Tag Archives: Las Vegas

Las Vegas / San Diego 2024

I would not have believed it could rain in Las Vegas for five days straight but that’s what happened this trip.

Grand plans to visit Vegas for three days, Palm Springs for three days, and, San Diego were disrupted by an atmospheric river. Palm Springs ended up getting crossed off the list entirely because we were stuck indoors due to the rain and Palm Springs doesn’t have much for indoor activities so we stayed in Las Vegas because there is so much to do.

I have to say, the nine days of rain were a blessing more than a curse. We found all sorts of indoor activities to do we wouldn’t have otherwise done. The pinball museum, all the Chinese new year decorations, night photography ij Vegas, restaurants, Hoover Dam tour, indoor swimming in San Diego, were an absolute blast.

We had the favorites too – Bronx Pizza, Valley of Fire, hiking (on the one nice day), the strip, and, of course, the wonderful 24hr restaurant, Blueberry Hill.

Enjoy the photos!

All four lower 48 time zones in a week / early Spring 2023

Quite a bit of travel lately. Ended up visiting all four of the lower 48 time zones within a week. Certainly didn’t plan it that way but it’s how it worked out. 

In the last month or so I’ve been back to where I grew up, back home, southern Indiana, and lastly Las Vegas to visit friends and hike. 

All the trips were great for very different reasons: 

– It was great to see family where I grew up, it was far too long since I last visited. 

– I visited southern Indiana for work. The furniture industry used to be huge and now it’s moderately big. The area used to be something. I feel fortunate my last jobs send / sent me to areas that used to be important for America. More on that later.

– It was wonderful to be home in Minnesota for a little bit. 

– Lastly, it was super cathartic visiting Vegas to hike, see friends, and, get out of the F$&&?! winter. 

The weeks / month-ish flew by. It seems we just arrived back home from Arizona and then I was traipsing and gallivanting around the country. 

I had a chance to visit Mount Rushmore. I was surprised to learn the monument was open so late. It was fun to see the lighting start, catch the end of the day, and, be one of the very very very few people at the monument. Despite growing up there, I never really spent time visiting the major attractions. It’s fun now that I’m a “visitor”. 

Visiting formerly great places in the US is a surreal experience. I’ve had a chance to visit quite a few formerly-great / formerly-important places for work and even lived in some. It’s amazing because the locals know their peak has passed and all that’s left is grinding through. The folks who live in the area never move in from the outside, they are people who grew up in the areas. The older folks can / will talk at length about the “before times” prior to outsourcing, prior to automation, and back when there was a lot more mastercraftmanship since everything was laborious and mechanical / electrical systems sucked and were unreliable. It’s a treat. Oddly, now these areas a past peak my work product is helping the places stay since the knowledge dump will never reverse.

Visiting Vegas is always fun. I don’t drink, gamble, do drugs, see shows, or really anything typically relegated to Vegas travelers. Hiking in Vegas is freaking awesome. Many stunning trails are nearby and few go to Vegas to hike so it’s easy to have the trail to oneself. Having friends who live in Vegas is a phenomenal bonus because of the great company and “locals secrets” I get to learn – like getting 100% authentic Szechuan Chinese food. Vegas is two hours behind and I’m a morning person so I woke up really really really early local time. Turns out, it’s a great time to walk the strip. It was fun to see the bellagio fountains being tested and seeing to bellagio botanical gardens being built. Stuff not seen in normal daytime.

All of this travel was not flawless. In fact, it was kind of a nightmare. I have flown a lot all over the place over the years and I have had brand new experiences – getting trapped in the airport unable to fly out for 24hrs, delta losing where I was going, and, having a flight attendant get accused of being intoxicated. Each one totally sucked for different reasons:

– Getting delayed due to weather has occurred numerous times but I’ve never been trappped. I ended up getting one of the last nearby hotels in Louisville once I figured out I wasn’t leaving. All around total shitshow. 

– At some point during the shitshow delta totally misplaced me and decided I was going to Atlanta. I don’t live in Atlanta. I didn’t want to go to Atlanta. I had to revert to using paper tickets and talking to delta people in person because all the other electronic systems failed me.

– Lastly, flying out of Vegas on delta a passenger accused a flight attendant of being intoxicated or something so the attendant had to get tested. This is apparently a really big deal – the FAA doesn’t take too kindly to intoxicated attendants and even accusations can cause employment issues for the accused. The attendant was not intoxicated so all we were was delayed while this was all sorted. The flight attendants / captain mentioned how big of a deal it was and “individuals should be careful before making accusations” over the PA. What a mess. 

All in all. I’m ready to be home for awhile and I’m certainly ready to be done with Delta.

Las Vegas and San Diego 2020

Well, I’m a bit late writing this. Like six months late. Better late than never, right?

This last winter we decided to leave the frozen tundra and spend some time with friends in Las Vegas and family in San Diego. Back in 2019 we did the same, except we went to Spain, and we missed the worst of winter. It was fabulous and we were trying to repeat our luck this year.

We weren’t so lucky missing the worst of winter BUT we still had a great time. This is easily a trip I could see us making every year. We were able to see a few amazing national parks during the flight and it really was a treat.

First we went to Vegas and the weather was perfect – no higher than the 80s and absolutely wonderful in the morning and evenings. We had a chance to hit up some new restaurants and eat some amazing donuts. Las Vegas has a LOT to offer on the food front. We went hiking in some of the local parks and it was awesome – no one was around in the early mornings and we truly had the parks to ourselves. I get the feeling people come to Vegas for activities other than eating and hiking so we really enjoyed watching the alpenglow at sunrise and sunset completely alone.

Most amazing part of wandering around was when we stumbled across Mt. Charleston, the local ski resort. First, we had no idea it snowed enough to create a ski resort, and second but most important, people were having picnics in the snow. Now, when I saw they were having picnics in the snow I’m not saying all the people were wearing snow gear and sitting near snow. No, these individuals literally were in street clothes and shoes and were sitting in the snow or hanging out in snow piles enjoying picnics. It’s not like one or two people were doing it either, there were hundreds. There must be some novelty to snow.

After a brief few days in Vegas we left to visit family in San Diego. The second half of the trip was equally amazing. Just like before we enjoyed great company and wonderful food. We wandered around San Diego at sunset and sunrise, much like Vegas, and really enjoyed seeing the world come awake and go to bed. Sunsets at Ocean Beach are flat out amazing and seeing the sunrise over downtown San Diego was wonderful too.

We walked quite a bit more and went to different parts of San Diego, like Pacific Beach, just to explore. Of course, we still went to Bronx Pizza, quite a few times, simply because it’s the best NYC style pizza outside of NYC.

Overall, we had a wonderful time and were very fortunate to have had great weather, great travels, and most importantly, great company.

Enjoy the photos!

Chris W.