In my experience, when I’ve told people that Annette and I are going to Las Vegas, there are two basic reactions. On the one hand, there’s “Oooh, where are you staying? You should go and see such and such,” and so forth. On the other hand, there’s “Oooh, why in the heck would you do that? Las Vegas is like a level of hell,” and so forth. There isn’t that much in-between.
Obviously, we’re in the first camp, though not because we are that interested in gambling. We went about eight years ago, and I think between the two of us, we lost $150. What Las Vegas was good for then (and hopefully will be good for this time around) is just gawking at all of the excess, all the extremes that are America. Las Vegas is the kind of town where it is perfectly acceptable to be walking down the strip at 3 am in a tuxedo or in your pajamas, where you can spend pretty much as much or as little as you want, where you can buy a Prada purse, look at a pretty convincing fake Eiffel tower, and get handed flyers for porn all in the same block.
But as a prelude to Vegas, we first stopped in Chicago and then Iowa. Chicago was an impromptu event. We ended up with a Priceline deal at the Hyatt Regency on Wacker, which was quite nice. I think we ended up paying more money for parking and a bar tab with our friends Troy and Lisa than we did on the actual room. But before we went out with Troy and Lisa, who I’ve known for like 25 or 30 years and who have given us a lot of good Vegas travel advice, Annette and Will and I went to the Navy Pier. It was pretty good people-watching, walking around, festive and park-like atmosphere. We ended up going through a maze (Will’s idea) that was over-priced but kinda fun, and a stained glass museum that was surprisingly good. Okay touristy fun in beautiful summer weather.
Now we’re in Iowa with the Krause grandparents. While Annette and I are in Vegas, Will is going to be staying for the biannual “kid camp,”where the grandparents get lots of quality time with the kiddies. He’ll have fun, though sometimes Will’s only child-ness kicks in on visits like this.
Anyway, I was originally planning for a “computer blackout” period during this trip, but since I am teaching an online class right now, those plans have changed. Just as well; it’ll give me a chance to post some pictures and such from the road.