I’ve been here in Vegas since Friday, and omg, it’s been one of the most insane Vegas trips ever. I mean, yes, Vegas trips are always crazy and insane, but this one, in particular, has been absolutely insane. I’m here with my cousins Stephanie and Chris, their parents, and their family friends. When we got into town Friday night, it took us 2 hours to get from the airport to our hotel — a trip that should usually only take about 10 minutes. Why? Well.. this weekend is the combination of three huge events: NBA All Star Weekend, Chinese New Year, and President’s Day weekend. The result? Crowds like I’ve never seen before… All weekend, it’s been a chore to get anywhere at all, getting a cab takes a few hours, and once you’re in there, driving on the strip is at a standstill. Walking is only slightly better, with huge crowds clogging the sidewalks..
But, the annoyance of the crowds aside, it’s been a really, really fun weekend. I came in 2nd place in a poker tournament at the Aladdin. Tons of celebrity sightings. Stephanie played blackjack with Zach Braff yesterday. While we played a round of golf at Shadow Creek yesterday, we saw Tiger warming up at the driving range. Michael Jordan was also there, but we only saw his Ferrari and one of his customized golf carts.
Time really doesn’t exist in Vegas. Nor does sleep, apparently.
Saturday night, we were hooked up with a table at Tryst, the club at the Wynn (we didn’t have to wait in any lines.. woohoo! i hate lines).. The club was packed, LeBron was there, and there were dudes just throwing wads of $1 bills onto the dance floor. Yah, a little crazy.
Sunday, we got tickets to the NBA All Star game.. I was really dumb and didn’t bring my dSLR. (dumb, dumb, dumb) I thought for some reason that they wouldn’t let me bring it — but I missed the opportunity to get some great pictures at the game. Then again, I didn’t see anyone with a dSLR at the game, so maybe they didn’t let them in… So, I only had my compact digicam, so that’ll have to do. The game itself was kind of anti-climactic to the weekend. Unlike the MLB All Star game, the NBA All Star doesn’t really play for anything — the players were clearly showboating, so it felt more like an exhibition of dunking and alley-oop skills than anything else. Which made for an entertaining game though. Probably the biggest cheer of the night came when Shaq actually started dribbling the ball and then tried for a jumper, which he missed.
Watching the celebrities interact during the game was amusing too.. Prince and David Chappelle were sitting next to each other, but it was funny cuz they were clearly trying not to sit too close to each other (even though the seats were super tightly packed together). And then, after halftime, Prince left, replaced by Ludacris, which I thought was an interesting swap. Eva Longoria was looking quite lovely, and every time Tony Parker hit a shot, she’d cheer excitedly. Wayne Newton did some of the pregame show. I’ve never seen that dude perform before, but he kind of looks like a Madame Tussad wax museum specimen.
This weekend has been truly a test of Vegas’ ability to handle a huge, unpredictable crowd. In one of the long cab rides home, our cab driver reported to us that he had heard about 22 shootings this weekend and a pedestrian hit-and-run accident.. But, in searching through the local news, I didn’t see anything about the shootings, but the hit-and-run was covered by one of the local outlets.
Anyway — I’m actually still here in Vegas until tomorrow night, maybe the crowds will thin out after today. I’m working from my room here at the Bellagio, so it’s kind of fun ordering room service whilst I do my work. Woo. Vegas, baby.