Yesterday was a day of contrasts.
We left the madhouse of the Las Vegas strip area and ventured to Henderson to the Clark County Heritage Museum, a beautiful facility on the outskirts of Henderson. We arrived just after the museum opened and the curator – the lovely man who appears frequently on Pawn Stars to authenticate items of historical interest – was talking to the museum receptionist as we walked in. He was carrying a satchel under his arm full of papers and overflowing with books, and as he turned around to look at us when we walked in, several of them dropped on the ground, which I picked up for him.
The price of fame. Instead of trundling along through life as an unknown and unrecognized museum curator, he can barely go out in public without being recognized and bothered.
It was peaceful and quiet at the museum, with interesting artifacts and items showing the life of the Native Americans who lived in the area, and the early days of Las Vegas. And outside, various historic houses and buildings have been moved onto the grounds and restored and are open for people to walk-through.
A batch of very young rabbits had apparently just left the nest and several of them were playing on the lawns of these houses, and funny little ground squirrels were scampering everywhere. A Gambel’s quail scurried away from us -- top knot bobbing - as we came out of one of the houses and vanished into the scrub.
We were not prepared for strolling in the heat and sunlight, so we did not go on the nature trail. In any event, it was a lovely, relaxing couple of hours and the price of admission: $1.00 each.
We stopped at a Vietnamese restaurant in a strip mall for lunch. The dining area was filled with several large groups of Vietnamese, and we were the only white folk. We suspect that some of the people were kin to the owner or the chef because people sort of got up and wandered back into the kitchen and out again. There were a number of children running around and laughing (and also going in and out of the kitchen) and playing some sort of table game.
One little old man appeared to be the waiter and he hustled around trying to take care of everyone. It was loud and noisy and fun and the food was very good. One of the ingredients in the soup we had resembled cubes of reddish colored tofu. I happily ate it, and I ate Richard’s too, before Richard told he thought it was congealed pork blood.
The bill for lunch was $22.
Richard attended the afternoon session of the convention and when he returned, he said the editor of the trade magazine he writes for had invited us out to dinner and we would meet her at the Bellagio. So we got ready and drove to the Bellagio, assuming I think that we would pile into her car and go somewhere else.
But no, she had made reservations for us at Circo, an upscale restaurant in the hotel serving Tuscan-style cuisine.
The dining area was very quiet. There was army of men dressed in black suits waiting on the tables, as many as two or three at a time bringing food. There was a “wine guy” who did nothing but present bottles of wine to diners.
Both of us were trying to figure out if there was something “light” on the menu, and while I was mentally gasping at the prices of the food, she announced that we should have the “tasting menu.”
So we did. And they brought small courses of food – amazing food -- with fairly long gaps between each course. We were there at least 3 hours.
Richard has this habit of snatching the check when other people have invited us out to dinner and paying for it. This time, however, when the waiter appeared at our table and handed the check to Richard, he passed it to our host. Fortunately. The price of the meal was $450.
We walked out of there stuffed and stunned and more than a bit overwhelmed.
And now I am happily pounding away on the keyboard in our $30-a-night hotel room, which has served our middle-class needs very well, and very shortly Richard will arrive back from the morning session, and we will load the car and drive off across the desert to Los Angeles.