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.”