At the end of part 1 of my Las Vegas trip I had just cleared TSA security with no problems. To me that was the second hardest part of the trip (the first being going through security in Las Vegas for the return trip). Once I got past security, I felt I could relax and really start enjoying myself. This turned out to be entirely true as over the next several days I interacted with many people and got only completely normal reactions from them. I kept waiting for something bad to happen (or even something mildly unpleasant) but absolutely nothing did. It was a completely uneventful, in terms of TGness, three days. It was great.
To return to the story, we had gotten to the airport really early and so had almost 90 minutes before our flight. Given the rushed schedule we were both hungry and so had lunch in one of the overpriced airport eating establishment. We were greeted by a helpful waiter who addressed us as “ladies” and showed us to our table. He soon came back to take our order and eventually our meal. The lunch was pleasant and relaxed. I had been a little tense about TSA security but no longer.
Eventually our flight time arrived and so we lined up in our Southwest boarding group. When my time came I handed my boarding pass to the agent who had a brief “oh” moment as she scanned my boarding pass with my boy name on it. She recovered quickly and said “thank you” and I boarded the plane without incident. Once on board we found open seats, put our luggage in the overhead bins, and sat down. It was a familiar ritual that I have done on hundreds of other flights but it seemed special this time. As we took off I thought to myself, “I am really doing this” and felt great.
Landing in Vegas was without incident and we caught a cab to our hotel. The Venetian is a really nice hotel and we had a spacious suite. We unpacked, rested a little, then walked around the Venice themed mall. We were going to a Cirque du Soleil show later that night but had some time to explore the place. I did not get any reactions from either other visitors or shop assistants. We were just two women exploring a mall while on vacation.
The Cirque du Soleil show we saw was “Zumanity” which is billed as the “Sensual side of Cirque du Soleil”. I have seen lots of other Cirque du Soleil shows but never this one and so I was intrigued. The show was at 9:30 at the New York, New York hotel which is reasonably near our hotel. We planned to walk to the Planet Hollywood buffet for dinner and then continue walking to the show. Although my tunic and leggings would have been fine for the show, I decided to dress things up a little. I changed into a red 3/4 length sleeve top, black JNY cotton skirt, and black Mary Janes. It was not very dressy but was a nice change.
The buffet at Planet Hollywood was very nice with more choices than I could sample. We stood in line for about 10 minutes before being seated. Our waitress was very nice and quickly brought us our drinks. I visited multiple stations until I could hold no more. In the process I came across dozens of people who seemed oblivious to my presence.
On the way out of Planet Hollywood I stopped at the ladies restroom which was mostly unoccupied. I encountered a few women there but we pretty much ignored one another. A few had boyfriends/husbands waiting for them which gave me pause but they barely looked up from their smartphones as I walked by.
From Planet Hollywood, NY NY is a moderate walk. We left plenty of time and so arrived at the Zumanity show almost 20 minutes early. We gave them our tickets and were shown to our seats. Since we were so early, I went to the bar and bought some wine. I was really curious about what the show would be like. I really like Cirque shows and am always amazed by the artists and what they can do.
Unfortuantely Zumanity quickly became my least favorite Cirque du Soleil show. The things I liked most about Cirque shows (acrobatics, dance, music, etc) were of much lower quality in Zumanity than in the other shows. While most of the performers were topless most of the time, I found the whole experience to be very “unsensual”. It was like they were trying too hard to be sensual and risque and so the result felt very forced and artificial. I found myself checking my watch after 20 minutes. About the only interesting thing about the whole show was the TG Mistress of Ceremonies, all 6’6″ of her. She had a wonderful feminine/drag queen presence (my friend did not recognize she was TG until we talked after the show) and some amusing remarks and jokes. Still many of her remarks seemed forced but compared to the rest of the show she was great.
After the show we took a cab back to our hotel having determined it was too far to walk. We quickly fell asleep as it had been a very long day.
We sort of slept in the next day (it was a vacation) but eventually got up, got dressed, and headed out to find some breakfast. Our room was on the 11th floor and so we took the elevator down to the casino floor. Elevators can be a little scary since I never know who and how many will be in the elevator when the door opens. During our stay we made lots of elevator trips and experiened everythign from an empty elevator, to a family, to several couples, to one virtually full that required some close crowding but in every case I found people friendly and pleasant. By the end of trip, I was not longer worryng about elevator rides.
We ate breakfast at small place off the casino floor. It is semi-self service in that you stand in line, order your food, and then pick up when they call your name. I stood in line and ordered my food without any issues. To the clerk I was just another customer.
After breakfast we walked over to see the gardens at the Bellagio and then to the shops at Caesars Palace. It was fun to stop at various high end shops and look at $1000 dresses, $400 shoes, and $600 handbags. My friend is a fan of Coach handbags and so we spent lots of time in the Coach shop while she discussed various bags with the sales lady. I must admit some of the bags were really nice (and some were really odd) but I could not bring myself to spend that kind of money on a handbag. Mine is real leather and I bought it at Costco for $49 and I am quite happy with it. Still it was fun to be the target of an aggressive sales lady.
From there we visited other shops where I eventually bought something at a H&M store, someplace more in my budget. It was a long cardigan sweater that was colorblocked in brown, green, and ivory. It was only $19.95 and I love it.
We finished the shops, ate lunch and, caught the bus to Fremont Street.
I will cover our Fremont Street “experience”, the music concert, and the trip home in part 3.