Thursday, January 05, 2006 , late at night
That’s a lot of candles
The title of this entry is a quote from my four year old niece, who uttered it when faced with the prospect of having a birthday cake in my honour. Sarcasm starts so early! My parents, sister, niece, and nephew were together today, and apparently ate a spice cake with brown sugar frosting as a tribute to my birthday, but I wasn’t there to enjoy it. It’s all for the best, anyway, as spice cake isn’t my favourite, although the icing rocks.
Our day had an early start—a midnight start, as a matter of fact. I celebrated my birthday from midnight until 4am (it’s the fault of those darn kittens), then slept until 11am when the phone woke us up. We then got up, fed ourselves, the birds, and the kittens, I talked on the phone with my family for a bit, and then we went to Bellagio so I could see the Christmas display in the garden/conservatory. Now, every year we try to go and see the garden on my birthday, and EVERY YEAR we arrive just as they’re dismantling the display. However, this year we read a newspaper article saying that the holiday display would be up until January 11th, so I was sure this would be the year we would be able to see the gigantic Christmas tree, the authentic cranberry bog, etc. When we arrived in the parking lot and saw that sections of it were filled with plants, I started to get suspicious. When we walked in, we were immediately greeted by the site of workers dismantling the Christmas garden display! Again! They’d removed enough of the Christmas display to make the place look like crap, but hadn’t started the Chinese New Year display, so we mostly got to see some worker dudes in t-shirts and hardhats lolling around and moving fake penguins. I know it seems like a little thing, but I’m always so disappointed when this happens, because I love the gardens but it’s tough for us to get down to the Strip at other times. When the newspaper said the display would be up until the 11th I thought we’d be lucky this year, but no go. Here’s the only decent part of the display left standing:
Here’s what the rest of the area mostly looked like:
The only redeeming quality the Bellagio had today was the glass flowers in the lobby, which I just love. I never get tired of looking at the colours:
To punish Bellagio for disappointing me, we went to the relatively new Wynn Las Vegas and ate dinner at their buffet. Not an inexpensive proposition, but the food was wonderful, and I really wish I could have eaten more. We started with sushi and some Asian food, and then went back for some salads, vegetables, and I had a “lamb t-bone”. The prime rib looked amazing, and they also had rack of lamb, but the portions were too large and I didn’t want to waste food. We didn’t eat any of the crab legs, which were huge and sliced in half for easy eating, but I figured I could always make those at home, and I wanted to eat things which were too fiddly or difficult to make myself. We barely had any room left for dessert, but we split very tiny portions of bananas foster, a mini eclair, bread pudding, tiramisu, and some odd little thing Flippy picked up, which was either a small homemade marshmallow or a meringue in bed of thin custard. It sounds like a lot, but seriously, they were teeny portions—there were four little slices of bananas foster, total, and the eclair was all of three inches long. Their coffee was great, and the service was wonderful—just on the edge of being too attentive, but not quite. I felt like I was having a politeness competition with our server, who was just dying to get us soy sauce, spoons, or anything else our little hearts desired.
After dinner we walked around the casino, and discovered it was the home to this year’s Consumer Electronics Show. The place was crawling with geeks, Asian businessmen, and cheerleaders?! Someone, maybe it was Motorola, had cheerleaders in the hallway, bouncing around and shaking their pompoms (not a euphemism). We didn’t gamble. On the way home, we stopped to pick up bubble tea, despite the fact were were stuffed, and we also made a pitstop at the grocery store where I finally found plain turkey and chicken baby food for the kittens. That “turkey and rice” food I bought yesterday has carrots as the second ingredient, after water… I don’t think my poopy little kittens need any extra fiber right now. In any case, we were so incredibly full that we didn’t stop at Starbucks, even though I know I would have been given a free birthday drink. When I turn down free Starbucks, you know I absolutely can’t consume another bite.
I have to tell you about the gift I received from Flippy. She’s been talking about it for the past week, and was worried it wouldn’t arrive in time for my birthday. I was told that if I saw the box when it was delivered I’d know what it was, and that it was too expensive for her to order before we got our Christmas money. I was also told that part of it was for me, but part of it was for somebody else. I wasn’t really trying to guess what it was, but in my mind I thought it might be a Homedics Foot Massager, which has been on my Wishlist since I played with it in Walgreens a few months ago. It wasn’t really expensive, but it was the only thing I could think of which would be shipped in its own very obvious box, and which I could share.
The box arrived, and it was just a plain brown box, and even Flippy was confused about the size of it. She took it into the garage to take a peek inside, and came back and said, “It’s what I ordered, but it’s smaller than I thought, and there’s other stuff in there that I didn’t order”. The plot thickened! Finally, at midnight last night, she let me open the box. As soon as I realized what it was, it made me cry—it was a limited edition, signed copy of the Little Pink Sock, which I love because it makes me think of Sweet Pea. I’ve wanted that print for over a year, and it was the last thing I expected to receive. I only looked at it once, and honestly, it did make me cry and I didn’t want to get it wet, so it’s back in its tube, and we’ll take it to Michaels tomorrow to have it framed properly. She had also ordered a package of Little Pink Sock catnip toys, which are the best catnip toys ever, and those were for the cats (hence her hint that part of the gift was for somebody else). To the surprise of both of us, though, the box contained other things she hadn’t ordered, a t-shirt with an image of Snoopy and Earl, and a copy of the beautiful hardcover book, Mutts: The Comic Art of Patrick McDonnell. Wow! I loved everything, and the odd thing was, Flippy didn’t even know I’d had the Little Pink Sock print on my blog wishlist… she just figured it out herself. The book was part of the reason I was up until 4am, as I was enjoying every page.
Thank you to everyone for the wonderful birthday wishes… I even had a couple from people I don’t know, which was sort of fun. I had a good day, I hope it will be a good year, and I’m not even upset about the fact that as I was getting ready to leave the house this morning, I found a big grey eyebrow hair.
I can’t end this without a kitten photo. Here are the little monkeys from earlier this evening: