To say that my Las Vegas vacation was a planned one would be stretching the truth a bit. November was carded to be my vacation month. I was supposed to have the entire month off to just relax. Plans were afoot to visit my Godson in England, see Heather Headley in The Bodyguard and take a trip over to the continent if a certain host was welcoming.
However, it was seems it was not meant to be. As the end of October drew closer I found my boss unresponsive to my email requests on confirming my vacation dates (I had submitted them in July). Finally, on October 31st, he tells me, in the office corridor that if a particular transaction I am working on is not closed, my vacation will not be possible.
All things were in place for the transaction to close the next day and for me to board a flight on November 2nd. But he obviously knew something that he wasn’t sharing.
I spoke to him around 8pm that October 31st night and he said I would be reimbursed for my purchased ticket as he realised he was at fault for not communicating sooner. He also revealed that two important signatories would not be back in the country until November 9th, so that there was no way the transaction was closing. I closed my eyes at this point and imagined his head exploding as Michael Ironside did in Scanners. When I opened my eyes, he wasn’t even aware that I had closed them as he was still talking. I went home dejected.
Hope was still in my heart for a later flight on Sunday but that proved futile. So my UK vacation was off.
Vegas was mentioned to me by a couple friends planning a birthday lime there but I had committed to England and to be honest, Las Vegas was never even in my top 10 places to visit as I always viewed it as a soul-less city devoid of a real personality other then “Sin”.
All of sudden, Las Vegas became a strong possibility and despite the transaction and two others that were picking up extreme steam beyond November 9th, I got clearance to proceed on one week’s vacation from November 23rd. (Remember: how I was supposed to have the entire month off? Sigh. .apparently nobody else did).
Anyway off to Las Vegas I went starting with an 8am flight in Trinidad on November 23rd and arriving in Vegas at 6:50pm (11:50pm –Trinidad time). I was beat and tired like a whore after a navy vessel had come into harbour. But the group of people I met up with were intent on having as much fun as possible. This meant going out that night around 11pm- Vegas time (3am- Trinidad time). Obviously, no one cared how tired I was as they wanted to maximise the Vegas experience.
I will not recount all that occurred in Las Vegas but just give you a list of things I learnt while there.
THINGS I LEARNT WHILE IN LAS VEGAS
- Las Vegas is Overrated: I know i said this before and my opinion hasn’t changed.Having travelled a fair amount of times but not as extensively as some of my friends, I found Vegas not to be a well put together city. It is a city for Americans who are afraid of foreign travel (i.e no passport) and who want to experience it close to home. Seeing a Parisian café or the Eiffel Tower or any random ostentatious hotel, didn’t move me to any great “Wow” or “OMG”. For me, I had seen stuff like this already in cities that actually had a real vibe and arguably a strong rich history of development. It just felt put together randomly. I may be wrong!
- The cheap things in Vegas are food, whores and alcohol (not necessarily in that order). Water is really expensive on the Strip unless you walk with your own or go into a casino and start gambling, then every drink is free. I’m not saying I did that but I am just passing on info.
- All Taxi Drivers have foreign accents. For the last time, I am not from Senegal nor am I from Nigeria!!
- McDonalds only serves Fried Chicken in Trinidad. One late night while the whole group felt for friend chicken, I ventured down to the closest McDonalds and asked if they sell chicken alone. The guy’s response with a perplexed look on his face: “Do you mean the patties?” Popeye’s and KFC close at 10pm. WTH!!
- Not all the Cirque Du Soleil Shows make sense. “Zumanity” while seemingly risqué gets boring really quickly. “Ka” on the other hand is worth the price of admission!
- You need Abs to work in Las Vegas: At no point was there a performer in any Vegas show that didn’t posses abs of steel. It seems a requirement for work within SinCity. Guess I’ll keep my day job.
- Indoor Skydiving is WICKED FUN!: While I wanted to pee myself when we got into the wind tunnel room, the experience turned out to be extremely amazing and I wish I could get to do it more often.
- Friends don’t like their pictures taken in Las Vegas: For some reason, people are afraid of cameras in Las Vegas. Unless you are a street performer (they welcome it), people generally run at the sight of a tourist with a camera. Especially if they are stumbling through a courtyard, drunk as a fish, singing trying to sing Bad Romance by Lady Gaga.
- Jet Lag is REAL: Going back in time takes longer for your body clock to adjust. Four hours behind Trinidad meant it took FOUR days for my body clock to fix itself and even then I was still getting to bed around 3am (7am- Trinidad time) and waking up at 8am (12noon) feeling refreshed. I missed going to Hoover Dam one morning all because my sleep patterns were off. Confession: Sometimes I would sneak a nap while everyone else was in another room hanging out and drinking.
- Peer Pressure is REAL: I have heard about peer pressure since I was a child but it never really bothered me as the fear of God and my mother always surfaced to remind me that these people didn’t matter. As I grow older and well my mother can’t scold me or give me the disappointing look, I find that peer pressure is a real thing that can force someone to end up in clubs and magic shows (Chris Angel or David Copperfield) that they would never ever think of visiting. So was the case when I found myself in a club one night that played only Southern Rap Music. I wasn’t sure if to be more scared of the women or the men in the club but because of my company I had to show no fear and somehow find the coordination to dance to this type of music. The last time I actually danced I think the “butterfly” was popular. So you see my predicament. And what the hell is the “Dougie”?
Las Vegas was an enjoyable trip and I found myself laughing a lot and sometimes scandalously. On Sunday, over the Bellagio Buffet, the entire table burst into laughter so many times that we wondered if we might be escorted out of the area. Of course, based on the laughter and range of accents, I met some other Trinis that were also in Vegas. Of course no plans were made to hang out with any of them as conversation was always kept short.
I do however, now need a vacation where I can actually just sleep. I still have the rest of my 14 vacation days to take as I cannot carry over that large amount into 2013. The problem however, is when do I take it and will I get approval.