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Burnett's Urban Etiquette

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Vegas Wrap-up

So I have to confess that I am back home in Florida. I got home a couple of hours ago. And please accept my sincere apologies that I didn't post more while I was in Las Vegas, but I was swamped with workshops and seminars and company mixers, etc.

Anyway, just a few random observations to close the book on this one:

Thanks for all the recommendations for places to eat. My convention was at Bally's. And most of its attendees stayed at Bally's. So, honestly, most of my meals were either on the grounds of Bally's or at the adjacent Paris hotel/casino. A couple of Miami Herald colleagues, a couple of Herald bosses and I had dinner at a really fun, dive sort of French restaurant, Josette's Bistro, featuring the dinner cabaret show of Kiki Kalor. Certain people had better not piss me off. I have photos and video of them dancing with well as a few pics of us all shaking tambourines and wearing stupid hats.

I can see how easily-influenced people could get overwhelmed in Vegas. It has an air about that mimics the old New York City stereotype of a city where people come to chase their dreams or flee their nightmares. Over just a few days I met a handful of younger people who had moved to Vegas from small and/or quiet towns in order to get discovered as singers or dancers or actors, etc. They were all bartenders. Several of them had been slinging suds for two or more years. I wish them luck, but...

The lights on the strip are sick, as the kids say. At night I always felt like I was on the verge of a seizure or sensory overload or something.

I was blown away by how many older folks I saw sitting at the slots when I'd cross the casino floor on the way back to my hotel room after a day's work. And after I'd changed clothes and come back downstairs for an entertaining evening they were still there - same people. And when I headed back to my room in the wee hours of the morning to call it a night, they were still there - same people. Is that really a fun way to enjoy the twilight years?

There is an airline that rhymes with Irit Airlines that is the real life incarnation of Soul Plane. I don't mean that as a racial commentary. I mean it in the sense that this airline whose name rhymes with Irit Airlines is triflin'. Seriously, I don't think anyone who has ever flown Rhymes-with-Irit will fault me for saying that airline can go and violate itself with a rusty pipe and a tree branch. I got more grief this morning trying to get checked in and get to my plane than anyone who isn't on the TSA's no-fly list ever should. And Rhymes-with-Irit charges you to check luggage and only allows you to use credit/debit cards to buy drinks or snacks on their flights. Tsk, tsk.

OK, I could ramble on for hours, but I'm tired. Jet lag is no joke after five-plus hours on Rhymes-with-Irit and a three-hour time difference.

I'll write more tomorrow. In the mean time, enjoy a few pics from the trip:

Me and my "adopted" kid sister, Sarah Hoye, a great reporter for the Tampa Tribune newspaper, outside of the Eiffel Tower and the Paris hotel/casino.

Elvis - the real one, seriously; he promised he was the real deal, me, and a Marilyn who came to Vegas a few years ago to chase her dreams but then gave up. I swear I'm not joking. Funny as this was, it was also kind of sad. Good dreams suck when they don't come to fruition.

The light/water show in the fountains outside the Bellagio.



  • The first time I went to Vegas I got my picture taken with "James Brown" outside of The Riviera. When Brown died I tired desperately to find that old picture, but no luck.

    Vegas is just a different world. I don't know how people actually live normal lives there.

    By Blogger Jay, at 11:37 PM  

  • thank you for Elvis!! In my mind, you just can't go to Vegas and not see Elvis!!

    By Blogger Claudia, at 1:48 AM  

  • I so want to go there one day..the images of Las Vegas just blow my mind!

    By Blogger Cazzie!!!, at 2:20 AM  

  • I've never had the "pleasure" of going to Vegas but then, if I could afford a big trip, it really isn't a place that intrigues me all that much. Now, if you said "Would you like to go to Sweden?" I'd be on my way to get the passport paperwork done in record time, but that interest stems more from my ancestry, wanted to visit where my roots are, ya know.
    The people you commented about playing the slots there - day in, day out - reminded me of an older couple, friends of mine, who get invited to go to Vegas usually at least once a year. (He's a pretty big gambler type and she LOVES the slots.) That, plus the fact they both seem to have a lucky charm about them when they do head west and almost always come back with pockets a lot fuller than they were before they went. (If that were me, I'd be crawling home, bedraggled and very, very broke no doubt.) If your trip had been during March, I'd be thinking you might have seen the couple I mentioned - or at least her, parked at the slots. LOL
    Glad you had a good time even though it was a "working vacation."

    By Blogger Jeni, at 4:45 AM  

  • nice pix! neon is great, but when the neon is in Vegas, all is right with the world.

    By Blogger minijonb, at 12:01 PM  

  • The Bellagio beautiful.

    You look relaxed for being in such a wild place - get some rest!

    By Blogger Tiggerlane, at 5:48 PM  

  • I am so jealous. I want my photo taken with Elvis! And see the Belaggio fountain. And watch old people court heart attacks in smoky casino air while playing slots. And wear stupid hats and dance with Kiki...

    The last time I was in Vegas was during my misspent twenties when I was still dumb enough to go there after dropping acid and then gawping at all the pretty lights. Damn I was dumb.

    By Blogger Queen of Dysfunction, at 10:02 PM  

  • Wow, it seems you had a wonderful time in Vegas. Always I'm very much interested to visit Vegas, but after read your post I got curious too. Hope I'll visit in the near future...
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    By Anonymous Peter, at 11:37 AM  

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