It took me 36 years and 37 states before finally arriving in Las Vegas, Nevada this past Friday. But after a sleep deprived long weekend, I can now say that it has been done. Since I am the one late to the party on this one, I am not going to simply rehash the weekend. We don’t have enough time for that. Besides, everyone knows what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas, right?
Wrong. (That would be a pointless blog.)
As I get older, I am more drawn to things that are specifically interesting to me and/or provide me with an emotional connection. People, nature, and music fit that for me. So the usual Vegas stuff was cool, no doubt. But I had a few stunners. And that is where I am taking you tonight.
I was in Vegas because my wife, Christy, had a conference, and she kindly let me tag along. We rounded up the troops back home to keep our son and dogs, and off we went. She would be busy most of the time, and I didn’t have any desire for Vegas to be an individual exploration, so at the 11th hour, her cousin Kris aka my “friend in law”, joined us for the party.
Three experiences stood out to me on this trip. Absolute stunners. Let’s call them 1A, 1B, and 1C. Things that I relished in the present, and I also will never forget.
Friday night, 1C: dinner at Battista’s, an old school Italian joint that has been around forever. The three of us were able to sit down together, though it felt like Sinatra could have been on my left and a mobster on my right. The premise was simple. Carafes of red and white wine came with the meal, as did soup, salad, bread, and a delicious cappuccino at the end. You just ordered your pasta, and everything else was taken care of. One price. No frills. It was my first impression of Vegas, and it was quite titillating (no pun intended).
Saturday, 1B: golf at TPC Las Vegas. As I’ve written previously, being outside in the sun, especially playing golf, is one of my favorite things in the world.
Drop in some beautiful mountains, the warm desert wind, and a quality playing partner, and we were set.
To give us the full experience, the starter announced us at the first tee box. “From North Carolina, please welcome the Bostic party to the tee box.” The one person standing close by went wild. I won’t bore you with all of the golfing details, but the course and the views were spectacular.
I played very well minus #16 and #18, and even made an eagle. Enjoying as many high quality, beautiful golf courses on pitch perfect days is a part of my life now. It’s a dream. It’s a goal. I’m making it a reality.
And last but certainly not least, Saturday night, 1A: the legendary rock band Queen and the former American Idol star Adam Lambert have been partnered together for about 6 years now. Queen’s music is epic, and Adam Lambert’s voice brings me to my knees. The combination is quite incredible. Literally music to my ears.
The venue was the intimate Park Theater at MGM, and Saturday night was their Vegas finale. There was not a bad seat in the house, nor was there a cheap seat in the house. But it was worth every penny.
I put some video up on my Instagram in hopes that you can experience a little bit of the magic. Really good music is an emotional experience for me, and this was A+. What a band, and what a singer.
Here’s what I liked about Vegas. No rules. You can be yourself. The people watching is great. The people are extremely engaging (every single person I talked to wanted to make sure the people of NC were okay from the storm). And everything is always open. My kind of place.
Here’s what I didn’t like about Vegas. It’s all a bit contrived, isn’t it? All a bit gimmicky. But that’s okay. I can get past that. But what I can’t get past is that my heart wanted to take the Bills over the Vikings Sunday, and I wimped out and picked the logical choice. Which took me from winning $950 on that game to losing $100. Do you know what I could have bought in Vegas for $950? About 4 drinks…
So, Vegas. I had a great time. I really did. But it was time to go. And I really need some sleep.
Have a great week.-Benj
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