Thursday, May 1, 2008

Sleepy and Boring in Las Vegas

I've missed my window of opportunity. I was such a party girl for so long, Vegas would have been perfect for me. But the one time I was here during that stage of my life, I caught the worst flu of my life and was bed-ridden.

Nowadays, sleep is more important to me than staying up all night. Instead of winning big at the roulette tables, one of my biggest personal goals for this trip (besides my Death Valley jaunt this weekend) was trying Hot Dog on a Stick at the Fashion Show Mall across the street, interest piqued by the Food Court episode of "Unwrapped" on Food Network. The hot dog wasn't given its full three minutes in the cooker, I think, because it was a little doughey and the dog itself was room temperature at best, but I was pleasantly surprised to find it's housed in a really good mall (with a Paul Frank store!).

I'm staying at the Wynn, a new multi-million dollar resort with outrageously high room rates and a luxe reputation, but even as I type, my desk chair is too low for the desk, and I'm burned over the lack of wireless anywhere in this hotel (besides the lovely pool, where you can order takeout from the neighboring restaurant including bartender Miguel's deliciously unsweet mojito in a to-go cup). I guess the hotel is nice - the rest of my room is quite nice - but there's a generic opulence to casinos these days that just kind of grosses me out. I prefer something with a bit more old-school charm or some kind of uniqueness. We don't even have a fountain show here. But we do have Spamalot.

I look out my window and can see the Strip, with the New Frontier sign still looming but no hotel to speak for. We're right at the end of the core of activity, across from Treasure Island and Mandalay Bay, and next to the new Palazzo where Mario Batali has three restaurants (and I'm not sure that I'll have time to try even one!). Still, as unexciting as it may be, I was happy to stay in at the Wynn last night and have dinner by myself at Daniel Boulud's Brasserie, where I sipped a lovely Viognier and ate the tomato tarte tatin, meant for sharing, alone. And a French Onion Soup built for one, beef broth enhanced with actual pieces of beef.

When I first sat down for dinner, the waiter asked me if I wanted a magazine or something, flashing me back to that scene in Forgetting Sarah Marshall where the male lead gets used to travelling alone. I'm already used to it so I declined, and let the very weird light show on the waterfall outside (set to songs like Yello's "Oh Yeah")entertain me alone. Still, the staff felt so bad for me that I got a free wine refill, and the wine manager's cell phone number. I was too tired to use it, and I was too tired to take The Magic Guy, who was sitting at a neighboring table, up on his offer to hang out with his group.

I'll be working most of today but I did schedule a "custom massage" for myself at the hotel spa, so I'm curious to see what they come up with. Hopefully I'll get another swim in, and I'll get to hang out with that cute young guy from San Francisco I met at last night's cocktail hour.