Wednesday, June 18, 2008

In which I go to Las Vegas

Some time over the past year, I was made aware of the existence of The Amaz!ng Meeting. This is an annual* meeting, called TAM for short, of skeptics and freethinkers which takes place in Las Vegas. This year's meeting, TAM6, was held at the Flamingo Hotel & Casino on the main strip (right across from Caesar's Palace) from June 19th-June 22nd. With gracious spousal approval, I joined the fun this year.

Since I am still playing with my new camara and Lightroom, I will not bore anyone with a vast panorama of amateur, unprocessed photos. I'll just pop up a couple here and there for the highlights.

TAM6 started on Thursday, but I showed up a day early so I could get in some touristy stuff. I checked into the Flamingo and discovered an ugly little advertising gimmick of theirs. They state that their "Flamingo GO" rooms have a wireless internet connection (something not mentioned in other room descriptions), so I went with that slightly more expensive room option. Well, it is true that wireless (and wired) internet is available. However, it is not FREE internet (and the wireless is available throughout the building, so unclear why some rooms do not have that description). Alas, I am too cheap to pay $13/day for internet access so these are back-dated posts.

I found something very ironic about a conference on skepticism and, to a minor extent, atheism being held in a hotel which has no 13th floor (out of 27 floors) and a bible in every room.

After settling in to my room (and whining unsuccessfully at the management about the not-so-free Internet), I took a very, very long walking tour of "nearby" casinos (nothing is truly nearby in Las Vegas). Over the next 4 hours, I stopped by the Mirage, Caesar's Palace, Paris, Planet Hollywood, MGM Grand and New York New York casinos, as well as a couple less-famous names.

All the casinos are pretty much huge beasts of floor space. The MGM is massive, though. Over the next 4 days, I had the experience of becoming disorientated and needing a few minutes to figure out which way I was going (lack of windows and generally bad signage contributes). In the MGM Grand, however, I actually got lost. The size of that space is just amazing (and, generally, boring). It probably took me 25 minutes or more to find my way back out to the street. My general goal was to ride the roller coaster at NYNY, but by the time I got there, I was way too tired to enjoy it, especially knowing what a long walk I had to get back to my room. Instead, I ate a very good burger while sitting at the bar in NYNY's America restaurant, snapped some more pictures and hiked back to the Flamingo.

I never did get around to riding any roller coasters.

* It is actually somewhat more than annual - there was a TAM5.5 this past January and there may be a TAM-UK1 sometime in the upcoming year separate from the already-scheduled TAM7 in Vegas.

1 comment:

Susan said...

You? Lost? Never!

Love the Eiffel Tower picture!