Sunday, September 06, 2009

Vegas Vacation

First blog in quite awhile.. I need to get better at this, but the free time just isn’t there like it used to be. However, today is an “Energy Day” here at work. Meaning, all military have the day off and Government workers can take a day of leave if they wish. Since I just took a week off, I decided to come on in and since it’s going to be so slow, I can write up some of this blog in a Word doc and then upload it later from home. So, that’s what I’m doing. This is your tax dollars hard at work (for a few minutes anyway.)

As most of you know, I just got back from a week in Las Vegas. Purely a pleasure trip. Evidently, a few months ago, Heather and I were talking and she asked; If I could go anywhere in the US, where would I go? I had to think about that. There aren’t many places in the US that I haven’t seen that I want too. So, after a few minutes, I told her, if I had to stay in the US, I guess I would like to go to Las Vegas, stay in the Luxor and see Criss Angel’s live show, “Believe.” Well, for my birthday, that’s exactly what she gave me: Two round trip tickets to Las Vegas, 3 nights in the Luxor and 2 front row tickets to see “Believe.”

It was an awesome trip!! We saw just about everything there was to see on the strip. We walked through most every “themed” hotel, saw the tourist stuff, the Bellagio fountains, spent an evening on Fremont Street, rode all the rides on the Stratosphere, saw Criss Angel and ate a lot of food. Notice I didn’t mention any gambling there. Not a cent. We were going to get rid of all of our quarters at the airport on the way home, but all the coin slots in the slot machines are covered and you play with bills or credit type cards. So, we didn’t even play on our way out like we planned. The only things about Vegas we didn’t like were the Mexicans standing on the sidewalks slapping Porn cards against themselves trying to get you to take the cards and the people in every hotel trying to get you to look into timeshares in Vegas. Every time we heard, “Hey are you going to be here tomorrow night?” or “You want free tickets to a show?” we knew what it was and just kept walking. It even constantly happened in our own hotel, which really got on my nerves.

The Luxor was a neat hotel. It is starting to show it’s age a bit and the air conditioning didn’t cool the room worth a crap, but it was still ok for the money. I think if we went back, we stay a bit further down the strip to be closer to the heart of things. The reason I wanted to stay there was the look of it and because Criss Angel is based there. Speaking of which, the “Believe” show as awesome!! Just seeing Criss Angel live was cool for me. Because I’m a fan and have been watching his show since Season One, I had seen 90% of the illusions before and was even able to figure out a few of them while seeing them live. But, he still blew us away with others. And, we got to see the famous levitation thing three different times during the night. GREAT show!!

As always, a couple of humorous stories came out of the trip. The first one came before we even left Atlanta. We were boarding the airplane and were standing in the boarding tunnel just a few feet from the door of the airplane. Since we were going to be putting our carry-on’s in the overhead bins, Heather and I had pulled out our books we were going to read and laid them on top of our cases so we could put them in the seats prior to shoving the cases in the overheads. My book was “The Proficient Pilot.” It’s a technical book about the finer details of being a pilot and flying aircraft. As we were standing there waiting to board, the pilot of our airplane came out and was standing around talking to some of the passengers. He looked down and saw my book. He looked up and me and said, “Hey, you mind if I borrow that? I might need it.” Everyone laughed and I told him, “Sure. And, I’ll also give you some pointers if you them. Just holler back to me if you have any problems.” He said he likes to ask passengers if this is their first flight and if they say “Yes” he likes to tell them that it’s his second and it should be ok. :) He was a fun guy.. Luckily, he didn’t need my advice and we made it to Vegas with no problems.

Another story came from the trip to the Stratosphere. I had two things on my agenda when I knew I was going to Vegas: 1. See Criss Angel and 2. Ride the rides atop the Stratosphere. They have three rides up there. The “Big Shot,” which is a shoot your seat straight up in the air 150 feet type ride. No big deal normally, but when the bottom of the ride is already 900 feet above the ground, that will make your boots shake a bit. It was friggin’ awesome!! I got my adrenaline rush so big on that ride, my hands didn’t stop shaking for almost 20 minutes. After that, I rode on “Insanity: The Ride.” Basically, you and another person sit in a two-seat arm in a round configuration with 4 other two seats things. Once everyone is strapped in, the whole thing swings out over the edge of the building (900 feet above the parking lot) then starts to rotate. The faster it spins, the more the arms with the seats spread out until you are looking pretty much down at the ground. Not a bad ride, but nothing major. Then, they have the “X-Scream.” It looks like a roller coaster where you sit. However, the track is only about 40 feet long and goes straight off the edge of the tower. What happens is you get in, the track tilts forward and you speed towards the end of the track off the edge of the building. The track actually goes about 8 feet under the train, so it completely disappears and then you stop before plummeting 900 feet below. It picks you up and then drops you down and shoots you over the edge a couple times. I didn’t think the ride would be anything, but it will get your heart racing. While we were getting strapped in, I was sitting by myself and a girl in her mid 20’s came up and said, “I’m going to ride with you because I am scared to death to be on this ride.” Being the gentlemen I am and not even taking into account that she was hot, I said OK. :) She sat down, strapped in and said, “I’ll warn you right now. You and I might be REAL close by the end of this ride.” She said, “I’ll try to keep to myself, but if I get too scared I may grab your arm.” I told that would be fine but I figured she’d be ok. The gates dropped and the track started to tilt forward and the next thing I know, before we even moved, she had her left arm wrapped around my right arm and her right hand clutching my right wrist. The thing raced forward and she screamed bloody murder. The circulation to my arm wasn’t completely cut off, but I’m sure I had some pretty low blood pressure in that extremity. As it raced forwarded, lifted us up, dropped us down or whatever, she screamed, she clutched tighter and, evidently, actually had a good time. About ¾ the way through the ride, she looked over and said, “Oh. By the way, my name is Laura.” I laughed and said, “Hey Laura, I’m Dale.” There was a couple that was seated in front of us and the guy turned around and said, “Oh, you two are way past the names bit now.” We all laughed and finished up the ride. The ride ended and we all went our separate ways but the story of Laura will stay with me for a long time.

Like I said, it was a great trip. I doubt we’ll ever become regulars at Las Vegas, but I can at least say I’ve been there, done that and got the Mindfreak sweatshirt. :)

1 Comments:

At 08 September, 2009 14:12, Anonymous bp said...

Sounds like you had a great time! I'm next but I think I will have to visit the tables just to say I did..

 

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