I placed my first-ever sports wager while I was in Las Vegas last Sunday. I was getting ready to watch the AFC Championship Game in a casino bar, conveniently located about a hundred feet from the sports book. It seemed like the thing to do.
When Kathryn and I make our regular road trips to Las Vegas, we typically leave Phoenix after work Friday, in the middle of the afternoon. If all goes well, we arrive in Las Vegas in the early evening. Usually we arrive without any specific plans, and we just sort of wing it. There’s no shortage of things to do there, but we often feel like we could have used our arrival evening more wisely. So last week, before leaving Phoenix, I decided to make a dinner reservation for 8:30.
Our room has a view of the mountains to the west of Las Vegas. We arrived after dark last night, so we couldn’t see them then. When we woke up this morning, we still couldn’t see them. There had been some rain overnight, and the mountains were obscured by clouds. The ground was wet, and the wind was howling. It suddenly seemed like not such a great day to go hiking. So we ditched the plan and decided to see a morning movie instead.
It turns out people use this blog to check in on us when we travel. Kathryn and I hadn’t yet made it to Kingman when she received a text message from a concerned friend wondering if we were okay. Yes, the road from Phoenix to Las Vegas is not the safest of journeys, but to set minds at ease, we arrived in one piece and checked into our room a few minutes ago.
Well, folks, I’ve had a good, long two-week rest from my blog. It’s time to sit down and catch you up on where I’m going and what I’m doing. For your reading pleasure, here’s the latest edition of my not-quite-monthly “going places” series.
It turns out I didn’t get the sunrise photos I wanted on our last day in Las Vegas. It was raining when the sun came up and still raining when we left the hotel, although the rain let up early in the morning. We did find a decent donut shop, found a beautiful Sunday Mass, and had lunch with our friend Kerrie, with whom we couldn’t connect Friday evening.
Our weekend trips to Las Vegas tend to be busy. We usually cram everything we possibly can into the less-than-48 hours we’ll be here. Sleep comes only out of necessity. So it’s a little weird that I’m starting a new post at 6:20 am, after getting a full night’s sleep and then some. I think we were in bed by 9 pm. That’s pretty lame.
It’s just after dawn here in Las Vegas. I’ve been awake for an hour or so, and I’m working on my second cup of shitty in-room coffee. Our room at the Orleans has a view of the Strip. Since we’re west of the Strip, I’ve been watching the sun rise over Luxor, Mandalay Bay, and the McCarran airport.
On previous trips, we’ve often stopped at the Wikieup Trading Post. They make a pretty mean patty melt. The problem is that it became played out for us, stopping the same place every time. That, and the fact their bathrooms are beyond disgusting. This time, we stopped at Dazzo’s Chicago Style Eatery. I can’t speak from experience to the authenticity of the place, but the food was pretty good.
The status of this weekend’s road trip to Las Vegas is now unambiguous. Kathryn’s doctor this morning ordered her to spend the weekend in Las Vegas. Sweet! I’ll submit a health insurance claim when we get home.
As of this morning, the trip seems much more likely. Kathryn has packed her bags and appears ready to go. There’s still one last hurdle to jump. I’ll know for sure in a few hours if Kathryn can go.
My typical Sunday evening is spent with my wife and my parents, who have us over for dinner regularly. Today, however, my wife is in Chicago, and my parents are in Key West. It seems like everyone is traveling but me.
Out of an abundance of caution, I’ve declined in years past to divulge the details of upcoming travels. Now I’m going to open up a little and provide an overview of our travel plans for the next few months.
On our recent trip to Las Vegas, Kathryn and I decided to find the secret, hidden, nameless pizza place at Cosmopolitan Las Vegas. I had read about it in our local paper some months earlier.
There’s a certain irony to writing a blog. During those times when you have the most to write about, you have the least time to write it. The year 2007 has been, and continues to be, almost unbelievably good to me, and for several months I’ve been maintaining a hand-written list of all the things I want to write about.
I had two specific goals for my recent visit to Las Vegas. I wanted to see Celine Dion, who was sick when I visited in December, and I wanted to learn how to play craps. I’m happy to say I accomplished both goals, and I did it while fighting a cold. In retrospect, I probably should have spent the weekend in bed, but I really did have a great time.
When it was nearing dusk, I took the bus to Fremont Street to check it out. It was definitely over-the-top, as advertised. I enjoyed walking around there for a while. If my lunch hadn’t been so enormous, I would have tried some of the food there, like the deep-fried Twinkies. Fortunately, there’s always room for a beer.
I made a last-minute executive decision this morning to do an overnight trip to Vegas. I got in the car at 8:10, and thanks to the miracle of time zones, I was at my hotel at 12:20. I’m going to see how much trouble I can get into by myself in less than 28 hours. I’ve already wandered off the Strip, and I’m settling into my second beer.