Catching Up Volume 3 – Viva Las Vegas!

31 October 2011 in Traveling

October 22 – This was sadly my mom’s last day and it wasn’t even a full day her flight out was at 11 am and so she needed to be to the airport by 9 am. Due to the construction zone we’d have to pass through again we awoke extra early and packed up to go. If we got to Vegas earlier than expected we’d go out to breakfast. If the construction zone slowed us down it was bagels with peanut butter in the truck. Fortunately, I guess, we were running ahead of schedule and were able to stop at the International House of Pancakes. On our tour of the world I had Danish crepes, my mom had German crepes and Lindsay had pancakes. We didn’t leave feeling like globe trotters, except for our now lighter wallets, more like sugar-stuffed Americans.

It was sad to say goodbye to my mom. If you’re reading this mom we are both really glad you came. We had a great time and we’ll really miss you, but we have high hopes of seeing you in the spring.

I’m going to make this a little longer of an entry here to say to any friends or family who read this, we really miss you all. It’s been hard to be away for this long, but it’s been great to see so much of the country. Often times we take for granted the people who have always been there, believing they’ll always be there, but now that you’re all so far away we realize how lucky we are to have all of you.

Love you mom! Love you everyone else!

I hate clownsAfter dropping my mom off we headed to our “campsite” in Vegas. As soon as my mom booked her flights and we knew for sure we were going to be in Vegas we thought why not live it up a night in the city. We found out that Circus Circus had a KOA campground right behind it and for $40 a night you could get a site with hookups and be a short walk away from the famous Las Vegas Strip. So we headed over and pretty much got exactly what we expected – a square of concrete in the middle of a large parking lot, baking in the hot desert sun. That said we were greeted by a friendly staff and allowed to check in early. The site was close to very clean bathrooms. And there was a clean swimming pool and hot tub. Plus free wifi that was actually pretty fast.

After getting settled we hit the town. We were still on a budget, but gave ourselves a little spending money so we headed down the street and bought a beer and a little wine. For those who haven’t been, Vegas is as close to a free for all as you can get in this country. There are no open intoxicant laws and you can take your drink, no matter where you got it into just about any casino you’d like. I don’t think they care as long as you’re not causing any trouble. The drunker you get the more money your likely to piss away.

Walking the strip was a weird experience for us. We’d spent the last two months living in the woods. The largest collection of people we’d experienced was maybe a couple hundred and these encounters were few and far between. We enjoy our time away from the hustle and bustle, but we also occasionally enjoy people watching and there’s no better place to people watch than the Vegas Strip. There’s just so much variety. You of course have plenty of men and women pretending to be big ballers and models, cheesemo sunglasses, slicked hair, fancy shirt, brand new designer jeans and her with salon fresh hair, equally ridiculous sunglasses, a dress that is struggling to contain her ass cheeks, and shoes that have her walking like a ballerina. The women have to be the funniest. Sorry ladies, but pulling that dress down over your ass every 5 minutes and pretending those shoes aren’t killing your feet is hilarious to me. I’ll admit I’ve been conditioned to find this attractive to a certain extent, but then I realize you’re holding yourself to an idealized, commercialized standard of beauty and there’s probably not a whole lot I’d find attractive below the surface.

Anyways after an afternoon of people watching we met Lindsay’s aunt Jennifer and uncle Jeffery for dinner at Chin Chin in New York New York. This was a chinese restaurant and a little peculiar because you have to order rice separately. Other than that the food was great! It had been a while since Lindsay and I had tofu so we were very excited. Afterwards we headed over to an Irish themed pub within the casino and had a beer. Next we headed over to the Bellagio to take a look at their themed display room. Being October it had a fall theme and was pretty neat. They had pumpkins and apples and horses made out of flowers and other plants. Then we headed over to the Cosmopolitan. This is a newer casino and it has a high end modern feel to it. The bar is four stories and draping from the top down are strings of crystal in one, large, asymmetrical chandelier. We had a great time with Lindsay’s aunt and uncle and would like to say thank you very, very much (if they’re reading). We really appreciate the time, food, drinks and conversation.

After they dropped us off our plan was check on the cats and then head back out and attempt to pull an all nighter. This was interrupted by a couple hundred unwanted trailer guests. Ants. Up until this point we had no trouble with pests, but when we turned on the trailer lights they were everywhere. We kept smashing them and they kept coming. After five minutes or so this got really frustrating. We were looking up control methods on the internet and discovering more and more of them. Luckily we were able to trace them to a storage area under a bench seat. I went outside to see if I could locate where they were coming in and discover they were crawling up from the ground, onto our electrical hookup and across that directly into the trailer. After wiping off the cord and lifting it up off the ground they stopped entering the trailer and we were able to hunt down and kill the remainder of them.

Once this crisis was averted we went back to people watching and wandering the strip. It’s interesting to watch the crowds change. At night all emotions are exaggerated. They happy people are happier, the sad people are sadder, the drunk people are drunker. At one point we dropped into a casino and witnessed the grossest thing we’ve ever seen – beer pong in a dirty, old casino. Now I’ll come right out and say it – Vegas makes me feel dirty. Not in a sexy kind of way, but in a I need to wash my hands again kind of way. And as anyone who knows me can tell you I am not a neat freak or a germaphobe, but all that money, all those hookers, and just the smell of the place. You know, no matter how hard they scrub, that city is not clean. And here you had people throwing a ping pong ball, that had been handled by countless strangers, bounced off and rolled around a disgusting floor, into a plastic cup filled partially with beer and then drinking that beer. The only cleansing agent being another plastic cup filled with water used before throwing.

After hanging on as long as we could we made one last ditch effort at making it to sunrise by hitting an all night dinner and order a heaping plate of nachos. The nachos didn’t help. We dragged our sorry behinds back to the trailer and promptly passed out. I think it was around 5 am.


31 October 2011 Traveling

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