Skip to main content

Fare Thee Well Love/Wakin' Up in Vegas - A Medley

Yesterday I woke up so close to the Atlantic I could smell the salt in the air.  Today I woke up in a city carved out of the desert.  Modern travel is weird.

Spent yesterday with my long-lost buddy Mike (long-lost in that I hadn't seen him in 25 years -- he knew where he was the whole time).  I had a mild scare with fusion-Dave (they saw some mild damage which I told them I took a picture of at Pearson but they had no documentation on hand -- later they called me back and said it was on the record as pre-existing so crisis averted).  Afterwards Mike took me out to Peggy's Cove.  You know Peggy's Cove, with the rocks and the lighthouse?  Even if you've never heard of it or seen it, just imagine what Nova Scotia is.  Yep, that's it.

After quick visit to the Swissair Memorial nearby it was lunch and the airport.  Getting out of Halifax was only slightly later than expected but I was on edge.  I only had 85 minutes of layover time according to my boarding passes.  By the time we got off the plane it was 75 and race was on.  First through American Security, then a long line through customs documents pre-screening, then I got to the room with the screens.  The room with the screens is where you wait for your checked baggage from your previous flight to be x-rayed and okayed to be put on your American-bound flight.  Until this happens you cannot leave.

This felt interminable.  But eventually it ended... and only twenty minutes after the start of boarding!  I ran out of the room and... joined the line to the final customs screening by a human being.  I answered a couple of questions, and the officer  tapped on his keyboard.  I did my best not to look nervous and fidgety even as I imagined my plane sailing into the clouds.  Eventually he told me I was all set and I made a run to the gate, expecting to have the door shut in my face.  Instead I found the line was still waiting to get in.  So I relaxed, bought some water, and then headed to my seat.

Five hours or so later and I was in Las Vegas.

It's a disconnect, going from what is arguably the most Canadian place in Canada, to the most American place in America.  Vegas is a city of dichotomies.  The sexy and adult at war with the family-friendly.  A microcosm of America's culture war built on a foundation of suckers getting parted with their cash.

I took a walk on the strip this morning.  The desert heat is made bearable by the fact that you rarely have to walk outside--instead slipping into casino after mall after casino all the way down.

I haven't got a full view of Vegas yet but one thing is certainly true: everything costs something.  The question is, is it worth the price?

I suppose I'll find that out.  In the meantime, I'm gonna go part with some cash.


Popular posts from this blog

A Dreamy Day in London

London is a not-very-attractive city surrounding an incredibly beautiful city.  I suppose that's true for most cities but it's especially true of London.  Coming in from the east end (I arrived at London City Airport on CityJet -- basically their version of Porter but with jets -- the level of shift in aesthetics was jarring.

I took an Uber in to save a few pounds and he turned out to be a reasonable tour guide on the way, pointing out the Tower Bridge and the Tower of London as well as some other landmarks.

I arrived at around 8:30 at my hotel which understandably did not have my room ready yet.  I knew this was likely, so operating on a questionable amount of sleep (I can never sleep well before and early flight -- my brain always thinks I'm going to miss it) I headed out into London.  I stared at the Underground map for several minutes and then decided to walk.  I picked this hotel because it was relatively close to everywhere and it paid off today.

It's right besi…

Tubes and Towers and Treasures

One thing I've learned from this trip is not to push myself too hard in the service of seeing something instead of taking a necessary rest.  I have to be on a train tomorrow and exhausting myself makes me irritable and unpleasant, and no one wants that, least of all me.  As a result I missed the National Gallery today, which is a loss, but one I'm willing to take in service of not feeling like a zombie tomorrow.

I did see the British National Museum today.  One the one hand it was incredible to see such a huge collection of antiquities from around the world.  On the other it was sort of like Britain bragging about all the cool shit they stole when they were overseas.  I did enjoy the Roman treasure hoards hidden under English farmhouses and being able to see the Rosetta Stone up close.  Also I have no idea how anybody read cuneiform -- it takes a sharper eye than mine that's for sure.

Also, I did make it out to the Tower of London.  Had to take the tube which is not exact…

(Barely) Made it to Dublin

Well, I made it to Dublin.  Took some doing.  Got a great airfare out of Toronto with the caveat that I needed to take a ten hour layover in St Johns.  So I figured: Bonus, free day in Newfoundland.

St John's is a pretty city filled with nice people.  Smelled like the sea.  And a fair bit of weed. They like to blaze out there.

Went up to Signal Hill, the big central attraction which has a beautiful view of the harbor and the city and has historical significance not just for being a former fortification but the place where Marconi first heard the telltale beeps of the wireless coming across the ocean.  It was a good day even though I was exhausted at the start of it thanks to my overnight at Pearson, but I slept most of the flight out.

They almost didn't let me in to Ireland.  My fantastical dreams of meandering around Europe indefinitely got dashed pretty hard by the customs officer.  Apparently they don't love people who show up with no established exit time or ticket.  …