Vegas Day 4: Xmas Eve

At this point, we’d had three very active days with lots of walking. We were both pretty tired, it was Christmas Eve, and we were supposedly on vacation. It was time to slow things down a little and relax more. We start off with breakfast at Krispy Kreme. I pick out three doughnuts for myself—one chocolate glazed with cream filling, one “classic” glazed fresh from the cooling rack, and one festive donut with red, white and green Xmas sprinkles.

Vegas Day 3: The Hoover Dam

I’d always wanted to see a dam, and as dams go, they don’t come much bigger than the Hoover Dam. Named after Herbert, rather than the more infamous J. Edgar, it’s possibly the most impressive piece of structural engineering of the 20th Century. Hoover gets the credit because as well as being a politician, he was a former engineer, and arranged the contracts between 7 different US states which would allow the project to go ahead.

Vegas Day 2: The Strip

We wake up early, partly because of the 3 hour time zone shift, and partly because our room faces south and gets a spectacular view of the sun rising over the desert hills. We find the café on the casino level: Starbucks coffee, and the biggest bearclaws I’ve ever seen. Once we’re awake we return to the hotel room to get ready for the day. Sara turns on the TV to find the Weather Channel, and the first thing it blares out is that erotic movies are available on demand.

Vegas Day 1: Getting there

Our journey takes us via Newark’s “Freedom International Airport”. Since we’re not expecting more than a snack on the upcoming 6 hour flight to McCarren Airport in Las Vegas, we decide to get some food. We stop at a place called the Garden Diner. This is no cutesy diner-themed cafeteria; everything seems to come with fries. In fact, I notice that there’s an entire section of the menu devoted just to fries of various kinds.

Las Vegas: Introduction

We can’t remember whose idea it was. At one point I had suggested to sara that we could get married in Vegas, but for some strange reason she didn’t go for it. Nevertheless, the idea of visiting Vegas had appealed, and we had talked about it on and off for a couple of years. Then in the fall of 2003, my mother started pestering me as to what we were planning for Christmas.

Vegas Day 6: Returning home

Homeland security have declared an orange alert, but there don’t seem to be any problems getting us through security. We’re soon at the departure gate, and discover it has a great view of our hotel in the distance. McCarren Airport has some cool metal palm trees. There are slot machines in the departure terminals, so addicts can get a final fix before boarding their flights home. The flight seems uneventful… until the plane gets to Newark.

Vegas Day 5: Christmas

We left our Christmas presents under the tree at home, so we come up with a special gift for ourselves in Las Vegas: we book a day at the hotel spa on the 25th. Mandalay Bay spa is focused on a relaxing experience, rather than exercise per se; it’s all about reflexology, aromatherapy, massage, yoga, and so on. I’ve booked a back, shoulder and neck massage, but first I need to take a shower and soak in the hot pool to loosen up my muscles.