Holidays over, hooplah quieted, bleak reality of Winter confronted. And then I'm reminded of the impending Consumer Electronics Show. This year it runs January 5 through 8, and as always, in Las Vegas. It's a good antidote to the trepidation I feel when I realize there are at least two and a half months until warm weather returns in earnest. New toys and thoughts of how I'd make use of one or another (though I rarely buy any of them) provide a distraction from the discomfort of less sun, cold, dry air and cold, dry skin.
It also motivates me to consider our vacation plans, which this year include a return to Vegas. This time we're looking to stay at the Mandalay Bay hotel and casino, where we stayed a few years ago. Home to the Border Grill (best fish tacos I've ever had), a terrific pool and river complex and at the tail end of the Vegas Strip, the Mandalay Bay is also where I first noticed the use of aroma in a casino. In that case I was confronted with the scent of cocoa butter suntan oil as I entered the casino, which dovetailed nicely with the Southeast Asia tropical theme. I wonder how that makes you gamble more. Maybe it just makes you feel comfortable in the casino, so you stay longer.
Going to Vegas reminds me of the restaurants we've enjoyed there. Mesa Grill and Emeril's New Orleans Fish House were both terrific the last two times we visited.
And just like that, Winter doesn't seem so bad anymore.