Winter is my nemisis, and following the events that were lamented at the end of 2016 (and per Resolutions), I quickly came to the conclusion I needed a vacation. Not a staycation, or weekend return to the wicked tundra of upstate New York, but a plane ticket that would bring me far away from that and the inevitable stress and sadness of the season. So when my hometown friend reached out saying, “Hey, meet me in Vegas,” I didn’t think twice. Who would? And when I finally did access reason, it occurred to me I hadn’t been in an airport since my return from Europe two years ago, and that devastated me.
So I obviously missed my flight, because of who I am as a person, and as the result of a short but long-awaited pitstop in Denver (a city to which I’d soon return), but I finally made it to the desert oasis millions have lost their dignity to.
I skipped off the last Frontier flight on Sunday at midnight and went on to explore frigid, empty streets with a boozy slushy and indefeasible jet lag, later taking an Uber from Old Vegas to The Strip of the new―free and on the roam. The casinos weren’t dead because losing money never really dies, but still, it seemed all of the street lights were left on for us. In any case, I had the best 48-hour getaway with the best friend of a hundred years, who so generously let me crash his stay at the Oasis Hotel at Gold Spike, a boutique gem with retro vibes of a 60s motel, with a little pool that early March wasn’t warming up for…and a curious club, frequented by curious creatures.
I thought Vegas would be the New York of the West. And while true in a sense, am I still allowed to say I was disappointed? That the wildest city just wasn’t quite wild enough for me? (Maybe I just wasn’t there long enough, or alive enough.) On the contrary, Vegas is warmer, prettier, and happier than New York―and I guess, wilder, in a way―but it’s still not the city that never sleeps. I know I sound like a broken record when I talk about her, but it’s hard not to compare everywhere I go to this fucking city; she hits like a first love no matter what part of the sequence she falls. And it’s funny, because aside from maybe three and a half months of reasonable weather, I kind of hate her, but for now, those three and a half months are all I need to cling to.
Because I’ve felt the way I feel about Vegas before. I’ve visited sunny cities that charm me into blank-stare considerations; gazing into the wavering palm trees I’ve loved for as long as I could recognize them, wondering, “If only I could bring everything dear to me―the people I’ve built a life around, the industry I belong to, and the Otto’s Tacos below my apartment―maybe I could be happy here.” But Las Vegas is abrasive, even for me―even when empty, but nonetheless a good place to sneak off to.
Now that I’m back to the madness, I still can’t deny the deep magnetism I have towards the West Coast, or at least what I know of it. I’m only certain I need the sun, and the ocean, and a city that will stay awake with me when I can’t sleep. And I can’t wait to keep exploring all of the world in search of this fantasy land, even if I spend my whole life looking.
Catch the links below for my looks and go-to travel essentials, with a new carry-on bag still on my wishlist.