So I took a week off and drove to Las Vegas, not to gamble but to get away. I went during the week, Sunday through Friday.
The drive wasn't bad. It took me five hours but that was because I stopped at the outlet mall along the way. Who wouldn't? Checking in at the Rivera took about 20 minutes due to the line but it could have been worse. The clerk told me they upgraded my room for no extra charge. The room was fine but I imagine if I didn't get the upgrade I probably wouldn't have been happy with the room.
I called an old friend as soon as I got in town and he was kind enough to drive down and meet me at my hotel for drinks. I was good seeing him again. I always value time spent with friends and it was a good way to spend my first evening in town. I didn't venture outside of the hotel the first night. Everything I needed was there. The bed was comfortable and I slept well.
I walked a lot this day, up and down the strip, over 5.5 miles according to my pedometer. It was certainly more than my daily limit but it was a feast for my senses. Later I met up with another local old friend. We ate at BURGR inside Planet Hollywood and while the food was tasty enough, I can't say it was worth the premium price. The eye candy was worth mentioning though.
Later, back in my room I verified that the supposed free WiFi the hotel provides was wack. I've gotten better service on 3G networks. I called the front desk to complain about it but nothing changed. The 4G on my cell phone worked well though. I can always count on Verizon.
Did some Internet searching on my phone, (WiFi still sucks at the Hotel), and found a place for breakfast that had good reviews called the Egg and I. The food was indeed tasty and they had WiFi that actually worked so I ate slowly and watched part of a Netflix movie on my phone. They had some cute waitresses too. Good times. Afterwords I found a record store in the same plaza that was kind of amazing. In addition to the music and movie buffet, they had listening stations, books, and a serious gaming section that included old consoles all the way back to Atari. There were hand-held, board games, and plenty of memorabilia too. After that I went to the Pinball Hall of Fame which was a warehouse full of oldschool video games and pinball machines. Everything was in good working order too. I played Centipede, Ms Pacman, and Super Mario for just a quarter each. The actual pinball machines cost 50 cents to play with some costing up to a four quarters. It didn't take long for me to remember how much I sucked at pinball but I still had fun. I also liked that the whole place uses actual quarters and not tokens.
Later, I parked on the other side of the strip and walked most of the rest of it. Thankfully it didn't take as much walking as the day before. When I got back to the room I flicked on the TV and ended up watching the Voice which was actually really good. Then I watched some other stuff, commercials and all, that I normally don't get to see because I cut the cord at home. I'd have watched some Netflix but, of course, the WiFi at the Rivera sucks.
This was my day to do nothing. I sat on my ass for most of it. I did leave the room occasionally to take meals at places in close walking proximity. I sat by the pool for a while and caught up on some reading, watched some TV in my room and played some video games on my laptop. No Netflix though, have I mentioned that the WiFi in the hotel sucks?
Have you ever walked for over an hour to get a meal? I did today. There was a highly recommended Thai Restaurant in the area. I suppose I could have driven there in 15 minutes or so but where is the fun in that? The food was indeed tasty and the staff was quite nice. I discovered some minor things to check out during my walk including a few decent souvenir stores. I didn't buy anything though. I have more than enough junk at home already. There is a McDonald's across the street from my hotel. I went in but didn't partake in their usual fare. I did however partake in their WiFi which was pretty strong, certainly much better in my hotel.
Later on I went to the Neon Museum and took the tour. I went after dark hoping to see them all lit up but nearly all of them were in fact unlit. The tour took an hour and I don't feel like I really saw that much. The tour guide was good though. Her name was Wendy. Her stories made the tour. She was well informed and quite entertaining though I can’t say the tour was worth $25, maybe if you're a Las Vegas history buff. They had a couple of interactive kiosks in the waiting room. One of them takes your photo and sends it to you.
Time to head home. Nothing to say much here. I packed, checked out, got some breakfast and drove straight home. It took just over four hours. I had fun but there truly is no place like home.