There's only one word that can describe our vacation to Vegas -Awesome!
Ady was to go to Seattle for a conference, and we figured, why not I go for it too. The only hitch was prolly Amazon may not be all that comfortable sharing business plans with a Googler in. So we decided that I'd explore the place and he'd explore the business plans and HR support structure. Ady wanted to trade places, but we acted mature and I went only to shopping malls.
Thanks so much to a dear friend Aruna, I did things I'd never normally do. And just because of that, it was all the more exciting. Because these are things I wouldn't normally do, I don't discuss too. So you don't get to hear what these were :)
When Ady could finally finish with his Conference, we visited Mt St Helens. No no, it was not all that depressing - just because it was an active volcano, the approach, the rawness of the nature around - was simply beautiful. I heard there's another mountain - Mt Rainier - it's snow packed and stuff - so a breath taking sight. We didn't go for this as husband dearest had already visited the scenic beauty, and he wanted to see something 'new'. My desire to see a snow capped mountain, is a while away I guess.
Cut to Vegas!
Now, as soon as we entered the airport, it was a different world. Yes. You can let your imagination run wild - in any direction. They don't call it 'sin city' for no reason. But we, like the disciplined Indian kids, focused on the shows that we could see. The LCD screen flashed Cirque-du-solil shows - with amazing acrobatics. Ady was more amused by Sienfeld's quick quips.
We stayed at the South Point Hotel, at the end of the strip. We hadn't done enough research so did not know what the right location to stay in was. We assumed, anything on the strip was good. We just didn't know 8 kms away is not exactly ideal.
As soon as we landed, Mr Singh took off to play poker. He had apparently earned $25 on a mock gambling game and he was very confident he could earn more. He was confident he could beat the system. He gave me a dollar to go play the slot machine, so I don't whine, scream or get tensed when he loses money - it's all a part of his strategy. And I played for like 10 mins with that dollar, spending a cent a time, till I finished all 100.
In the evenings, we visited all the other casinos, with a clear understanding that there will be no nail biting experiences in the evenings (read no gambling). My favorite was the gandola ride in the Venetian. The interiors are done so beautifully. You actually feel the hot and arid Vegas is pleasant and romantic. Ours was the last dedicated ride of the day. Our boatman was in an especially great mood and sang more than his quota of songs for us :)
Another experience I will never forget is the Stratosphere Casino. We went for the crazy rides there.Big shot was my favorite. You're strapped into a chair with your legs dangling, and then they shoot you straight up the tower's steeple, 160 feet in like two seconds. Then you're let to freefall.And just when you think, it's over, you up again. And the ride starts at the 108th floor!!! Not for the light-hearted. I'd like to say, I'm the braver one compared to Ady.(yay!)
'Extreme' is another interesting ride - It's like half a roller coaster. You're taken in one direction - OUTSIDE the building and there are these sudden jerks that make you think you're going to fall off- it's crazy why would you go outside the building. And the answer stares you in the face - that's why it's thrilling!
We saw 'Mystere' one of the Cirque-du-solil offerings. But I can't say much about it, as I dozed off because of the jet lag. Nothing negative about the show though, 'coz I got up to loud cheering from the crowd.
We also went to the Grand Canyon helicopter ride and landed in the canyon. While you have man made splendors on the one side, the magic of nature is a totally different experience. An experience to remember!!
This was a much needed vacation and we truly made the best of it. And how much did we make/lose? Well.. what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas:)