Thursday, July 12, 2012

I'm Back! Finally!

Whew! After a full week of house guests (thank goodness we got the house with two guest rooms instead of one!) I am finally back. Here’s a run-down on what happened (with money lessons, of course) over the past week:

  • Thank goodness the airport is so close to our house (schlepping people back and forth is much easier when it isn’t a two-hour haul—each way—like it was when we lived near Seattle).
  • It’s fun having guests but since I have Aspergers, making small talk and entertaining people for hours on end is super exhausting for me. Note to self, make a list of things to do with guests ahead of time so I don’t have to be chatty and/or entertaining (because I am naturally neither). 
  • Our first big party which took place last weekend went great! We cooked enough food for an army, we finished up with everyone dancing and singing (who knew a karaoke system could be so entertaining?), and our house, while small, was big enough to accommodate everyone comfortably.
  • Free is awesome! Fortunately it happened to be the weekend of the big NCLR conference here in Las Vegas. I decided to take my friend to the Latino community fair attached to the conference and we had a great time. It was free to enter and we each carted home freebies galore (pens, note pads, a couple of t shirts, tote bags, a mouse pad, food samples, etc). It was an entertaining, all-day event and best of all it was free! 
  • My clothes are hideous. My Latina friend also happens to be exceedingly stylish (it’s a Latina cultural things plus she is like a model…she never leaves the house without looking stylish from head to toe. Never.). Anyway, at the community event we got free tickets to a concert (Pepe Aguilar (his picture is above), Mariachi del Sol, and Kumbia Kingz…amazing!) and while I wore my usual travel wardrobe (basically jeans and a t shirt…all the time) everyone there was soooo gorgeous—both men and women—that I felt severely under-dressed. I want to throw all of my clothes in the garbage and start over. Which I might do just as soon as we finish paying for decorating our house. 
  • On another note, I noticed that my friend always looks like she is ready for a photo shoot and indeed, when I was with her, I met no less than five famous people (all at the conference including two Telemundo news anchors, Latino entertainer Peewee, an actress from a Univision soap opera, and the guy that won the UFC fight this past weekend). Not sure why but I think it has to do with being in Las Vegas where famous people tend to congregate and the fact that she recognized everyone (I’m face blind so I barely recognize my own husband!). 
  • On the way to the concert we got an escort by the Secret Service (definitely a first for me!). We were looking for the concert venue and stumbled into an off-limits area and noticed a whole bunch of uniformed police officers and a whole bunch of guys in suits. Turns out they were getting ready for Vice President Biden’s arrival at the Mandalay Bay hotel and so one of the guys in a suit said he would escort us through the area and to the place we were looking for. Nice! 
  • It is impossible to keep a tight reign on our utility usage with so many guests staying at our house. Hubby is still checking the electricity meter each day and recording our usage so we can keep a handle on our electric bill. Unfortunately, while we usually use about 20 kwh per day, the day of the party we used 200 kwh (!!!). After that it averaged closer to 100 kwh per day. I may freak out when we get the bill. Yikes. 
  • We saved a bunch of money by cooking breakfast, and usually dinner, at home which left us eating out for only one meal per day (eating lunch out is much cheaper compared to eating dinner out). 
  • My friend decided to move here! Currently she lives in Seattle but after a nasty divorce (and probably after six months of grey, overcast skies in Seattle) she saw the sunshine in Las Vegas and noted the much cheaper cost of living and promptly decided to move here. So I called up my realtor and we fit in a couple of days of house hunting while she was here. 
  • On the flip side, my brother in law wants to move here as well. He loves to play poker (which is unavailable in the state he lives in) and figures that being a professional poker player in Las Vegas is his destiny. Being my blunt self—also related to Aspergers—I told him that spending hundreds of dollars a day on poker, every day, is destined to make him bankrupt. He still wants to move here. 
  • If I ever eat another buffet dinner it will be too soon. Everyone that comes to Vegas likes to hit up the famous buffets. We rounded up some two-for-one buffet coupons and we all went to the buffet one night for dinner and I realized that one, there is no way I could eat $25 worth of food at one sitting (the regular price for the buffet dinner) and two, trying to “get your money’s worth” at a buffet leaves you feeling like you need to carted out of the dining room on a furniture dolly. Ugh. 
  • One nice thing about having guests is that you get A LOT of exercise. While I have seen the sights in Las Vegas too many times to do much but feign interest in them (the Bellagio fountains! Wow!), all of the walking I got in while touring the malls, the Strip, and other places that draw tourists proved to be hours and hours of excellent exercise for me! 
  • At the mall, we were looking at dresses at Saks (actually my friend was looking, I was feigning interest) and she asked the clerk how much one dress cost and the lady said “it’s on sale…it costs hardly anything!”). “Hardly anything” meant $485…on sale. Holy cow that is nearly a house payment. My friend skipped the dress but still bought a ton of stuff that in my previous life I would have wanted as well but now I can hardly justify spending hundreds of dollars on a purse of a pair of $600 shoes that will leave you crippled after walking in them for less than a mile.
  • And on a side note...
  • So far my meager earnings this past month have allowed me to pay all of our utility bills for the month…I hope to be able to keep this up but I need to get busy producing! 
  • It’s hot as Hades here…114 degrees yesterday. I was driving my friend around and she remarked how hot it was each time we got out of the car. I pointed out the temperature on the car’s dashboard (112 degrees) and she said “wow that’s hot” then I changed the reading to centigrade (45 degrees) and she nearly swooned. I guess it is hotter when you actually know how hot it is. 
  • I registered for next year’s Consumer Electronics Show which is held in Vegas each February. Tickets are expensive and hard to get but if you register by the end of this month, the tickets are FREE!! I am so excited to go!!!

1 comment:

  1. How cool that you got a Secret Service escort! Sounds like you've been busy and having a lot of fun. It's great that friends and family want to relocate to Vegas. I hope they don't have to jump through the 14 rings of fire like you did. We have decided to move near family too and have chosen to relocate to lower Alabama instead of Florida. Our plans adjusted after my FIL passed away. We'll start looking for a house over the winter.