well but he’d be fine.

As we walked around the lake, Frank had me looking in all directions and was acting peculiar…I really thought he had a fever. Then we walked past our normal viewing location – he told me it was crowded. It was nearly seven o'clock the show was about to begin, he then says, let’s go to our spot. As we walk up I see my mom & Blaine and notice the ground was covered in rose petals. Tears of joy filled my eyes and I said, What is this? At that moment Frank dropped on one knee with an engagement ring in his hand and asked me to marry him. In tears, I said, Yes! As he slipped the ring on my finger the show began. The song was Celine Dion - My Heart Will Go On (which happened to be our senior prom song) Meanwhile my mom was videotaping the whole thing. When the show ended we called back home and shared the news.

After the third show we went into Bellagio to see Fiori Di Como, the Conservatory and Chocolate fountain. While we were in the Conservatory - all decked out in tulips and butterflies for spring, they also have a large collection of poppies that were just beautiful (I'll go during the day sometime soon for photos) - I spotted a woman who was trudging through the flowers so she could touch the water spheres. I wished that she'd fall, yeah, I'm evil, but it'd serve her right for being disrespectful and ruining a beautiful sight for the rest of us. She didn't, damn. But she continued her antics on the otherside of the display. The decorative border gave way and fell over, making a loud thud, and she slipped. Heh. Everyone's attention was on them. They bolted and ran out of the conservatory and into the casino.

We walked around Bellagio's casino and made our way back to Mirage by walking the strip. Katie was giddy from all the lights, the size of the hotels and crowds. Ahh! To see Vegas through a first timers eyes. It's so fun!

From Mirage, we headed to Sahara to do some gambling. The pit by the Nascar Cafe was closed. Shane and I prefer to play there. The main pit isn't kind to us. Frank did sit and play $5 blackjack. He lost eight hands in a row, his $40 buy-in was gone in an instant. We decided to grab a seat at the bar and get drinks. We played video poker and drank a couple beers. Frank taught Katie how to play. She had beginners luck and hit four of a kind. Cashing out $80. She was thrilled with her $70 win. Frank, Shane and I were losers. Typical.

It was after midnight and I had to be up for work so we headed home. More fun will be had this weekend. I'm looking forward to it.


KathyinNY said...

I just loved your proposal story. I too had tears in my eyes, how romantic.

Kellee said...

He really surprised me. It was very special.