Vegas, baby

Wow. It's been awhile. I feel like I've lived a thousand lifetimes since I last wrote a post.

How are you? That, of course, being a rhetorical question because you can't really answer me right this second and it doesn't matter anyway because this blog is about me.

Goodness, could you imagine if I were that narcissistic in real life?

"Becky, I don't care about how your weekend was because I wasn't there and therefore it doesn't involve me and therefore it was boring and not newsworthy."

When we last spoke, I was recovering from vein surgery and making the journey home from Las Vegas.

I shall update you on both:

It's been exactly 4 weeks and a few days since I had my venous ablation. Once I hit the fourth week, I was officially DONE with wearing compression stockings. No more do I have to forcefully yank skinny jeans over thick, closed-toe hosiery on a 90-degree day. Gone are the days of trying to pretend like I'm not wearing thigh-high socks under my clothes and almost suffocating my butt cheeks because my legs are so short that "thigh-high" really means "crotch-high".

I seriously considered burning all of my compression stockings, but then I remembered I paid over $200 for those socks and figured I'd better keep them just in case compression hosiery suddenly comes in style (if nude hosiery every becomes a popular trend, consider me the next Giselle.)

How am I feeling? Pretty good. I honestly didn't have a miraculous change that allowed me to start cruising down the street like Usain Bolt, but my legs do feel a little lighter. I still have cankles (thanks, genes!), but my feet and ankles do look slightly less swollen. In short, venous ablation wasn't a miracle cure for my running, but it did prevent future problems with my veins.

As you may recall, I traveled to Las Vegas in September to attend a conference called Brand Manage Camp. The conference is a few days of keynote speakers from the world of marketing; including copywriters, branding experts, content specialists, market researchers, etc. I don't consider myself geeky about anything (mostly because I think that saying you're geeky about something indicates that the thing you love isn't cool. I'm sorry, but if you're passionate about something, anything, that in itself makes it cool. Period.) and ... where was I? Dang it. I hate it when I have a thought during a thought.

Oh ya: I don't consider myself "geeky" about anything, but if marketing and communications were the opening night of Star Wars: The Force Awakens, I'd be the first one in line wearing a homemade Yoda costume and wielding a light saber.

Did Yoda use a light saber? Please don't correct me.

Long story short: I loved the conference. It fueled my fire to keep doing what I'm doing and reaffirmed that I made the right career choice (which is a huge sigh of relief when you consider my student loans).

Best part? I made friends!

I know, right? The introverted girl who is content to wander the Vegas strip completely on her own and read in her hotel room ended up hanging out with some cool marketing chicks from Pennsylvania

They were my favorite part of the trip. Even though they work in a completely different industry, our company structures share a lot of similarities (and communication obstacles) so we had no shortage of things to discuss.

One night we went to dinner in the Stratosphere and during our walk to the restaurant I got to fulfill an item on my bucket list: Take a picture in front of the hotel I was conceived in.

That's right, ladies and gentlemen. Yours truly was created in Las Vegas during one of my dad's engineering work trips back in 1985.

You're welcome, Vegas. 

But the Riviera hotel no longer exists. It's pile of rubble. Honestly, I think deep down inside the Riviera folks knew that they'd never be able to do better than one Ms. Courtney Alexis and decided to permanently close their doors.

It kind of made for an awkward photo, but I sent it to my mom anyway.

On my last night in Las Vegas, I decided to check out one of the Cirque du Soleil shows. Vegas has several varieties of Cirque de Soleil and since I didn't want to accidentally stumble into one of the naked Cirque shows, I decided to see The Beatles LOVE (plus, I was staying in The Mirage and it was literally 1,000 feet from my room).

The show. Was. AWESOME. I know all of the Beatles songs that everybody knows, but the show really made me appreciate some of their later music as well. The only time I felt a little anxious was was when they performed Mr. Octopus' Garden. I may or may not have been white-knuckling my chair's armrest whispering, "Okay, WHERE IS IT????" But I'm happy to report that there was not actually an octopus of any kind present during that number.

Both my mom and sister are HUGE Beatles fans (my mom even went to one of their concerts when she was a teenager), so enjoying their music made me feel a little bit more connected with my family back in Indiana. I'm glad I paid the small fortune for a ticket and went.

I'm also really happy that I got to attend the conference (I seriously learned SO much), but I wouldn't be upset if I never visited Las Vegas again. The city is quite underwhelming and unless you're there to party your pants off or spend a ton of money on tickets to shows, there's not much to do. It kind of feels like 24/7 forced fun. Like everyone acts like they're loving it but in the back of their minds they're really like, "This is kind of loud and smokey."

I did go on the hunt for Britney Spears at Planet Hollywood while wandering the strip. Of course the ONE WEEKEND I chose to be in Vegas is the ONE WEEKEND she decided to take a break. I held out hope I might catch a glimpse of her by the pool (I have no idea why I thought she might be in the vicinity. I'm sure she was back at her um, I dunno, mansion), but no dice.

I had to settle for taking a picture of a Britney Spears-themed slot machine (and sending a Snapchat to my sister-in-law of the crazy Britney Spears leggings you could buy in the gift shop). But it was fine because I then turned around and saw a Titanic-themed slot machine with Jack and Rose embracing on the top. I was like, "Okay, maybe Vegas does know me after all."

And honestly, it took everything in me not to go into Caesar's Palace and ask the front desk, "This isn't the real Caesar's Palace, is it? ... Did, umm ... did Caesar live here?"

One cool feature of The Mirage is the giant volcano out front that "erupts" a few times every evening. I wasn't aware of the volcano or the eruption until the first time it happened and I seriously thought the world was ending. While I was laying in bed and eating a giant soft pretzel with beer cheese (like a lady), my windows suddenly started rattling and it sounded like the earth was going to explode. I leaped out of bed and pulled back my curtains just in time to see a giant fire ball shoot in the sky.

That little heart attack was a nice way to start my week.

So that was Las Vegas. I just got back from Dallas this past weekend and gotta tell you all about that, too. Then I'm traveling to Arizona next week and Friday is my birthday.

I'm already tired.