I was excited when this year’s NARCA conference was going to be held in Sin City. They owed me after Baltimore last year (but that ended up nice). I haven’t been to Vegas since New Years 2004 when we saw Metallica. The place changes year by year so after nearly a decade away I knew there would be changes. I flew in a day before my family for the conference. Along with my partners, Eric and Angela, we had a great show and met lots of great prospects. But that’s all just work stuff. Bor-ing. Well, it wasn’t actually. We are changing an industry and it was fun to continue the journey.
The forecast had the temps rising each day until 101 on Monday. Phew. I am not heat trained yet. I got a run in the first day I got into town. We needed a keyboard for our booth so I put on my shoes and ran to Best Buy a few miles out. Cruised through UNLV’s campus on the way. The keyboard was small enough that I put it my Nathan pack and continued north to the Stratosphere. Then all the way back down the strip to the hotel. It was 8 miles of sidewalk and stop lights. Not fun. Really killed my motivation to run while in town. Rest days anyone? Oh, and there is a pool. 8 of them actually. Can I count swimming?
The conference was at Caesars Palace so we stayed there. Nice to be able to stay air conditioned while coming and going to the conference. Had a conference once in July in Orlando. I died. Anyway, we also had a Starbucks in the hotel right at the bottom of the elevator. Kim couldn’t have it any closer.
We got our booth all setup and did our evening reception to open the show. After that firehouse of booth visitors, it was time for a drink. Check out this bar. Real women dancing behind a screen to alternative music. Score. Some folks commented that you could go a block off the strip and see real nude women dancing. Oh really? Well, these are the hottest chicks ever. Look at her face!
My crew showed up late Friday. It was Sydney‘s 10th birthday so she got to come to Vegas. So its a cool place for kids if you know where to look. We went to Disneyland a month ago. Time to see the adult playground. Over to the Bellagio to check out the conservatory. Huge butterflies and pretty gardens. Sydney looked cute running around town ready to shop. Except she had this weird dwarf in her pictures.
We hit the new buffet at Caesars. Something like a $17 million renovation and now the best buffet in Vegas. The food went for miles. And it was all gourmet everything. We ate their for breakfast once and dinner on Mother’s Day. Everything was top notch. You just had to abide by the rules. This one was hard.
Reagan ended up hitting the jackpot by finding a candy store were you get a huge tube of pick-your-own candy. Then a rabbit that had a mustache on it — and a stitched butthole in the back. That’s my kid!
My kid’s were intrigued by the artwork and sculptures around town.
Oh wait…that one above was 2003. Sydney and I found the same spot and tried to reenact. They painted the wall behind it apparently.
We had my parents with us. It was Mother’s Day and all. Love you, Mom!
I tried to reward my own wife on Mother’s Day but at $25 this “kit” from the mini-bar just was too expensive.
I think the coolest thing in town is still the fountains. Could watch them all night. So relaxing. So fast and powerful. My kids thought they were amazing. We watched 4 shows in the course of an hour.
Sydney liked them! Oh wait. Sydney, that’s not appropriate. This isn’t a rock show. That’s my kid.
Kayla‘s favorite part of the trip when I asked her was meeting this guy. Big hero! Totally a ghetto version of the real thing but it worked for this 3 year old.
She is kind of into Star Wars. Check out the shirt she bought the next day. Any shirt you want Kayla of these 1000s they sell. THAT ONE!
How about a boat ride in the middle of the Nevada desert?
For our final night, we went and saw Mystere by Cirque du Soleil. This is their oldest show in Vegas. The original I guess you could say. It was the only one kids under 5 could attend so it was the only choice. The kids really liked it. Will see another next time we are in town.
The next morning as we were leaving, they were filming a movie called “Think Like A Man Too” in the lobby. We were walking to the cab and I saw Romany Malco (from Weeds who is in this movie) walking by himself up the sidewalk. I was like “I know that guy” and gave him a nod. He gave me a nod back. Kind of like he was walking around looking at people like “I am a movie star and you should know me”. And I figured it out.
This was the only nature I found in Las Vegas. And its fake. Time to head back home.
See you again in 2014 Vegas for the next conference. I am too big for you.