My fourth trip to Vegas came about in a most unlikely manner--at least for me. Because I know that there are thousands of people, maybe tens of thousands, who travel to Vegas each year for conferences. But I have to admit that I don't get it. Vegas is for gambling and shows and fun and sun and pool days and partying...not work! Still, who am I to pass up a practically free four day trip to Vegas?
Obviously I didn't pass it up, and here I am...a little more wise to what it's like to travel to Vegas for a conference. Not that I didn't have fun--I did. Probably too much fun.
|Self-portrait taken at Tao|
|At the Spice Market buffet at Planet Hollywood|
And then it was time for the work to begin. We grabbed a cab down to the Four Seasons and Maria waited in a sitting area while I went to register for the conference. I expected to give my name, get some information, and then have to sit in some sort of meeting for a while--but no! Instead, I gave my name, they handed me a packet of paperwork and said "see you tomorrow"! The whole process took about five minutes.
But first--a stop in Mandalay Bay for drinks! Champagne, of course! And after pricing out a bottle at the first "lounge" I approached ($70???) I thought I'd have to give up on this idea...but then we walked by a regular old casino bar, and I decided to try one more time.
Yeah, that same bottle of champagne at this nameless, plain casino bar vs. at the lounge with the awful loud music playing and the stupid one-word name? Only $40. Sold!
So I had my bottle of champagne and we started walking. Our first stop was
|Enjoying the Oxygen Bar at the Luxor|
From the Luxor, it was on to Excalibur, then New York New York, Monte Carlo, the new City Center complex, and finally the Bellagio.
Now, I like the Bellagio...but what happened there on this day completely turned me off. At this point, we'd been walking for...over an hour, at least. My feet hurt, I was hot, and my champagne was warm and the bottle nearly empty. We approached a casino bar,
|My bottle of champagne made it all the way to the Bellagio!|
Now, there are a dozen things I could or should have done--but again, I was hot and tired and yes, a little bit drunk. So instead of doing any of those things, I stood up, took my bottle, mouthed off about how I'd been planning on ordering something but never mind now, and walked away.
At this point we decided to high-tail it back to the hotel, where there was a chilled bottle of wine waiting in our room. We opened it up, poured ourselves cups of it, and headed down to the pool, where we stayed until it closed at 8 PM (which I do.not.get.--it was summer, it stayed light until after 9...just seems a bit ridiculous to force everyone to leave the pool so early).
Our final adventure for the day (because we were both exhausted, and I had to get up early the next morning for a long day at my conference) was dinner at California Pizza Kitchen in the Mirage...and my pear gorgonzola pizza was absolutely delicious!
I collapsed into bed by 10:30, full of yummy pizza, champagne and wine...and two awesome first days in Las Vegas.
To be continued...