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Vegas Confessions with Many Pictures (Safe for Work)

Although nothing happened like the last time I went to Vegas, I still managed to get myself in few weird situations.

I stayed in Vegas until Sunday evening but during the conference I was too tired to do much else besides have dinner with co-workers afterward. However, I started venturing out Friday and enjoying the sites of Vegas.

Bellagio Fountains

I love the Bellagio Fountains

Since the fountains aren’t far from the MGM, I didn’t run into too much craziness. I did run into a drunk guy in the MGM Saturday morning as I was heading out to go on an air and ground tour of The Grand Canyon. He was staggering back and forth towards the elevators as I was leaving them. For some reason, I attract drunk people. I think it’s because I don’t drink, and they feel that I’m not having a good enough time without it. Anyway, he confronted me, shook my hand, and offered me some of his Gardetto snacks which he was carrying in a fairly large bag. He had these things crushed all over his face along with saliva and god knows what else. His speech was very slurred and hard to understand.

Me: Do I know you?
Dude: Naw, want some chips???
Me: No, thank you. ::I try to walk away::
Dude: What? You too good to eat my chips???
Me: No, I don’t like them.
Dude: F’ You!
Me: Dude, I’m diabetic. Leave me the F’ alone (this was a lie by the way)
Dude: That sucks man.

I managed to get away from him as I don’t want to miss my tour of the Grand Canyon via small plane and bus. The plane trip alone was worth the price of admission, as the views were amazing. Unfortunately, my small camera didn’t deal well with the long distance shots very well.

Canyon

The tour includes access to the Grand Canyon Skywalk.

Skywalk

Let me tell you about that Skywalk. It’s an amazing attraction owned and operated by the Hualapai Indian tribe. As you can see, it’s a half circle that protrudes more than 50 feet from the edge of the canyon. It’s an exhilarating experience for everyone who walks it, except me. Many who know me know that I’ve always had a terrible fear of heights. Why did I decide to walk out over 4000 feet above ground on a glass Skywalk? Well, if you read about my last Vegas Adventure, you know that I don’t always make the best decisions. So, I get ready to walk this thing. They inform us that we have to lock our cameras, cellphones, and Ipods in keyed boxes before entering the Skywalk. So, I ask this Native American Lady why I have to give her my items, and she explains that they don’t want one of us to drop our camera and break this supposedly unbreakable Skywalk. I asked if she wanted my car keys, which are heavier than my camera, and she replied no. I then asked her if I could keep my ball pean hammer when I went out, and she looked at me like I was crazy but answered, “yes, that’s not a prohibited item.” I’m sure they had safety in mind and not the $100 they were charging people for personalized Skywalk photos after their walk. Everything is a scam. They even make you walk through an electronics detection machine to make doubly sure you don’t try to hide your terribly dangerous imaging devices.

Anyway, this thing is terrifying. One of the camera operators told me that earlier that day an older woman completely lost it on the Skywalk. She started sobbing, fell to her hands and knees with her eyes closed, and refused to move. They had to physically remove her from the Skywalk. In comparison, I didn’t do that bad. I didn’t walk the Skywalk so much as shuffle it. I had both hands on the outside railing and slowly, very slowly, shuffled sideways along it. As people can probably tell, I’m not shy, nor will I walk along pretending everything’s fine when it’s not. So, I’m slowly moving along and people are teasing me for being afraid. It can hold 70 tons, blah blah. Here’s the funny part. They criticized me because I’m a chubby guy that’s afraid of breaking the glass due to my weight, but not one of them would pass me. They’re pretending not to be afraid, but nobody wants to stand on the same piece of glass as the fat guy. Such hypocrisy.

I slowly shuffle along to the other side and enjoy an incredible view while fighting abject terror. The camera guys repeatedly reassure me that it’s indestructible. However, as I get near the end I see that one of the glass plates has been replaced by stainless steel version. Of course I ask about this and they tell me that one of the pieces broke and needs to be replaced. Yeah… indestructible…

Near the Skywalk you can take pictures of the canyon and there are no guardrails. This was scary as well. You also get a great view of Eagle Point which is sacred to the Hualapais.

Eagle Point

See the eagle?

After the Skywalk tour, we were bussed to another beautiful area to have lunch with the Hualapais. I thought this was supposed to be reasonably authentic American Indian food. Apparently the Native Hualapais, who survived for centuries in The Grand Canyon, ate lots of wild growing Macaroni and Cheese. ::snicker:: Actually, the food wasn’t bad, though generic, and it was all you could eat so I couldn’t complain much.

I ran into a fellow admin from the conference and hung out with her and her hubby there. I should mention that they were both in shape (he is a SWAT team member) and I was hard pressed to keep up with them. Remember the post where I said I wouldn’t be mountain climbing again? Well, I lied.

Canyon

See those tiny, multi-colored specks at the top, those are people. I climbed up that with the married couple gasping for breath most of the time. It was worth it, as the views were amazing.

Canyon

Canyon

Canyon

Canyon

Remember that most of these pictures feature me standing right on the edge. I cannot describe how unnerving this was. I kept imagining that a quick draft would cause me to fall to my death.

Canyon

Me pretending to fall.

After saying goodbye to my mountaineering friends I flew back to Vegas. I intended to go back to the Bellagio Fountains, but I grabbed the wrong bus and went to the Fremont Street Experience instead. I rode The Deuce, which is a system of double decker buses that traverse the strip, and you can ride all day for $5. Remember when I said I attracted drunk people? Well, try to imagine this situation. The bus was completely full with people standing everywhere inside it. I’m surrounded by party folk and have to repeatedly apologize to the women around me for accidentally bumping into them every time the bus jerked back and forth. Somewhere between my hotel and Fremont Street, this huge guy gets on the bus. Picture a 6’5″ tall Donald Gibb, assuming he had been living in a dumpster drunk for a year.

Ogre

Ogre – Nerds!!!

This guy could barely stand and was holding on with both hands. He keeps yelling out things that have nothing to do with reality. He tries to hit on one of the ladies near me, who is in her late 30’s, conservatively dressed, and obviously someone’s mom. I swear this is the truth, but swaying on his feet and slurring his speech, he told her, “I got dressed up today…… trimmed my nose hair and everything…. ::burps:: but I cut the inside of my nose…. and it bled like a %#@%@. You gotta boyfriend honey???”

He turns away to yell at the driver, and the mom begs me to switch places with her so she can stay away from this guy. I reluctantly agree. He’s mumbling about more stuff, and I am trying to ignore him. He starts humming a weird and broken tune really loudly. I know I’ve heard it but cannot place it because he is humming it so badly. Slowly, I get it. He’s humming the old Muppet Show theme.

It’s time to play the music
It’s time to light the lights
t’s time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight.

Just as I realize what he’s singing he gets in my face, yelling a question at me. He has to repeat it 3 times, but I realize what he is asking is “Dude, what is your favorite Muppet band member?” I try to ignore him but he won’t let it go and he’s getting increasingly more animated about it. He tells me that his favorite is the dude with the saxophone and absolutely needs to know mine. Finally, desperate to get this guy to leave me alone I yell “Animal rocked dude!”

He looks at me like I had just explained the Theory of Relativity and promptly vomits at my feet. I told you drunks loved me. The bus driver throws most of the people off the bus to clean up the vomit and I had to walk the rest of the way to Fremont Street. My feet hurt so badly by the time I went home.

Anyway, I watched the Don McLean American Pie show as well as A Tribute to Queen. It was as amazing as the last time I saw the experience I also enjoyed the live musical acts playing on the street, and I blew money on souvenirs for my fellow computer geeks at work and my girlfriend. The return ride on the Deuce was blissfully uneventful.

My last “story” to share was near the end of my trip. All of the tours I took were filled with foreigners. On my air tour, I was the only American. So, I got on the hotel elevator with a bunch of folks from Europe and a couple who looked American. I heard the man say something to the woman, and it sounded like a Chicago accent. The Europeans got off the elevator and I continued to ride up with the couple. I turned and asked the man, “Have you noticed how many foreigners there are here? At times I’ve felt like the only American visiting Vegas. Any idea why we’re so outnumbered here?”

He looks at his wife, then at me and says, “Sir, I have no idea. We’re from Canada.”

10 comments to Vegas Confessions with Many Pictures (Safe for Work)

  • bigdaddy

    sounds like a fun trip, except for all the drunk people acting like fools. Sometimes it’s fun to watch drunks from a distance but getting stomach bile on your shoes, well, you should have whipped out some martial arts on his @$$

  • Jason Griffith

    None of your pictures are showing up for me. I adjusted settings in both FireFox and IE, and neither one of them works. I’ll just have to take your word on how great the views were.

    You’re certainly not the only one that draws drunk people. Though mine were far nicer than yours and didn’t bother throwing up on me. I usually attract the stupid ones that think they’re funny and like to put on shows for everyone around them. Or the ones that get really aggressive in some form or fashion. Like the girl on the monorail that was determined to get into her boyfriend’s pants…on the monorail. He put up a good fight and managed to keep her out most of the time. She was pretty insistent and rather sneaky with her hands though, so she got through more than once.

    There’s no way you would have got me to get on that sky bridge with you. My 315 lbs says I could have busted one of those glass plates if I was inclined to do so (or somebody made me jump).

    My coworker told me I should go check out the Fremont Street Experience, but I didn’t know where to find it and was too tired to bother asking. We went to see Cirque du Soleil’s KA there at the MGM Grand and Phantom of the Opera at the Venetian, though. Both were excellent shows.

    I noticed the masses of foreigners too. We had dinner next to a family from Greece, another from Italy, and several from India. We met people from Asia (I can’t tell the different countries apart), Russia, Scotland, France, and England.

  • Please try again Jason, several readers have told me that they’re showing up as normal.

    I forgot a couple more observations about Vegas.

    1. What is the deal with the cheap, small 1990’s TV’s in supposedly premium strip hotels?
    2. Anyone else offended when an expensive hotel still wants you to pay $15 per day for internet access? For that matter, did anyone else have a problem with the free M2M Wifi auto disconnecting every minute or two?
    3. Did anyone else notice how vicious the political ads are there? 15 seconds of hate repeated several times during every commercial break.
    4. Anybody else feel that tipping has gotten out of control? Maids, doormen, cabbies, skycaps, concierges, bellboys, and now even the retail workers think you should tip them for simply checking them out. I grew tired of making sure that I had enough physical money to tip everyone.

  • Jason Griffith

    Nope, still no pictures.

    1. I got the same impression of the TV. Luckily, we don’t watch much TV, so we didn’t particularly care.

    2. Yeah, the fee for internet came pretty close to setting my wife off. Not to mention two of the methods they told us to use in getting it set up in the first place didn’t work. I didn’t bring my own laptop with me, so I didn’t get to experience the M2M Wifi though.

    3. Not enough TV exposure to notice.

    4. Yeah, one of our taxi drivers looked like he wanted to brain me with his tire iron when I didn’t give him 30% tip for the 3 minute drive from the airport. I told him how much change to give me and he looked at me for a minute, and then grabbed a couple of bills and handed them to my wife before he jumped back in his car and took off. We walked into the MGM and she looked at the cash, and he gave us back less than I told him to.

  • Ann

    Dave…
    The “Rescue” story is only nominally better in person. I laughed my ass off and I’ve heard it before. Incidentally, the reason Vegas doesn’t provide newer and better TVs is because they don’t want you entertaining yourself in your room, they want you gambling. If you got one of the really really REALLY expensive rooms, I’m sure there’d be a TV in it that you could see from space. Ciao!

  • Gina

    Oh my God im so proud of you for going on the skywalk!!! and i love your pics.. they are awesome… and for your last story… What do you have against foreigners??? *says that with heavy dutch accent* lol

  • Jason Griffith

    Hey, that brings the number of reader’s up to four! 😉

  • Yea, the TV’s were so ridiculously old. I didn’t really watch too much TV except when I found an episode of Star Trek TNG. Fortunately the company sent me with a wireless card so no problem with internet for me. Guess I am a bit behind the times on this one since this was October. I didn’t get out too much because of a sinus infection.

  • Opps I guess these comments were about 2008 I was there for the made2manage 2010 in Vegas. The comments about the TV’s are still true enough though.

  • Don’t worry about it Tammy. There are later articles on Consona Connect 2010 to read if you like. Welcome to the site.

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