Las Vegas is opening…slowly. And I am stepping out….slowly.
The temperature today in Las Vegas is 110 degrees. An outing that I had planned for today was cancelled due to the heat. (Older folks need some getting-used-to-the-heat-time before venturing out.)
But for weeks, I have been in a mood to leave the house.
My first post-shutdown outing was two weeks ago to attend the re-opening of a local restaurant, Monzu. I was so anxious to get to the restaurant, I went a day early. I was all gussied up: wig adjusted, makeup in place, new jacket, fancier than normal shoes and….hmmm…not many cars in the parking lot. Oh well, I am early. When I was no longer early, I approached the restaurant, opened the door and chef Gio was adjusting tables and welcomed me with a smile and the information I was a day early. This is Saturday, isn’t it? No, this is Friday. Due to no traffic, I made it home in 15 minutes. I got rid of the clothes and shoes and was back in my lounge outfit and my lounge chair with no one except the chef, the wiser.
I tried again the next night and all was well. Cars were in the lot and all diners received a enthusiastic welcome. Yes, the whole dining room had been rearranged, but I liked the look. Seeing folks we’ve known in the past meant breaking the six-foot barrier, but what the heck. We were REALLY glad to see each other.
The wait staff all wore masks and the menu had changed. Lots of conversation about the menu, but we finally made our selections, and each one was delicious. Naomi Mauro, Monzu’s Saturday night singer, was as delightful as ever, and conversation flowed. A great night.
The next week, I was brave enough to visit my hairdresser and my local nail salon. Both followed protocols, though my own opinion was that we were still close enough to catch ‘the thing”; we just had to be lucky. Folks can’t really have these services without risk. In both places, lots of folks were taking the risk.
The following week, a planned outing with a friend to Mt. Charleston (we had heard the restaurant at the top of the mountain had opened) was cancelled due to worries that we might be overwhelmed with a Memorial Day Weekend crowd.
How about a local outing? Say at the nearby Olive Garden? Great….and then my friend talked with a daughter worried about her mother going to a “crowded” restaurant. How about I pick up food at Olive Garden and we eat on your patio? Good idea. That’s what happened, and we ate with another friend we hadn’t seen in months…and had a wonderful time. Olive Garden delivered as promised and an ice cream dessert was divine. The friend with the daughter took a photo to prove that at lunchtime, her whereabouts WAS the patio.
That same day, I had been invited to another friend’s home to play poker. Once a year or so, she had hosted small poker parties. The group included another couple I knew from previous poker parties, my friend, her husband and 14-year-old son and me. Instead of poker, from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. we played a game called Phase Ten. The person with the least points is the winner. At 6 p.m. pizza arrived, and we all dug in. A funny looking, but great homemade dessert followed. After dinner, we refined the Phase Ten game and continued on until we had a clear winner: the 14-year-old. We had no prizes to award, but he had just bested some 300 years of card experience!
Tomorrow I give blood for the second time during the coronavirus shutdown (temperature test first and then a mask). Next Monday, our Monday breakfast group is re-convening for the first time in a long time at a local casino restaurant (with a closed casino). I’m looking forward to seeing our group which is like a local family for us all.
The casinos open next Thursday. I have said I will be among the early gamblers, but that may or may not be true. I have been playing Vegas Slots on my iPad. For almost two weeks, I have had 100,000,000 somethings (points? dollars?) with Vegas Slots. Will the real thing measure up? Hardly.
If life does return to normal in Las Vegas, I will give up Forensic Files and The Last Dance and love once again listening to live music. I will also gamble…a bit. I will rack up points to use for meals.
I will also wonder what I’m going to do with all that food in the refrigerator.