Weekend Getaway, Early Adventures

Weeks ago, friends scheduled a weekend Las Vegas trip. They went a few days before me, since I wasn’t able to get time off work.

As those of you who follow my regularly know, my adventures rarely run as planned and never linearly. This adventure started early in the morning at the airport.

I was told to be at the airport 2 hours before my flight. This meant that I needed to be there at 3 am. My daughter was kind enough to drop me off. I was carrying my luggage on and already had my boarding pass, so I went directly to security. They weren’t open yet. Too early. I just stood around for a while, steering clear of the benches and edges. Too many people in those areas were coughing and I didn’t want to be involved with that.

Because I was standing in the open, people seemed to think I knew what I was doing. Suddenly, there was a random line in the middle of the area. I didn’t say anything because I didn’t want all of those people to be in line in front of me once security opened.

Finally, one employee came out and said they will open at 3:15 am. So then I had information and it really looked like I knew what I was doing because I had that added confidence.

A lone security person wandered out at 3:15. No one made a move for a minute or so, so I wandered up and was sent through to have my luggage dealt with and to be searched. Other than forgetting to take off my shoes at first, it was uneventful. I had the nerve to think it, so the universe responded.

I put my shoes on and wandered off to the gate. I settled in and plugged in my phone charger, just in case. 15 minutes before the scheduled boarding time, I wandered off to the restroom and moved closer to the boarding line. So far, so good.

We started boarding, only one person attempted to get on before her number was called, so that wasn’t bad. We were informed it was a full flight. I got to my seat, stowed my belongings and waited. Everyone was on board, but no doors were closed yet. Odd. Eventually, ten minutes after we were supposed to take off, the crew announced that this would be a good time to get up and use the restroom. Odd. Then, we were told that the ground crew was checking something. Uh oh. The next thing we knew, we were told we were switching planes because it was faster than waiting for a mechanic. Great. They announced the new gate number and sent us off the plane to the next gate.

We were all hanging out there with several people dealing with connecting flights. We were now scheduled to leave at 6 am instead of 5 am. One person near me said that he was grateful that the mechanical issue was found before we left the ground. Good attitude! I wasn’t grumbling before, and his comment made me realize that most of the people waiting with me weren’t, either. No one was upset or taking it out on the staff.

By the time we got the crew back on board and all the connections dealt with, it was after 6 am. We finally started boarding. No major issues. The doors were still open. Luggage. We had to wait for the luggage to be transferred from one plane to the other. We finally took off around 6:40.

We arrived in Las Vegas right around 8 am. I stopped at the restroom and grabbed water and a very expensive soft pretzel. I wandered out to the shuttle area to buy passes to get to the hotel and for my return trip to the airport the next day. I was told that the shuttles were delayed around 40 minutes because of paramedic activity. Actually, all traffic from the airport was delayed because of it.

I went to where the shuttle would get us and found that it wasn’t just paramedics, but the police were there, too. A whole gaggle of emergency personnel were attending to a man in handcuffs with an IV running. I sent a message to the group chat with my friends, fully expecting no one to be awake at 8:15 am. I sent the message that I had landed and I wasn’t the one being arrested. Keeping positive thoughts.

The shuttle finally arrived just before 9 am. We left about 9:10 and by the time I got to the hotel, picked up the key that my roommate left for me, and got to the room, it was 9:30. I changed my clothes and got in an Uber to get to our brunch reservations by 10. I arrived as the group was being seated. Coffee. I need coffee.

I’ll write more in an upcoming post.

What happens in Vegas…?

In January, a friend and I drove to Vegas and back. Because I was behind the wheel, I didn’t drink on days we were on the road. I think I have a pretty clear idea of what we did during the trip.

I thought so, at least, until today, when I got an email from the Las Vegas library, welcoming me back. I had to message my friend to see if we had gone, because I have no knowledge of going. The answer is, no, we didn’t go there. I wonder how they got my email address.

I guess, though, that it’s very possible that, knowing my personality, that I visited. Maybe I’ll have to put a visit to the library on my todo list the next time I go to Vegas.

License plate adventure

When I was in Vegas, my daughter texted me a photo of a ticket that was left in the car we don’t drive often. It never had a front license plate and there’s no place to put it, anyhow.

I also have a car that I’m going to donate as soon as I can get someone to take the radio out of it. It’s sentimental, not that it’s a decent radio or anything.

I messaged my friend, asking where I should take the car for the license plate, and if he knew anyone who would come to remove the radio. He said he’d do both on his next day off. Perfect!

I rushed around to get a new replacement plate. I squeezed a trip to AAA into my schedule. I got there, waited in line, and explained what I needed. I was handed paperwork and told to bring in the old plates. Oh boy! Now I needed tools to get the old plate off.

I figured it out and got the plate and the paperwork to AAA after getting all the info together. I turned over the old plate and got the new ones. I installed the new rear one. My friend cancelled. Great.

I texted another friend about the radio and the license plate. He said he could help with the radio, but had no experience with license plates. No problem. I called my mechanic to ask what to do, expecting him to recommend someone. “Heavy duty double stick tape.” I can do that.

So the next thing in the agenda is to wait for the rain to stop, then take the paperwork and car to the police station to get it signed off. Hopefully that’ll be tomorrow.

Fourth night in Vegas

We had tickets to a drag brunch for Sunday morning. It was all you can drink with the VIP tickets that we had. It was so much fun!

Birthdays and engaged people

 

Tina!

The fountain at the Bellagio was not in the middle of the drag show.  I just can’t figure out how to reorder the photos.  We walked to the miracle mile and my friends got dessert.

I was pooped and my feet hurt so we headed back to the room to take a nap.  When I got to the room, I found that our room hadn’t gotten cleaned AGAIN, but this time, there was no excuse.  I napped after calling to complain that our room didn’t get cleaned, so we had no towels or clean glasses. I called the front desk to complain.  They told me it was housekeeping, so I called housekeeping.  Towels and glasses were delivered twice.  Better than not at all, I guess.

Dinner was at the Hard Rock cafe.  It was ok.  We went into New York, New York to gamble a little.  When we got bored, we found a place with karaoke.  Some of the songs were scary, but some were ok.  I was not brave enough to get up and sing.  Nope.

We went back to the room and chatted for a while. We set the alarm and went to bed at 2 am.

Day three in Vegas

 

The seventh member of the group arrived while we were having coffee in the hotel room before breakfast.

I finally got a photo of the view from our room.

We wandered off to the convenience store to get things to have happy hour in our room.  As we were walking, the eighth member of our group appeared by taxi and waved to us.

The Pacquiao vs Broner fight was at our hotel. When we made the reservations months ago, the fight hadn’t been scheduled yet, so it was just bad timing.  So, we decided that we’d have to get far away from the hotel during the event. It started at 9 pm, so the crowds were anticipated at around 3. We made dinner reservations at a different hotel.  We chose a Brazilian steakhouse in the Paris.  It was just Eh.

We headed off to see dueling pianos since we were already in the Paris.  I have a few clips, but nothing full length.  It was fun, but my friend found a better place with a live band just a little ways down the hallway.

Dueling pianos

Fireball and Jagermeister shots.  Female band

Six drunk adults getting into a Lyft after bar hopping was hysterical.  We aren’t as young as we used to be, but we managed to get back to our hotel.

We found out that housekeeping hadn’t gotten to our room since my roommate had slept a lot of the day.  Not a big deal, they’ll get to it tomorrow.

Day two in Vegas

I attempted to shower quietly while my roommates slept. I got up and found that what I needed wasn’t in the suitcase I had opened first. So I had to go searching. I found everything and managed to get in the shower. I realized that much of my stuff was either brand new or expired. I threw some items out. Each time an item hit the metal garbage can, it sounded like a gong. Even a piece of paper. Gong! Gong! My roommates slept through it, though. One said he heard it once, figured out what it was, then went back to sleep.

We went to a cheap breakfast buffet which was fairly good. For Vegas it was cheap at $9 a person.

We went to the beef jerky store. The whole store was dried foods.

We went back to gamble at the place that three of us hit a $100 prize within ten minutes. That was a nice surprise. We picked up our luggage to move it to the hotel where the whole group was staying the last three nights. We met up with the fourth member of our group of eight.

Forth hit a $100 bonus soon after her arrival. Amazing!

We were supposed to go to see a Bon Jovi/Guns and Roses cover band. Before the show, we went to The House of Blues for dinner. I had shrimp and grits. Yum!

We picked up a fifth person. The sister of one of the group. The show was crowded and hot and we lost two of the five before we even got in. The other three of us went in. We waited an hour. We gave them three songs before deciding that the show was awful, so we left.

The fifth member of our group arrived and we went to the country bar. I was amazed that I knew about half of the songs. The sixth member arrived while we were in the bar.

I wandered off to go gamble a little. I hit a $200 bonus. Surprise!

I decided to take the win as a sign to go to bed. My very drunk roommate was trying to open the door but ended up banging on the door at 230 am. And, she had her arms full. I asked what she bought “this is Vegas! Don’t ask me questions I can’t answer” The stuff was coffee cups and other coffee items we would need for the morning. I went back to sleep and woke up at 7 ish.

Vegas, baby!

I had last minute stuff to do before leaving on my trip to Las Vegas. My daughter and I went to the pharmacy, nail place, ATM, lunch, and then she took me to the airport. Early. I was a little worried because of horror stories I’d listened to about security lines being so long that people were missing delayed glitches flights. Also, because of storms both in San Francisco and in Vegas, some flights the day before had been delayed four hours. It turned out that I had plenty of time to get through the non-existent security line and sit and relax.

I found a place to sit and relax at the airport. The woman behind me was trying to explain to her parents that her flight was delayed but it would be ok since they had tickets for the movie the next afternoon, not the day she comes in, for mom’s birthday. Her mom was apparently having a fit because they were going to miss the movie because of the delayed flight and was giving a decent guilt trip about how no one wants to spend time with her on her birthday. I was trying hard to not laugh.

I sat there reading for a while until i had to use the restroom. I wandered closer to the gate when I returned. I tried to read some more, but the guy waiting near me was on the phone explaining to someone that he was flying to Vegas to retrieve the car he was too drunk to drive back home last weekend. Must have been a good weekend for him.

I had received a text about the fight being delayed a half hour. That was fine, since I was meeting my friend at Vegas airport and her flight was due to land an hour after my original flight time. The airport staff asked us to gate check carryon because it was a full flight, and it was going to be faster to board if fewer people had to stop to put stuff in the overhead bins. I did, to make things easier on myself, too.

I boarded the plane and found an aisle seat. A woman a little older and a little smaller than me sat in the window seat. Thankfully, a very tiny woman sat between us. The tiny woman pulled out “Cork Dork” and explained to us that she had a two year old so she never had time for her two favorite things, wine and reading. She was using this trip to catch up. She was not going to Vegas, but was changing planes and heading on to a girls weekend in Tucson. The first thing they had planned was time to catch up on sleep. The window seat woman and I both laughed, explaining that as a mom of a two year old that she’snever going to sleep again. “They eventually sleep through the night, right?” I told her that once they drive and turn eighteen, they stay out late and you don’t sleep, wondering where they are. She kept her nose in her book the rest of the flight.

We hit turbulence on descent. One bump was so hard that I would have landed in the aisle if I hadn’t had my seatbelt on.

Baggage claim. Moved from 4 to 2 without announcement

After my baggage claim adventure, I met my friend and discussed the various ways to get to the hotel. We settled on the shuttle.

At the shuttle kiosk, I tried to pay for my $10 ticket with $10 in cash. The cashier looked very confused. She was counting out coins to give me change. I was curious about how much she was going to give me, but the other guy in the kiosk stopped her. She tried to get me to sign my shuttle ticket like a credit card receipt, but again, her kiosk buddy stopped her. So much for entertainment.

We walked over to catch the shuttle. The driver and another driver were discussing that they thought something had happened at our hotel. They thought that the casino at the hotel was closed because of bank robbery earlier in the day and a suspicious package had been left behind. Of course. We decided to go check it out. Adventure!

Over an hour ride on the shuttle with a whole cast of characters. We were having an adventure. We saw a lot of Las Vegas while driving from hotel to hotel. We had stinky people behind us on the shuttle. I thought it was my deodorant failing, but nope. Wasn’t me. Thankfully, they got off at the second stop.

We also shared the shuttle with obtuse people who kept wondering out loud why we can’t all be dropped off first. “There’s our hotel! Why can’t he just drop us off now?” “He passed it, again!” Calm down people. He can’t disobey traffic laws or drive over cement barriers. Unfortunately, they were with us almost the whole ride.

Finally, we got to our hotel and the shuttle could not turn down the street because of construction. He let us off at the Mob Museum. I wanted to go there, but it wasn’t open. Someday. We had to walk across the street and down a half a block. Not awful.

Check in was easy. Uneventful. Unusual for me.

Changed pants and went to dinner in the hotel lobby. We ordered appetizers with our dinner. The appetizer came out first. They brought it to us with no plates. I had breakfast for dinner. The best breakfast potatoes I had ever eaten. I had asked for no toast, so the waitress offered me extra bacon or fruit. I was stunned.

After standing around, deciding what to do, we decided that we should just go to bed.

Our second roommate of the night appeared around midnight, after an uneventful shuttle ride. He went to the casino to gamble a while. At 4:30 am, my roommate climbed into bed with me, so the other roommate could have her bed. I half woke up to scoot over and to use the restroom. I slept until 7:30 ish.

Marking Debit Card as Travel Safe

I have two debit cards with two different banks.  I called the first one to mark my card as traveling so that I would not have to call the fraud desk while I’m away.  They did both trips for me.  Very easy.

The second bank, I explained the whole thing.  Twice.  “Ok, what are your dates?”  “I’m going from January (#) to…”  “Wait!  That’s more than one trip!  I can only do one at a time!”  Ummmmm, no.  One trip.  Multiple dates.  We got it figured out.

On to the next dates.  “Where are you going?”  “Mexican Riviera”  “but what country is that in?”

Acquiring a passport, part 3

This part of the passport acquisition was exciting. Not much of a story behind it, though. It arrived in the mail. Plenty of time before my trip. I received my documentation paperwork and passport card the next business day.

I was able to check in for my trip with my correct info, finally! I am all set. Especially since I have my dresses and found a suitcase set for the trip. I just have to wait a couple of months until the day of the trip. I am excited!

What a big book you’re reading

I am reading Spinning Silver for sci fi/fantasy bookclub on Sunday.  My mom saw me reading it and commented that the book was huge (466 pages).  She usually sees me reading on my Kindle, and it seems that she doesn’t realize that there are many many more pages in the Kindle than in a paper book.  She just can’t see them, since they are digital.

I tend to read the Kindle in bed, so I don’t have to turn lights on and fully wake up.  Even with the reading light, the paper books are more likely to keep me awake or to keep me from falling back asleep.

I also am supposed to finish We’re going to need more wine for a Goodreads group challenge by Thursday.

The Swing of Things is what I’m reading on my Kindle right now, while I am in bed or on the treadmill.  It’s just for me.

Skinwalker is due for sci fi/fantasy bookclub on Sunday, too, as an alternate book.  I don’t think I’m going to get to it, though.  It’s a library book, so it might be headed back before I get to it.

Erotic Stories for Punjabi Widows is on the list for Vegas bookclub, but it’s not due until the week before Christmas.

I already read the book for tomorrow’s book club.  I am glad, since it wasn’t a favorite book, and I don’t have to read it again.

Curse of the Lord of Darkness needs to be read and reviewed soon.

Neverending Story is for a buddy read with a very patient online friend/reading buddy.  I carry the book with me, but I tend to grab my Kindle when I am out and about.  I need to pick up the paper books more.