Elvis totally had the right idea with “Viva Las Vegas!”
Andy was scheduled to attend the IBM Information on Demand conference this week. It’s been chaos around here lately, so I decided to tag along! Carter and Charlie stayed with their amazing Godfathers Andy and Rory, and Andy and I hopped a plane to Vegas!
Monday, while Andy worked, I walked the strip from one end to the other. I checked out the “Miracle Mile” shopping mall, had breakfast at Sammy Hager’s restaurant (rockin’ eggs with jalapenos!), saw the sights from the Stratosphere and had a late lunch at the Hard Rock Cafe. I returned to our hotel (Penthouse upgrade at the Mandalay Bay!), took a relaxing bubble bath, then met Andy for the evening. Together, we ventured back down to the Stratosphere and rode the “Insanity” ride (think Tilt-A-Whirl, but on pods that are mechanically moved 982 feet above the Las Vegas strip!). We hit the Hard Rock for a late dinner, then headed “home” to the Penthouse (wow, that sounds important!), after visiting the Gold and Silver Pawn shop, home of Pawn Stars. No, the Old Man and Chumley were not there.
Tuesday, my main goal was to RELAX, and I was pretty successful! I slept in, then headed to the CSI: Las Vegas Experience, where I became a CSI (complete with vest!) and did a little crime solving (I thought I was being thorough, but I ended up having to return to my crime scene twice because I missed things! Surprised?!). I spent $20 at an MGM slot machine (bust!) and got to see the MGM lion, then headed back to the Mandalay Bay. I had lunch at the Border Grill, the most amazing restaurant in the hotel and checked out the shark reef (which Carter would have loved). Then I headed to the beach (yes, there was a BEACH at the hotel!) for an afternoon of sun and a good book. I headed back to our Penthouse room to change for dinner (wild mushroom penne and a glass of wine!), then hit the casino. At one point, my $20 became $75.25, but ultimately it all became zero.
Wednesday, way too early, I said goodbye to Andy and Las Vegas and boarded a plane to Denver. Due to eight inches of snow there (snow for my birthday?!), we were delayed, but not too badly. I was in Des Moines by 3:00, and in the hugging arms of two estatic red-heads by 4:00.
It was a wonderfully relaxing and much-needed vacation. I had a great time just strolling around, seeing the sights and being a Vegas bum. Carter and Charlie had a great time with Andy and Rory, and Andy came home a wealth of knowledge and loaded with IBM swag! Good times for all!
The Vegas Strip = awesome!
Our home away from home, the Mandalay Bay
From the base of the Stratosphere, looking WAY up!
On the tram-ride back to the Stratosphere, we passed “The World’s Largest Gift Shop,” which has “Bonanza’s Naughty Town,” which sells “Naughty Stuff.” Specific! Ha ha!
Andy and I atop the Stratosphere, before our Insanity ride … survivors??!
The strip at night, glowing with beauty! I love this place!
Pawn Stars! Yeah buddy!
My CSI: Las Vegas Experience crime scene. What details do YOU see?
That’s what you SHOULD have noticed (don’t worry – I missed it, too!)