Las Vegas.

I have had a love/hate relationship with Sin City since I moved there in 2005. Back then, I was a scared mid-20s girl, trying to gracefully exit a number of things: a destructive relationship, a crap job, living with my parents (thank you, Mom and Dad, I love you), as well as trying to become an Adult. 

For approximately three years, I loved Las Vegas. I was mesmerized by everything it offered — the scenery, the excitement, the work. But, in my last year living there, I began to loathe everything about it. Many of my very good friends had decided to move on from the desert, leaving me cloaked in a thick layer of self-pity and depression. When I finally made my exit in the infancy of 2009, I was just about the most miserable person on the face of the earth. Atlanta was calling, and it seemed like the perfect next stop in the road of life.

We all know how Atlanta went for me. And, if you don’t, check out one of my most popular posts about quitting my job.

Before my trip to Europe, I had returned to my old stomping grounds twice. On my second trip, I vividly remember when my Atlantan friend, Karen (who is awesome). picked me up from the airport.

“Hi,” I said into my phone upon arriving to the massive airport. “I’m at baggage claim.”

“I’m on my way,” she responded.

“Oh, just so you know, after the weekend I had, I decided I am back to Vegas.”

“No way … I’m not picking you up if that’s true.”

It wasn’t. In fact, during the trip I had informed Kyla, one of my closest friends in the entire world and a Las Vegas local, there was no way in hell I would ever move back there.

It was a fun place. Las Vegas had a spot in my heart, but that was it.

Cut to October, 2010.

After being back in America for about two weeks, I had unwound and tried to get back together. I had booked this trip when I was in Croatia, when I realized returning to Spain was not an option.

This trip was my break from the boring life I had come to lead. I HAD to get away … being stationary for two weeks had ripped me apart.

On the flight, my heart began to beat faster as we began to descend into Las Vegas.

I was greeted with one of my favorite sites in the world — the Las Vegas Valley.

The view from the airplane is nothing short of spectacular.

Imagine, if you will, flying at night. You look out the window into the darkness. Then, in front of you, a jagged separation between dark and light.

That’s the mountains giving way to the valley in front of it.

Twinkling below you are millions of little lights, essentialy an entire valley of Glow. Then, you get closer and you start to make out the Strip and the mammoth mega resorts glistening in the distance. And, then you are even closer, and you can start to see headlights and taillights on Sunset and the highway carved into the city. And then, you are landing, and there’s the green-lit MGM, the New York – New York skyline, the new towers of City Center, the sleek curved Wynn and Encore. Then, it’s wheels down.

Oh my god.

When we cruised to the gate at McCarran, I was suddenly overcome.

What just happened to me?

I walked down the jetway, bag (not my backpack), slung over my shoulder and I reached for my phone.

“Kyla,” I said into my very janky Blackberry. “Honey, I’m home.”

Was I?

14 comments

  1. I feel that way every time I descend into Las Vegas, too, especially at night. There’s something magical about it. If employment were better there, I’d consider moving there.

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  2. How is it that some of the most fabulous people I know live in Las Vegas? I feel like we didn’t stay there nearly long enough back in August.

    I know that I get very depressed when I get back from trips. It is like something was torn out of me and misplaced in my life.

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    1. Some very fabulous people live in Las Vegas! 🙂 There are a lot of hidden gems in Las Vegas off of the Strip that most people who visit miss. Come back and I’ll take you on a fun little tour! I also agree — when I get back from trips, especially this past one, I feel like something was torn out of me.

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  3. HaHA sucker!! Just kidding. I also have no idea how I left here a few years ago thinking I’d NEVER move back… and here we are. I’m glad you’re here with me!

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  4. your posts always leave me with a lot to think about and your descriptions are great. The whole concept of home changes after you are gone for a while, but then on the other hand, something about it doesn’t, and is still there somewhere… it becomes a concept more than a real place, that you find bits and pieces of everywhere sometimes, even in other places. Sometimes when I go home to Virginia, I’ll turn down a certain road, or a familiar place will remind me of something and have a memory of something that feels so close-I’ll cry and won’t be able to explain it. I know… weird 🙂

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    1. Margo — thank you. 🙂 I totally understand where you are coming from when you write about turning down a certain road and memories — I do the same thing! I think it’s just one of those things that we need to do.

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