I need to start today by wishing Nora a happy birthday, so happy birthday Nora!
I hope your birthday is filled with lots of candy and cake and ice cream! If not, I will buy you so much ice cream next time I see you.
Time to start sharing the real camera pictures from my work trip to Las Vegas. I took the backup camera to Vegas just cause I’m always leery of traveling on planes with the 1st string camera. Even though the bag never leaves my side. It is probably a mental block that I will never get over. We’ll see what happens next time I walk on a plane. In April.
I took enough pictures on Day 1 in Vegas to split them into to two posts. This is post 1.
Vegas Day 1 started in Boone. I got up and headed for the Des Moines International Airport a little after 9 AM for my 12:15 flight. I’m one of those people that gets to the airport early. Probably cause I don’t fly that much and probably because I get paid to be there early, sorta. That is how I interpret the travel rules.
I knew there was bad weather west of us and the potential that one of our flights could get cancelled. The good news is that they didn’t. The bad news is that a little after getting to the airport, I got the notification that the flight from Des Moines to Denver had been delayed. Which worked in my favor because the Des Moines International Airport is currently under construction right. They have taken away a bunch of the parking in the parking ramp to make room for employees to park. This meant I had to drive by the parking ramp and the Blue Lot and the Green Lot and the Red Lot and the Yellow Lot and the Indigo Lot and the Cyan Lot and the Polka Dot Lot and ended up all the way in the Gray Lot. A lot so far away from the airport terminal I think it might be in Norwalk. Possibly Cumming.
I took a 15 minute shuttle ride to the airport. It took me a minute but I finally located the Southwest check-in counter in the room with all the weird car rental places and checked my luggage. Two things here. First, I wasn’t crazy about flying Southwest. I haven’t flown Southwest since the last time I went to Vegas, which was almost 20 years ago. I haven’t heard good things about Southwest. They say the people on there are animals. But not in the millions of good ways that animals (in this scenario humans are not animals) are easily superior to humans. But in the bad ways where humans compare other humans to animals to make them seem lesser than. Second, I did buy new luggage for this trip. I don’t travel much in the manner that requires luggage, but the two trips I took in 2022 showed me that the luggage I have been using isn’t practical. Merely sentimental. I bought the new luggage off of Amazon because I had a Amazon gift from my computer mine anniversary. I can say, that while the walls of the luggage seem a little thin, so far I am digging the new luggage. I bought red luggage so they would be easy to spot in the baggage claim line and because they were $30 cheaper than more mundane colors. I don’t know why.
After getting through the security line without incident, I found my gate, grabbed a seat and discovered I was the first person there from the Computer Mine. I wasn’t there long before I got another notification that the flight had been delayed again. Now it was going to be over an hour late taking off. I took solace in the fact I had been reassured by the Southwest ticket lady that there were over 30 people transferring from our flight to the connecting flight in Denver to Las Vegas and there was no way that they would leave that many people behind.
While I was comforted by that information, one of the things that concerned me is that Southwest has no assigned seats. You have an assigned position to get into the plane and then once in there, it is every person for themself. I was worried that I would get there late for the connecting flight and lose any chance at getting a good seat. I’d end up in a middle seat. Nobody wants that. Not me. Not the person in the window seat. Not the person in the aisle seat. However, they hadn’t started boarding when we got to the connecting flight and I was able to grab a sweet spot in the emergency exit row!
If you don’t know, that means extra legroom! It is like 1st Class for those of us in steerage! Bingpot!
The flight into Vegas was a little rough because it was so windy. I didn’t get a snack or beverage service. That is how I determine if a flight was rough. By the time we got to the hotel, I was famished. The only sustenance I had knocked down was a bag of snack mix and 6 ounces of 7-Up on the flight from Des Moines to Denver.
We took a shuttle form the airport to Planet Hollywood, our home away from home for the next 5 days. Here is my review of Planet Hollywood:
It is kinda dirty. It is a little rundown. The big selling point is that it has what I would call a glorified mall. There is virtually no Hollywood artifacts or paraphernalia there. But for what we were there for, it worked great. The conference facilities and staff were great! And it is near places that are cool like the Bellagio, Paris, Caesar’s Palace, and The Flamingo.
After getting to my room, which had a breathtaking view of a parking garage, and organizing some stuff and claiming the bed nearest the breathtaking view (my roomie Tony didn’t come in until the next day so I got choice of beds) I connected with Lowell and we went to supper.
We walked down to Caesar’s Palace to look for a buffet, but we actually ended up in the Caesar’s Palace food court where we ate at Bobby’s Burgers. A restaurant that is connected to Bobby Flay. Who is some kind of chef of note, but he isn’t a raging douchebag like Gordon Ramsay, so you might not have heard of him. I’ve only heard of him because Faust used to be big into him back in the day.
I ordered a Bacon Crunchburger (Bacon, American Cheese, Potato Chips, Bobby’s Sauce – yeah not crazy about that name either), French Fries, and a Soft Drink. The price tag came to a little over $30.
I consider the Computer Mine to be generous with their per diems. I know it is set by the government, but I usually come back with a little extra coin jingling and jangling around in my pockets. This is mostly cause I don’t drink alcohol. In fact I was actually mostly off pop before this trip, but I fell of that wagon pretty dang hard in Vegas. I don’t think it is inaccurate to say I went on a regular Pepsi Cola Bender. We are almost 2 weeks out and I’m still weening myself back off the hard stuff.
The per diem I got for this trip was $288. The fact that I had just spent $30 for a food court burger caused me to take a step back. I expected this to be one of the cheapest meals I shoved in my face on this trip to Sin City. I wasn’t sure $288 was going to make it.
After Day 1, I had an estimated $258 remaining in the per diem fund.
Maybe eating is overrated…
After the meal we walked around something I would describe as an open air mall that was between The Linq and The Flamingo. This is where I took the majority of the pictures I took on Day 1.
Here is the first collection:
Caesar’s Palace Sportsbook
There are few musicians I like lesson than Jimmy Buffett, but the man can market.
In-N-Out Burger was on Lowell and I’s list. It was the only thing that we crossed off our lists.
I wasn’t expecting there to be so many candy stores in Vegas.
Seeing the actual Vegas sign was on my list. This is the closest I came.
I do regret not going in here a little bit.
Not the Bellagio fountains.
This was so close to being my MUSIC photo for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE.
I have several more pictures to share from Day 1 that I’ll share at a future date. My best guess is March 17th, while I’m eating a Reuben from West Street Deli.
And nobody better give me any nonsense about letting the Reuben rest for a day and it somehow being better. Got it?
This is your reminder that this week’s theme for THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is SUNRISE, SUNSET:
What is a SUNRISE, SUNSET picture? It is a simply a picture of a SUNRISE or of a SUNSET. I’ve heard some grumbling this is a hard theme. The weather is bad. I go to bed at 6 shortly after eating my early bird special at the nursing home. I don’t like going outside. Whatever. Of course THE WEEKLY PHOTO CHALLENGE is hard sometimes. That is what makes it great. If it was easy everybody would do it.
“Maybe you will just have to get creative.” He muttered while sipping on a cocktail made out of tequila, orange juice and grenadine. Unmixed. In a tall glass. Served on the rocks. Sometimes garnished with a cherry and orange slice.
If getting a little lit doesn’t inspire you, maybe these example submission from when SUNRISE, SUNSET was a theme in days past will:
Carla Stensland – Week 43
Kim Barker – Week 43
Stephanie Kim – Week 43
Michelle Haupt – Week 43
Christopher D. Bennett – Week 43
Happy photo harvesting!