The flight was great and even greater when it landed, to which our Crew Leader said, "Welcome to Lost Wages. And for those of you who don't know what that means, you will. Additionally remember to remove all your ipods, ipads, iphones, laptops, tablets etc. And if you do leave yours behind, this nice lady sitting up front has a website you can check to see if it has been found after you have gotten home. The website address is www.ebay.com!" Talk about making the mundane fun!
So we arrived, took the taxi to the hotel which we got for a heck of a bargain on www.expedia.com. The Palms Casino for $49 a night. Wonderful place. It's off the strip so the you can catch a bargain, however, what you save you'll end up paying for in cab fares. If it's a short stay, this kind of deal can make a big difference. We checked in, ate some of the best all-you-can-eat-crab at the buffet and talked about betting on an NCAA team. Its so different even being able to just "talk" about it. As for years, one couldn't even joke about this as an official. I knew many officials that bet anyway and it really bothered me. Not only that they bet on a sport that they knew as an official was not the right thing to do, but that they were bold enough to talk about it openly. One time I remember seeing an official at the local racetrack as he went into play poker with the NCAA logo on his collared shirt!
As it turned out, we didn't have time to bet. Off to the show. And boy what a show it was. Celine Dion owns the stage when she's on it. She commands your attention and anything less than the best isn't in the same theater. Her string bass players did a trio of Michael's Jacksons, Smooth Criminal! A violinist played so hard the horse hairs on his bow were flying everywhere. Celine made six gown changes for a total of seven different outfits all suited with a different pair of 4" heels. How does she sing, dance, and not trip all at the same time? We were lucky enough to get seats in the seventh row. As the images of her family were shared with us on the projection screen, she showed the audience how much she truly was grateful for our patronage. Isn't that what appeals to us as humans anyway, just feeling appreciated? The right thing to do for any of us is just let someone know when they do something that we are truly thankful for. The gratitude was reciprocated. As she left the stage, we all stood for the encore...Like a kid who likes mom's good cooking with their plate held out....more please.
She returned to the sound of the small flute-like recorder playing the beginning of the theme to Titanic, My Heart Will Go On. I'm such an emotional person that I tried to separate my feelings from the performance the entire night knowing I would have cried through the entire performance if I had not done this. She sings in such a way that gives me goosebumps and produces such raw emotion I just can't explain it. One has to just "feel it" for themselves. At this point I just lost it. The tears rolled, I knew I couldn't make it through a performance without bawling like a baby but I felt I had done my best to wait until the last performance. Something about the whole event just made me want it to go on forever. But we knew we couldn't just stay, and we knew she had millions of others to show her appreciation to in her next concerts. So with reciprocated appreciation we accepted the inevitable and left with the feeling of knowing we had just made a difference in her life just as she had made a difference in ours. It's sad when you have to leave something that you just know is so good that you are blessed to be in its presence. Celine has this presence and made us feel special. And as her encore song is titled our hearts will go on .......forever changed from the blessing of her presence. Thank you Celine
the love that swallows up all else,
a grateful love,
a love of nature, of people,
a love engendering
gentleness and goodness
that moved me
and that I saw in you.”