Little Miss Shopaholic

Shop ahoy in Las Vegas!

Well well well, who would have known! Little Miss Shopaholic has become an international shoplogger! It’s not enough that she tries to bring you shopping hysterics around Singapore, now she has gone on to Las Vegas to sniff out the bestest and the mostest.

As most trips to the USA go, one would be a snuffing idiot if one does not go to any factory outlet. No, darling, it’s not a factory, it’s an outlet where there are hundreds of shops selling out-of-season pieces for the fraction of their original prices. Imagine that! All the American brands that you can imagine – Guess, Levis, Coach, Fossil, Banana Republic – at cheap, cheap prices under one gigantic roof!

But ewww, out-of-season stuff, you say, doesn’t that make me unfashionable?

Honey, if you were to try being fashionable all the time, you would go maaaad, wouldn’t you? LMS’ motto has always been to buy classic pieces that will last through the years, and not buy silly frothy things that will look distasteful the season after. Thriftiness is a virtue, no?

Anyway, Sin City itself houses two factory outlets, both under the umbrella of Chelsea Premium. One is located near the airport, which is at the southern-most end of the Strip. Now, the Strip here is different from the local Strip. No waxing is involved, only tens of hotels, all with their own identities and awesome architecture. The other outlet is at Downtown, which is up north from the Strip.

So, what do you get when you go to either outlet?

Many, many shops, that’s what.

LMS spotted many bargains while charging her way through both outlets. Fossil watches were going for as low as USD19.99. Them funky doddle Philippe Starck watches were going at USD29.99!

Not convinced? Okay, how about classy Coach signature print wristlets at merely USD39? Speaking of Coach, LMS adores the range of wallets with the elegant signature print…..ahhh… delectable and yet so unattainable….happy 25th birthday to LMS, anyone?

The one to benefit most from her shopping exertions is Mr LMS. Being a man of huge heart and a huger frame, he often has problems buying clothes that fit him and are still affordable. LMS was kind enough to pick out the following items, lovingly, for him – a short-sleeved Banana Republic crisp striped/white shirt for a steal at USD13, a pair of Dockers dress pants for USD24.99 and a pair of Levis cargo pants (which are surprisingly too big for him *gasp *) at USD29.99. What a wonderful girlfriend LMS is!

LMS mama had it good too, as she had purchased a Nine West leather bag for a puny sum of USD19.99. LMS didn’t stinge on herself either and got a bag for herself at USD29.99. The best thing was, there was an outrageous discount of 30% for all bags! You do the math and see how much LMS paid for her bags.

Purple is the colour of royalty and as such, is the only colour that befits someone of LMS’ stature. Hence, it is of no surprise that she was wowed over by two perfectly sweet lilac tops from Guess. Her damage over there? USD40. But wait! That’s not all. At a little shop in the Strip outlet, LMS bought two cardigans for merely USD5 each! One is pink and has a sexy lace panel for a back. The other one is totally obnoxious – it’s baby blue and has a removable fur collar! Outrageous! So Ambercrombie and Fitch but oh so delightfully cheap!

Sigh….LMS is suffering from withdrawal syndrome just thinking about the shopping there. *sniffs *

LMS slept on this most comfy gigantic bed.


Las Vegas Postscript

They sound, everyday. Day and night, you’d get to hear them at least once a day. Where are they going? Are they ambulances rushing off to save a life or police cars chasing a rogue down the Interstate? How does it feel to be in the thick of action, knowing that a second’s delay or a mistake on your part might end up destroying someone’s life?

They sing and dance every night, these sirens. In my lofty 26th storey view, I can see Treasure Island burst into flames, and song and dance. They are not modestly dressed, every inch of their skin exposed tantalizingly to the entranced audience. They flirt with the renegade “pirates”, which they are supposed to seduce, as well as with the minds of the people watching them. Do they represent Vegas? Perhaps so, the sirens in their glitzy lingerie and showiness.

Everybody needs sunscreen, especially in the arid strip of desert we call Las Vegas. The sun is always high up in the impossibly blue skies, flanked by fluffy tufts of clouds. And yet, you can almost forget the heat, not quite but almost, because it is never hot. Not hot like in Singapore, where the sun and the humidity conspire to rob you of your cool senses. There is always a breeze blowing, a respite from the heat waves.

Everybody here exudes it. From the moment you step into the shop, to the time you finish your meal and leave, it is always there. A cheery “how are we doing today?” or a friendly “you enjoying your stay here?” There’s no lack of sunshine warmth drizzling down on you.

The plane remained stationary at the hangar, despite its purported departure time of 1813. I waited anxiously, willing the huge wings to start their engines. 40 minutes later, the engines finally roared into life and we were on our way. Upon landing at LAX, I rushed to the carousel and tapped my feet impatiently against the hard floor. Where was my bag? And why had I not tag it all the way to Singapore? It took a good 10 minutes before my bag materialised, bumps and slides and all. From then on, it was all about pure arm strength – pushing and pulling and cajoling the luggage to wheel speedily over the uneven ground, balancing the laptop and handbag on both shoulders. With just five minutes to spare, the bag was finally put onto the conveyor belt, securely checked and bound for home.

The queue moved rather smoothly as people came and left the check-in counters. All but one. A tall, bearded man with a Muslim name. He walked to the counter and from then on, it was hell. Where are you going? Where did you go? Why are you here? Why do you have a British passport? How much did you spend here? The words were all said with a smile but the intent was clear, post-911. A nation that is still smarting from the wounds of the attacks is not letting a second mistake get past its airport clearance once again.

Las Vegas Boulevard