I knew that C.S. Lewis and I had more in common than our Christianity when he said, "You can never get a cup of tea large enough or a book long enough to suit me." Welcome to a celebration of faith, tea, and the written word. I'm always engaged in a book, and whether it's one I'm reading or one of the inspirational historical romances I write, there's always a cup of tea close by. Join me in a cup as we chat about faith, our favorite books and the exciting places our reading and writing adventures take us.

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Viva Las Vegas!

Have you ever taken a trip that gives you a boost?  Encourages you and gives you a renewed sense of energy?

I found spiritual fellowship, refreshment, and inspiration to write on a super-short trip to Las Vegas, Nevada, of all places--a town I'd never visited--to see old friends and a dear friend I'd never met in person, but who's a sister in faith and writing: Jennifer AlLee.

The author of The Pastor's Wife and my fellow contributor at Inkwell Inspirations, Jen took the time to meet me at a Borders bookstore. I could've stayed for hours and gabbed with her! She's fun, sweet, and so encouraging: I left with a bit more incentive to write than I'd had in a while, too. I can't wait to meet up with her next year at the Romance Writers of America conference!

Hanging out with old friends who now live in Vegas was refreshing, as well. Our visit gave me a bit better picture of Las Vegas, which was previously based on "CSI," movies, and stories from other friends, including a few that made my ears bleed. Still, I wanted to see a few themed casinos, high-end shops, and maybe visit an exhibit or two. 

I learned that it's possible to have a fabulous time on the Strip and (mostly) avoid a lot of things I'd rather not explain to my kids just yet. Our first stop on our 7-hour tour was the Luxor (a pyramid-shaped hotel casino) to view an exhibit of artifacts raised from the RMS Titanic. My family is fascinated by the Titanic, and while some in our group had differing opinions about the appropriateness of bringing the effects up from the Atlantic (or "grave-robbing" depending on your point-of-view), we all agreed the exhibit was amazing.
A replica of the first-class china used on the Titanic

Artifacts from jewelry to sheets of music--astonishingly preserved in leather luggage--to dishes are on display, along with information about different passengers, a recreation of a first-class suite, and a video showing how the Titanic sank. Each visitor is given an identity card upon entering the exhibit, describing the name, age, and class of a passenger; at the end of the exhibit, you learn whether or not your "identity" lived or perished. (I was 60-yr old Emma Bucknell, who survived.)

We also peeked into a few hotels, including the gorgeous Venetian, where I would have loved to sit for a good hour in "St. Mark's Square," eating gelato and people-watching. After marveling at the conservatory within the Bellagio (a garden-esque, floral delight of a cavernous room decorated around a monthly theme), we camped out in front to watch the water show (there are 4 every hour, we've been told).

By then, our feet ached and the kids were worn out, so we called it a day. But I am quite sure we'll be back--perhaps to see albino tigers, enjoy a new display at the Bellagio conservatory, and soak up fellowship with friends.


Niki Turner said...

Next time you plan to go, let me know... we'll make it a threesome. The drive would be worth it!

Susanne Dietze said...

Oh Niki, yes!! I'd love to meet up! Let's figure something out with Jen...we'd have a blast.