Tag Archives: Las Vegas

The land of "plenty"

Or, more fittingly, the land of too much of everything. Here in the middle of the desert are dozens of mega-hotels with 2000+ rooms each, enormous buffets on every corner, neon lights and spot lights and glowing slot machines… The pure amount of consumption that happens in Las Vegas is absolutely insane. On our trip to the Grand Canyon we met a couple from New Zealand who said they just can’t believe “America.” They commented that they were not able to find any place that wasn’t stuffed with people and that Americans seem to consume so much. The said there is nothing in New Zealand like Vegas and there, for entertainment, most people do outdoor activities like kayaking and hiking. Mex and I tried to explain that Vegas was not the city to judge America by. However, we started talking about it over dinner yesterday and decided maybe the Zealanders weren’t so far off. 

Bellagio flower display

In Mexico, where water is scarce (which is in almost the entire country) the use is strictly limited on a daily basis. You have one hour to pump as much as possible into your water holding tank. In the US, we see desert and decide to build one of the most energy-sucking, water-consuming cities in the country there. Why? Maybe gambling and girls were the only thing that could get people to visit this dry, wickedly hot area. Now there are dance clubs, “gentlemen’s and ladies clubs”, and free drinks while you gamble. I must admit that Mex and I did take advantage of the last one but penny machine hopping and pretending to gamble until the drink lady came our way. Of course, by the third margarita I really did put my $5 in the machine but luckily 500 pennies last a long time…

It will be a long time before we come to Vegas again (don’t tell my husband I said that!). He does love it with all the lights and things to do and I like to come here because it makes him happy. We usually go to shows like Cirque de Soleil or comedy shows but we decided to spend our “fun” money on the Grand Canyon excursion instead this time. It was a good choice since we both had wanted to see it for years. The business trip was worth it and I wish I was attending the classes the rest of this week but unfortunately I didn’t have time in my schedule. We just are not dance or clubbing or drinking people so Vegas does have a limited appeal. It is amazing to see the large size of the casinos and the fact that construction keeps going on. And the shopping would be great if I knew (or cared) anything about fashion. Everything from Jimmy Choo shoes, Armani suits, and $4000 prada purses! You can walk around for hours just looking at everything there is to see and being amazed, overwhelmed and slightly disgusted. Oh well… We just ran in to our friend Karla at the airport here in Vegas. Small world!

A few follow up notes: There were a ton of people selling time shares to condos in Vegas. We were attacked at the entrance to every hotel and casino with the question “Are you two married?” finally, after the 4th day I said to one of them, “Yes, but not to each other.” He didn’t really have a response to that and Mex and I walked away without being bothered. Totally annoying!
One last thing… Our hotel Excalibur is home to the “Thunder from Down Under” show featuring Australia’s hottest male exports. I couldn’t quite convince my husband to go though =)
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Filed under Mexico, Minnesota vs. Mexico, Minnesotan/American culture, Travel outside MN and Mexico

Live from Las Vegas

Yes, we are in Vegas. I surprised Mex with the trip and luckily I’ll get to write it off as a business expense! I was at an investment real estate class two weeks ago and the instructor kept referencing this additional class and when I looked it up I saw it is only offered three times this year… Vegas, Arkansas, and Pennsylvania. Needless to say I jumped on the chance to take it and surprise Mex since that was something he was really excited to do (go to Vegas) at the end of Mexico trip that got cut out. I was intending to upload some pictures but the internet kiosk I’m using does not accept USB ports. We got a steal on a tickets/hotel package because we are staying at Excalibur which is a cheesy, medieval theme and very kid friendly. It is also a very good business opportunity for me as well or I wouldn’t have done it. After this class I will be able to become a CRS (Certified Residential Specialist). Of the 1.4 million members of the National Association of Realtors only about 37,000 have a CRS designation. It requires 75 career transactions or $10 million in sales volume (I have both) and 120 hours of specialized real estate classes. And of course, as with any sort of “club”, a hefty annual fee.

Anyway, we flew in Saturday evening and got to our hotel about 7. We then took a taxi over to the Rio and waited in line for an hour to go to the seafood buffet. Both of us ate about 4 pounds of crab legs, not to mention shrimp and mini lobster tails. It was pricey but awesome! This picture is of Mex with only HALF the legs we ate. Delicious on one level, disgusting on another! Surprisingly, neither of us got sick. Today (Sunday) we took a bus tour to the Grand Canyon since my deal with Mex was we would not gamble more than $30 each the whole four days. It shouldn’t be too hard since we are going to be in class all day Monday and Tuesday and attending networking events in the evening. We fly back Wednesday.The Grand Canyon was absolutely beautiful! We were excited to go since we had been to the Copper Canyon in Mexico which is longer and deeper. They are completely different experiences though. Copper Canyon is full of pines all the way to the bottom while Grand Canyon is all red striped rock. The time on the bus was a little long but we got the tickets at half price by buying them online instead of on the phone. I can’t remember the website.

This picture just makes me think of the Shrek movie when Donkey says “I’m a donkey on the edge.” There aren’t many bigger edges than the Grand Canyon!

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Filed under Travel outside MN and Mexico