Some travel books are like riding in a Toyota. Middle of the road smooth-riding comfortable. That’s all fine and good, because without “comfortable” there would be no “wild and crazy” opportunity to grab a sassy convertible, put the top down, turn the music up loud and let whatever ya got, hang out.
Some travel books get you there, tell you what to do and then sign off. They give you insider’s tips that are…well…kind of boring. There’s a place for that of course, but personally I want to know the insider secrets that tantalize and titillate and may just come with a really good suggestion that could get me in trouble – in a good college days kind of way, of course.
Gone with the Whim (Leaving the Bible Belt for Sin City) is a different kind of travel book. By the author Stefany Holmes’ own take, “Its part memoir, part travelogue, half serious, mostly true, Las Vegas Epiphany.” It starts out by taking you to Vegas from Atlanta by means of an outrageous five –day road trip with cats, dogs and significant others via KOA Campgrounds.
From watching her survive the I-40’s tornado alley, to a snow-covered Flagstaff, heating hot dog buns in the bag they came in over a campground charcoal grill, to losing her favorite red purse and Tabby cat on Vegas move-in day, this story is a fun-loving account of one woman’s plunge into the Vegas scene.
Stefany has a unique voice. It’s a whirly twirly nonstop cadence of fun facts and quirky observations. You do not need a cup of coffee before your read this book. It IS a triple espresso all by itself. You’re going to need to catch your breath between chapters. You’ll laugh out loud, roll your eyes, and applaud her gutsiness. You may wonder about some of her choices and interpretations of all things Vegas, but you ARE definitely going to enjoy yourself. The book is worth the price just for page 59, where she explains how much fun one could have with the guy who goes through your purse in a security check. Let’s just say it has to do with adhesive and girly thing-a-ma-bobs. You also will not be able to go to a Smith’s supermarket on a windy day without pausing to think about Stefany.
Book clubs should definitely assign this book – as long as your peeps have a good sense of self and humor. If you’re going to Vegas, use it as your travel guide. If you live in Vegas and just haven’t gotten out like you should, this is the book to help you let go and experience Vegas like it was meant to be…all glittery, fun and somewhat chaotic.
Here’s hoping (and voting) that Stefany decides to uproot herself again one day and move to someplace like LA or New Orleans. I can’t even fathom what she could do in those two cities. Until that time, I am signing off with a cocktail recipe I found years ago in one of those “Vegas centric” newsletters …or was it from a Vegas time share offer?? Anyway, the drink is named after the city itself which just confirms what a fun indulgent place Vegas is. There’s lots of fun ingredients in this cocktail that I am sure Stefany would approve of …like whipped cream and tequila. Just sayin’.
Enjoy your travels and happy sipping!
1 1/2 oz gold tequila
2 oz coconut cream
2 oz OJ
2 oz pineapple juice
Blend with crushed ice
Top with 1 oz whipping cream
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Gone with the Whim (order here)