Vegas and food poisoning, oh my!

So I managed to drop and break my camera on my second day in Vegas, so I only have like two photos to post (and I'll post them eventually, but they're not all that amazing or anything). The camera's likely fixable: I broke it the same way like 3 or 4 years ago now and brute forced it back together such that it worked for those 3-4 years, so it's still repairable I think. I just don't have the strength/skill to fix it immediately (which isn't to say that I didn't try).

On my way home from Vegas (in flight and in taxi), after having my flight delayed by 2 hours, I ran into a bout of what I can only guess was food poisoning, likely brought on by veggie consumption. The United States is the only place where I repeatedly deal with such serious bouts of food poisoning… which I suppose bodes fairly well for my travel plans, but I'd really rather it wasn't encouraging me not to consume vegetables! Still I'm mostly better from it now — I called in sick to work today to help myself recover, so I'll likely be 100% or nearly very shortly.

But yeah, Vegas was pretty great. Not only did I get to spend some awesome times with some absolutely amazing individuals from both my CKI years and my Kiwanis involvement, but I got to do a fair number of other awesome things:

– Saw my favorite concert of 2010 to date: Sgt. Pepper Live featuring Cheap Trick! Yes indeed it was Cheap Trick performing the entire Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Heart's Club Band album plus some of their own songs. I expected that it would be good, given that I adore Cheap Trick and The Beatles, but I never even imagined that it would be THAT great! The music quality was fabulous: with a whole orchestra, backing vocals and indian instruments! And the stage craft was marvelous!

– Had my caricature drawn. I don't think it looks exceptionally like me, but for the low low price of free (thanks Kiwanis!) it was a fun experience.

– Saw lots of look-alikes. Not that this is particularly unique for a Vegas experience, but seeing the splitting image of Dean Martin (etc.) in the Exhibit hall was pretty great!

– Saw Colin Powell address us all. Now, I would rave more about the experience if I were an American, but it was a pretty great address, all told — just a bit US-centric for my tastes.

– Téa Leoni introduced our new worldwide service project: eliMiNaTe! The project is to rid the world of Maternal and Neonatal Tetanus in the next five years, and is in conjunction with UNICEF! 🙂

– I ate at the Paris Village Buffet. I rate it as better than the Buffet at the Bellagio, though I was very disappointed with the risotto. JD has gotten me somewhat risotto addicted (heck I've been making it myself). Regardless, risotto should not be THAT crunchy.

– The SLP alumni reunion event at Jimmy Buffett's Margaritaville was pretty awesome. Lots of folks to go see, and if I drank I would have had the opportunity to consume a LOT of alcohol… free flowing drink tickets!

– Jay Leno was a great event! He fired off humor at like a mile a minute! And to have his talk prefaced by a great singer didn't hurt either! In fact all the little entertainment acts that Kiwanis had in for our pleasure were pretty good.

– Cirque du Soleil's VivaElvis was awesome! I loved how it told a story, wove live music and song together, and featured some awesome Cirque action! My favorite bit was the trampoline bit with the superheros!

– I evaluated a tv pilot for a show that actually entertained me — and got free Starbucks and arcade tokens (plus coupons) as a result. Not bad for a half hour!

– I ate out at Japonais in the Mirage. It was expensive, sure, but worth it to eat such yummy nibbles of Japanese food done well!

– Cirque du Soleil's Beatles LOVE was good but not as amazing as Sgt. Pepper Live. There were just so many things to catch my eye such that I could see myself watching this show again from a different angle/seat just to see more. I find sometimes a downside of cirque is that there are far too many things going on at once to be able to catch them all!

– Cirque du Solei's O was fabulous. Perhaps the best Cirque show I've seen to date (I'd rank it and KA as equals for acrobatics) and definitely surrounding a wonderful theme (all cirque shows are different but this one was great! Water, acrobatics, swimming, imagination… how could this go wrong? Plus I had great seats for all the shows I saw, so this one certainly was ranked as a good one!

– I made it out to the cheaper/less fancy outlet stores, and actually bought some new sandals, a top and got a massage on my last day in Vegas. I'm very glad I did so, as the sandals were much needed: athletic and very practical but suiting my style and at a good price! I also purchased one of those convertible dresses and watched quite a few little free shows during my stay in Vegas. As for gambling, I ended up spending $3 on that entertainment which really isn't bad for that many hours of slot play. I'm not a big gambler, but in Vegas, I'll play a little.

So yeah, that was Vegas. I did spend a bit more than I had initially planned on entertainment, but it's all within budget, and I did come home to an email notifying me that I have won a QE II scholarship, so my finances will look better for the coming year anyhow.