Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Las Vegas Travel Journal (April 2004)

I'm posting this because it is referenced in my Hong Kong travel journal. Start here and continue reading through the Hong Kong journal.

4/20/04 5:30PM LAX Airport

Waiting again for one more flight. I’m on my way to Las Vegas. (Vegas, baby, Vegas...as it is often said.) Vegas is only one hour by plane from Los Angeles and maybe a five hour car ride (four if you go really fast) as long as the traffic getting out of L.A. isn’t bad. There are people who drive and people who fly. I fly. I’ve driven once and the view gets old fast. Lots of rock and dirt. In the summer it is hell on a car since the temperature can get over 120 degrees for most of the trip. To my eyes it really only makes sense to drive if you have a bunch of people with you. That way you save some money since gas for the car will cost less than 80 dollars for the entire trip. But, if going alone, a car really isn’t needed in Vegas, and a flight can be had for as little as 60 dollars, so I like to do that and just let the pilots do all the work.


We are now taxing to the runway. Deja Vu! I feel like I have been here before. Weeee! Take OFF!

A sunny evening in L.A. It was breezy and 70 today in L.A. and should be about 80 in Vegas tomorrow. I have been to Vegas at this time of year before. Sometimes it has been 100, so 80 should be nice for walking around.


I’m bored. Not a good sign 10 minutes into a trip.

8:17PM Bellagio Hotel.... in line for the Buffett

I made it through the line and have already eaten some food. Wow! Lots of food. I’m so excited by it all that it is hard to write. I started with sushi, tuna rolls, and california rolls. Plus some salmon, that was spicy. I haven’t eaten like this in years. A rare occurence. I can’t believe all the different kinds of food they have. I skipped the clams, mussels, crab, and shrimp dishes. They had these in combination with pasta dishes and also alone to eat. I did have some meat. I tried a little of the prime rib, vennison, and chicken wellington. It was the first time I have ever had vennison (I think it is some kind of large deer). It was fine, but nothing I would go out of my way to have again. I have never had chicken wellington either. That was great. It seemed to be a chicken breast cooked inside a pastry (imagine chicken inside a croissant). Also inside is sun dried tomatoes and some other subtle flavors. Before slicing, it looks like a large and long roll. One slice is delicious. Now I am enjoying some deserts. I can feel myself gaining weight as I write this. There is a constant stream of plates with little deserts on them available to eat. Key lime pie, chocolate tarts, flan, eclairs, and chocolate mousse just to name a few. (I tried most of what I just mentioned... all but the key lime pie). Heaven! It’s a good thing this is the first time I have eaten today. Plus I will do a lot of walking after this (if I can get up and out of my chair).

I still have to walk back to my hotel and get my room. I am not staying at Bellagio. It is probably the most expensive hotel in Las Vegas, and for good reason. A really amazing place. Once I get back to my hotel and get my room I will explain what I am doing in Vegas, and why, at 9:42PM I still don’t have a room. But first, one more different desert. I think a chocolate cheesecake. I love chocolate. And then a lot of walking... and walking (I feel so fat)

10:46PM Tropicana Hotel.... my room

I actually arrived at the hotel around 8PM from the airport. UNfortunately they did not have a non-smoking room ready for me. Since I didn’t mind waiting 2 hours for a room (Vegas is so weird. Probably only a hand-full of places in the world where rooms become available late into the night) they would be able to come up with something for me, plus they gave me an upgrade. I check my bags, walk to the Bellagio, have dinner, walk back on the other side of the street, get the room, and here I am, for the next 2 nights (trying to see how many commas I can get into this sentence apparently), and still full from dinner.

And I have mirrors, lots of mirrors. I must say I have never been in a room with mirrors on the ceiling before )and the wall behind the bed, and the wall on the side of the bed) so I can now cross off ‘sleeping in a room with mirrors on the ceiling’ from my list of things to do in life. I hope I can sleep. This is really weird. Opening my eyes and I’m staring back at me. Eeeck! No mirrors on the ceiling above the bathtub however. I wonder why they didn’t go all the way to the land of tacky. It is a pretty big room, so that is nice. My view is of the aiport in the distance, with dessert hills towards the horizon. The other side of the hotel tower has a view of the pool. Calling it a pool doesn’t really do it justice. It’s like calling the Atlantic Ocean just some water. The pool is set in a garden atmosphere that stretches for a city block. Lots of plants and bushes with offshoots of the pool scattered about.

I’m going to go down to the casino and look around. At some point I will write about why I am in Las Vegas and probably some more about that Buffet at the Bellagio.

2:39AM Back in the room

3 hours of craps and I only lost a little. Eventually I was the only person at the table so I did 3 more unsuccesfull roles of the dice, and then decided to call it a night. I was down more than 150 at one point, but a guy kept throwing 7 so I decided to let my money ride. I made back 155 in about 15 minutes and then pulled my money back and returned to my safer 5 dollar bet. It was a fun 15 minutes though.

Bedtime. I got maybe 4 hours sleep last night and hav e been up for almost 21 hours now. I wonder how much sleep I will get tonight. (Funny, I’d still be playing craps if people had stayed around.)

10:10AM On the Bus 4/21/04

I probably woke up at 9AM thanks to some noise in the hallway. For the best I guess since I just caught the second to last bus to where I need to go. Like many people, I like to sleep. I easily could have fallen back to sleep and stayed there for a few more hours. But being on the bus and on mt way to the convention center is good too.

5:30PM Paris Hotel.... Le Vilalge Cafe Buffet

A French themed food buffet. Very interesting choices to eat. At least half of the choices I will not be trying. I am getting better at trying new foods, but there is so much here that I have never had I will just have to pass on a lot of it. Since this is French style the pastries are wonderful. I need a map... getting very sleepy... ate too much.

3:52PM On the plane back to L.A. 4/22/04

I had planned on writing more before thgis, but it always seemed like I was on the go or sleeping. I’ll be able to sum up nicely in the next day or so.

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