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June 28, 2010

Well, we’re back!

Our Vegas trip was really fun — since it was both our first time to Sin City, everything was new for us! I think our best decision was our dinner at LAVO, overlooking the strip and the incredibly cheesy and Disney-esque pirate show at Treasure Island. Erik Estrada, several soap stars (the daytime Emmy’s were two hotels down), and Carrie Underwood were all there. For the record, Matt recognized the soap stars. I guess that’s what happens when you’re a stay-at-home dad. So, maybe he does change the channel off of ESPN occasionally.

We also walked most of the strip. Which in 105 degree heat was quite the adventure — it’s always bad when you say to each other, “Let’s just jet into the Monte Carlo for twenty-minutes of video poker to get a free drink and cool down.” Bad. Or just incredibly awesome. You pick. Also, I have decided that my wardrobe isn’t really compatible with the Vegas nightclub scene. It’s too bad Ann Taylor Loft doesn’t offer a slutty line. Look, I don’t care if a girl wants to wear a barely there dress with cheap heels and stand in line for three hours just to get hit on by total douche bags. BUT I did find it just a touch sad to see some mediocre looking early twenty-something limping through the lobby of the casino because she didn’t know how to walk in her shoes, pulling her dress down with her free hand while holding a Bud Light with the other. It reeks of a kind of desperation that I’m glad I managed to avoid all these years. Certainly I didn’t expect classiness in the city known for excess and craziness, but the city does boast a strange dichotomy between high-end and low-end — I found it fascinating.

Anyway, this blog isn’t really for waxing philosophical about the social scene in Vegas.

It’s about books.

So…here we go! We did go to Bauman’s Rare Books because it was located IN OUR HOTEL. Matt and I kept getting lost inside our hotel (seriously — we  were thirty minutes late to a dinner with a friend because we couldn’t find our way out of the hotel. Yeah, so we met this friend, who serendipitously was at a conference at the hotel next to ours, saw my Facebook status about being in Vegas, and sent me a text message! Gotta love the connective powers of social networking sites). And we happened to just walk by Bauman’s. I was so excited. I actually cried a little when we walked in because the store is so amazing. Original, first edition prints, of The Chronicles of Narnia SIGNED by C.S. Lewis? And while some of the more expensive books ($10,000+) were in cases, a lot of them were just OUT…to, like, touch and hold and clutch. I sat on the ground for more than ten minutes reading through the inscribed Dr. Seuss first editions. Honestly, I was shocked someone didn’t come over to me and say, “Oh. I’m sorry. Can you put those back.” And Matt and I were marveling that they allowed these rare books within a five mile radius of so many drunk people.

While we were in there, some woman walked in and said she was looking for anything they had from Churchill, since her husband was a collector. The store keeper brought out several original letters, all framed, and then the woman just pulled out her checkbook and bought one. $7500. Just pulled out a checkbook. Craziness.

Anyway, here are some highlights I’d love to share!

As I mentioned, they had a lot of other cool collectibles from authors in addition to the books. And I was blown away by this cool letter from Ernest Hemingway. It was a personal letter, but I loved just standing so close to something real. That is what I loved the most — reading the inscriptions from the authors. Hemingway also had inscribed someone’s Old Man and the Sea and signed it “Ernie”. 🙂

Another super cool thing was saw — which had I the ability to just pull out my checkbook and buy anything, it might have been this — was a first edition of Truman Capote’s Breakfast at Tiffany’s with DIAMOND-ENCRUSTED binding. Inlaid custom binding with six genuine diamonds on the Audrey Hepburn silhouette. It was only $5000. No biggie.

Anyway, Powell’s has a rare book room too, but I haven’t ever ventured in there. So, I can’t speak for how this particular rare book store compares with others, but I did think it was pretty amazing.

This last picture is an attempt to show you all — my dear, faithful, blog readers — that I DID try to read while I was on this trip. I read on all the plane rides, and carried Cutting for Stone down to the pool on several occasions. One time, however, when I was by myself, I was distracted by a conversation with a man from Israel — but I’m gonna save that story, I think, for my introduction to my Israel book. I’m only thirty pages away from finishing…I’m sure you’ll get an update on book 38 tomorrow. I did think I was going to read more, but that was just the naivete speaking. So, here I am, at the famous Venetian pool, with my margarita that they sell by the meter. See how much fun reading can be?

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. June 28, 2010 12:15 pm

    This entry is borderline libelous against me and there is a lawsuit pending for defamation of character. In truth, we were standing next to the above-mentioned soap stars for at least 5 minutes before a girl came up to them and asked to have her picture taken. At that point, we figured they had to be famous and, after looking at them for a few more seconds, I realized they looked familar from the covers of countless numbers of soap opera magazines that line Safeway week in and week out.

    Honestly, I would have thought I would have been appreciated for being the primary grocery shopper in the household and then praised for, what I thought, was a pretty impressive recollection on my part. Alas… The rare book room was remarkably cool though.

    • June 28, 2010 12:44 pm

      Sure. Sue me for libel.

      Since it’s “our” money and everything. 🙂

      Seriously, I thought you just spent your afternoons tuned in to “One Life to Live” for hours on end.

      *sigh*

      Love you.

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