Phew, less than a week back from my vacation and I gotta ask . . . why are there so many DeviantART Questionnaires on peoples' journal entries? Whoa, what the hell happened to Youtube's videos? I didn't expect so many changes in one week. Well, that's what happens when your cellphone's internet connection doesn't work in a Las Vegas hotel. Not that I really needed it. Well, Mom was frustrated that she forgot her cellphone back home, so we solely relied on mine. This is why you remember to pack important shit first!
My Mom and I were over in Las Vegas for a week, this was due to us going to a World Financial Group convention that's held annually in Las Vegas. My Mom works part time for WFG while I'm still studying on becoming an agent, hopefully by December I can pass the tests. Out of the seven days in Vegas, only three days were solely dedicated to the event and was it ever massive. Over 42,000 people attended the event and it had to be split up to accommodate for everyone. There were lots of high-grade people at the event speaking to a concert-filled audience with their motivational stories and advice. The last day had a guest speaker attend the convention and that was Arlene Dickinson, an entrepreneur from Canada's version of Dragons' Den. She talked for over an hour, but you clung onto every word she said. She even talked about going to the front line in Afghanistan to support Canada's troops despite being a pacifist.
The event was exhausting coming around the final day of convention, but it was smushed in-between four days of sight-seeing. This was my first trip to Las Vegas, as well as my Mom's (but she'll be going to Vegas with my Dad in January for a curling event) so like any tourists worth their salt we walked around everywhere and took in the sights. The MGM Grand, where we stayed was huge and had tons of restaurants, a giant pool area, an arena for concerts and over a thousand slot machines ringing and buzzing like no one's business. We went into different hotels like Mandalay Bay, Bellagio, New York New York, Excalibur, The Venetian, Aria and The Golden Nugget. Yet, we didn't get a chance to go into The Luxor, Caesar's Palace, Circus Circus, Treasure Island and Mirage. We also went to the Pawn Stars' pawn shop and looked around. Apparently, the won't be filming with the main cast until this Fall, but people said that the Old Man was tinkering in the back of the shop with something. We also went on the Counting Cars tour to their bar called Vamp'd and saw the cars in the exhibition room at Count's Kustoms. Ryan and Corry were able to attend the tour, but the rest of the CC guys were in Oregon doing a car show there. I'm pretty sure Mom and Dad'll go there and get another signed autograph from them . . . probably. Going down the strip in the Deuce was also fun, it's a double-decker bus that costs less than the tour bus when going down the strip. Even the contrast with Paradise (the part of Las Vegas with the fancy hotels) and Downtown Las Vegas (the old part of Vegas with older hotels/casinos) was quite a sight.
Though, the 40 degree weather (this is in celsius) wasn't so terrific. I think I guzzled more water and fluids than ever before . . . then again, Vegas is in the middle of a dry desert. I'm more accustomed to humid hot instead of dry hot. Walking all the time did tire my shins, but I also got my share of blisters from everything we did. We got a ton of souvenirs from places like The Shelby Museum, the main strip's stores and brass mugs from the Rock Hotel. There was a huge M&Ms store that smelt of chocolate every time you walked by it. Not to mention a Hershey's store in the New York that had sculptures of the Statue of Liberty in chocolate, jelly beans and liquorice. I really want to get one of those foot-long Hershey bars . . . but I was low on cash and I don't think customs would be happy if I brought a huge chocolate bar there. All in all, it was a fun trip, despite being my Mom's luggage jockey. Another fun part of my trip was seeing kiosks for the Pearl Factory, where people can pay a small fee to open up an oyster shell guaranteed to have a pearl inside. Mom and I had a crack at it; Mom got this huge pearl bigger than most pearls that are found and my oyster had twin pearls- which is extremely rare! We got little pendants for our pearls and learnt how to take care of them.
I think this trip gave me the weirdest feeling of culture shock than the other times I went down to the States. For example, there were slot machines in the Las Vegas airport. How are you suppose to collect the money after winning a game of slots at the airport? I dunno, I'm not a gambler. Also, I wanted to punch one of the themed slot machines after it went crazy repeating the same noise over and over. One of my Mom's friends, Sue, went down to Vegas years ago and told me that people stand out in the sidewalks giving people out free tickets to events and products. With that advice I was prepared to handle the salesmen/saleswomen who line the streets. What I didn't suspect was some of them sweet-talking to passersby. A lot of men selling hair products asked my Mom and I if we were sisters . . . MORE THAN TWICE! I think another shock was how some people who worked at booths or doing stuff on the streets would rub one of my shoulders. Considering how I used to work at back-breaking jobs before, that would be considered an act to get fired from. Big part of the jobs I've worked in the past was to not touch fellow employees or customers in a way that would make them feel uncomfortable. I know it's probably a way to make others feel a little less tense, but I kinda felt like they were getting too friendly with me. Sue also mentioned that people smoked in the casinos because of Nevada's gambling and smoking laws are okay with it. Mind you, Sue was last seen in Vegas decades ago, so the smoking was really wild back then. When I went there recently, it wasn't as awful as I predicted. There were people smoking and drinking, but nothing too overwhelming. Mind you this was also my first exposure to cigar smoke . . . one group of cigar smokers sat close to my Mom and I as we were having drinks at a lounge. One of the smells coming from the cigar smoke made my nose cringe. It felt like my nose hairs would fall out. What weird is all the parents bringing in their kids into the casino areas of the hotels. I wouldn't dare bring my kids close to areas that had people smoking! Second-hand and third-hand smoking is damaging to kid's developing health. Nevertheless, I think the biggest shock of all when I was in Las Vegas was the lack of vinegar in restaurants. I'm a Canadian who has an English-Canadian father who taught me to joys of spreading salt and vinegar on fries. Seeing this at every restaurant we walked into was daunting to me. They didn't have little packets for vinegar where you get the straws and napkins! What's worse was the lack of salt and vinegar chips! I think my greatest joy upon returning home was the less than 40 degree weather and having fries with salt and vinegar sprinkled on them.