Saturday, August 15, 2009

Las Vegas

So, I promised a little about the Las Vegas trip... I met Jean-Maria and Mellody out there for the ET midnight marathon. We had fun doing the marathon and would probably do it again if it wasn't for the 2.5 hour bus ride to and from the marathon start. Everything else about the marathon was great (read my previous blog post)! Donny from the walkingsite was also there, he did the half marathon.

When the three of us (the ladies) returned to the hotel after the bus trip, each of us had our turn in the shower. I was starving, but exhausted, so I just bought a turkey sandwich in the hotel lobby and took an hour or so nap. We were planning to go downtown to Fremont Street and feed at the trough (Golden Nugget Buffet) for our marathon celebration dinner. The food there is usually very good and did not disappoint! The waitress was some sort of a medium??? The four of us wore our medals and I was still sporting my alien tattoos, so the conversation quickly turned to aliens and auras and strange stuff like alien encounter healings. Whoah.

Mellody and I were by no means ready to go back to the hotel after dinner. We came to Las Vegas to have some fun! They are having a summer of '69 celebration at Fremont Street with the psychadelic hippy bus, a Beatles tribute band, classic cars and great light shows featuring lots of different types of music. The Beatles tribute band were 4 young men wearing wigs... they were really channeling the fab four until they bowed and one of them nearly lost his wig. Hilarious. We moved on and found an interesting casino that was full of antiques around the corner. We spent a little time looking at the display cases with antique slot machines, beautiful hand carved bars with marble counter tops and etc. When we walked back to the action on Fremont street, there was an awesome band playing medlies of all the great 60's rock tunes that everyone knows all the words to. Of course, I can't remember which ones they were right now, but we had a great time! People watching is the best! I don't have the pictures yet, but when I get them from Mellody, I will edit this post and add them.

We finally got tired and started looking for the taxi stand at the Golden Nugget so we could get a ride back to our hotel. The guy out front was being a real asshole and would only seat customers in a particular brand of taxi. I am sure after the ride went around a few extra blocks that he was getting something extra for his attitude. Oh well, lesson learned, although I'm not so sure there would have been anything we could have done to avoid getting taken for the proverbial ride. Except for what we did. NOT. Tip.

I won't tell you the reason, but I am going to be really careful about where I wear a particular yellow shirt in the future. It's a secret. Anyway, we got back to our hotel and decided to walk across the street to the Hard Rock and have a milkshake. There it is. The marathon celebration cocktail. Mellody had chocolate, and I had espresso. It was awesome. So, I was about to fall asleep in the booth at the Hard Rock, and barely made it back across the street to our hotel as I had only slept about 5 hours in the last 65 hours and also walked 26.2 miles in the desert at high altitude (for me).

I slept until 9am Monday and woke up starving only to find that the continental breakfast ended at 9am on weekdays at our hotel. Mellody jumped out of bed, threw on her cap and last night's clothes and brought us some breakfast. Thankfully she made it and was able to grab some food before they got it all put away.

We got ourselves dressed and started for the strip! It was hotter than hell, but we were primed for some fun after finally getting a little sleep! My only real request for the trip was to ride the roller coaster at New York, New York. That was our first stop and we did not want to ride it after lunch. Here is the proof:

So, we had great fun on the roller coaster, then started out to look for a place I could get the one thing I crave sometimes after a marathon. A Blackened Bleu Cheeseburger. We looked at the menus of several establishments before finding it on the menu at the ESPN Zone, and it was heavenly. I even chose to be really good and have a bowl of fresh fruit instead of french fries. Here is another funny thought that goes through my head once in a while... When I was 15, I used to wait tables at a small town family restaurant. I always laughed (under my breath of course) at the older women who ordered hamburgers with coffee to drink. Well, it is true that you become what you laugh about... coffee is my drink of choice, even with hamburgers.

Now back to the hotel to get ready for the show. Mellody had a dinner date with an old friend, so Jean-Maria and I wandered around the Venitian for a little while and stopped at Haagen Daaz for an ice cream. I chose to buy a ticket to see the Phantom of the Opera so Jean-Maria could get some rest as she was still recovering from a broken foot and walked the marathon anyway. Mellody had purchased her ticket a long time ago. We planned to meet up after the show and wander around the strip for a while longer afterwards as it was our last night in Vegas. Surprisingly, the strip was totally crowded, even on Monday evening. You certainly can't tell there is an economic downturn from the numbers of people vacationing in Vegas.

The biggest problem is finding the exit in the casino when you are ready to leave. Those places are so huge, it is easy to make the same wrong turn more than once. They don't allow taxis to stop on the street to pick up fares like they do in other big cities, you have to find the taxi stand which is usually located at the valet entrance to each hotel. It seems that you need to start looking for you exit strategy at least an hour before you plan to leave. Anyway, we got a great taxi this time, and he took us directly to our hotel without going around any blocks. This guy did get it. The Tip.

Back to the room, my stuff was scattered about, so I took the time to organize it somewhat so I would not have to pack it all in the morning just before leaving for the airport. We did get to eat a decent breakfast at the hotel... I would recommend the Hyatt Place in Las Vegas for anyone who likes comfort without all the noise and activity that goes with any of the casino hotels. It is a non-gaming establishment and all the rooms are non-smoking. Also great for a bunch of marathoners.

The flights home were uneventful, and it was great to be home, even though the trip was too short.

Here are two more pictures... the medal and the race shirt from ET. Thought you might want to see them.


  1. What a wonderful trip away. I love roller coasters and I love the expressions on your faces....they are just the best fun.

    Awesome medal ... thanks for putting a photo of that up for me. I really like seeing different medals. To me they are more fun to win.

    My most prized medal is a replica of the Original Olympic Medal won by a NZ Race Walker 100 years ago. They were only cast once to be given out for the first commemorative race to place winners. Our team got 3rd.

  2. sounds like fun - love the medal & shirt :)