Wednesday, March 26, 2014

On The Road Again

I have only three words to explain last week: What A Week!

First, work has been slammed lately. Add to that the fact that I took Wednesday - Friday off last week for a road trip to Vegas and the Grand Canyon, and it makes for a very busy Monday and Tuesday. Add to that two different meetings on Monday, which meant less time to do the normal work stuff, and we had a pretty interesting first couple of days.

City of lights sin

But then...we were off! As soon as I was off work on Tuesday, I was picked up by the fabulous five, aka Broski, his lady, her sister and the sister's kids. Let me set the scene. We were all riding in a Dodge Journey, but since there were so many of us, we rented a small U-haul trailer for all the stuff. I have taken a few road trips in my day and the key to a good road trip is (1) the snacks / drinks and (2) the tunes. We started the trip off with a stop at the local taco truck, where the lady got a burrito longer than her arm. Then we cranked up the tunes and we were off.

First things first: burrito

If you have ever taken a road trip, you will know that it brings out the best (cough, cough) in everyone. This trip started off great. It started off like rain (ray-e-aiiiiin) on your wedding day. In fact, on Tuesday, while I was still at work, I got a call from the lady, who stated that her sister had changed her mind and did not want everyone to ride in the same car. She was going to drive her own car.

This was at 10 am, when they were set to pick me up at 3. This was after Broski had already rented the trailer so that we could carry all the extra stuff. This was after we had to decided to drive instead of fly, since there were going to be 6 of us. This was after we had already made a spreadsheet breaking down the misc costs for each of the different travel options. The lady was not happy. I was slammed with work so did not have time to think about it, but was not sure what to expect when they picked me up.

When I met them at 3, surprisingly everyone was in the car. However, as soon as I got in, someone had to use the bathroom. And then, someone else needed food. You see how it goes. So we got the arm's length burrito and got on the road. We probably stopped at least 4 more times in a four hour time period, causing that period to stretch to to 6 hours, causing us to arrive in Bakersfield around 10. We originally were going to drive all the way through to Vegas, but there are a few things that stopped us.

(1) Sister did not want to drive at night. (2) The addition of the trailer meant we had to go much slower than we would have without it, causing our trip time to be much, much slower than normal. (3) Multiple bathroom and food breaks, which added at least 10 minutes to every hour, maybe more like 15.

My takeaway from Bakersfield? It smells bad. Have you ever been past Harris Ranch? It stinks. Then you get to Bakersfield and believe it or not, it smells even worse! Add to that a teenage boy and a lactose intolerance and you have quite an interesting scent profile in the car.

We decided to get up very early the next morning and drive to Vegas so we would have as much time as possible to spend in the city of sin. Somehow, the plan was to "get up at 3:30". When I asked what time we were planning on leaving, nobody answered me. We ended up leaving at 4:30 after getting up at 3:30. After going to bed around 11 or so the night before, I was Grumpy McGrumpster that morning.

We watched the sun rise as we were heading across the high desert, and we arrived in Vegas around lunch time. After a drive back and forth on the strip, we went for a buffet lunch, which was not super great but we had to do it (plus I got to try ALL the desserts). Next was the New York, New York roller coaster and then the obligatory strip walk, complete with Bellagio water display. We had dinner at the Venetian and then headed to the Rio for Penn and Teller, which was probably my favorite part of the Vegas portion of our trip. The only problem was that the show started at 9, and I was pretty much ready for bed around 5 pm. The redeeming factor is that the Rio has serve yourself frozen yogurt for FIVE DOLLARS. Not $5 an ounce, but a five dollar flat fee for as much as you can fit in the cup. Score.

The Venetian


After we got back, the ladies went out to gamble a few rounds and I passed right out. It was a fun filled day, but I was plum tuckered out!!

Next up: Hoover Dam, Grand Canyon and more Vegas shenanigans.

Have you ever been on a long road trip? Do you like to gamble? Have you ever been to Vegas?