Part of the reason that we were able to take a month long van trip is that my company has a purely remote office, which means I can flip open my laptop wherever I am and “go to work”.
Assuming, of course, I have a decent data connection through my cell phone. Which, despite the promising maps published by T-Mobile, I did not.
So, as we left the Grand Canyon and started heading west, I knew I had to find an area with great cellular coverage or freely available wifi to make up for some lost time. Looking at the map, there looked like only one spot within a day’s drive that held promise.
I’m not a big fan of Las Vegas: as far as I can tell, it’s a city built on people’s inability to grasp basic statistics, and the glitz and clubs and shows haven’t appealed to me. But neither Zevin nor Michelle had been there, and if you regard it as a kind of Museum of Modern American Consumerism, it can be fascinating. Plus, most the big hotels on the strip have great last minute deals (to get you into their casinos) and free wifi.
Zevin was bouncing off the walls of the van as we headed into the city: he’d seen videos of Las Vegas on Youtube, and it represented some pinnacle of luxury to him, and it was fun to see it through his eyes. He was thrilled and drop-jawed to just walk from casino to casino, taking it all in (“Look Zevin, see that old lady smoking with an oxygen tank? That’s her life savings she’s gambling away!”)
We spent two days there, with me mostly holed up in our room at the MGM Grand getting work done, and Michelle and Zevin wandering the Luxor, New York New York, Excalibur, dined at the buffets, played gambling-like games for kids and such. The lazy river proved a hit, but the highlight for me was taking Zevin to a magic show.
We had stopped in at Houdini’s Magic Shop in the New York New York and Zevin was enthralled with the tricks (we picked him up a couple to take home and practice, of course), so it only seemed fitting, one stop in Las Vegas, to take in a show.
He loved it. He was squirming and jumping in his seat, whispering to me throughout about how he thought things worked and just saying over and over how great it was. We took our time afterwards, just him and me, wandering back through the casinos. We stopped in at a sushi restaurant in the Wynn, they required pants instead of shorts…when we turned to go, they offered us pairs of pants to borrow so we could eat there. Of course we did!
Finally, as luck would have it, one of our customers was holding their conference in Las Vegas at the time, and one of our employees, who I had never met in person, was there, so I took him out to lunch.