May 2, 2008

Triumphant Return to Vegas!

Carolyn and I had to go back to Las Vegas so we could attend a conference. Our partner for our big October conference is slowly getting into the business of hosting conferences and we worked out a deal where we are a co-sponsor of their other events. Since we are co-sponsoring the event, we should be attending. The Boss had another conference he had to attend, so I got the pleasure. This was the first time Carolyn and I had been back to Vegas since we got married 5 1/2 years ago.

We flew out last Sunday and when we switched planes in Denver I looked out the window and noticed that out plane was missing a bunch of paint from above the cockpit windows. That kind of torqued me a bit since the last time I went down to SoCal I had an unscheduled delay that cost me a Friday night....because some idiot put a scratch in the cargo bay door and we couldn't leave until it had been painted. This was also a United flight so it made me wonder about their standards.

Anyway we got to Vegas safe and sound and the first thing I noticed was that the city had changed so much in 5 years. The last several times we'd been to Vegas the Hertz rental car place was just down the street a couple of blocks. This time we had to take a shuttle to a special car rental center (not just for Hertz). Also, and much more dramatic, was teh fact we couldn't really see the strip. So many huge hotels have spring up alongside the strip that the strip itself (the old strip at least) wasn't visible from a distance.

We got to our hotel....stayed at the Renaissance instead of the Palms (where the conference was being held) and had super-expensive room service. Do I have to pay $4.80 for a small 10 oz bottle of Coke?

The next few days we worked our booth at the Conference. Spent most of our days chatting with the other exhibitors and talking to other interventionists and people I knew from the industry. I had a lot of help talking to people about our programs, which made my life much more enjoyable. My body just forgot how hard it is to stand for hours on end. I've gotten too used to flying a desk so between being on my feet and the cigarette smoke (The Palms was terrible) I felt like crap most of the time.

We really didn't have the time, energy, or inclination to go and try to see some shows or do anything special. We did a very small amount of gambling. Overall I gambled $30, winning $10 and a $10 limited edition Silver token from the Palms. I had to talk Carolyn to even giving the slots a go, giving her $1 to play on the penny slots. She won $2.20 and promptly cashed out. Can't say I blame her.

We did have a great dinner on the first night. We got invited to a dinner held by Silver Hill Hospital. It was a small initmate dinner for about 20 people. I got to meet anothe rinterventionist that works out of Boise. Nice guy, hope he stops by for a visit soon.

On the last night we left a little early (but not until well after the official tear-down time for the exhibitors) and went out to dinner at the HoffBrau House, a German Beergarden. We had Jagerschnitzel and SaurBrauten.....and I finally had some Kartoffelpuffen. Without even realizing it (may have been teh liter I had) I did some polite stammering in German, but it was apparant that either the hall was too loud and/or the waitstaff knew absolutely no German. Like I cared...the food was outstanding. On the way out we got some t-shirts and a Spaetzle maker.

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