How NOT to celebrate your 50th birthday…
I celebrated my 50th birthday last Thursday, July 26th, and by “celebrated” I mean, I was in what felt like a third world emergency room in the most wretched of cities, Las Vegas. I know some of you love Las Vegas, call Las Vegas home, and have nothing but the best feelings about this desert town. Sorry, I call it, Hell. You may find this post offensive while hopefully, for me, it will be cathartic.
Let me explain…
I chose to have my 50th birthday in Las Vegas because I hadn’t been there since the early 80’s and I understood that it was a changed place, a place of celebration of the highest order. I also choose it because it seemed easy and practical in it’s location. Finally, I choose it because my kids had never been and REALLY wanted to check it out. In the end these were all the wrong reasons to go. I’m more of a tranquil beach person. I like the sound of crickets, I love fresh air, a cool breeze and simple comforts. So what was I thinking? Fifty years and I’m still making poor choices.
The minute I stepped off the plane I knew immediately I had made a mistake. I should mention, as an omen, the plane went through quite a bit of turbulence during the last 1/2 hour of the flight. (I’m thinking that’s what happens to aircrafts when they descend into Satan’s lair – they shake a lot because even they’re scared.) My motion sick body turned into a wet, limp noodle. I basically had a full blown panic attack on the descent, heavy breathing that would scare Linda Blair, permanently traumatizing my son. Nice start.
I don’t want to make this post longer than it should be. Suffice it to say that I was incredibly sick (nauseous, jittery, flu-symptoms, body on fire, anxiety deluxe, etc.) for the entire trip. 1. It could have been my body de-toxing from all the pain medication I had been on for my tooth/ neuralgia. 2. It could have been an anxiety attack 3. It could have been the flu 4. It could have been that it was 112 degrees in that smoke filled inferno of a city and I was dehydrated 5. It could have been a welcome to your 50’s hot flash of epic proportions 6. I think it was just the perfect storm. I ended up in the emergency room at 5:30 in the morning on my birthday. I was dehydrated and delirious — IV fluids hooked up, and Ativan coursing through my veins. Good times…
Reasons why I hate Las Vegas
- There’s way too much stimulation. Every one of my five senses felt assaulted, violated and abused.
- It’s dark, desperate, depressing and smoke filled not to mention cheese filled.
- The masses of people, just in general, are silicon pumped, tacky, status seeking, lost souls looking for a moment of pleasure to escape their crappy lives. That’s way harsh and a generalization, but I’m not changing it.
- It feels forced – forced fun. Eww.
- It’s hotter than the sun. I was so uncomfortable that I kept my curtains drawn the entire time. I had the hotel engineers come to my room on 3 occasions to FIX my air conditioner. My hormonal body needed to feel refrigerated and I just wasn’t cooling. Yes, it was making me very cranky. I took cold baths.
- It feels like another planet, a circus planet of cartoonish proportions.
I understand that my reasons for hating Las Vegas are likely some one’s reasons for loving it. To that, I say, Vive la difference! By the way, for what it’s worth, my kids loved it.
1) Happy birthday! 50? Holy fuck, you’re only 57 years younger than me;
2)Las Vegas: Like you, I don’t care for it. And it’s not because I like crickets, although I love feeding them to some of my frogs – I do love New York… I guess I like my peeps neurotic, with less silicon… Not that all NY are silicon-free…
3) “I wish this had been me. She actually looks like she’s having fun in comparison”. I laughed. I laughed hard.
Le Clown, I was in serious distress. When you add the circus atmosphere it was like dying in a fun house – so scary and repulsive. I LOVE New Yorkers. (Having grown up there…) There’s no comparison. New Yorkers are way more sophisticated, intelligent, cool, and yes, neurotic.
I’m glad we’re on the same page.
Thanks for the birthday wish, kind sir.
Perhaps one day we’ll be in NY at the same time, and we’ll grab a hot dog at Grey’s Papaya, and ask Madame Weebles to join in, and other New Yorker bloggers.
I would LOVE that. Let’s do it!
Oh, Lisa!! I am so sorry!! Vegas is the absolute pits–I’ve been there once, and, the only difference between Hell and Vegas is Hell has more trees! I stressed out for you just reading your post.
I, on behalf of your blogger friends, grant you a do over for your 50th birthday. Go–celebrate it near the ocean. Fly to Hawaii, lie on the beach, order cold drinks from cabana boys, swim in the ocean. This is given to you with love from all of us who feel your pain and hot flashes.
Glad the kids enjoyed it–next time, send them by themselves!!
I’ll definitely think about a do-over. Good idea. This was easily one of the most horrific experiences I’ve had in my 50 years. I didn’t think I’d make it out alive. Ha!
Did someone say hot dogs??
I’m sorry for your experience in and en route to Vegas, Grippy. It is hotter than the sun, that’s for sure. But man, do I love it. I commented on my own blog to someone about this, I’m half Sicilian, so I think I like embracing my inner goombah.
But most importantly, happy happy belated birthday!! May your subsequent celebrations be less nauseating!
Le Clown has come up with a great idea – A Grey’s Papaya meeting for New York blogging friends. Now THAT sounds like fun.
I laughed about your inner goombah! That’s a perfect explanation.
Thanks for the birthday wish!
I’m sure I’ll spend the rest of this year trying to erase the memory. : )
Grey’s Papaya dogs? Where do I sign?!?
I know, right? Grey’s Papaya dogs with blogging friends sounds pretty great. I might have to fly out and make it happen.
Happy Birthday and so sorry it was so horrible!! Never been to Vegas, and by your explanation never want to now.
I agree that your birthday should get a do-over…….Fly to the nearest beach and drink cold drinks with cute little umbrellas!! After your last journey, you definitely deserve it.
Thanks, friend. I’m glad if this serves as a cautionary tale for those ever considering a trip to Vegas. Just don’t. That’s my best advice.
I’m going to take that advice and come up with a birthday do-over. I’ll let you know what I decide but I think I see cold drinks and palm trees.: )
Happy Birthday! Sorry about the Vegas trip. This is why I chose to be born in January instead of the hot months.
I’ve only been to Vegas because of connecting flights to Seattle. I wasn’t impressed, even though all I saw was the airport.
Thanks, Jon. It was miserable beyond measure. If I play my cards right, no pun intended, I’ll never pass that way again.
That’s really horrid.
I do love Vegas, and just posted about it actually!!!
But, to each his own!
I love quiet vacations, too. My husband and I often say..how can we love camping in the mountains…AND Vegas? what’s wrong with us?
I have no idea.
I hope you DO have a re-do on your birthday!!!
I think you’re more well rounded than me. Apparently, my little brain can’t take in too much stimulus otherwise I get sick. : (
I’ll figure something out for a re-do, something slow and quite! Ha!
One time, my husband and I did the Piano Bar at the New York, New York. Someone HAD to have slipped something into his wine…because he got TERRIBLY sick.
The thing I remember? and still laugh about?
The day after, he said…I’m really glad I didn’t puke on the Monorail.
And the thing is, HE DID.
That experience COULD have put us off Vegas.
But we are gluttons for punishment!!!
Haha! Your poor husband! That’s the kind of story that you feel good about telling only when your out of state and some time has passed.
A return trip after that debacle? I admire your tenacity and fortitude : )
I am a Vegas-lover but did enjoy your post. It’s interesting to see someone else’s take on things. How you feel about Vegas is how I feel about where I live here in TX. Hotter than the sun…Satan’s lair..etc…yup that about sums it up. If I could move tomorrow I would. Did you get to do anything remotely fun for your birthday??
Oh, I hate living someplace that makes you feel out of sorts. Where in Texas are you? I lived in Houston for a short while and didn’t love it, to put it mildly. I do like Austin, though. Sorry you’re stuck there.
Yeah, Vegas and I don’t agree. Blahh.
I did go down to the pool for a hot minute on the last day. Whoo hoo! Good times!
Happy birthday Lisa! Even if it was complete hell…
Never been to Vegas myself, but I know what you mean about the tacky, forced side of things. I reckon I would enjoy it as a holiday, but not somewhere to go very often.
Thanks, Michael! My birthday was complete and total hell.
I think you would hate Vegas, especially that cheesy forced fun aspect. It’s hideous.
I thought of you while watching the opening of the Olympics– did I see correctly, was Prodigy playing, Firestarter? haha! No wonder you enjoyed it.
Yeah, I was quite chuffed when Firestarter made an appearance!
Actually, the music for the entire ceremony was directed by another of my favourite techno rubbish bands, called Underworld.
They did a fab job.
Happy Birthday! and I am sorry for such a horrendous experience. I will never (never say never) step foot in that town especially after reading this.
I hope you can have a quick birthday re-do with the crickets and a calm tranquil beach..
and no toilet hugging
Thanks, Audra. It was so gross. It’s funny because I knew immediately once the plane landed that I had made a huge mistake. I should have turned around right then and there.
Thanks for the happy, peaceful thoughts. I’ll get my re-do one way or another!
Time for a do-over. Turn 50 again next year, at the beach.
I think that sounds perfect! I’ll just tell people I’m 49 for another year. …yeah, that works for me! Tee hee
And the year after that, and the year after that….
I guess it’s true. Once you have kids your birthday is about them. It’s like how my mom used to buy the dogs presents for my birthday and pretend they were too stupid to understand the concept of gift giving.
I think your problem was you didn’t see Carrot Top. I hear the air conditioning in his showroom is magnificent.
I second the Carrot Top observation.
Carrot Top could have been the make or break I was looking for. Dang it!
I knew there was something I overlooked! Attending the Carrot Top show would have turned the trip around. Such quality entertainment…
Happy birthday sorry it was so bad, but do you think Vegas is a place for us oldies 🙂
Have another 50th birthday very soon where you can relax and enjoy.
Me? An oldy? haha! I certainly felt old, that’s for sure.
Thanks for the well wishes and the teasing, Harry. : )
Happy Birthday, Lisa! So sorry it turned out the way it did, but at least you’ve got a good story now. You know, it’ll be one of those ones that you can relay as funny as the years go by instead of the sucky way it turned out. Never have been to Vegas but I don’t think it would be my thing either. I don’t like casinos and I hate the HOT and all those sights, sounds and smells — I don’t feel as if I’m missing anything but many do say they like it. I’m more the tranquil kind of setting kind myself.
I hope you are feeling better and here’s to 50!! Happy Belated Birthday!
Oh Brigitte… Such misery I’ve never known. It was majorly sucky. Just the casinos alone were enough to turn my stomach. Did you know they have slot machines in the airport, right as you exit your plane you come face to face with one, or fifty. Ugh!
When my kids were young I used to hate going to the arcade with them. I realized on this trip that Vegas is like a giant nasty arcade for adults. Blahhh.
Give me some peace and quiet, the sound of cool running water, and I’m not talking about the toilet!
Thanks for the Happy Birthday wishes!
Pingback: Advertisements: Yea or Nay? «
Cheese filled actually sounds pretty good. As for the rest of it, blah!
John, please know that if Vegas was actually cheese filled like a cheese Danish, I probably would have been just fine. But no, it’s cheezy with a giant Z – like Cheez whiz. Gross.
I freaked out for months when I turned 50. Not sure why.
We lived in Vegas in the early 90’s when it was considered “kid friendly”. Worked for us then, but don’t and won’t go back….very unhealthy place that holds no interest. So can totally relate to your negative experience. Hope you enjoy a do-over!
I’ve now heard from many women that turning 50 was actually a giant freak out. My neighbor told me she laughed until she cried and then couldn’t stop crying. Someone else told me they cried for a week! It does feel slightly depressing and scary for some reason.
Vegas is probably one of the most unhealthy places I’ve ever been. It feels dysfunctional and slightly toxic! Haha!
Thanks for the great comment and birthday wishes!
Oh my gosh, I suck!! I didn’t even say Happy (Belated) BIrthday!!
Happy (Belated) Birthday!!
I hope there was at least cake and a few presents.
Yes, but you did give me massive hugs : )
There was no cake and no presents.
Poor sad me : (
My ex-son-in-law just left for Las Vegas with his new arm candy…may they have as good a time as you did. hahaha
I’m starting to feel pretty good. 🙂
Haha! Why does that make me laugh so much?!
I hope they have EXACTLY the same great time I had!
Glad to share the hahas.
Happy belated birthday! I’m sorry you had to spend it in the ER. That place is terrible no matter what day it is. Las Vegas is a mixed bag. I only went once and it was for a convention so my company picked up the tab. I don’t think I’d go back on my own dollar. Plus, I went in February and it was even hot then, so I can’t imagine how miserable it would be in July.
The hotel Dr. sent me to the most ghetto emergency room. I actually walked in and had to look for someone! OMG! With all that money and that’s what they provide the tourists? I don’t think Donny and Marie would go there! Sheesh!
I might as well have walked on hot coals. The sun was vicious, one minute too long and you actually say, “ouch.” haha! I can only laugh now because I’m home in my comfy surroundings.
Happy birthday, Lisa. Sounds like a trip to remember for all the wrong reasons. We were in Vegas a year ago, my second trip. To me it looked a little sad and like you I thought it was dark. I hope you will look back on this experience in years to come and turn it into a serious of humerous anecdotes with which to wow new aquaintances.
Thanks, Curtain Raiser! I’m glad there are others like us who are repelled by the strange desperation and dark feeling you get there. I thought some people might get really defensive, but not yet!
I’m going to keep my little hospital wrist band to remind me of that wretched day. Hopefully it will continue to be good for some laughs years from now.
Thanks for the birthday wishes! ; )
Happy Birthday you young lass you (eek, I’ll be 52 in a few weeks) as for the town Wayne Newton loves, Lynnie would rather spend the weekend cleaning out horse stalls..
never been, no desire to go and hate gambling..
Should have come south, you could have stayed in lovely beach town, lots of hotel AC and lovely beaches!!
Haha! I would rather roll around in the horse stalls than ever spend time in Vegas again!
I made a big fat mistake. I should’ve headed south and straight to the beach. I would have been so much happier. What a dope!
Lynne, you make 52 seem pretty damn hip. I’ll be lucky to follow your lead : )
Thanks for the happy birthday wish!
Glad you had an awesome birthday 😀 haha, I joke, sounds like you had a horrible time. I’ve always wanted to visit Vegas, I have plans to go there next year, though I’ll be spending my time in the well air conditioned casino’s racking up some dollarage.
My birthday in comparison will comprise of me getting well drunk at someone elses house warming party.
Pete, I think you’d love it. Just don’t go in the middle of summer. I fear your delicate English skin would spontaneously combust. Seriously, it’s hotter than hell.
Thanks for the happy birthday wish!
Are you going to see any of the Olympics?
You know me so well, I definitely don’t cope with the hot weather, when I went to China a couple years back, we had a stop over in Mumbai, arrived at midnight and it was like walking into an oven, AT MIDNIGHT!? It was like 30 degrees Celsius, then the plane was delayed. I nearly died.
I’m not unfortunately, I’d have liked to have seen a Team GB football match or maybe beach volleyball (heh heh) but I have no money and I live a few hours away from London 😦 I bet the atmosphere is immense though!
HAPPY 50TH BIRTHDAY LISA! I am so so sorry that Las Vegas exists and that you somehow ended up going there for your 50th Birthday and got sick while you were there and ended up in the hospital! How horrible. I hope you are feeling better now and are safely back home! I agree with your description of Las Vegas! And we too got suckered into going with all the talk about how its changed . . . etc etc. We went during a hot spell — it was 120 degrees and practically fatal to go outside. The hotel stunk and it took my kids 45 minutes to get to the pool and it was only up to their knees! We left two days early– hated every minute of it. And the people are so sad and pathetic. It’s a town that preys on the misery of the miserable! I had to laugh at the picture of the lady who was having more fun than you! At least you didn’t lose your sense of humor!
Linda, your description is so dead on — the walk to the pool through the smokey casinos that takes 45 minutes, the blistering heat, the sad desperate, miserable people, all the hype, ugh! It was so awful. I’m sorry it exists, too.
I did think, during lucid moments of my delirium, that one day this could actually be a funny story. How many people, after all, get to spend their 50th birthday in a scary emergency room in Vegas? Not many, I’m guessing. I’ll keep the wrist band as a reminder of that hideous trip and make sure I never have a reason to step foot in Las Vegas again.
I should have run this idea past my blogging friends first, everyone seems to have already known that it was the pits. Oh well.
Happy birthday Lisa, but I suggest that you celebrate it on another day or something… What a hell you’ve been through! Forced fun is horrible, feeling bad is horrible, and Las Vegas seems to be quite horrible too.
I’d suggest you go to a silent, quiet beach NOW. With lost of pie and strawberries and stuff. And a few candles to blow out. And the feeling of not being nauseous :).
Thanks NBI. That sounds much more like my cup of tea! I need some quiet and a nice cool breeze to de-tox from that environment.
Hopefully my warning will deter people from visiting Vegas in the future.
Happy belated birthday!!!
I’m sorry you went through such distress, but I hope you were able to remember, through the trauma, that you had the best possible present in the days ahead: a flight out of there.
Thanks, Guapo! You’re not kidding, getting out of there was sweet. Never again!
Lol. I’m sad that you weren’t feeling good in Veggles, but I also feel like you wouldn’t have wanted to leave the hotel room even if you were perfectly fine hahah. Now you’re home and safe in your comforts. Next vacation, I’m thinking India?
Umm, excuse me… When do you know me to stay in the room on vacation? It was miserable. Next time we’ll choose someplace serene and by serene I mean a beach.
No to best exotic marigold hotel, can you imagine my level of discomfort there? Haha!
Hahah I didn’t even see this comment! I’m just giving you a hard time! I’m going to trap you inside during our next vacation so you can’t get out and then I can prove you wrong.
At least you’ll always remember your 50th.
Thanks! Always remembering it is what scares me! Haha!
Oh honey. I’m sorry your birthday (happy birthday!!) was filled with yuck. I get freaked on planes and in crowds of scary people. I call a redo! Just have another celebration and go where you want. Sound good?
Thanks, Jells. It was so full of yuck I can’t tell ya. I’m gonna stay 49 for another year or two, tee hee, and have a redo!
Happy Birthday Lisa!
I’m like you, I want a quiet beach, warm sun, soft sand, crashing waves! Bliss.
I HATE flashy lights, false people, noise, scads of bling and money guzzling screeching machines
Thanks, Charlene. I figured you’d like the same sort of things I do. What the heck was I thinking??????
Happy 50th ~ glad you escaped the circus alive. I’m glad you posted on The Waiting’s blog so I could find yours.
Thanks, Rutabaga!!! The only thing that kept me going was knowing I could post about my horror when I got home.
Thanks for following my blog. I am so flattered. There are so many great people on here – it’s fun getting to know everyone.
Have a great day!
I concur!! I love reading and getting to glimpse inside the minds of so many fabulous writers.
To paraphrase General Phil Sheridan’s quote on Texas and hell, “If I owned Las Vegas and hell, I’d rent out Las Vegas and live in hell.” Many people love Las Vegas but I agree with Lindavernon that “it’s a town that preys on the misery of the miserable.”
The picture above “I wished this had been me” reminds of the saying “praying to the porcelain god.”
That’s my new favorite quote. General Phil Sheridan and I are of the same mind when it comes to Las Vegas. I think I can say with some certainty that I’ll never step foot in that wretched town again.
Yes, indeed, I did a lot of praying to the porcelain god on that trip. It was one of the highlights.
You so perfectly sum up my feelings towards Vegas, especially your first observation. The collective “what happens here, stays…” mentality really gets to me sometimes. People do realize that you still have to act like a somewhat sane human being, even though you are in Vegas, right? No? Well, then. Oh, and warm Bud Lights in plastic bottles for $12? Are you freaking kidding me!? Hey, you can’t hate on the buffets, though. Where else can you eat food from every single country in the world in one sitting? That’s right, VEGAS!
Happy birthday to you! I’d say your 51st should be spent somewhere quiet, preferably on a lake in the middle of nowhere.
Thanks, Eric! I’m with you 100% on plans for next year. Vegas and I don’t get along, obviously. We ordered 2 cheeseburgers, 2 french fries, and 4 sodas from room service. The bill was… drum roll… $96.00!!!! I’ve stayed in some of the most luxurious hotels around the world and I have NEVER been charged that amount for that little amount of food. INSANE.
Needless to say, I won’t be returning anytime soon.
Sounds like a major horror story. I have no desire to go thEr for any reason. The sensory overload alone would send me to the looney bin! Ah well, welcome to the 50s. I’m personally enjoying a whole lot of things about it. Angie
Just got back from a three week journey to Utah. Don’t get me started on Vegas. What I hate about it is that the people there in the suburbs just love it there and say, “I’m from Las Vegas!” with a smile. Like it’s something they are proud of.
I can’t believe all you went through on that trip. Crank up the air conditioner. You will love your 50s.
Thanks my beautiful friend. Wish you had been there with me, at least I know I would have been laughing through some of the rough spots. : )
All I know is that I will never step foot in Nevada again.
awww happy belated birthday! 😀 I have not been to Vegas but now I don’t feel like, I hate loud places
Thanks so much!! I feel like you would hate it as much as I did. Funny, but most of my blogger friends feel the same way. I guess, birds of a feather really do flock together?
Have a great day!!!
hahha yes they definitely do! 😀 x
Well said. I’ve been searching for these exact sentiments for years now to describe my feelings about my intense dislike of Vegas. Turning 50 in March and it’s won’t be there….
Smart girl 🙂
I don’t think I’ll be returning anytime soon, and by that I mean never. haha!
Hilarious!! I found our post while trying to find ideas of how to …celebrate….my upcoming 50th without all the “forced fun”!! Love your humor!
Haha! Thanks, Donna! It was a nightmare! I hope you find a great place to have your 50th birthday. (…and I hope that it’s not Las Vegas 🙂 )
Oh, you made me smile… Then I clicked on your pic and you’re beautiful – you make 50 look great! I am turning 50 in July 2013 and like the person who posted above – when I googled about a birthday trip your blog came up. 🙂 I couldn’t agree more with your comments about Vegas. Ehhhwwww. I’m thinking Kauai. I hope you got your re-do somewhere lovely!
Julie, you just made my day! Thanks for the kind compliment.
Kauai sounds like a much better choice. Even though we know the big 50 is coming and we think we’re prepared, there must be something psychological about it that makes us internally sick. haha! I have yet to meet someone who’s turned 50 who hasn’t had a moment of anxiety or uneasiness. It’s a tough one. Hopefully you’ll be surrounded by the people who love and adore you.
And I did get my re-do! I went to South Carolina’s Hilton Head Island – Sea Pines. It was just what I needed.
Thanks for your comment. I hope to see more of you!
Oh Grips! You better be really treating yourself this summer! Beach and a book. xoxo
I better have the most excellent Karma/reward coming my way after these last 9 months – and I’m still in the thick of it. I’m caught in a tragic spin cycle from hell. The beach and a book sounds like HEAVEN!! Whenever this black cloud finally lifts I’m going to sit and do absolutely nothing for a LONG time.
Your picks for the wedding are perfect! I love all the retro styling – it’s too cute. The second dress and the second invitation are my faves. But it’s all cute. Everything will fall into place. No worries. Maybe you can find a cheap DJ – better than using the old iPod. Just in case, have a back up plan.
I’m so excited for you. (The weight loss is AMAZING, too!) It will be a romantic wedding because you’re marrying the right person. YAY!! xoxoxoxoxox
A Gripping, I know that I am over a year late in discovering your Las Vegas 50th Birthday blog, I can tell you after reading it I’m reconsidering a new location other than Vegas for my 50th Birthday in October 2013. You must be a comedic writer because I almost peed on myself reading about your birthday from hell. Your experiences had me tearing and laughing hysterically, I could only visualize you praying for the trip to hell to end and you would awake in comforts of your own home in a flash. Well hope this birthday bring great pleasure, No anxiety and a freezing cold luxury suite! Happy Birthdayx2013!
Oh, Sharon! I’m so glad you read this and got a good laugh. 😀 I’m days away from my 51st birthday. This time it will be everything that Vegas wasn’t — relaxed, casual, sweet fun with family and friends.
Thanks for reminding me about this post. It’s amazing how things can change so much in a year. Of all the years in my life, thus far, I would not choose to relive my 50th for all the tea in China. It’s been pretty sucky but there is light on the horizon. (read, My Thanksgiving. You’ll understand.) I hope your 50th birthday is WONDERFUL! It needs a little extra planning and consideration. Don’t make the mistake I did. Seriously, Sharon, Don’t. 😀
HAPPY BIRTHDAY, SHARON!!! You’re gonna rock 50!!!!