Sunday, March 13, 2016

Adventures in Travel - Las Vegas Style

    I hit the road again recently. This time it was a quick trip (about 72 hours) to lovely Las Vegas to help celebrate my Mother-in-law's birthday. I hadn't been to Vegas since I was 12 when we were out there for a bike race. The only thing I remember about that trip was going to Circus Circus because that was the only place that allowed kids (there was an arcade on the top floor of the casino). It's an understatement to say that Vegas has changed a little bit since then.
The Grand Canyon courtesy of Southwest Air

  We arrived late Friday afternoon and I realized something almost immediately upon leaving the airport - people still smoke here. Seriously - it's everywhere. I know so few smokers in Nashville that I kind of forget that it even exists. Cigarette smoke is generally pretty easy to avoid. Not in Vegas though. From the airport to the Strip to the casinos, smokers were everywhere. Just FYI for anyone going there.
   As soon as we got in, we met up with Dudley's mom and sister for a show. Dudley's mom has a friend who works for one of the Cirque shows and was able to get us tickets. I'm not sure how aware everyone is with the Cirque shows, but they all have different themes: The Beatles, Michael Jackson, Water...  Well, this one had a more adult theme. It was called Zumanity.  Without going into detail, this show is "centered on erotic song, dance and acrobatics." While not X-Rated, it was definitely raunchy and not for people who are easily offended. The show was really good, but just something funny to go see with your 80 year old mother-in-law!

Yeah...he has chains.

   The rest of the weekend was mainly spent oohing and ahhing at all excessiveness that is Vegas.  Neither Dudley or I are gamblers, so we kind of just wandered through all of the casinos looking at all of the people. Well, I did a LITTLE gambling.  How could I not when I saw this:


   I spent all of three dollars on this slot machine. Big spender, I know. I'm sure I had to be quite the spectacle for experienced gamblers though. I had NO clue as to how to work this thing. I was just randomly pressing buttons to see what would happen. Yes, I guess I was kind of expecting old school slot machines with a pull-down arm. I need to get out more.
   While I didn't get the chance to run the trail half-marathon as I had originally hoped while I was in Vegas, I did get out and run Saturday and Sunday. I don't know Vegas at all, so I just ran up and down the Strip. It was hysterical because I went around 7:00 am both mornings when a lot of people were still out from the night before. They were all staggering around with their giant beers and empty hurricane glasses and I'm all "On your left!" I wore my GoPro on Sunday to capture some of the ridiculousness, but the footage is too wobbly and would make everyone sick if I posted it. Again, as an FYI, Vegas has an obscene amount of stairs on the Strip. The traffic is horrendous there so they have pedestrian crosswalks that go over intersections. It's great for walking around, but really messes with your running pace. Plus - stairs. Ouch.

Random photos:
HAD to go see the sign.

MGM Lion

New York, New York

Ceiling at the Venetian

The Strip at night.

   The weekend was a blur, and a lot of fun. I'd like to come back out and check out a few more shows, as well as the Hoover Dam, and maybe take a day trip to the Grand Canyon. I obviously have to come back since I didn't get to mark Nevada off of my half-marathon list this time around, right?! But it will probably have to wait until next year as my race season is fulling up quickly! I'm officially signed up for Flying Pig in May, and for 70.3 Raleigh in June. And then...the NYC Marathon in November if it all works out! Woo Hoo!
   See you on the roads!