Sunday, July 06, 2014

K, so I went to a conference

 and before departure, as the custom is, I went to get a pedicure (ok, so maybe that is not YOUR custom, but I figured I was going to be wearing a lot of sandals and wanted to have my toes did). I thought I would be all mature and demure and sh...tuff so I was going to get taupe, or beige, or tan, or something sort of understated and THEN I saw the gal beside me with gorgeous and really amazing hand-drawn flowers and I said to myself, "Self, screw that grown up business and go with FUN!" So I did.

And thus I was ready for my trip to the annual conference of my chosen profession.
The airport of Sin City has a great big rabbit sculpture which I liked and decided to photograph.

 My friend arrived shortly after I did and we rented a car and then we headed into burning heat of the desert.
We stayed at the Las Vegas hotel (LVH) and this was the view from our bedroom.
On the left up there you see the Stratosphere which has rides (more details on that to follow).
We went to a local steakhouse for dinner, well away from the strip and decided to name our little red Ford after Wilma P. Mankiller after seeing her picture. 
Early the next day we got ourselves over to the convention center where there was an advertisement featuring Rob Ross kitty and happy little trees. How awesome is that, I ask you?

 The line for registration was impressive but I had a friend to chat with and interesting things to look at so it was actually not too painful. After we got registered we scoped out the exhibition hall plan.

There were a LOT of exhibits.
Many much booths.

We also went to Caesar's Palace where I posed with this statue 
(check out the awesome devil eyes)

We wandered all over the forum and watched the Fall of Atlantis which is an automaton show that rises out of a fountain hourly and with impressive bass and flames bellows incomprehensibly about the next ruler of Atlantis, there is a dude with an inadequately flaming sword and a chick with the robotic equivalent of a neurological disorder... much with the twitching and shaking.
I think the mai tai I had beforehand vastly increased my enjoyment.
It was a riot.
My pal and I also very much enjoyed the fountains and faux skies. 
It is one of the least painful malls ever.
 After that we wandered up to the conference session I was there to attend and then to a game session where I had my face painted.

The lovely man who painted my face had a great shirt.
"What happens in the library 
stays in the library."

 After that we cruised the whole strip, end to end and found that even McDonald's is all blinged. 

Then we went to conferences, yadda yadda yadda
then PARTY!
Free drinks and my pal's sparkly nail, w00t!
 Library people party, people. and they do it up right.
We only stayed out til about 11:30 then headed back to get sleep so we could get back to conferencing the next day, bright and early. My pal had a pass to the exhibition hall and got to watch lots of presentations on the cooking stage and got some great cook books out of the deal too.

I got to see several authors (and STAN LEE, SQUEEEE!) and attend some great sessions and then we went to.... 
 Cirque Du Soleil, it was rather amazing and we had a good time and we went to New York New York afterward and got coffee at Starbucks at midnight (they are open 24 hours) before fending off icky night club people and heading back to our hotel room in the wee hours of the morning.

Monday the conference wrapped up.
We went to the Bellagio with a grad school pal of mine and checked out the conservatory and watched a fountain show after a lovely dinner at Paris (the casino across the street).
That ceiling is by a northwest glass artist... some of you may know him.
THEN, we headed back to our hotel to see the show,
"Raiding the Rock Vault."
Music of the 60s, 70s, and 80s by people you've heard play but have never heard of, like the guitarist from Heart, the drummer from Badfinger, etc. etc. 
It was pretty fun PLUS they serve drinks in these
 now you might reasonable assume that a 32 ounce margarita is going to be watered down and rather lame, but NO, it was surprising strong and I made my way through half of one over the course of the two hour concert. My friend however managed 1 and 1/2.
We sat in the back of the theatre which was the perfect location as it allowed us to not only enjoy the show itself, it also allowed us to watch the antics of the other attendees, many of whom appear to have really enjoyed their discount drinks.
After the show we met another grad school friend of mine and headed to the top of the Stratosphere.
There were 3 rides, the one was lame, it was just a lurch o matic, 
but the two pictured here, the Insanity and the Big Shot... oooh yeah, baby.
Insanity was the spinny one, and was very fun but the Big Shot was AMAZING.
Two of my conference pals went up with me and we decided to do a theme,
see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil.

 It seemed suitable for Vegas.
Our last day we toured the Venetian and had treats from Carlos' Bakery. Yum
Then it was time to head to the airport and say good bye to my friend and to Wilma P. Mankiller.

 After some last minute confusion I managed to get on my plane home and thus ended my adventure.