Saturday, December 8, 2007

Flying to Las Vegas, Its Such a Joy!

Flying is such a joy. I fly to Las Vegas about 5 times a year, two or three times for business, the other times for fun. And I always have to fly since I live in Ohio. OK, we could drive, but its not going to happen.

There are certain unalienable truths that follow me on every flight:

My flight will either be canceled or delayed causing a long layover.
If I have a connecting flight, it will be three gates away and will require a long walk, a tram ride and more walking.
I will always end up in the middle seat, no matter that I've chosen an aisle seat and was assigned an aisle seat. The airline will change the aircraft and give me a middle seat.
The person in front of me will be sick and cough and sneeze the entire flight. I will be sick by the time I get home.
The person in front of me will also recline their seat just to make sure that the germs hit me.
The person next to me will have long legs and will crowd my space and he or she will make sure they read all night long with the light on during a red eye or night flight.
There will always be a kid behind me who cries and kicks my seat until the plane lands.

I had all of the above on both of my flights to and from Las Vegas last week. I had an added bonus. There was a teen age girl who refused to get on the plane. She had a panic attack to top all panic attacks. She screamed and screamed and even the pilot came out to discuss the her not getting on the plane. Then she kicked and she screamed and her mother laughed. But she got ON the plane and continued to panic. Of course, she was in front of us AND she was sick, coughing and sneezing when she wasn't crying or breathing into a paper bag. Her mom started drinking and ignored her. The girl finally shut up two hours into the flight. When the flight landed, she asked her mom if she could sit by the window on the next flight.

And there is more. I flew on Delta. My connecting flight was canceled and we had a long long layover.
To quote Carrot Top, Delta stands for:
D Don't
E Expect your
L Luggage
T To
A Arrive

So we are standing at the baggage carousel, and everyone has their luggage but me. My husband's suitcase came off in the first wave of cases. I'm standing there like an idiot thinking about my makeup being in my suitcase since the airlines have the 3 ounce rule. I NEED my makeup. I can buy a tee shirts and wear my jeans, but to replace my makeup is going to cost some serious cash. Nearly ready to panic, my suitcase finally arrives. It was the last one off the plane. So what else is new? But our driver was getting ancy from waiting, he grabbed my suitcase and we were off. He kept saying there was something wrong with my wheels....when we got to the car, we saw one of the wheels was pulled off, the side was scraped and it reeked of wine. Since I didn't have wine in my suitcase, something spilled on it. And since we were three hours late, we left before I could go back into the airport to have a hissy fit.

I called Delta the next morning, and of course, they aren't responsible for wheels. I wouldn't have cared except it was my new suitcase and it had spinner wheels. My husband pulled on the other wheels and couldn't budge them. So, Delta isn't responsible. The suitcase company isn't responsible for carrier damage, so I'm screwed. I arrive in Las Vegas already down $300 bucks for a suitcase. Just my luck!! Oh, yeah, flying is such a joy!

Friday, December 7, 2007

The Rodeo is in Vegas

The Wrangler National Finals rodeo has galloped into Las Vegas. Its held at the UNLV Thomas and Mack center. 5.5 million dollars are on the line for the winners, so this is major. Tickets are hard to come by, they are usually sold out way in advance. Unless you want to buy from a broker or take your chances from a scalper, you can contact your hotel concierge to see if they can get you tickets. The rodeo offers mad dash tickets at $39.50 each, if someone isn't in a balcony seat 30 minutes into the event, you get to dash into a seat. Otherwise, its standing room, baby. This is a huge national event and people come from all over the world to see the finals in action. it features both men and women's events. Note that parking can be a nightmare, so if a shuttle is available, consider taking the shuttle.

Not only do you have the major events going on, but there is also the Cowboy Christmas. Its a huge shopping extravaganza that sells everything for the cowboy fan from trailer hitches to tee shirts. And the hats, its all hats all the time. They'll clean them for you, shape them and even help you pick out your signature hat.

Even non cowboys and cowgirls can find great stuff to take home. Last year I found a pair of purple flowered boots that I know can only be found in Las Vegas. And when I wear them, I get a lot of comments. I love them, they're so comfortable and they work in the snow. My husband found a pair of the most comfy and good looking shoes he's ever worn. Back to the original train of thought, this is a fun place to do some Christmas shopping for everyone on your list. Not everyone takes credit cards, but most do. Plan to spend a couple of hours shopping and you won't see a fraction of what is being offered....its HUGE.

There are concerts around town. A lot of the rodeo cowboys stay at South Pointe, south of the airport on Las Vegas Blvd. Its got an equestrian center and a place to keep their horses.
Ever notice they don't bring them INTO the hotel? ;)

I love cowboys. Cowboys come in all sizes, shapes and colors. You see them in the morning, you see them later in the day with a black eye or limping. What they do takes a lot of athletic power and guts. I was at a local rodeo where a cowboy got killed and it freaked me out. These guys are true athletes, its dangerous, its thrilling and they can get seriously hurt or killed.

But I want to know how they get their shirts so crisp and wrinkle free, even after wearing them all day long. I also want to know how they manage to get their name embroidered down the sleeve without the sleeve being taken apart. And do those huge silver award buckles hurt their stomach? My next trip during rodeo time, I'm going to ask.