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Las Vegas Travel Blog

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After finding my hotel room I noticed that Chris Rehfuss was sleeping in my bed.  I have no problems with this, even if Chris was a college level linebacker and took up his half of the bed nicely, he's still one of the nicer guys you would ever have to call a friend.  So as I crawled into bed, we made quick small talk as I drifted off to slumber. 

Shortly after I started my deep sleep, I was awakened by Ian Mcgee.
"Wake up dude, we have to try to catch a flight" Ian pleaded.
"Nah" was my comatose response.

Ian left me alone in my sleep for about 10 minutes, then hit me again.  I remember that I stood up, and started to change clothes, but then I quickly fell back to the bed.

"I'll catch the flight tomorrow" I told Ian.
Since we had Buddy Passes, we could catch any flight out of Las Vegas to any domestic destination that Delta serviced, so I figured I'd catch a flight somewhere, and then possibly home.
"Sure man, see you in Cincinnati."

That must have been my awakening call as I quickly came to life and had all, or at least most, of my posessions and was on my way out of the hotel.  Outside the hotel we caught a cab that took us to McCarren Airport and found our way to the terminal.  Colin had given us an early warning that the flights were looking booked so it was a good idea that we got there for the first flight.  As soon as we arrived at the terminal we let the gate attendants know that we were 'stand by' and we would be right there, standing by.  She politely let us know that the flight was looking pretty full, and that we would be lucky to get coach seats, much less first class, on our way back to Cincinnati.  We accepeted this fate. 

We made up a hang out spot around the corner from the gate attendant and let her know we would be napping over there until final boarding was called.  She told us that she'd come over personally and let us know when we were supposed to board.  We made our way to some of the more un-comfortable seats that could have been constructed of blue pleather and unforgiving metal and thrown next to slot machines.  But, for the next 45 minutes, it was as good as the suites at the Waldorf.

Across the loudspeaker, they kept saying names.  "Mr. Johnson, you are now allowed to board."  "Mr. Rosenbaum, you are now allowed to board."  We kept waiting to hear our names.  With each announcement we were ready to pick up our backpacks and board the plane.  The names kept coming, but ours were never spoken.

"Shit.  We're not on this flight." Says Ian McGee. "We're stuck here.  Where the hell do we go from here?" 
Now, given my journey spirit, I suggested Brussells, Germany.  Figuring we would pick up the extra cost, and then hang out in Germany until we needed a flight back.  It made sense to me at least.

However, since it would have cost a small fortune, we started looking at alternate routes.  There were alot of flights going to Atlanta that day, since Atlanta is Delta's home hub, it made sense that there would be at least 3 seats to hot-lanta.  Unfortunatley, all flights to ATL had been cancelled because apparently they have no idea what snow is in Atlanta, and were busy trying to figure out how to de-ice their fleet. 

So now Delta had a major problem with traffic since their main hub has basically been shut down with the equivalent of the same amount of frost that has accumulated on the long since expired okra in my freezer.  Really, you'd think there would be more recipies for okra, but there really aren't.  And there we sat at the airport, luggage in hand. 

We started scanning the map.  No flights were leaving from Dallas to Cincinnati.  There was one out of Salt Lake City, but it didn't leave until 8AM the next day.  Not wanting to spend yet another night sleeping on those painful floors at SLC, that wasn't an option.  There was one flight up to NYC, and that too meant an overnight stay at JFK. 

I made a few phone calls and got some frequent flier points transferred to my name.  Now I had enough to fly home out of SLC the next morning, the flight was leaving at 8AM, so I had some more time in Vegas to kill.  Ian McGee and Ian Madden decided to take the flight to NYC and spend the night there, I made some calls back to the hotels and secured a free room for the night on a hide-a-way bed at the Golden Nugget.  I bid adieu to my friends and wished them well on their flight to NYC.  As it turns out, they picked up business class the whole way, so they were comfortable.  I, on the other hand, had to make my way back to the downtown casinos.  My vegas trip took an unexpected turn towards longevity.

I caught a shuttle from the airport to Downtown for $8 and met some nice ladies who were on their annual vegas trip.  It was about 45 minutes back to downtown, but it was enjoyable.  Once I arrived, I went to my room and threw my stuff down and went back to the friends.  I'm operating on 2 hours of sleep and am not really feeling up for the party, but manage to hang on.  We made plans to go to the Strip to watch our beloved University of Kentucky Wildcats take on our SEC rivals and defending national champions the Florida Gators.  We stopped by the Four Queens sports book, made a $50 bet on our Cats to win with a 7 point spread, and then made a side bet with Ian Smith that the total score would be more than 142 points.  That second bet was sort of a lofty goal, but it's always fun to bet your friends.

There were about 10 of us still remaining in Vegas at this point and about 6 of us were going to catch a limo to the strip to watch the game.  The game was on ESPN so we figured that the ESPN Zone at New York New York casino would be a great place to catch the game and get some beers.   We were dropped off at the casino and made our way inside.  After a 20 minute wait for a table, we finally found a table that was off in the corner.  All the screens in the whole place were on either a non-UK game, SportsCenter, or classic ESPN.  We asked the server and the manager a few different times to put the TV on ESPN so we could watch the game, and were repeatedly denied.  Who would think that you'd want to watch ESPN, UK vs FLA, at the ESPN Zone.  I know, crazy!  We left in disgust.

We made our way over to the MGM Grand Sports Book and they gladly changed one of thier huge screens to the UK game.  The game was a good one, we went into overtime, but the Cats managed to lose this one.  However, the total score was 144, so I did win $ off of Ian.  That's always sweet.  After a quick dinner and a ride back to the hotel, I had about 4 hours that I could get some sleep before I had to get up for the flight.

The next morning came quickly.  I made my way to the lobby of the Golden Nugget and was looking for a cab when I found some friends of mine who were also going to the airport.  We split the cab ride and I got to the airport, ready to board a flight that I was guaranteed a seat on.  It was a nice flight to Salt Lake City, but I slept the whole way. 

I had two hours to kill in Salt Lake before my connector flight to Cincinnati, so I started walking around.  Apparently, it was the same week as the Sundance Film Festival in the neighboring town of Park City, and the airport was full of celebrities.  As I was walking around I spotted The Kevin Bacon.  The man of 1000 movies.  The Living Legend. 

I don't like to bother people for autographs or pictures, so I just gave him a wave to acknowledge him and kept on walking.  After 5 minutes, I realized that Kevin Bacon is the one celeb that you have to bother for a photograph.  It is every persons goal to get higher in the "6 degrees of Kevin Bacon" game.  So I turned around and started to look for my target.  I walked back to where I saw him, but no Bacon.  When I saw him, he was walking out of a Delta Crown Room, so I figured he was on a Delta flight.  I criscrossed every Delta terminal, but to no avail.  I called my buddy Junior and asked him "If you were Kevin Bacon, where would you be?"  His response was classic.  "I dunno, on the set of Tremors 16?" 

I checked every gate, every gift shop, every coffee stand.  No Kevin Bacon.  I gave up my quest, and made my way towards the gate. 

The flight was uneventful, and I finally made it back to my hometown.  It was good to be home and get some sleep.  I'm tired of writing about Vegas now.

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photo by: maka77