There's something about Las Vegas that always makes me retain water to a frightening degree. Once I arrive, my feet are swollen and my fingers look like Oscar Meyer hot dogs within the hour.
This weekend I'd brought only two pairs of shoes (not counting the un-pair of boots). I thought I'd be okay walking around in my favorite pair of dress loafers. They have a slight heel, but they're well broken in and ordinarily quite comfortable. I had failed to take into account the swelling issue and also the fact that I'd had an extremely thorough pedicure earlier in the week and was thus deprived of the protective callous layer I would ordinarily enjoy.
As soon as we reached the hotel, we checked in, had a quick lunch and set out to entertain ourselves for the afternoon. My friend K. and I wanted to find cute clutch purses to match our eveningwear and my husband is always up for a shopping trip, so we went to the Fashion Show Mall (I'd link to its site but it blares music and I hate that) to see what we could find.
The mall is quite large and marble-paved. As we went from shop to shop I became aware that the balls of my feet were causing me a great deal of pain. It crossed my mind that I might want to buy some other shoes, but that seemed like too much of a diversion from the plan. By the time we called a halt to the (fruitless) purse search, I was hobbling and would not have been surprised to leave bloody footprints when I took off my shoes.
We parted ways with K. so she could pick up her husband from the airport, and made our way to the Rio to eat at their gigantic buffet and see Penn & Teller. The buffet was obscenely enormous and my feet still hurt enough that I kept my food selections to a minimum so I could spend more time sitting.
Penn & Teller were great. Seating for their show begins an hour in advance and in the interim there's a jazz pianist - joined for most of his set by Penn Gillette on upright bass. The pianist periodically extends invitations for the audience to come onstage and examine two large boxes that will be used in the first magic trick of the evening. My exhaustion and desire to save my feet kept me from going up to investigate the boxes, but I doubt I'd have had any more luck figuring out the trick than the hundred or so people who did go up.
After the show, people piled out of the hotel and the cab line seemed endless. In a moment of insanity I suggested to my husband that we walk to the next hotel to catch a cab and avoid the line. It wasn't long before I learned a valuable lesson about nighttime distance perspective in Las Vegas. It turns out that the hotels are WAY farther apart than you'd think. My feet were a little better than they'd been earlier, mainly because I had removed my sandpaper-like socks and put them in my purse. Still, we must have walked at least a mile before we reached the Bellagio and hailed a cab.
Back in the room, my bare feet were Little Mermaid sensitive. I'm talking Hans Christian Andersen "at every step you take it will feel as if you were treading upon sharp knives" Little Mermaid - not happy, Disney Little Mermaid. I rubbed them thoroughly with lemon and beeswax cuticle cream and went to bed, but not before I warily eyed the dainty, high-heeled dress sandals I'd bought to wear the next evening.
Tomorrow: Exploring Las Vegas in one short afternoon.