The Hiatus is Over
It has been quite a while since my last post. For most of the past eighteen months, I’ve been consumed with the process of applying for a new position at Southern for which I was selected and have been building a new office. I’ve never worked so hard or have been so happy! During that time, I’ve been to Vegas four times and after this last April trip, I have much to report. It’s amazing to see how much Vegas has changed in less than two years. Bill’s or Barbary Coast has been transformed to The Cromwell with a super fancy (and overpriced) celebrity chef restaurant (more on that in the future). Imperial Palace changed its name, twice, and is home base to The Linq which boasts a strip of eateries and shoperies anchored by tallest observation wheel in the world, The High Roller (more on that later too). Bally’s has finished it’s Grand Bazar Shops which may as well be a flea market (more later) and the Casino Royale is still going strong. I’ve seen some great shows (Rock of Ages, Tery Fator, Divas), been to some cool places (Hoover Dam, Neon Museum) and dined at some great restaurants (Jaleo, American Fish).
So, I have a lot to report and some pretty great stories to tell. Here is a quick one…
My Worst Vegas Day
As I mentioned above, in the last year I went through the process of applying and interviewing for a new position. The majority of this process took place last summer culminating in a nine-hour interview day on July 24th. We weren’t going to go away last summer but ultimately, Anne and I both needed a break and Vegas makes everything better. I figured that if I got a “good” phone call, I would spend it celebrating and if it was a “bad” phone call, I would spend some time grieving and recovering. In any case, I was happy to be in Vegas as always but as much as I tried to relax and enjoy Vegas, it was incredibly difficult as I was awaiting a decision which was to come by August 8th. We woke up early every morning which was actually very nice except that I’d be glued to my phone until about 2pm Vegas time (5pm on the east coast), waiting for it to ring hoping for the call letting me know about my future. On August 8th I got up at 6am, exceptionally early for being in Vegas. The phone rang at 7am. I answered. It wasn’t the call I was hoping for but rather a pizza truck vendor looking for some business. I grabbed two venti coffees from the promenade level Starbucks at Aria and went on with my tension filled day. With each passing hour, my anxiety grew. With each minute that passed, I found it harder and harder to smile. See, this wasn’t just waiting for a phone all about a promotion or new job, this was more than a job. This was my dream. I’ve always said that if I could do anything I would be the closer for the New York Yankees or do New Student Orientation everyday. I’m a passionate person. I love my family, Las Vegas, the New York Yankees, Buffalo Bills, professional wrestling, funny TV shows, great dramas, and I unequivocally believe in the power of higher education and sometimes I’m irrational about my dedication, commitment and loyalty to Southern Connecticut State University. This phone call would determine my future and could completely alter my path. And, I was in Las Vegas waiting for it to come.
We went to the pool where I sat in the water staring at my life case covered iPhone. Around 1pm (4pm in the east) we went to Aria Buffet. Only an hour remained until the weekend. I really like the Indian food at Aria’s buffet and was trying to enjoy some warm and crispy naan with garlic humus as the clock ticked past 2pm (5pm EDT) with no answer. I checked my email to see a message that said that an answer would come next week. My worst Vegas day would end in an anticlimactic moment that extended my limbo. No celebration. No grieving. I took a deep breath and said, “well, at least now I could relax.” And so we did.
On August 12th at 4:17pm while siting in my office, my phone finally rang with good news. As much as I would have liked to have received the call a few days prior, it was amazing to celebrate with my colleagues, friends, family and with the students that mean so much to me in the place that means more to me than even Vegas.
I’ve spent the past eight months working incredibly hard and enjoying every minute. I’m happy to return to the blogosphere with my reflections and reviews of my Vegas experiences.
Here is a preview of my future posts. I’m hoping to publish one a month.
Giada’s and Guy Fieri’s- this will be a compare and contrast piece of two Food Network Celebrity Chef’s restaurants.
The High Roller and The Linq- they did this right.
The Royal Shave- Awesome experience.
Gio’s 40th Weekend- Vegas with friends is pretty great. Will include a review of Divas, Monte Carlo and Aria Suites.
Terry Fator- the most uniquely talented man I’ve ever seen.
American Fish and Pub 1842- Michael Mina’s restaurants.
The hiatus is over. I’m happy to be back!
Oh, and here is the celebratory picture I wanted to take last August. I took it shortly after the Jasmine Brunch in November. The “Don’t Stop Believin’ “shirt is one of our very deep rooted New Student Orientation traditions.