Wandering around Las Vegas -- 02/12/03

How's that background? Kind of bright and garish and over-the-top? Well, that's Las Vegas.

Nothing succeeds like excess seems to be the motto around here.

So day two of the conference was pretty much the same as the first, except we began everything half an hour earlier... The first speaker after breakfast (and yes, I'm afraid I did get involved in work-related discussion during breakfast, so it truly was a working breakfast) gave a half an hour presentation on sales and marketing, followed by another speaker who spent an hour and a half on technical comparisons with our major competitors. Coffee break. Then I attended an hour and a half (actually more like an hour and forty minutes) technical presentation on the next version of a key product. Lunch. Then I attended two more technical presentations, an hour and a half each, with a coffee break in between. I think one of them ended a little earlier than scheduled so I dashed up to my room and uploaded my Feb 10th entry (I think that's when I did it; I've been jumping through a lot of hoops this week) and then dashed back down for a session where technical consultants were discussing various projects they had worked on with customers. Toward the end of that one of my co-workers phoned me (cell set to vibrate) to invite me along on a walk along the Strip. As soon as the session ended I dashed back up to my room to dump my conference stuff, grab my coat and my digital camera, and my co-workers down in the lobby.

We headed off along the Las Vegas Strip, wandering in and out of the various casinos along the way -- some of them, in addition to the various gambling opportunities, have numerous restaurants and showrooms and also shopping areas. We wandered through Paris (topped by the Eifel Tower) and through an Arabian shopping mall (note to Bonnie: we saw lots of cows, at least fifteen of them here and there, left from a January Cow Parade... click here to see 122kb picture of Cow Hospital where damaged cows were being repainted or repaired) and through MGM Grand and past New York
and through a medieval world (forgive me, at this point I can't remember the names of all of these casinos) and over to Luxor... which is where we finally sat down to have dinner around 8:30 or so. Luxor is a hotel built in the shape of a pyramid... the inside is a vast casino and hotel lobby (and restaurant and bar) area... the walls of the pyramid are the thirty or so floors of hotel, the rooms forming the external walls of the pyramid and the hallways forming the inside walls (so that one side of each "hallway" is hotel rooms and the other side is a balcony overlooking the interior of the pyramid.

And then to Mandolay Bay, which has an aquarium where (for $14.95) you can walk
through glass tunnels through the shark tank, etc. There were four of us on this little walking tour of Las Vegas -- me, Alan (who has been here before) and Judy and Julie whose husbands were flying out to join them (they arrived today) and they wanted to wait so they could take the tour with them -- so we passed on taking a shark tour. Took an elevated tram ride to another casino and ended up in New York. I don't know if you can tell from the picture above but there is a roller coaster ride behind the Statue of Liberty... The inside of the casino/hotel reproduces the streets of New York, with bars, restaurants, shops, etc., sidewalk cafes, numerous side streets, etc. and the roller coaster comes inside, passing overhead like New York's elevated trains.

At some point we found ourselves on another elevated tram, ending up at Belagio's, one of the very elegant casino/hotels. This picture (and yes, I was as tired as I look) with the Eifel Tower in the background was taken in front of Belagio's... the water behind me is the site for Belagio's famous water fountain show. Every fifteen minutes at night they put on a show with the fountains choreographed to music... In the picture below (the 10:15pm show) the fountains were performing (that is the only appropriate word) to music from A Chorus Line... the fountain area is huge, the length of a couple of normal sized city blocks... the picture barely shows the middle third. It is just incredible.

Today began again with breakfast at seven a.m. -- then my team (thirty or so people involved in course development and training) met over in Caesar's Palace for training in using FrameMaker and for discussions of establishing some new course development methodologies and processes. Three and a half hours or so. Back to the Flamingo for lunch, then some more technical sessions. It is now late afternoon, almost five p.m., and at six we are all supposed to go somewhere for games (not gambling, but video games, etc., a place sort of like a Dave and Busters) and dinner.

Tomorrow, yeah, you guessed it, more technical sessions... and my team will be going out to an Italian restaurant for a team dinner. I doubt that I will be able to find time to write an entry tomorrow... and then on Friday I will just have time to squeeze in one last technical presentation and then I have to get to the airport for my flight home... leave Las Vegas around noon (Pacific time) and reach Providence a little past eleven p.m. (Eastern time)... It will be so good to get home!

previous entry

next entry

To list of entries for 2003

To Home (Index) page