Have I ever told you about the time I ate antelope? Picture it: Las Vegas, the last day of November 2001. Smang was getting hitched in Vegas. I wanted to be there with her quite badly. But, as was often the case with The Ex, we seemed to be lacking funds to do something *I* wanted to do. We always had money for Playstation 2 components and games (although the only game The Ex ever truly loved was NCAA Football), or money for him to take "guy's trips" to Austin. But when I wanted to do things, it was too expensive. Except for yoga teacher training, which was expensive, but he never once mentioned it. I am digressing. I believe it was four days before the wedding, when The Ex emailed me. He'd found airfare and hotel at a price we could afford. I danced around my office. That wasn't exactly out of the norm, or anything. It's just what happened next. I excitedly shared the news with Smang that we'd be there and again there was dancing. On my part. Because that's how I get down. So, late 2001 means travel restrictions. It means getting to the airport at 4:30 a.m., because your flight leaves at 6:45 a.m. It means watching CNN aiprort loop repeatedly. On the day that George Harrison died. He was my favorite Beatle.
We arrived in Vegas at 9:15 am MST. Check-in time was not until noon. The hotel allowed us to leave our bags at the desk, and we went out to wander the strip. We were staying at the Holiday Inn Boardwalk. It is gone now, but it was extra convenient because it was where the ceremony was to be held. I had been awake for eight hours, and had not yet eaten. Since this is late 2001, it was also before I had started yoga training. In other words, I was still fat. Not morbidly obese or anything. Just fat. Fat girls get cranky when they don't get to eat. We walked down past the Bellagio, down past Ceasar's, almost down to the Sigfried and Roy faces, I think that's the Mirage. I am getting hungrier and less fun to be around. I began to audibly bitch. We walk into Caesar's but all I see is a mall. No food to speak of. Normally, I love a mall. But I was HUNGRY! We exit Caesar's, and head for the Bellagio. We go in. There are signs directing you to walk this way (===>) for comestibles. At the back, through the casino is a breakfast buffet. It is $10 per person, all you can eat. I very enthusiastically request to eat at the Bellagio. I am rebuffed. "Too expensive." I am incredulous. $10 for all you can stuff into your head seems incredibly reasonable to me. "Please, I am hungry and it smells good. Please?" I ask. "No, it is too much money. We can't spend all of our money in one shot, Heather. Let's just go to the McDonald's across the street from our hotel" Whoooooooooooooosh!I hear that familiar sound. I have gone from traveling with my husband to traveling with The Fun Sucker, the man who could suck the fun right out of the most festive of occasions. I get angry. I was already cranky, but being denied my rightful place at the pastry line has pushed me over the edge. "Fine, let's go eat at McDonald's. But know this: we're going to eat at the Bellagio. Because goddammit, I WANT TO! Smang is my friend, and we are here to have fun, and WE ARE ON VACATION! It costs money to do everything. There are hundreds of gourmet restaurants in this town, and I WILL HAVE A GOURMET MEAL!" So, I sulked all the way back down the strip, choked down a sausage biscuit with OJ, and then met up with Smang and all the gang that were in town. We went to New York, New York and rode the roller coaster. We spent about six hours together, all of us, and I just remember laughing a lot. So, at the end of the evening, we returned to our room, which if memory serves, was kind of a hovel, but who spends a lot of time in their room in Vegas? We got dressed. We were going to eat dinner at the Bellagio's dinner buffet. Which cost $45 per person, way out of our budget. I did not care. We eatin'! They had things very organized in there. There was a vegetable area, a salad area, a meat area, and my favorite: the wild game area. That's where I found the antelope, plus some boar, buffalo and a few others which escape me. But you know what? I ATE THEM ALL!! Probably with a smug look on my face, because I am a bitch like that. And the dessert area...oh my god, the desserts! I ate all of those too. I think I might've even had to unbutton my skirt when we were walking back to the hotel. So there it is: the time I ate antelope.