Pre-trip panic

I’m in that pre-trip panic where I think that I need to research or read a bunch about the place I’m going, because once I get there I will want to do nothing but watch TV in the hotel and eat at McDonald’s because I have no better plans. I have probably a whole shelf of books on Las Vegas, and I could probably name off every casino from Tropicana to Stratosphere without even thinking, but I still feel a great need to find other stuff to do.

To be fair, I think we have a lot of stuff already planned. We have tickets (front row!) to see Dave Atell and Louis Black on Saturday. I think we also have Penn and Teller tickets at the Rio for Sunday. Add in all of the meals and some gambling and shopping, and that’t at least two or three days of stuff. But I always want to eat somewhere new, check out something off the beaten path, or do something that isn’t part of the same old routine. So maybe I need to hit citysearch or something.

There’s a small part of me that also wants to do something outrageous and expensive on my birthday this year. It’s the 33rd, not a nice round number of any significance, but I think I should jump out of a plane at 15,000 feet or take an open-wheel racing course at the Vegas Speedway or do something else involving high adrenaline, higher cost, and little practical value. I’ve made it somewhat of a tradition to go to The Gun Store and fire off a few rounds when I visit Vegas, since there’s pretty much no other way a New York City resident can legally shoot a gun, other than joining the police force and aprehending a minority during a routine traffic stop. The gun thing has become rather passe, despite the fact that you can rent full-automatic rifles at The Gun Store, and they have at least three new weapons I’d like to try (AK-47, a .223 M-16 carbine, and the M-249 .223 SAW.) But sometimes I wish I could do MORE – kill a dolphin, eat every single item on the Denny’s menu, marry a complete stranger, total a rental car and make my old insurance company pay for it. Something.

I have this vague idea that I am going to write an offbeat, quirky, and hilarious travel guide to Vegas, laced with personal anecdotes and useless advice and trivia. Maybe I will try to write some more damn stuff down this time and see what I can come up with.

OK, food’s here. Two more days of work and I can (temporarily) leave this awful land of high winds and low temps.

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