Before leaving for the Nevada Day vacation that I’ve been looking forward to all year, I posed the question, “If you had seven hours in Vegas, how would you spend it?” to Facebook. I appreciated the range of responses reflecting the tastes of my eclectic group of Facebook friends, but I’d like to dedicate this blog post to my own personal response. All photos are posted AFTER the text that describes them.
- Visit an important place from your past while securing your transportation. My dear friend and traveling companion Miss Gokey generously let me borrow her Malibu, named Traveler after Robert E. Lee’s horse, for my disorganized and haphazard day. I dropped her off at work where I also used to work.
2. (I think my formatting just bit the dust, but I’m on a tight schedule here). Take care of business. I had mailed my toiletries ahead so that I could avoid security in Denver. The post office couldn’t find the box when Gokey went to get it, but they found it at the last minute, so I was able to avoid the extra cost of deodorant that I would have had to buy at Target.
3. Take a cruise down memory lane. For me, this meant passing my first Las Vegas apartment. It’s near Chinatown. In the photo below, you can also see my sweet ride, Traveler (thanks, Miss Gokey!).
Every place I went on Thursday (October 29, my one day in Las Vegas), I tried to find a geocache to prove that I was there. Starting here in Chinatown.
Chinatown and my first apartment are both also near the only casino that ever paid me any amount of money. Passing my apartments on the right, I headed to my old hangout.
I lost a twenty spot, chatted up a concierge, and continued with my day. My plan was to find a certain series of geocaches on the UNLV campus, which is owned by the person who took over my own Las Vegas geocache, Local Reality 2, when I left. It’s one of my only three surviving geocaches on the planet. What I wanted to find is a puzzle cache based on several monuments around campus. I decided that before heading to school, I should eat, which brings us to
4. Eat good food.
Up until lunch, my day was running quite smoothly, but once I googled Capriotti’s and followed the talking GPS to the nearest one, I was in a sketchy part of town. Luckily, my sandwich was still super delicious. As you know, I live in Chadron, NE, where we have a serious lack of good food. I was happy to get my very favorite sandwich for lunch.
5. Visit the ol’ alma mater.
This is where I spent the bulk of my day.
I’m surprised and happy to report that while UNLV was a dinky urban commuter campus when I went there for my master’s from 04-07, it has blossomed into a real, live campus! There is so much new and exciting stuff going on at UNLV that I had a hard time finding my way around! Although I ultimately failed to find the geocache series, I did find a different cache, to prove that I was there, and I bought a new Nalgene because a girl can never have too many of those.
6. Do something exciting and obnoxious that didn’t even exist the last time that you were in Vegas.
If you’re like me, you take photos of the general vicinity of the first school that ever hired you, Harney, at the base of what is either Frenchman or Sunrise Mountain, we’re far away so who can say?
If you’re like me, you also take photos of the places you don’t have time to go, like Red Rock canyon.
And then the selfie fails. Here’s one with too much stuff and not enough face.
And then one with too much face and not enough stuff.
7. Eat more good food. I’m not the kind of person to post food photos, possibly because good food is so delicious that it never lasts long enough for a photo. Here’s a comment card alongside my dirty plate.
As you know, Grimaldi’s is the pizza place beneath the Brooklyn Bridge in New York. I visited Grimaldi’s with my (Vegas) roommate Krista in the mid-2000s. A few years later, a Grimaldi’s opened up in Henderson. People are lazy, so now there’s a Grimaldi’s very near Sierra Vista High School, where I would meet up with Miss Gokey again.
So there you have it. Seven things for seven hours.
But wait! There’s more. While I was in the High Roller, Miss Gokey texted and explained that the Tioga Road into Yosemite was closed for snow. We could normally go through Death Valley, but that way was flooded. Our reservation in Lone Pine, CA was canceled, and it was time to make some decisions about what to do next.
8. In the meantime, the soccer game at Sierra Vista.
We decided to stay in Las Vegas for the night.
The Rattlers lost the soccer game 3-1, and my phone died sometime during the game. Sadly, this means I don’t have any photos of the wholly unexpected bonus of the trip: dinner at BW3s with the entire Mojave boys’ soccer team.
That’s what you do with a day in Las Vegas. It is what it is, and everything worked out the way it was supposed to. However, I relied too much on my dusty mental map of the little town in the desert where I used to live. For me, that was part of the experience this time. Next time, and what I would recommend for my readers: plan routes before you leave. Find out where the nearest Capriotti’s is rather than wasting 45 unnecessary minutes in the road congestion.
Miss Gokey and I left her place at 6 a.m. Friday morning and approached Yosemite via Fresno. Look for a series of posts about that trip coming up, as well as the long-awaited Boutique Air airline review.
Finally, if you can,
10. Blog the whole day before the boarding announcement at McCarran.
Hasta la proxima, Vegas.