It’s not my birthday, but someone close to me is celebrating her 30th — or “Dirty Thirty” as she termed it — and I was invited to the shindig… in Vegas.

The only city in the country I never want to step another foot into.

I’ve been twice — the first, in my late 20s, on a sisters vacation during Halloween. It was a blast and perfect for four siblings in various stages of relationships (me = single). The second, was my birthday celebration. Number 32 (me = newly coupled with the guy I remain with today).

That 32nd birthday there was spent practically by myself, after friends who frequently travel (there and otherwise) backed out of the adventure plans. I had a couple friends there to party with, but they stayed in another hotel, further down the Strip, and I constantly felt like a fifth wheel. They were from Denver; me, living in Ohio at the time; and they also left a day earlier than me, so I drank by the pool alone for my last day of vacation. The one girl who took all the pictures of that trip NEVER SENT ME PICS. Never tagged me on Facebook. Lame.

I seriously made the offering to acquiantances I partied with to “just fly here; the room is already paid for!” And yet, no takers. I was in aforementioned-happy relationship, but desperately wanted a “friends trip” (I’ve still never been invited on one, which depresses me); I even invited the boyfriend out with me at the last minute (he couldn’t go).

It was one of the loneliest vacations of my life (this, from a person who traveled to Europe by herself). And, sadly, I learned a lot about friendships surrounding that incident. That one trip essentially changed my life in a completely different way I imagined. I was in my 30s, and it was time to grow up. And I did.

So, when I hear of people going to Vegas for some big Life Event or Age Turning, I make that face.

Or something…

I have no desire to return to this City of Lights. It’s probably not Vegas’ fault, but I hate it there. I mean, truly loath. I associate it with so much negativity — and I refuse to have that sort of energy in my life. Let’s be frank here too, I’m definitely not into that sort of club scene anymore (not even close) and somebody reaching the Big 3-0 milestone seems SO. MUCH. YOUNGER. than where I am right now (yes, I said it out loud! feel free to smack me!).

So much different than what I am now.

Gah. Have you reached that point in your 30s where you feel so much *gulp* older? Do you have a city that you refuse to return to, for one reason or another?

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