Monday, July 18, 2011

sam's town

it's hard to believe I've been home for a week, not that this past week was bad or anything, just busy.  deck building, fence issues, nate's birthday party {he turns 8 on friday} and prepping for our family vacation that starts with 3/4 of the family on friday!  the boys are home with me for the next few days.  I have plans to kick them outside this afternoon!!

so, the last of my vegas stories.  I met some incredible wait staff while I was on vacation and this is only because I was alone.  I was talking to one of my friends about it this weekend and we were saying that when you're with someone, you really don't pay attention.  I don't typically engage in conversations with bartenders and wait staff.  and this is because I never eat alone.  got me thinking.  I know all the people who work at my starbucks.  why's that?  well, when I go into the store, I sit up at the counter and talk to them.  okay, that and I'm a regular.  they make my drink when I walk in the door.  and yes, there's the whole element of service staff knowing that their tips are tied to good customer service, but when you come from the land of plenty {alberta!} and jobs are a dime a dozen in a lot of ways, general customer service goes out the window.  so perhaps I'm easily impressed.  that said, I was still impressed.

so on my birthday, I was in the shops at the forum {in caesars palace} and I happened upon a little restaurant.  since I was hungry and in want of a nice meal, I went in.  and trust me, the kindle was in my purse.  took that thing everywhere!  pj clarks is this little bistro-esque place with a bit of an italian feel - red checked table cloths, wait staff in long white aprons and bow ties.  kinda felt a bit fancy, but not.  {I know, my descriptive abilities are lacking!!}  okay so it was lovely.  I had some clam chowder, little fish tacos and a glass of malbec.  and I chatted with the waiter, who couldn't quite figure out what I was doing there alone and the bar manager, who was from montreal.  it's not like there was a big story here, but it was the start of these conversations.  and the start of me being okay with being alone.  and the start of me doing something new.  listening.

so the next night I went to isla in treasure island.  I had been there before, the first time I was in vegas.  that was the night of the tequila tree with my boss and colleagues.  the big joke is that I ordered a meal that I didn't remember.  but the different flavours of tequila were wonderful!  that said, two days before I left for vegas, a groupon showed up in my inbox for isla.  I like deals, so I bought one!  and when I got there, it was pretty quiet, so I sat up at the bar.  and I chatted with the bartender.  she asked me a lot of questions about being a teacher and what I see as the differences between the american and canadian school systems.  she was telling me how when her kids were in school, she made sure that she was active in her kids schools.  and how she sees now that young parents in vegas are working two + jobs and working jobs where they can't be present in their kids schooling.  and then she poured me a wee shot of some lovely tequila.  you know, the kind that doesn't need salt and lime.  the good stuff.  and this time I remember my meal - a lovely plate of chicken enchiladas!  and the best part was the chilli chocolate lava cake and some sort of divine ice cream.  the meal was incredible and the company was most excellent.

there is one more part to this three part story, but it's getting long {and late} so I'll write up the next one in a separate post!

 {it's not a margaritaville-perfect margarita, but it was darn good!}

 {I need to get my sister to bring some of this home for me - delish!}

 {pretty bottles!!}

{the yummiest desert of my trip!}

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