Lost In Las Vegas

Personal Essays

Have you been to Las Vegas lately?

I have.

I recently found myself in Las Vegas for a couple of days. The most noteworthy thing that happened to me is…I got lost. Really confused and lost.

I got lost in my own hotel and what ensued was a moderate/severe panic attack. The panic attack was on-par with Jack Nicholson’s famed panic attacks as Henry Sanborn in the movie Something’s Gottta Give. If this had been my first, I would have sworn I was dying. Even recounting it now gives me need to pause, look away from the screen and breath deeply.

My husband had to be in Las Vegas on business. He invited me to join him en route to meeting our kids for spring break. It’s fair to say, we’re not Vegas-ey people. Two homebodies, we don’t gamble, don’t drink much, don’t enjoy crowds or lots of noise. So, by definition, we are not Vegas-ey people. I will also mention that I lack an adequete sense of direction which will make my story believable.

My husband asked me to pick the hotel. Based on both the world-famous reputation of Canyon Ranch Spa plus its impressive website, I chose The Venetian because it houses the Las Vegas branch of Canyon Ranch Spa.

I booked myself an entire day of what sounded like scrumptious spa treatments. My review on the spa is lack-luster, Its dated. It’s too spread out – connected by a series of long, maze-like hallways which in no way feel oasis like which is what I was looking for. Half my treatments were nice, the other half below average but I’ll save that full analysis for a future post.

My room was on the 16th floor of The Venetian while the spa was on floor 3. Knowing I had left my and taken an elevator to  floor 3, you can follow my logic in assuming I could reverse the process and retire from the spa directly back to my floor.

I think I went wrong when I, unknowingly, exited to the wrong elevator bank. I had no idea the massive Ventian was conected to yet another massive hotel, The Palazzo. The Twilight Zone-esque experience that followed made me feel like I was in some kind of Hell comprised of long, long hallways and banks of elevators that led to floors and rooms that were not mine.

I will say, the employees were all very well-trained. Every time I encountered someone with a name badge on, I was promptly directed to  “go down to the casino level and follow the signs”. It’s obvious where they want you spending your time.

A few nights later I was explaining my story of woe at a group dinner. My eighteen year-old grabbed my phone and read the text l conversation I had with my husband to the entire table which proved histerical (as many panic-inducing situations do, after-the-fact).  I think the conversation probably best illustrates my anxiety-ridden misadventure.

5:15 PM – husband to me: going back to hotel

6:01 PM – me to husband: Coming. lost in palazzo. what is palazzo?

6:01 – husband: connecting hotel

6:02 – me:  connecting? its not big enough?

6:02 -husband: where r u?

6:02 – me: ???. anxiety growing

6:02- husband:  yr ok

6:11 – me:  not one fu*@*** person will tell me how to get back thru spa. only directed to go thru casino. need other portal.  shinny collegen mask on face.

6:12 – husband: what?? Look for Venetian signs

6:15 – husband: do u want me to find u?

6:17 – me: anxiety attack. ready to murder myself or other

6:18 – me:  Scary Mormon Hell Dream (note: we had just seen Book of Mormon two night’s earlier)

6:19 – me: is there oxegen in here? Also. so hungry.

6:19- me: mite stage heart attack for paramedic escort. but no one around

6:19 – husband: STAY where u r

6:20 – me: in front of bar – sugarcane

Upon looking up I simultaneously saw my husband approaching me with a pensive, concerned look AND caught a glimps of myself in a mirror which revealed, in addition to still having the shiny collegen face mask smeared all over my face, I had inadverdently pulled my yoga pants quite high on my waist leaving me with a hideous lower body profile. At that moment I burst into tears probalby leaving pssers-by thinking I had gambled away all my money.

Bright side of this story –  no stranger to panic attacks, I was able to breath and settle myself over the follwoing thirty minutes. After a shower, vodka soda and a steak, I even felt pretty human. Unfortunately, it really shot any gleaned relaxation from the spa day all to heck. But, leaving off back on the bright side, it gave me something to write about.