Thursday, April 11, 2013

Pretty Sure This One Won't be Picked Up by the Las Vegas Tourism Bureau

Derek had a work conference in Vegas this past week.  When first preparing for it a couple months ago, he asked if I wanted to come along.  A few days in a warm climate?  Travel to a location I haven't had the pleasure of experiencing before?  With no kids?  Um, YES.

Derek's mom and my mom (hereafter known as the Granny Nannies) both agreed to drive up and take care of the kids while we were away, earning our undying gratitude.

How do I describe Las Vegas, Nevada?

How's this:  I had planned on purchasing a whole stack of postcards and sending them to various friends and family while there; but as I perused the postcard carousel in a gift shop, the only thing I could picture writing on them read:  "This is one of the dirtiest places on earth.  Trust me when I say you don't wish you were.  But the food's AMAZING.  *smiley face!*"

Vegas is one of those places where you walk around all day, get back to your hotel room and feel your body engage in an involuntary head-to-toe shudder.  It was gaudy and seedy and had the overall feeling of trying too hard.

Still, it was time away from the kids, and while it was cooler most of the time we were there (50's and 60's), there was a terrific absence of snow.  And we definitely had some good times.

The highlights:


  • Derek and I both got nine hours of sleep Monday night.  In a row.  I woke up feeling electric, almost painfully alive.  

  • On Monday, I accompanied Derek to the conference for most of the day (a massive thing for the National Association of Broadcasters).  It was full of, well, broadcasters, not to mention millions of dollars worth of cameras and televisions and other fancy broadcasting equipment.  At one point, Derek and I were sitting in a session on something boring (to me, anyway); I had foreseen this, and brought a book (of course).  At one point, I noticed the gentleman sitting two chairs down from me giving me a not-so-subtle look, which I at first interpreted as, That is so rude- she should be paying attention to this incredibly boring speaker with his nearly incomprehensible accent!  Or something like that.  Upon looking around, however, I noticed that half the people in there were swiping and tapping away on their smart phones and tablets, and realized that his facial expression was less outraged than baffled.  So I'm pretty sure his thought was more along the lines of Is that a... a book?  Made out of... no- it can't be!  Made out of PAPER?!  I didn't know there were still people who read those things!  It made me feel like a rebellious anachronism.  Or maybe it was an anachronistic rebel.  

  • I left the conference a little early to return to the hotel room.  This meant riding the monorail from the convention center back to our hotel.  I had already registered my unease on the monorail with Derek, who thought my claims of "It just rocks around so much, and feels kind of... I don't know, loose," to be a trifle ridiculous, and did his level best to educate me on the difference between trains and and monorails and why monorails are so safe.  I won't quote him because I'm still not sure what he said.  That whole interaction took place in the morning; by the time I climbed back onto the monorail, I wasn't really freaked out- until, that is, an automated voice decided to announce the fact that the monorail HAS NO DRIVER and in a city that likes to party this makes for the best designated driver ever and blah blah blah.  I kept my head down so that my fellow commuters wouldn't see my eyes widening and whispered, "That's terrifying," which the lady next to me apparently overheard as she then looked at me and started laughing.  I like to think she shared my sentiments.

  • I ventured up and down the Strip Tuesday while Derek was at the conference, walking for hours.  It was glorious; I was able to walk as fast as I wanted (I'm a pretty speedy stroller) without hearing little voices saying things like, "Slow down!" and "You walk too fast!" and "Why are you always trying to leave us behind?"  I was also approached by a random guy in front of a casino (not a pimp or one of those people trying to force pornography in your face, and if you've ever been to Vegas you know I'm not even exaggerating) who looked respectable enough.  He asked me if I would like to view and then provide feedback on a new sitcom NBC is currently filming.  The lanyard and badge around his neck looked pretty official, but I still wasn't sure, so my first response was, "Is this a scam?  Am I about to be raped?"  He looked a little taken aback but recovered quickly enough, assured me that neither was the case, and eventually another lady and I followed him into the casino, I didn't hear any scary background music warning me that I was about to meet my demise, and finally ushered us into a room with a bunch of people watching the pilot episode on computers, fancy little clickers in their hands as they gave their opinion on what they were watching.  The whole thing took 45 minutes and I was paid $15 in cash.  I also wasn't raped or scammed.  Score.

  • So much good food.  SO MUCH.  I'm still thinking about that chocolate almond croissant, and the grasshopper shake, and that cheeseburger with shoestring fries (and I'm not even a big cheeseburger person), and those enchiladas... It's a good thing I walked umpteen miles between meals, or I would have been rolling back into the airport.  

  • So much of Vegas just makes you feel violated and nasty inside, but I really liked their airport.  It had lots of interesting and beautiful artwork.  Then I came to this:
Why, yes, that IS a rabbit.  I'm pretty sure they were mocking me.





Despite the location, we had a pleasant trip.  I made sure not to look back down at the city as our flight departed, lest I be turned into a pillar of salt, and the Granny Nannies weren't waiting on the front porch, bags in hand when we got back home (a good sign).  


17 comments:

  1. Nine hours of sleep in a row! Pure bliss :-) I'm glad you took advantage of that mini-vacation, and very glad you have the Granny-nannies.

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    1. It was pure bliss. Only... let's see, maybe one year until the next one! I think that vacay made me a little greedy.

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  2. I remember Holly saying that Vegas is nasty when she would get back from the conference that Blitz had every year.

    And the fact you asked the guy if he was going to rape you made my day. Hilarious.

    Was the pilot any good?

    Glad you had fun!

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    1. The pilot was meh. Everyone around me was laughing, and I just kept pushing the "do not like" button and the "would have tuned out by now" button. I know pilots are generally not as funny as the series ends up being, but still. I also had high hopes when I realized it was called "About a Boy" because it's based off of the funny and quirky British movie of the same name.

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  3. I think the oversized rabbit was there to help you appreciate the smaller rabbits we have here in Iowa...or it was turned to stone as it was trying to leave Sin City...either one....

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    1. I'm going with the "turned to stone" explanation. Oh, and the cracks in its exterior are *clearly* because that giant, evil rabbit is trying to break free of its rocky shell.

      I just scared myself.

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  4. So that's Lot's wife in rabbit form?

    It sounds like Las Vegas would not be my kind of place. But oh, I can relate to the bliss of an uninterrupted meal! walking at your own pace! warmer weather!

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    1. If I follow your line of thinking, that may be Lot's wife's spirit animal. A western American jack rabbit. Who knew?

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  5. Did you stay on the strip? When I had my brief visit to Vegas I loved seeing the hotels. Did you see the flower garden in the Bellagio? Did you see the hotel called Aria? That one intrigues me for obvious reasons...

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    1. Yes, we stayed at Harrah's. I walked through a bunch of the hotels/casinos... but they all kind of ran together. I know I walked through the Cosmopolitan, Excalibur, the Quad, the Aria (which was super sleek and fancy), the Bellagio, the Venetian, and I don't even know what else. I saw a flower garden, but I'm pretty sure it was in the Aria. So maybe I missed the one at the Bellagio? Or it's not there anymore?

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  6. It sounds like you had a pretty decent time, despite the seedy setting. Your rape comment to the fellow made me think of how similar we are in a kind of funny, kind of sad way. A vendor booth at convention was giving away metal whistles on key chain rings. I got very excited and asked, "Cool... Is this a rape whistle!?" Everyone around me turned and looked at me like I was insane, but the vendor just nonchalantly said, "I dunno. That's what I'd call it." Who's the crazy one now!? Still me.

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    1. That vendor sounds like a world-class salesman. "Of course it's a rape whistle. And don't let it's Thomas the Tank Engine exterior fool you; that's just to foil any would-be rapists."

      I really could have used a rape whistle in Vegas. And some pepper spray. And a billy club.

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  7. Heh, heh
    Very fun post. Glad you weren't raped and I'm cracking up that you took a picture of the rabbit.

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    1. There was a young guy who gave me the strangest look when he saw me taking that picture. I thought about yelling, "Hey, I can take a picture of ANYTHING I WANT!" after him, but then I'd go from person-who-takes-pictures-of-rabbit-statues to person-who-takes-pictures-of-rabbit-statues-and-then-yells-at-you-about-it.

      So I didn't.

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  8. I've never been to Vegas and really haven't had any desire to. I guess I can keep it that way. :) Plenty of other fantastic places to get away and see!

    And I could totally see your face on the monorail! That made my day!

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    1. EXACTLY. There are so many incredible places to visit (even within our own country), that I truly can't understand why anyone would *choose* to visit Vegas. And it was expensive! And did I mention nasty?

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