Friday, May 2, 2008

Welcome to Sin City

I have been working in Las Vegas this week. My first time to sin city.

As expected, the city (and metro area) is pretty flat - it is actually a valley - and the mountains pop up fast at the edges. People drive too fast - and the rental car has too many blind spots - so I've been surprised a couple of times already, but no scratches (yet).

It has been a long time since I have been anywhere that smoking is allowed almost everywhere and I am reminded how much I don't like the smell of stale smoke. Also, smokers have no taste buds, so the "they have great food" recommendations have been a bit off in my opinion, and I was holding my breath walking by at least one of the cafes in the hotel. So, as usual, I have been eating at Whole Foods Markets.

For hotel choices, I decided to experience the city. The training center is about 10 miles north of the strip. This north and northwest part of Las Vegas is the Summerlin neighborhood - rapidly growing with both business and housing and loaded with money. The recommended hotels included a few regulars that I know and like but also one of the local casino and resorts. I figured I would go for the vegas experience. Now that I have been there, done that, I think I'll go back to the Res Inn if I ever come back.

I stayed at the SunCoast. I had a non-smoking room (and yes, it really was a non-smoking - no old smoke smells were noticeable), with a fridge and a view of the golf course. It was fine. A room. Nothing special but it had what I needed - a fridge and a clean bed and bath. They do use scented cleaners so I have been stuffy each morning but that is also in part from the dry air, pollen, and dust outside (and smoke in the casinos and lobby and elevator areas and parking decks and...). It wasn't until Wed that I noticed the lack of a morning newspaper. I do not get home delivery since I am on the road so much, but i do at least skim the paper when on the road and I usually save the puzzles for the plane ride home. Just another sign that I am not in a business hotel this trip.

It was recommended - strongly recommended - to drink lots of water while here. They weren't kidding. I generally drink a pretty healthy amount of water when I am teaching since bottled or filtered water is provided for all of our classes (usually by the training facility but I'll buy a case as part of my meal allowance if it isn't). I also remembered a jacket since the day and night temps can vary in the desert but I have not needed that this trip. Not even for the one colder than average day we had mid week. The wind can be brutal though. And even with sunblock and lots of water, it was dry enough for me to get a chapped lip and some nose bleeds.


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