Recently my job took me to the super shiny city of Las Vegas. My very good friend and talented co-worker April met me at Dulles Airport at the crack of dawn as our journey began. We arrived in Las Vegas a little before noon and as soon as we picked up our rental car we headed to In and Out Burger for the famous and delicious Double Double.
Afterwards, we checked into our rooms at the palatial Hampton Inn and headed off to Kinkos to pick up some materials for work. Thankfully, Kinkos was on the north side so we got to drive up the strip and see a few sights.
When we finished our work, we caught a shuttle from our hotel over to the Tropicana. From there it was a short walk to the MGM where we hopped on the Monorail and rode to Paris.
Riding the Monorail is thirsty work. Luckily there are plenty of vendors selling adult beverages up and down the street. We chose the closest. Unfortunately, they only sold drinks in souvenir mugs. Really, really heavy souvenir mugs. Once they were filled with Pina Coladas, the weight increased substantially, which while walking up and down the strip, results in a great upper body workout.
The next day, we met up with my staff, Armen and Elida, and spent the bulk of the day working with local community leaders. Afterwards, we went out to dinner with a couple of other friends and then dropped a few quarters in a few slots.
We spent another day working with local leaders and finished up early enough to embark on a quest. You see, my friend April is nervous about flying. Since I had to stay in Vegas longer, she was going to be leaving early and flying back solo. She decided that a couple of Red Box movies would distract her from hurtling through the air in a large tin tube. She did a bit of research and found a Red Box at a Walgreens on S Las Vegas Blvd.
I don’t blame Siri for the turn things took. I was the one that selected the route without even looking to see which side of the strip that was on. So when we got to the Walgreens, April was outraged that they didn’t appear to have her reservation OR her movies! It wasn’t until she walked around to the front of the building and saw the address that she realized I had driven her to the wrong place.
We turned around and began to backtrack back down the strip. We passed a few more Walgreens and finally saw one on the first floor of the Venetian that I thought felt like it would be the right one. Sadly, I had apparently lost count of the blocks and it wasn’t until we began to turn that I realized my mistake. We tried to turn around, but the one way streets, massive speed bumps, and irate casino employees trying to get out of the employee lot led us to believe we had made a huge mistake. An hour later when we finally got turned around and back to the strip, we decided it would be quicker to park and walk it.
This turned out to be a really good idea. We saw Michael Jackson …
And Hello Kitty.
We finally got to Walgreens. But when we looked up we realized it was the wrong one. Again. We pushed on and then, like the sun bursting from the clouds after a torrential downpour, there it was. Walgreens.
We wandered around until we finally spotted the Red Box and April retrieved her movies.
To celebrate, we headed to the Evening Call for a frozen drink to sustain us on our walk back to the car. April ordered a tasty fruity drink. I got an amazing coffee flavored slurpee with a double shot of vanilla vodka.
We headed back down the strip to the Rainforest Café for dinner.
We sat next to a waterfall and enjoyed another amazing cocktail. This one was fruity and delicious.
After dinner we few a few more dollars into the slot machines before heading back to the hotel to call it a night.
On the final day, April left after an early breakfast. Elida, Armen and I finished up our work and then Elida headed out. Since Armen and I had a bit of time before our flights, we went to the Paris for lunch. We scored a table on the patio at the Sugar Factory overlooking the fountains at the Bellagio.
After lunch we rode to the top of the Eiffel Tower. We arrived at the top just in time to enjoy the Bellagio fountains from much higher up.
It was time to take Armen to the airport, but we stopped at the World Famous Welcome to Las Vegas sign. When we arrived, we found two Elvises and a whole bunch of tourists.
We posed for a picture and then hopped back in and headed back to the airport.
After Armen left, I dropped off my rental car and headed back to the airport to spend some quality time in the club lounge. Thankfully the free cocktails and snacks totally relaxed me for the red eye ahead…