Well, as the one with the car, I offered to drive us to the further reaches of the strip in order to save some time.
|The Star Trek Experience|
Our first destination was the Las Vegas Hilton to see the Star Trek Experience. When we arrived, Marc went right in, but US and I looked at the $30 price tag for what amounted to a fancy theater-in-motion ride and decided to pass.
|The Borg Queen Is Not Amused|
While we were waiting, I took a look around at the decor. The last time that I had been to the Hilton, it did not have an attraction like this, and was mainly used for its conference facilities. The place was done up in vaguely futuristic theme, with "phaser" lights flashing above, and bouncy music playing. US commented that he didn't realize that the 24th century looked like a cheap disco.
|The Strip, Near Sunset, From The Stratosphere|
Soon Marc returned and reported that it was well worth his while, and so 1/3 satisfied with the Hilton we moved on to the Stratosphere Hotel. (From here on out I'm going to omit "and Casino" from the descriptions of places in Las Vegas. You can just assume that if I'm talking about any edifice, whether hotel, airport, or laundromat its name ends in "and Casino").
I turned right when I should have turned left, so it took a little extra work to get there, but we finally got parked and made it inside. From there, it is a bit of a march through the casino and all of the shops (I must have counted over a dozen gift shops alone) on the way to the Tower. At the tower elevators we were required to empty our pockets and be scanned before proceeding.
|I Can See The IHOP From Here|
The elevator ride itself was surprisingly quick for a journey of over 100 floors and we soon reached the top. It is quite a view from up there, and I noticed that at least one merchant in the area had decided to take advantage of the viewers by painting their name on the top of their restaurant.
|Suburban Vegas At Dusk|
Seeing the Strip at night from that height would have been beautiful, I'm sure, but we needed to move on to new sights. I took one last picture in the opposite direction from the Strip to capture the suburbs of Las Vegas stretching out to the distant mountains.
Traveling down the Strip, we came to the Treasure Island Hotel, now marketing itself as "ti". I had seen the pirate battle, and thought that it was a pretty good show. Now they had changed the format to "The Sirens of ti". We decided to eat in one of the restaurants and catch the 6pm show. The food was good, and the accompanying water show was mildly entertaining, and afterward we headed out just in time to see the Sirens. We soon found out that the prime viewing area was now cordoned off, and required money or proof of a hotel stay to view it from there. After finding our way out of the casino, we managed to join the crowd watching from the viewing platform above the sidewalk. The show was pretty lousy. I've heard the same evaluation from many people since then. It attempts to stage a different story using the same major props as the pirate battle, and turns out looking silly. I'd be upset if I had to pay anything to see it.
Well, after some additional wandering about, Marc said that he needed to head off to see a show at the New York-New York Hotel. We returned to the car and drove down there to get to it in time. Afterward, US and I decided to return to the Tuscany to see who had shown up.
As I recall, Lisa and SkepticScott were there, and others showed up over time. Eventually, Hal returned, looking for a few more volunteers to help assemble attendee packages, so Skeptic Scott, Lisa and I went with him. Lisa and Scott had already been working for most of the day on this, but I joined them, Hal, Hal's son Chris, the Shallenbergers, and a few other volunteers in finishing up what could be done that night.