I am now back home from my weekend trip to Las Vegas to celebrate Tommy’s upcoming wedding. We left at dark oclock on Thursday morning and arrived home late Saturday night. A total of eleven people went including some fellow co-workers and even my overall boss. As some of you may know, I had decided after my 2003 Las Vegas trip vowing never to return. It would take a lot of convincing or a special event to get me to reconsider going. So in the end, I finally relented and agreed to attend towards the end of April. My reasons for going back are varied and many, but I will address some of them below. Before continuing, I want to assure my fellow sojourners from the trip that I will abide by the “What Happens In Vegas Stays In Vegas” saying. I have posted a few photos here (and will be adding more once I unpack my camera) of both the sights (and in some cases, sounds) and people of Las Vegas. Now as for my thoughts:
- Travelling with other people is much more fun.. This is probably one of the things that got me started on the wrong foot with Las Vegas in my 2003 trip. When I went last time, I was with people that I hadn’t met before in person (we all got to know each other pretty well as time went on), but we were still total strangers with each other. This time, I went with four coworkers, one ex-coworker, one person I knew fairly well, two people I’ve met before but didn’t know too well, and two other new people. There is comfort when traveling with people you know. Thus I was more apt to be open and trying to broaden my horizons. In the end, I got to know three of my non-coworkers much better and was at ease in talking and interacting with all (that’s a new one for me in two days). I’m always up to travel and would be overjoyed to travel with anyone that I know (and if I can get off of work, but I have plenty of time off to use). Travelling alone sucks.
- I started my trip more on the depressed side (not due to the trip, but I’m just describing my general state of mind pre-trip), but I leave with hope. Hope for relationships. Hope for what could be. Hope for changes. Optimism is not something that I have an abundance of. This is something I could have accomplished anywhere, but Las Vegas is like an alien nation compared to the comfort and familiarity of Texas. I had experiences and saw things that showed me that anything is possible.
- One of the things others can tell you about me and this trip is that I was more open to getting out of my comfort zone. I still wasn’t as open as I could have been, but then I went a bit more open that what I had planned to in the first place. Again, this openness is caused by me feeling a sense of comfort and safety that point number one provided.
- I did generally enjoy myself. I regret not taking the time getting to the swimming pool or staying up later like some of the others were able to do. But it was as much a learning environment for me as it was entertainment/vacation. If you were one of my sojourners, I took at least one (but probably much more) nugget of wisdom away from our interactions. Thank you for that.
- This one seems out of place, but I do feel like I’m getting in better shape.. I walked all over the strip each day (even in the Las Vegas heat). I did the equivalent of the Tropicana to Bellagio Loop (about 3 miles round trip) multiple times each day and didn’t struggle at all. That is something major for me.. Plus I was easy in comfort on the airplanes (although the last flight did have a mighty short seat belt, but I still fit it). So I no longer need to fear flying.
- Everyone seemed to enjoy the trip. Some people had better gambling experiences than others (I ended up $45 dollars, but I also hardly spent anything - I love the electronic lady blackjack machine at Binions). A lot of great food (I love Brazilian Steakhouses - Texas de Brazil and others liked Emeril).
- The bad thing about the trip was how expensive everything seemed. Las Vegas needs to solve the traffic gridlock problems. I was able to walk from the Tropicana to the Bellagio while making a quick stop in Walgreens for a water in the same amount as a cab took on the same journey. That is unreal. The traffic makes all cab rides at least eight to ten dollars and an average of 20 dollars. Also the city should consider extending the monrail to the downtown area (i.e., Fremont Street).
So yes, that is the answer to my question about whether I enjoyed the experience. Will I go back? If someone else will come with me, yes. But then let me say I am willing to travel and do anything that is physically possible for me (so no mountain climbing YET) and with enough notice to be able to get off. I’m even willing to try new things (would I have gone to a Brazilian steakhouse by myself? not on your life…).
More individual stories later as I will be VERY BUSY the next two days to make up for being gone the end of last week…
Again, thank you my fellow sojourners for an awesome experience….