Las Vegas with our best friends Larry and Helen, when we hang out with these two it can mean only two things: adventure and laughs.
When we arrived at the Encore in Las Vegas, I noticed a Catholic Church kinda in the middle of nowhere, or maybe it just looked displaced in the mayhem of this bustling city. I told Mike that I wanted to attend a service. Getting out of the routine of daily Mass, even for just a few days, throws me a little off spiritual balance. There are two friends in particular that I have dedicated much time in prayer to because they are both part of our team and are battling for their lives. Carol has stage four cancer and Glenda has a severe case of lupus. These two women have key positions in our ministry and our entire team is coming alongside them in prayer.
As we settled in, at the hotel, it was confirmation to me that I was going to a service because all I noticed from the window of the room was the Catholic church.
We went to dinner at a restaurant at South Point, (the cowboy side of Vegas) which is a 20-minute drive from where we were staying. The restaurant where we dined, Michael’s, is by far one of the nicest places to eat. I love the ambiance and every detailed effort to make certain that the patron’s dinner is memorable. Mike and I shared fish. I don’t particularly care for fish but we had already had appetizers plus the best French onion soup, so we opted to go light. Helen ordered steak and at every bite raved about the great taste. Helen is a foodie and she was right, best steak ever. Larry could see the dessert cart from where he was sitting and had his heart set of some type of coconut cake. Mike always orders fresh berries or key lime pie of which I loathe. We all shared the coconut cake and it did not disappoint, as we ate and ate and ate. The following day, my clothes were a little more snug.
It was around 9:30 a.m. by the time I started to press the wrinkles out of my top. I could see the church and people exiting taxis at the front door. I hurried to get there; from the room it appears to be pretty close but it was a brisk 20-minute walk. I just wanted to pray for a short while, but when I walked in, a service was about to begin. I was reluctant to stay because I needed to meet up with Larry and Helen. I sat toward the back just in case, so that I could make a quick exit. Suddenly, the pew I was sitting in kept getting filled up with people. Now I was in the middle and there was no escaping. The service was jam-packed, because it was dedicated to celebrating the lives of lost loved ones. It was Friday at 10 AM, so I used the opportunity to pray for my neighbor Tim, who had just recently lost his father. My friend Jane is still having such a very hard time with the loss of her 25 year-old daughter Elizabeth in January. I also prayed for Carol and Glenda.
As I walked back, I thanked the Lord for allowing me this time with Him. I saw the same homeless men, one begging for money while the other one slept on the hard cement, I said a silent prayer for them and continued back to the hotel.
Mike had plans to meet a distributor, so after breakfast, Larry, Helen and I walked to the mall. I don’t know why but it seemed that Larry and Helen were thinking they were at Costco because they kept buying in bulk. They purchased three lightweight portable steam irons, and shoes for an army. (Helen is always thinking of others and bought two pair of shoes for her mother.) Thank God they shipped everything.
Dinner was at a five star restaurant at the hotel. The restaurant is a beautiful establishment featuring Chinese food and ornate gold decorations. My eyes feasted on the wall decor and the opulent gold design splashed everywhere. Then our menus arrived and Helen and I got these miniature chairs for our handbags.
There were certain things that I wanted to order, but due to my reputation of always ordering wrong, my ideas were quickly shot down. I do not like duck but everyone wanted Peking Duck. It was brought to the table and hand carved, then wrapped in a rice tortilla looking thing. So we each got three duck burritos with a thick plum sauce . Then we were told that the rest of the duck would be cut up and served again. I did not enjoy it the first time, and now I’m forced to eat it again? So basically a person is eating his leftovers before he gets home, apparently this is how Peking duck is served. I wanted chicken, but Mike, Larry and Helen ganged up on me again and ordered moo shu pork. This involved another three burritos each but this time pork although with the same sauce, and then came the gamey duck. I still do not understand why the waitress failed to mention that we were about to consume 6 burritos each. Next time Del Taco. The only thing I enjoyed was the water, which tasted fresh and was clear.
I Blog, not Yelp, but honestly this was more of a two-star facility. It’s going to take more than a fancy cushion for my handbag to get me to eat there again.
We are not gamblers, I took $40 and that was my limit. When I ran out of money Helen shared some of her winnings so that we could keep playing together. I can see how this gambling can become addicting. I even asked God to show me favor so that I could at least pay Helen the money she gave me to waste. I quickly repented and asked God to forgive my ridiculous request.
Ecclesiastes 3New International Version (NIV)
A Time for Everything
3 There is a time for everything,
and a season for every activity under the heavens:
4 a time to weep and a time to laugh,
a time to mourn and a time to dance,