During the last year before we moved to Oregon, husband #1 and I flew from S.C. to Las Vegas for a business convention that was supposed to last a week. It was my first trip that far west, much less to Vegas, and I was super excited. I spent the whole first day sitting at low dollar black jack tables, losing and winning back the same $50 over and over. I drank so many screwdrivers that my jewelry started making my fingers turn black, and before the end of the day I knew everyone at my table, the dealer and the pit boss by first name. I had a blast, but #1 was mysteriously MIA all day.
Later that day we met up in our hotel room to get ready for a big night out, with plans for dinner and a Tom Jones show. When I walked into the room, I heard a ‘glug…sploosh’ from the bathroom and turned the corner in time to see #1 sink down below the surface of the water that filled the bathtub. I waited for a bit, but he didn’t surface…kind of odd, I thought.
I walked over to the desk to put down my purse, and I noticed a handful of papers hanging out of the pocket of a sports jacket slung over the back of the chair. It turns out that those ‘slips of paper’ were ATM receipts. I won’t put you through all of the sordid details, but during the span of our first day, #1 spent so much money that we decided that we needed to get out of Vegas fast. We rented a car and drove to the Grand Canyon…a much cheaper option than staying in Vegas until our return flight, scheduled for a few days later. (That is obviously the ‘Reader’s Digest’ version of that story…ahem.)
We rented a car and started the six-hour drive. Things were a bit chilly between us due to the casino stunt, and before long it was cold outside as well. It was late March, but I started noticing snow on the ground…I’d never been in any real mountains, and I had no clue that we were climbing or that the canyon rim was so far above sea level. I started getting confused at…well, at pretty much everything. Where were we going? Why was there snow on the ground…and why was I so mad at #1?
By the time we reached our hotel on the North rim, I was beyond confused and actually got lost in the parking lot…I started wandering off and #1 had to grab me to keep me away from the rim of the canyon! That’s about the time I started mumbling (loudly) that this shoddy hotel should know better than to have their parking lot so far from the building! After a bit of arguing about why we were even there, #1 maneuvered me into the lobby and I suddenly (and loudly) needed to know WHY that damn fireplace set in the middle of the huge lobby was so BIG!? And why was this place so damn run DOWN?
I started grilling the poor girl at the reception desk before #1 actually had to steer me away before I caused a scene! (Now, if it’s not painfully obvious already…I’m NOT a scene kind of person.) We finally found our way to our room and I couldn’t get over how tacky everything was! What the hell where we thinking checking into such a place…and why was I so dizzy? I finally cried myself to sleep…still mumbling about how disappointed I was!
I’m sure you’ve already figured it out, but neither #1 nor I realized that I had been the victim of altitude sickness until after I woke up a half hour later…totally refreshed and happy to find myself in a beautiful hotel room that was very tastefully appointed. #1 was nowhere to be found, so I set off to look for him. I was totally relieved (yet mortified) to find that the rest of the hotel was beautiful too…the huge fireplace in the lobby was amazing! Even the cursed parking lot was perfectly situated. I hung my head and sheepishly apologized to the front desk staff, but they just laughed and waved me off, saying that it happens all the time. (Hello…the elevation is 8000 feet there!)
I found #1 in the cocktail lounge that looked out directly over the canyon. His back was to me…he’d been watching the amazing sunset, which was just winding down. I tapped him on the shoulder and he jumped…I’m pretty sure he thought I was going to punch him, or at least tell him that he was shoddy and too far from the car!
We had a nice dinner and watched a hooty woman of indiscriminate age (with extremely tall hair) do a full lounge singer routine. #1 told me that he had seriously considered pushing me into the canyon (or at least driving away and leaving me there) during my oxygen deprivation-induced rage. I just nodded and told him that he was lucky there wasn’t a toaster in the bathroom of the Vegas hotel.
And with that I need to wish #1 a happy birthday…today is his day. We thankfully managed to never kill each other, and we both survived to be better people than we knew we could be. Who knew?!