First, I must mention the tragedy at Sandy Hook Elementary School, in Connecticut. My heart is broken for all concerned, and my prayers are with the victims and their families and friends. May God’s infinite Love and Grace sustain all of us as we grieve together.
It seems almost irreverant to talk about my trip to Las Vegas, but I promised you a run-down and I plan to deliver.
Jenni (assistant/niece) and I arrived in Vegas on Monday, December 10, in the afternoon. The folks at Caesar’s Entertainment had sent a car to pick us up, so we rode to the Paris Hotel in style. We had all sorts of ambitious plans for the evening, but, in the end, we were too exhausted to do much of anything. Even though the journey was so trouble-free it makes me want to knock on wood just to mention it, travel is arduous, what with all the hurrying and the carrying and the schedules to be met. So we had a lovely dinner at the hotel–Boeuf B, as a matter of fact, good but not as good as mine and Julia’s :)–and vegged in the lovely suite provided. Harlequin sent a beautiful bouquet of flowers to brighten our already glamorous surroundings, and, wow, you should have seen the view! The Eiffel Tower, the big Paris globe and the swimming pool filled our windows with color and light.
By Tuesday morning, we were full of energy again. We hiked over to the Miracle Mile, a mall next door to the hotel, and did some shopping. Now, there’s shopping, and there’s shopping in Vegas–not the same thing at all. In Vegas, everything glitters, fit to dazzle a cowgirl from Spokane. Bring on the bling! We wandered into the Planet Hollywood casino, which adjoins the mall, to rest our feet, drink some diet cola and, in my case, play some slots. I won $300, but that was the highpoint of the whole trip, where gambling is concerned. I fed the various slot machines a bit more money, got bored, and turned my attention to other things.
For instance, my cousin Alisa Lael Fillion joined us in the afternoon. Alisa is the daughter of Jim Lael and his late wife, my beloved Gladys. We did a whole lot of laughing while we were together, and that’s for sure.
Tuesday night, Jenni and I attended a positively magical dinner at Ferarro’s, a wonderful Italian restaurant, as the guests of Bob Massi and his lovely wife, Lynn, a cowgirl in the best sense of the word. Bob is a legal analyst for Fox News, and he told some great stories. Also in attendance were Buck Taylor, artist and actor (he played Newly on “Gunsmoke”) and his wife, Goldie. Let me go on record here as saying, in my next life, I want to look like Goldie. She’s one stylin’ cowgirl, folks. Buck is as salt-of-the-earth as they get, and his stories were wonderful, of course. What struck me most about Buck, though, was the kindness in his eyes–he exudes it. He blew us all away by sketching a cowboy on horseback–on his dinner napkin! He presented it to Bob, our host, and the joy Bob took in that gift delighted us all. Pretty impressive company, right? Well, I’m not even through telling you about the other guests. Robin and Steven Black, who own and operate Uptick Vineyards, a winery in Sonoma, CA, are wonderful people, and they invited me to visit and taste the wares. Bill Frances and Renae Kinsey, husband and wife, were an absolute pleasure. Renae is sweet and funny and smart, and Bill is hands-down the best networker I’ve ever met–what I wouldn’t give for a fraction of his energy! The man positively crackles with ideas. I’m so proud to count all these people as new friends. My dear friend and personal publicist, Nancy Berland, along with her husband, Mike, rounded out the gathering–Nancy and I have worked together for over 16 years, and Mike is the consummate gentleman. Nancy, I can’t thank you enough for introducing me to eight new friends!
And that only brings us through Tuesday.
I’ll continue the tale tomorrow.
In the meantime, perform a random act of kindness–and keep it a secret. There’s still good in the world, and we need to keep it going, now more than ever.
May God bless and keep you, today and always, my friends.
OOPS-there’s a pretty important P.S. !!! “Big Sky River” will be in stores TOMORROW. Yeehaw!