As you may remember, at the end of the year we went on a driving adventure to Philly and Disney World, but what you don't know is that the week right after I had to fly to Las Vegas for work. Since I could not find a ticket for Monday, I had no choice but fly on Sunday, so on our way back home from Disney, hubbs dropped me in Pittsburgh and I took a plane from there.
It was really stressful right off the bat because I grabbed my son's passport by mistake and hubbs drove off with mine. Major PANIC, I was shaking, calling, texting, calling, texting and hoping that he'd get my messages before reaching the border. That would have been such a major FAIL, I could already imagine my husband asking for a divorce. Thankfully 45 minutes later, he came back, we exchanged passports and my heart rate calmed down. I must have burned quite a few calories in this panic attack and very likely, as many neurons.
Waited a long, long time in Pittsburgh and somehow my luggage made it to Vegas 3h ahead of me. You can see where this is going, right? Once I got there, my luggage was nowhere to be found and the US Airways agents were all dumbfounded. At the same time, I got a phone call from some limo company saying that one of their guests brought a piece of luggage to Planet Hollywood Hotel and that I would have to go pick it up from there if I needed it. Did I mention it was 11pm and that I was exhausted, cranky and all I wanted was to get into my bed and sleep? When I finally arrived in the room, which was also the suite at The Venetian where my company was exhibiting our products, I had to make one more phone call, to a technician to come and change a light switch that would not turn off. I wanted to SLEEP, dammit!
|At least I had an awesome bed!|
Like in a glass tower, I was stuck on the 36th floor, waiting for Elvis to come rescue me, or any of the other characters that were entertaining the tourists for a buck or two on the strip. By the third day I was going completely cuckoo. See, this was my first trip to Las Vegas and not only I was feeling really lonely, but going "out there" where the lights were shining bright and tons of people with beer in hand and a cigarette in the mouth were going from party to party, or casino to strip club and back, and where so many escort girls were taking you by the hand, it seemed a bit frightening. I saw The Hangover, ok? I didn't want to end up with a tattoo across my butt and a Mike Tyson lookalike in my jacuzzi tub.
But one night, I put on my running clothes and ESCAPED. I decided that I would run for as long as there were lights and back, target 60 minutes. Once I realized that the entire strip was only 5km long, I decided to run it all. Total 10.3km, 1h11, one of the most challenging workouts that I've ever done. Not only because of the people, there were many indeed, and I had to dodge them constantly, but because of the stairs. So many of them, not even funny. To cross any intersection, you had to go up and over the street, then down to the opposite sidewalk. Up and down, up and down... I didn't take any of the escalators, but man, my legs were spent by the end of the run.
That was the only workout that I managed to sneak in during my week in Las Vegas. I was there for work afterall and all day long I was in the suite, talking to people in person or remotely. The last day, after CES was done and over with, I managed to take my camera and go on a walk along the strip again (I still haven't downloaded the pics from my flash card, dang!). I picked up some geocaches as well, discovering more places and people along the way. The rest is in the huge pile of pictures below... that's the best way I can remember it.
|Ceiling at The Venetian. The Sistin chapel, or almost.|
|Walking out of the Venetian|
|You live in a casino because everything is a casino|
|Surrender Nightclub, with DJ Steve Aoki and George Clooney in the house|
|The wishing fountain at the Palazzo|
|Another hotel room, last night spent at the Mirage|
|The strip in magic light|
|Golden children of Las Vegas|
|Flamingos at the Flamingo, roasting under a heat lamp|
|This is not Paris|
|Le Cirque - amazing restaurant!|
|Sparkly Horse at The Bellagio|
|And a huge sparkly cupcake at Sugar|
|Chinese New Year at The Bellagio|
|The fake streets of Little Paris|
|New York, New York... with a rollercoaster on top.|
I think it's fun to go there if you have 3 days to spare, but to stay 6 days like I did, it's torture. It was eye candy, but just like a forbidden fruit, too sweet not to gag on it. I didn't gamble, I didn't drink, I didn't bring back a new husband. Phew. Not sure I want to go back any time soon, not unless I have my hubby with me so we can go together explore the surroundings, and not just this money pit.
I am really happy that I ran the strip though because I am not even interested in doing a race there anymore (unless there happens to be one during a business trips, story of my life). I saw most of it, from both sides of the boulevard, with the lights on, water fountains and all. Bucket list item, done!
At the end of the trip I counted 18 days straight spent in hotels. No, you should not envy me. I was so glad to be back home and see my family again. Back to normalcy, to a routine, to carpooling with my funny colleagues and swimming, biking and running with hubbs, to kissing my boys goodnight and feeding my fish Calypso. I survived Disney and Vegas, now I can look forward to surviving the Ironman.