The MTV Books Blog will close on October 31. Follow us to our new home at YA Outside the Lines on November 1!

Monday, February 11, 2008

Ah, Vegas

Last time I promised some tidbits about my long and storied relationship with Las Vegas so I guess it's time I deliver! First I guess I should try to count the number of times I've BEEN to Vegas. Um, yeah. So things get a little blurry already. But let's see.

There was the time I went with my two Irish roomies when we were all sharing an apartment in Brooklyn. There was the time I went for a wedding when one of said roomies got hitched; that was the time I hired an Elvis impersonator. There was the time it seemed like a good idea to go there with an ex boyfriend; we saved some money by staying at the dusty old Stardust for a few nights then checked into the Hard Rock Hotel for our last night and did not see daylight for 24 hours because we thought the Hard Rock was so cool that there was no reason to leave. Then there was the time, last year when I booked a trip to Vegas with my husband before realizing I was pregnant. Is it awful to admit that it wasn't QUITE as much fun that time? I know I'm forgetting one, though. Maybe that's for the best.

The challenge of writing What Happens Here, which is mostly set in Vegas, was writing from the perspective of someone who lives in Las Vegas. I've only ever been a tourist. But two of those trips above were "research trips" (Hello, IRS, man!) and I did the best I could. The main characters in the book are transplants from elsewhere anyway, like a lot of the residents of the greater Las Vegas area. I guess that's me cheating a little tiny bit?

So for no particularl reason in no particular order, here are the top five things I love about Vegas:

The Easy River pool at the Monte Carlo hotel. You can rent a tube and just float around and around and around....It's shaped like a figure 8.

The replica of Rome's Trevi Fountain outside Caesars Palace mall. Does YOUR mall have such a kick-ass fountain?

The half-scale Eiffel Tower @ Paris. I mean, come on. How can you not love feeling even just a little bit like you're in Paris?

Let It Ride. A really fun card game that makes you feel like you're not actually losing as much money as you are.

Lance Burton. Okay, so his magic show is really cheesy but I'm still dumbfounded by half of the tricks he does.

I also like the slogan that ultimately gave my book its title. "What happens here stays here" is about as good as tourism slogans get, wouldn't you say? Actually, the only other one that comes to mind is something like "Philadelphia: It's better when you stay the night" or, um, how about "It's better in the Bahamas"? I guess that's a pretty good one. Anyway, I digress.

Are there things that YOU did in Vegas that you think should stay there? I'm not sure I'm ready to tell. :)



Kelly Parra said...

I was waiting for someone to post their stories because I have yet to visit LV! One day! ;) ;) And I really, really like the show.

taltebrando said...

You should definitely go sometime! Having given it some more thought, I think the most embarrassing thing I ever did on a trip to Vegas didn't technically happen in Vegas. It happened over the Grand Canyon, in a small plane. I got horribly air-sick. It was awful. Definitely something I'd like to forget!

Jenny O'Connell said...

I stayed at the Wynn last year when my husband, brother, sister-in-law and parents went here for a weekend to celebrate my parents' 40th anniversary. Went to see O (very interesting), had dinner in the Eiffel Tower, saw Phantom of the Opera, and laid out by the pool. So am I a loser if my favorite part was the lying by the pool?

Am not a gambler at heart, but did enjoy drinking cocktails while sunning.

taltebrando said...

Oh, I'd love to see "O." We couldn't get tix last minute last time so ended up seeing another Cirque show, Ka, which I LOVED. I actually wrote a Cirque du Soleil angle into What Happens Here as a result! The main character's older sister is auditioning for the troupe...

A cocktail in the sun sounds lovely right about now. Snow/sleet/rain here in NYC. UGH.

You are definitely not lame!

Jennifer O'Connell said...

T, I love that idea about the sister! How cool.

Jennifer O'Connell said...

T, I love that idea about the sister! How cool.

Stephanie Kuehnert said...

Ah, Vegas, I've been twice. Once with my girlfriends, once with my boyfriend. Lost money with the girls, won money with the boy(at roulette and my favorite, the Wheel of Fortune slots- my fave slot machine). Other than some mild drunkenness, the wildest thing I did in Vegas was see a Burlesque show at the Flamingo. There was a female comedian between "acts" (if burlesque really has acts like a play) and she made a guy come up on stage and then he had to pick someone else to come on stage. Well, he wasn't about to pick another guy and guess who was the only chick in the place besides for a couple way older women there with their husbands. So the comedian asks me about myself and I say I'm a writer and she asks me what the first line of my book is. And even though I had *just* turned in revisions (the reason for our vacation), I totally blanked and said "Uhhhh." And she said, "Great line, I'm sure it will be a bestseller." *Hangs head in embarrasment*