Vegas, Baby

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So, I sometimes blog about my travels, which are generally the most exciting thing I’m doing when not writing. Other than the usual family drama, of course, which could fill many volumes if I didn’t prefer writing science fiction and fantasy.

Late last year my Dad suggested we all meet up in Vegas in February and have a family vacation. Yeah, I know, another book…but I digress. So we all booked flights to Vegas–my wife and I, my two brothers, and my sister. I’d never been and was super excited to finally be going.

Two weeks before the trip I bent down to put on a sock, and couldn’t straighten up. My back had gone out on me worse than ever before. My wife even had to trick me into going to the ER. “You want ice cream? I’ll get you ice cream, come on!” No, not like that, but something similar. I agreed to go to urgent care versus laying in bed until I could walk again, but she had called urgent care and they told her to take me to the ER. I didn’t find out until she drove past the turn for urgent care and told me I could either go to the ER or jump out and walk home. Well, walking wasn’t an option for me right then, so…ER it was.

Long story short, they gave me meds and told me to follow up if things didn’t get better. Things did get better, but very slowly, so two weeks later I hobbled around with a cane and could only stand for a few minutes at a time, let alone walk long distances. Tickets were non-refundable and besides, I had a family event to attend, so off we went. The airlines have a wonderful service I’m sure I had seen before but never noticed, called wheelchair service. They whisk you around the airport so you don’t have to walk, and you even get to board the plane ahead of those “group 1” snobs. (I hope to be one someday, so don’t take offense.) Let me tell you, connecting flights at some of our airports requires more travel than “Planes, Trains, and Automobiles.” Call it “Escalators, elevators, buses, and trains.” I could never have made the connections walking, but they took great care of me.

Let me tell you, walking was excruciating but I did as much as I could stand (no pun intended) and rested when I had to. Which was a lot. You cross the Vegas strip by pedestrian bridges that go up and over and down, and some of these had broken escalators and elevators, so I had to walk it. Not fun, but overall it was a wonderful vacation. We had some awesome family time, fantastic food, and incredible shopping. Oh yeah, it also snowed for the first time since 2008 and I had to buy a coat after not bringing a warmer coat because, well..its Vegas. My wife brought her winter coat after I told her she was being silly, and why travel so heavy when there’s no need? So, imagine the satisfied look on her face when I had peruse the clearance racks at Macy’s. But I digress again…

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy some of the pictures I took while visiting. It was great fun and I hope we can do another family vacation in the near future.

There are so many amazing stores to shop in, many high end I can’t afford but still fun to look. I don’t recall the name of this store, but perhaps it was Kalifano, or at least they sold Kalifano merchandise. Either way, the inventory is amazing. You can take a look at the Kalifano Website to see what I mean.

Who wouldn’t want one of these in their home?

So, when I was a lot younger I spent most weekends at my grandparents’ apartment, and we sometimes watched the Donny and Marie Osmond show. We didn’t have time to see them perform live, but I enjoyed taking this picture.

At the Venetian, you can enjoy a gondola ride complete with Italian songs. My wife and I experienced the indoor version since it was so cold outside, but you can do both of the weather permits. Beautiful shopping area which you can see in the background.

Delicious shrimp from Margarititaville where we stopped for a refreshing break.

Last but not least, a bookcase shot from the reknown Bauman Rare Books store!

Hope you enjoyed these memories from my Vegas trip! Coming up next, San Francisco!