Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Viva Las Vegas???

Try dirty icky yucky Las Vegas...well, the strip anyway.

Day 1: Went to Vegas bright and squirelly Sunday...actually got up at 3 to be ready by 4 and the boss didn't show up until 6:30, but that's another story (wonder if I can claim that time I spent waiting???) We actually made it there in plenty of time though since Dan drove 95 pretty much the entire way! Dan did make a 2-second stop in Virgin Creek Canyon so I could jump out and get a rock (no I didn't have to ask...he just did it) Arrived at Vegas, parked illegally in the taxi zone at the convention center (leaving Lori in the car to watch out!) and Ronetta and I carried the stuff in while Dan set things up. Luckily we managed to get it done in about half an hour and then we went to In 'n Out Burger for lunch (lousy fries--good burger). Dan dropped Ronetta and I off on the strip while he and Lori went to the mall and I talked 'Netta into going to the Titanic exhibit with me. I wish I could have snapped a photo of the promenade deck but there wasn't enough available light. They had a velvet curtain up with "starlight" shining through and there was air conditioning blowing to simulate cool night air and if you looked over the railing you could see the lights were set up to look like starlight shining on water than ran by....seriously I stood there for several minutes just feeling like I was really on board! (Note: definately worth the $25 price tag if you're a Titanic buff!) After that I couldn't justify spending more in the gift shop so I dropped .51 cents and got a penny squished with an imprint of the ship. We then went to the M & M store (total overpriced madhouse) and then the Coke store (less of a madhouse but still overpriced) since 'Netta wanted to look for stuff before meeting Dan a little later (with some confusion as to just how far down the strip did we manage to go and would we mind backtracking to where he was sitting on the side of the road) We then drove to the Hilton to check in and get ready for the show.

That night we only had to be at the show for 2 hours, then Dan took us all to dinner (absolutely delicious prime rib!) and then he and Lori flew back to SLC while 'Netta and I took the Monorail down to the strip and watched the Bellagio water jets/light show thing. WOW! I took several video shots on my camera phone as well as stills (wouldn't you know I forgot the digital camera back at the hotel!) Anyway, between the afternoon walking and the evening (we mistakenly walked from the Bellagio to the MGM and back so she could go to the M & M store again)we put some serious mileage on our tootsies and I came back to the hotel with a blister on the bottom of my foot and one bleeding on my heel (so much for the walking power of my sneakers!)Tried to get dessert at a cafe in the hotel only to find that they closed in five mins but had already stripped all the food out of the kitchen (well, that's their story anyway). Went to the room and ordered 2 slices of carrot cake and 2 glasses of moo to the tune of $25 on room service! Talk about OUCH! Quite an expensive, painful and eye-opening day as I realized those weren't newspaper boxes we were passing on the street but hooker advertisements!

Day 2: Tried to get breakfast at the same cafe we tried the night before....line was wayyyyyyyyyy too long so we grabbed a muffin and pop at the in-house coffee shop (man, I didn't eat healthy at all on this trip!) and then had the trade show from 11 to 6:30. It was not bad (except my feet were feeling like bruised hamburger by this time so I kicked my shoes under the table and went barefoot). Got some really good contacts and a couple of orders for the show and felt it went great so we decided to eat at the Rainforest Cafe over at the MGM. Found out the Monorail takes you to the back of the casino so you have to walk all the way through them to get to the strip--this way you're more likely to gamble--and you add that much more mileage again to already sore feet! The restaurant was worth the pain--if you ever get to Vegas you need to try it! Not bad prices, the food was amazing (I had fish and chips)--oh, don't go for the side salad cause its just bitter greens on a plate with a chuck or two of tomato hiding under it all for $4.99! Anyway, the atmosphere is fun (its a simulated rain forest and when you walk in you walk through this huge salt water fish tank arch. Afterwards we stopped at the rainforest gift shop and found the prices really reasonable (I bought a beanie bat in halloween colors for $5 and learned they give 20% of the proceeds to a protection fund so it was worth it. We then stopped at the Cirque du Soleil KA store where I gazed at the lovely (and expensive!) masks before heading to the Treasure Island to watch the pirates show. Stood in the crowds waiting for it to start when I noticed all the signs said the show was called "Sirens of the T.I." hmmmm.....soon found out why as all these women come sliding out in super skimpy garb, capture some poor pirate and ravish him...sink his fellow pirates ship when it comes to rescue him and then they swim over, climb aboard and are ravished as well. Geez...the whole town revolves around smuck. Was glad to hear other comments around us after the show as to how disappointing and vulgar the crowd found the new show. After that it was walking again, this time down to the Mirage where we watched the volcano explode out front before finally making our way back to the casino. Watched Ronetta drop $9 gambling and win $25 before she decided she was too tired to want to do more (and me standing there wanting to cry cause my feet were really killing me by then) so we hobbled up to our room and passed out for the night. Oh, and 'Netta got propositioned to join a group and become an escort while we were wandering around....

Day 3: Was smart and checked out at 8 in the morning (beating the line I noticed after the conference as all the other vendors tried leaving) and then stuffed our bags behind our booth out of the way. The show only ran for 4 hours (9-1) today so we weren't expecting much--in fact several of the exhibitors had already taken down their booths and left. We did get a couple really good contacts before the end of the show and we broke the booth down as fast as we could, grabbed a couple of bellhops to wheel our boxes and bins out to the truck and then we made our escape. Actually, we were on the road about an hour after the show ended. The drive back wasn't bad....I averaged 85-90 for most of it except through Virgin Creek Canyon--road construction kept us around 55 for about 20 miles (yikes--after 90 55 seems like you're crawling!) Pulled in around 8 pm and was never so happy to come home--even if there was only a mouse to greet me! (Which reminds me...more traps--the little stinker jumped out of the gas burner the other day (it was off!) and made a beeline for food I had sitting out--cheeky little bugger!)

And today? Total pandemonium in the office, spent the day in a rush-rush-rush and am ready to go home and eat something real! But man its good to be home.....

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