Buy the Ticket, Take the Ride

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This is not your typical Las Vegas post- AKA this is not The Hangover. Because I know you’re thinking- strippers, booze, ecstasy, and face tattoos. Number 1. I’m not that fun. Number 2. All of that is way too expensive. Number 3. It wasn’t a bachelor party.

 

Or, am I that fun? Is it really that expensive? And, was it a bachelor party?

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Don’t let the crazy picture fool you. If you want to know what Vegas was similar to though, I seem to be drawing uncanny parallels to the Essaouira , Morocco trip. How is that possible, you ask?  Well, if my logic is correct, Vegas is perhaps the beginning of my succession of being knocked unconscious and used in covert government operations.

Now, as I am most likely being tracked by some secret government organization who is using me as a guinea pig to achieve world domination, I’ve got to figure out presumed clandestine operation and find a way out of same presumed clandestine operation. How to get there?

Step 1: Find tracker and extract from body.

Step 2: Use said tracker to discover info about secret organization. This will subsequently lead me to the discovery of presumed clandestine operation with regard to world domination.

Step 3: Dispose of tracker shortly thereafter.

Step 4: Come up with a plan to stay one step ahead of them…at all costs. Otherwise, they will find me.

Step 5: While doing all of this, maintain a day job and write a travel blog.

Or, accept defeat by one of two options:

  1.  “Retire me” (Blade Runner android style).
  2. Allow me to continue to lead a seemingly quotidian existence.

I prefer option 2.

So, that’s a bit Hangoveresque- only without the alcohol and subsequent bad personal decisions. And more along the lines of completely out of my control- refer to “Totally Kafkaesque” picture above.

Sigh. I think this storytelling is all a facade to try to convince myself and everyone I lead a life of unparalleled danger and intrigue involving handsome strangers and a talking sidekick dog.

 

I digress…back to Vegas.

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Once again, this was a weekend trip. Along with my maps blog it may be worth considering a weekend trips blog. “How much adventure can you pack into a weekend?” Or, “How to write an itinerary for a weekend adventure.” Or, my personal favorite and up for interpretation “Posthumous James Joyce’s a weekend in a weekend of a weekend”. OK Jamie, shut up.

Really, back to Vegas.

It’s hard to believe the Vegas trip was a couple of years ago. Nostalgia hit me hard as I bought my ticket for March a few days ago. Thus, it was only fitting to write about it! This trip also happened to be the time I was going through my quarter life crisis. Let me rephrase that. This was the BEGINNING of my quarter life crisis. I’m still going through it and wondering if it will end. Probably not.

While here, we did other Hangoveresque things like ponder getting a tattoo (which didn’t happen, but it’s the thought that counts). And take pictures. Not those kinds of pictures. Pictures of mountains, the Vegas strip, Caesar’s Palace, the Fountain Show at the Bellagio (this was my favorite part), to name a few.

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We did go to a rave- which sounds wild and it was- but we were only innocent bystanders. I’ve never been to one before and I have no desire to go to one again. Each drink was $20, so naturally we had only one cocktail. And not to forget, it was dark with blinding lights. Also somewhat suffocating- we could hardly move- or see- because there were so many people. Here’s a positive- it was at our hotel- so it was easy to get to!

We flew in on a Friday night and the Las Vegas airport is popping- loud music and slot machines. I would almost go to Vegas again just for the airport atmosphere.

My friend arrived an hour or so after me and we went to our hotel- MGM Grand, which is located on the Vegas strip. I enjoyed this place. There’s everything you could want if you’re a low key addict of any kind- a night club and restaurants and bars and slot machines and blackjack. I’ll be honest- I don’t remember anything about the restaurants- but we ate at a couple different ones and they were all good—hope that helps! We hung around all this stuff until about 6:00 AM, slept for 2 hours, and Saturday started.

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We went to a soccer tournament for most of the morning and walked the strip for about 5 hours. There are street performers and entertainers walking around, but they want money. I wouldn’t take pictures with them unless you’re willing to shuck over $5 or so. We saw Disney characters- namely Minnie Mouse,  Mickey Mouse, and Goofy- which didn’t make much sense. The only thing I can think of is they escaped Disneyland when their shackles were loosened for their daily feeding.

While walking the strip, we rode the New York, New York roller coaster for $14. It was mediocre at best- depending on the level of thrill you prefer. This roller coaster is a 5 on a scale of 1-10, with 10 being the highest of thrills. My thrill level expectation is about a 9.8. I would use that information when you decide whether or not to purchase a ticket. And keep in mind, there’s not much I would not do in the way of thrill seeking.

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Going back to the rave- this was at Hakkasan Night Club at our hotel, MGM Grand. Now, for someone who likes mountains and being chased by horror movie characters, this was not really my scene. The main act was DJ Tiesto and he didn’t come on until about 1:00 AM. By this point we were over it and the crowd was just too wild. I’m also in no way, shape, or form a fun person to be around.

The next day, Sunday, we spent a good part of the day at Red Rock Canyon climbing rocks (approx. 30 mile drive from Las Vegas strip) without the proper gear. Which was probably unsafe, but we had a lot of fun doing it.

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If I remember things correctly, this is when we saw UFO’s flying over the sky (see above picture for UFO in upper right corner). One landed approximately 100 feet from us. Of course, we had to explore the unknown. A nice alien greeted us upon our arrival and showed us inside his spaceship. He offered to take us back to Planet Gorunmwamba , but we politely declined his offer. We’re Earthlings through and through. Anyway, aliens are not what you think. At least this one wasn’t. He wasn’t trying to take over the world or kill all humans- he was just stopping by on his way to the Sun. I told him he may want to rethink that decision as the sun is REALLY hot. But these aliens have resilient skin unlike us- they can withstand unbearable temperatures. I know you’re thinking back to those people who died jumping into geysers at Yellowstone. Don’t worry, I asked him about it since I figured he would be stopping there on the way back to Planet Gorunmwamba. He assured me he could withstand the scorching temperatures. One note: our alien friend did not speak English, but for 5 minutes, I was able to communicate in alien tongue. Don’t ask me how. Ask my friend Brittany who was with me. She was the only other witness and can attest to it. Our alien friend Fwom (pronounced “Tom”) left us the pile of rocks you see below. Apparently this is a cultural thing- a token of friendship. Thanks Fwom/Tom.

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See, I can make a blog post short…somewhat.

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There’s no writing like Hemingway. There’s no writing like Hemingway. I’ll keep telling that to myself and maybe it will sink in.

Also, I want to apologize for the picture quality. These were taken with an iPhone 4.


“Like most others, I was a seeker, a mover, a malcontent, and at times a stupid hell-raiser. I was never idle long enough to do much thinking, but I felt somehow that some of us were making real progress, that we had taken an honest road, and that the best of us would inevitably make it over the top. At the same time, I shared a dark suspicion that the life we were leading was a lost cause, that we were all actors, kidding ourselves along a senseless odyssey. It was the tension between these two poles- a restless idealism on one hand and a sense of impending doom on the other- that kept me going.” -Hunter S. Thompson

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