Whew, back from vacation

*This entry as well as the next will have no crafting content.  Next week’s entry will have some mention of Yarn Shops, however I did not get as much crafting done as I thought I would.*

I always forget how much I get done when I work nights at the Private Catholic University.  There my main occupation is making sure that the students have what they need to be successful, and keeping an eye on e-mails coming in.  This is where I get some of my blogging, and creative thinking, done.  Because classes are out, I was on vacation to Las Vegas and Los Angeles, and I did not feel well this past week, I have not had much time to craft or blog.  Sorry about the gap, now on to the vacation tales!

My transgender sibling and I started our trip with a  2 day stay in Las Vegas.  I play MyVegas on Facebook and so had earned enough points for a free 2 day stay.  It did cost a total of $80 for the amenities at the hotel, however this was significantly less than a normal stay and so well worth it.  The first night my sibling and I wanted to try the Bellagio buffet since it was supposed to be one of the best out there.  If this is the case then the world sorely disappoints me.  The buffet at the Bellagio was a poor attempt at elegance.  At a cost of around $100, including the tip, for two people to dine the food was mediocre at best.  The service was amazing, however I did not find anything amazing, or unique at this buffet and I looked hard.  This was a good set up for most of the food during our visit, with a few shining exceptions.  I also did some gambling at the Bellagio, they are part of the MGM Suite of casinos and so I wound up with the M Life Card.  I did not do too well gambling at the Bellagio but some of the other casino’s were a bit more successful.  It was certainly a good thing that I was not there to primarily gamble.

The second day, our first full day in Vegas, was mostly spent exploring one half of the strip.  It is almost impossible to see everything in a single day.  My sibling decided that they wanted to see a show that night and so we purchased discounted tickets to see the jousting at the Excalibur that evening.  Until then we meandered our way toward that casino, taking in the sights and sounds along the way.  There was a store titled Stupidology, with fun and funny kitsch of all types. For lunch we decided on the Nine Irishmen, which was exquisite.  With an amazing atmosphere as well as fascinating décor you would really believe that you were in a (non-smoking) pub in Ireland complete with Irish music playing in the background.  Okay, so some of the music was Americanized, I’m not sure there are non-smoking pubs in Ireland, and I have never had an opportunity to go to Ireland, but you get the idea.  The food was amazing as well as very reasonably priced.

Everyone that we interacted with, from staff, tourists, or servers, everyone was without exception almost aggressively friendly.  I have had a few encounters in larger cities where my naturally friendly demeanor was mistaken for flirting or insulting.  I was very pleased that this attitude is not one that I encountered during my entire vacation.  We then wandered around taking more photographs until it was time for our show.  The little arcade in the same area where the show was held was adorable and a bit of fun.  During the actual show we sat next to a lovely couple originally from Germany, then gentleman did not believe that Buffalo existed.  He has been sent to conferences there twice and both times they have been cancelled.  The show itself was very fun, goofy and kitschy with some amazing eye-candy for both men and women.  Our mother was Hungarian so it seemed like fate that we obtained front row tickets in the Hungarian section.  The food was not horrible, however it was certainly not intended to be the focal point either.  Our second day ended with me walking back to our hotel while my sibling spent a little more time playing around.

Our third day, second full day, we had a flight out of Vegas into Los Angeles at 11pm.  Since this was our last day in Vegas my sibling decided that it would be a good idea for us to mail some of our belongings home so that we would not have to pay any luggage fees.  This was a great idea, though the luggage fees would have been less in the long run than the mailing costs.  We had a lovely breakfast in the Bellagio, and I later returned for a treat to take with me.  For the last  day my sibling wanted to see a Magic Show so we obtained tickets for Mac King who performed a magic and comedy routine.  While we were waiting we had tacos, not really worth it, as well as a virtual reality experience.  We were able to have 2 rounds with virtual reality for both of us for a total of $25.  The experience was amazing.  Since my sibling and I both tend toward motion sickness we were fortunate that we had taken medication, however the experience was well worth the discomfort.  I chose a fantasy scenario, it was like stepping into guild wars or another MMORPG.  It did not matter what direction I looked there was something new everywhere.  While in the boat when I looked down I saw the ocean floor through the clear sea, to the right a Titan emerged from the sea while a portal opened up to my left.  The entire experience was immersive and disorienting in the best of ways.  I cannot wait until this technology is available for public consumption.  The second scenario, that my sibling chose, was space exploration.  Right on the heels of our first exquisite experience we found out just how lame virtual reality can be.  Instead of amazing graphics in an immersive environment we were treated to, essentially, a movie with some motion to give us the illusion of immersion.  I do not regret either scenario, and I am thinking of seeing what kind of funding we can get so that the public library I work at can start teaching some of our kids about virtual reality and immersive experiences.

Our good luck held throughout the MacKing special, where my sibling and I partook of the first (and last) alcohol of our trip.  I had a strawberry daiquiri (because I like them, don’t judge me) and my sibling had a rum and coke.  Apparently the coke was off-brand, however, the experience was well worth everything.  The usher decided to allow my sibling and I to sit at a table rather than the regular chairs that were set up in front of the stage, this was due to how small of a crowd there was.  During the show there were about 5 audience participation experiences, two of which were hilarious.  During a magic trick the participant was asked to sign their name on the card, however the participant signed on the back of the card rather than the face.  This baffled the magician and gave everyone a good laugh.  The second amusing event occurred when the female participant was asked to put 3 one dollar bills in her pocket and had to put them under her bra strap since she did not have any pockets.  The magician had fun retrieving them from there.

Our experiences in Vegas ended in a lot of fun, tons of laughter, and a really long plane ride to Los Angeles.  Since this entry is so very long already I will put off talking about Los Angeles until another time.