- Spectacle, spectacle, spectacle. I do loves spectacle. Erupting volcanoes, dancing fountains, pirate ship attacks, scale replicas of the Eiffel Tower, Empire State Building, Statue of Liberty... There was a 3-D IMAX ride that took you to the heart of Atlantis, starring the (late, sadly) Michael Jeter that was a complete hoot - plus the fantastic animatronic show outside the theatre was amazing: live fire and water effects, multi-media, the works. I get such a kick out of attractions with imagination, like the better rides at the Disney parks, or Busch Gardens. If I ever had a chance to work as a designer of those types of attractions I'd jump at the chance, except of course it's a nightmare being a Disney Imagineer these days under Uncle Mikey.
- I've never before been that far west - it was surreal seeing an interstate sign that said: Las Vegas (--> This Way), Los Angelas (<-- That Way). Also, it was the first time I'd been in the Pacific Time Zone. It was incredibly odd walking around at 9pm, knowing my family and much of the rest of Knoxville had been in bed for a couple of hours. Plus I kept waking up at 4:30am, at 5:30am, etc.
- I was under the impression the lunar eclipse on Thursday would last only a few minutes, and was seriously bummed at about 8:15 and realized the moon was on the opposite side of the hotel we were eating dinner in. However, it lasted much longer and we got to see it as we walked down the strip. Flawlessly clear sky. What was most striking that in the midst of all that artificial spectacle, floating above it all was something only nature could provide. Wish I'd had a camera, I had a perfect shot lined up. Oh well, at least I remember it.
- Being without an internet connection was nigh upon unbearable. I don't own a laptop, nor do I have access to one at work. Amazingly, at an Intranet Communications conference there was nobody with an internet connection hooked up that I could find. WebTV was available in the hotel room at Caesar's Palace, but it was expensive - and the Business Center was even more so, plus I didn't have expenses allowed for it. So, half watching CNN Headline News Friday morning while I dressed, I noticed in the crawl: "Tennis Ball sized hail strikes Knoxville". I was unable to find out any details until I got home.
- The food is incredible. With so many restaurant choices available, it was hard to choose. My coworker who was with me is a vegetarian, so it was tough for her to find things but she did ok.
- Boobies everywhere. Everywhere you look - boobies! And some even had clothes covering them! No, just kidding. Actually the cocktail waitresses - while fairly scantily dressed - were not as skimpy as I had imagined. Walking down the Strip, young Mexican teens hovered everywhere handing out visually explicit pamphlets and...well, I call them trading cards - they weren't, but you get the picture - to passersby. I guess whatever makes you a buck.
- Got zapped by the old sensor wand on my way home - apparently there are metal supports in my shoes, and the metal detector at the LV airport didn't like it very much. They took my shoes, searched them for bombs/weapons/spy phones, injected a tracking device in them by order of Homeland Security and sent me on my merry way. Hmmph. Quite embarrasing. Least they could've done was buy me dinner.
Wednesday, May 21, 2003
Some Random Thoughts on my Trip to Las Vegas
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