Honeymoon in Vegas

This is more or less a true story. I was young enough and naive enough to think I was so lucky to win this vacation package — especially since our honeymoon would have simply been a drive from Iowa to New Jersey without it. Little did I know that stepping out on a Vegas sidewalk in July is like baking human cupcakes at 350 degrees. We couldn’t go outside until the sun went down. This month Bill and I mark 32 years. Hard to believe!

Honeymoon in Vegas

It is 2 a.m. in a July oven in 1979.
Bill and I take the elevator down
to the Stardust’s casino floor.

We are 22, fresh out of college,
in debt and married for one day.
Next week we’re off to New Jersey.

I have won a honeymoon package
at a bridal expo in a Holiday Inn
in Des Moines – three days in Vegas.

Our special deal includes free $10 rolls
of nickels every hour on the hour
for three days. We vow to collect all.

We turn in tickets for free late-night
buffets: fried chicken, prime rib, baked
potatoes, salad, strawberry shortcake.

Then we take complimentary drinks
into a bar to listen to free lounge acts.
We walk the Strip. Collect nickels.

Hot-drunk lights, pulsing people,
front-row seat at Caesar’s fountains.
More nickels than we’ll ever have again.

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