Vegas Baby

I know.  I promised this yesterday. But instead of uploading photos I decided to cuddle a puppy instead.  Sorry.  It was Gordon’s fault.  Alas, earwax. Better late than never – here it is. My recap of Vegas that I wrote in the airport right before I nearly died on the plane. Enjoy.

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Well I made it. It was close but I made it. BFF Kate’s birth was properly celebrated. We saw the sites. We made some friends. Some of us got to know those friends better than others – but of course that’s all I can say because what happens in Vegas – you know the rest.

My review? I’m really glad I was able to go. Some of my predictions came true – I am returning with a really nice head cold some kind of crazy desert disease that nearly killed me. But others didn’t – Vegas has a place for everyone, including introverted ginger knitters.

Overall I have to say that Las Vegas is a really strange city. I can see the appeal I guess, there is potential for great food, really fun shows, and it’s pretty friendly to anyone’s budget. The draw to come back again and again? I don’t really get that. The Boy hasn’t been, so I can see us making the trip again eventually – unless there’s a boy that actually follows through on their bachelor party plans. But if/when I come back again I would do things a little differently. Specifically, more day trips. Hoover Damn and the Grand Canyon would be tops on my list, there’s only so many souvenir stores one can go into and the lime light of Vegas only really starts after dark. So why not get out of the city during the day and take in the city life at night. Sounds like a plan to me.

That’s not to say I didn’t have fun, some highlights:

Red Rock Canyon Conservation Centre. I think this tops my list, we drove out and went for a hike. The escarpment is beautiful and as I said it was nice to get out of the city – a definite must see.

Zumanity. My first Cirque du Soleil show and it was full of “sexy naked people” it was really impressive and a lot of fun. If you’re going to the city definitely see at least 1 show. And if you’d like to be invited into a orge, or eat a banana from a man’s crotch – sit in the front row! My favorite part was the middle-aged married people who were all touchy with each other after the show as they shyly checked out corsettes and massage oil in the gift shop afterward.

Free drinks. I couldn’t tell you what a drink in a night club costs, because none of us paid for one. Wine with dinner – sure. What Vegas must cost a group of boys is mind-blowing to me, being a girl rocks.

The gluttony. From huge over the top hotels, 4 floors of M&Ms parafenalia, statues of liberty made entirely of jellybeans, and lots of really fake boobs, Vegas truly has it all. You really need to shut off your sustainability brain and give into it or it will drive you crazy. It’s ridiculous – adults Disney Land. And it must be embraced for the short time you are there, but seriously Vegas would it kill you to throw a recycling bin into the mix?

One thing I really didn’t do? Gamble. For a couple of reasons, first and foremost I’m not a winner. I don’t win things. I don’t assume I’ll win, I never do. So the idea of giving someone my money to see if I’ll win seems silly to me. Why don’t I just take that money and buy a pair of shoes. Then I’m gaurenteed to win. I’ve won a pair of shoes. The second reason is the smoke. You can smoke absolutely anywhere with the exception of the elevator and the airport. And it is gross. It hurts my lungs and my eyes and I have absolutely no desire to hang out in a smokey room and give someone money for the thrill of being there. I had intentions of giving Black Jack a try or maybe even Craps, but I couldn’t do it. I put in $1 in a penny slot machine. I got up to $2.10 but played until I lost it. It was not that fun. And it hurt my lungs.

So that’s it. I did some power shopping – got the Boy some new clothes and a few things for me too. But by the time Sunday came it was time to go home to my new house and my new bed and The Boy.

Happy Burthday Kate – hope you had a great trip! XOXO

 

Dollars and Sense

I know, I fell off the planet again. Sorry. But hey I’m back and ready to talk about everyone’s favourite topic – money! YEAH!

The Boy and I thought we were having a nice quiet nothing weekend. What did we do instead? Almost looked at buying a house. I know. This is crazy right?

We didn’t. Unfortunately the adorable little A-frame house we found online was already sold, on May 13th. Our Realtor (OMG we have a Realtor?!) informed us that it sold in 16 days for right around the asking price. Shoot. But for most of Saturday while the Boy was planning where Stevie the TV would go – I was having a mild panic attack.

What’s really curious about the Boy and I is that despite his OCD tendencies – I am the planner. The Boy is the one to always say “Meh, what happens will happen – why stress over it, or worry about it. We’re good people, good things will happen.” As a side note – this drives me crazy. What drives me even crazier is that my plans never go the way I think they will and his good things happen when you are good seems to pan out more often than not. Boys.

So needless to say, the let’s buy a house plan is NOT in the immediate, “let’s do that next weekend” plan. You’ll recall that we’re trying to find a different rental – that’s the plan, and live there for another 3ish years. Good plan. And then buy a house. Solid plan. The one issue with this plan – there is only 11% rental availability in our region’s housing stock (that’s very low) and 5 of those 11% are social housing (we definitely do not qualify – and it’s a 20 year wait list even if we did). So while I’m still holding on to the plan – the Boy has been looking at houses to buy. And then we almost went and looked at one. And I’ve never felt more grown-up in my life. Or more clueless.

Nonetheless, when we did the numbers and realized that while it’s not ideal it is possible for us to buy if the right thing comes up – it got us moving. We’ve booked an appointment at the bank to get pre-approved so that should the right thing come up – like the next-door neighbours of the house we found decide to sell – we’ll be ready. I like to think of it as Plan B.

HOWEVER, this is not actually what I was planning to write about today (of course). Today the plan was to write about that annoying time in a young couple’s life when you’re both working and you’re trying to save as much as you can so that should your housing plan not work out you can buy, or if it does work out you can get rid of some serious school debt. That time when you haven’t gone on a honeymoon – because the weekend at your sister’s house does not count, and you are making more than you ever have and the number in the savings account is increasing at a decent pace but you still feel poor. You know – that stage? I assume everyone goes through one? Yes?

That’s the stage I find myself in these days. I am there alone since the Boy once again does not stress about the plan and thinks we’re doing great (which we are) and feels we get to do everything we want to do (which we do), except for when things come up that cost more than our average week’s expenses – then we both agree – we’re poor and can’t afford it.

And it sucks.

But then I start to think about it.

About what my income is, what our combined income is, and the relatively little time that we have left to pick up and go, and spend money on completely selfish things.

And how few good friends I have and how I don’t mind that I don’t have that many – because I like to think I’m a good friend to those that I have.  And how those friends are really good to me too, and how they’ve spent money that they’d probably earmarked for something else on doing things for me without question, and how I loved them for it, and how awesome they are.

And how we haven’t bought a house yet. And how I like to really hold onto the hope that this time my perfect plan will work out just the way I want it to so I shouldn’t worry about it. And how we do have the money, and how August is a five pay-cheque month. And how we’re really not poor at all.

And how we can afford it.

And I tell the Boy all these things…. And in a move that surprised everyone, he agreed.

 

And then we thought about maybe buying a house and in all the hoopla and panic attack I turned to the Boy and said “if we do this does that mean I can’t do what I wanted to do?” and he said, “Of course you can. We’ll just figure it out. We’re good people and it will all work out.”

And I suddenly love his relaxed attitude.

And I think sometimes when you’re thinking about dollars and cents, you need to use not just your head but your heart too. And then it all makes sense. Dollars and sense.

And I love BFF Kate.

And I’m going to Vegas in September to celebrate her 30th birthday.

English: Vector image of the Las Vegas sign. P...

And it’s going to be awesome.

When do you know it’s time to throw the Plan out the window?

Any tips on Vegas?