Las Vegas: Exactly Like Venice

I’ll go ahead and kill the suspense: Yes, I actually finished the Las Vegas Rock N Roll half. No, I did not die. Or puke. Or crap myself. And I did it in 2 hours, 23 minutes, which is four minutes better than my previous half marathon also called, “When Chicago Froze Over in May.”

Finish self portrait

So, success all around. For the most part. I do have some serious bitching to do about the whole enterprise. But let’s not jump ahead. You have a whole week of Vegas recaps ahead of you.  Just know there will be a bit of snark sometime in the next couple of days. As if you couldn’t guess that running with 44,000 other people was rife with some disorganization.

 

Inside the bay
Anybody know where we can get a cab?

 

My ½ marathon cheerleader for life XFE and I arrived in Las Vegas on Saturday morning. We met with XFE mere for some scuba mask shopping and lunch (That’s right! I finished my online scuba classes. I’m half-certified! Fishes better watch their shit. I’m on my way!)

We checked in to the Venetian, which I had never stayed at before. It’s humongous! Seriously large. Like, an airport or something. I’ll do a full hotel review tomorrow.

We were in the Venezia tower, kinda close to Thomas Keller’s Bouchon, which is where we ate lunch. Except, they were only serving brunch. Which was kind of a bummer, because this marks the THIRD time I’ve had brunch at Bouchon (what can I say? It’s very popular on the Vegas Bachelorette Party circuit). Also: the service was pretty disjointed this time, and considering how expensive a place it is, it was disappointing. So I won’t be going to Bouchon again anytime soon. I figure three times is probably enough anyway.

XFE walked his mom out and went to go gamble away our hard-earned cash (ok, fine,  his hard-earned cash) while I went to pick up my race packet and check out the Expo. Luckily, it was at the Sands Convention Center which is adjacent to the Palazzo, which is adjacent to the Venetian. Basically, I didn’t have to go outside. And since it was like 30 degrees and windy in Vegas that day, I was glad of that.

Expo sold out sign

I can sum it up in one word: MOBBED. From the minute I was walking toward the entrance until I made my way out the door about 45 minutes later, ever single step was slowed by other people. And for a bunch of runners, people were moving like slow cattle. It was a slight foreshadowing of the actual event.

Expo corral line

The Expo seemed really cool. There were a ton of vendors and booths with just about every kind of runner paraphernalia you could possibly imagined, but since it was so packed, I just got my stuff, cruised through and left.

swag

It’s a bummer because it’s definitely one of the largest expos I’ve ever been too and I’m sure I would have bought some stuff, but even if I had wanted to buy something, for some reason, they had a central cashier area, so you had to bring whatever you wanted to buy over to this central cashier area and get in a long, long, long line to pay for it. Uh, no thanks.

Cashier lines

I did, however, get a photo with a showgirl, so that was a win.

Showgirl

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