Tuesday, October 28, 2008

NCPTW '08 - Las Vegas, Arrival

I’m officially in Las Vegas – it’s warm, it was sunny, there were mountains in the distance; it’s such a nice change.

I arrived at my hotel, the lovely St. Tropez just after 6 p.m. local time, and am now resuming being happily ensconced in my “suite.” It’s a nice room – I have a king size bed, a nice large bathroom, all the usual amenities…except Internet access. I know there is Internet access, but it seems to be available only in the lobby, so it looks like I’m stuck temporarily. (For the first time I really appreciate having my iPhone; at least I’m not cut of from the rest of the world.) It’s a bit of an odd layout, this hotel; it consists of several smallish two-story buildings that surround a courtyard (which includes a pool). Every room seems to have a little balcony, complete with a table and two chairs that overlooks the courtyard. It’s extremely quiet; I have the sliding door open, and it’s just very quiet and serene. I took a short walk from my room to the hotel lobby so I could post this blog entry, and I took another good look around: Palm trees waved in the breeze; there were lit paths; I heard a quiet tinkling of water from the pool; and one of the casino lights beaming a straight ray of light upward.

My flight over was fine; it was my first time on JetBlue, and insofar as JFK Airport finished Terminal 5 just last week, I was able to enjoy the newness and shininess of something that will probably be messy by the time I get back on Sunday. And it is pretty. (Although I cared not for the free WiFi in the airport; I wish I could have transported that to my hotel room.) The only snafu in the morning was my car reservation not arriving, which worried me if only because that was my method of getting to the airport. On a fluke Chris happened to be home from work so he was able to give me a ride. But the flight itself went smoothly; we took off on time and landed a bit early; I found a cab, who had never heard of my hotel but found me a Kinko’s (where I could buy poster board) and found my hotel after all.

After I set myself up on my room (and trying to connect to any of the open wireless networks, and failing), I hopped the shuttle, which dropped me in front of the Tropicana. I wandered around a bit; I hit the MGM Grand and saw a lion taking a nap; I walked through the New York, New York exhibit-y thing (I thought it would be entertaining to have dinner there but they didn’t have anything I wanted); and finally wandered into the Excalibur, where I eventually found their restaurants and partook in a buffet, which didn’t knock my socks off, but which filled me up, which tonight was all I was looking for. I will say that there seems to be quite a bit to look at in these hotels, but it took me awhile to figure out that if I wanted to find dinner, I’d have to go into the casino. I guess that was obvious, in retrospect, but I was thinking more in terms of finding good food and avoiding slot jockeys.

I wished I had someone to spend time with tonight, but I’m going to try to arrange it that tonight was the only night I’m hanging out by myself. I seem to always get a bit homesick the first night away from New York, and although I know it's only temporary, and it's comparably slight, I still wish I had someone to hang out with in the hotel courtyard and just chat.

Tomorrow I'm going on a Pink Jeep tour of the Grand Canyon. I'm being picked up very early in the morning, and I'm being driven around for 9-10 hours, so I'm going to go relax for the rest of the evening and save my strength.

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