Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Las Vegas Adventure

Vegas was insanity, as Vegas always is. Though I daresay this one was the most fun of my four Vegas vacations thus far.

It was a larger group of about 12, comprising equal teams of kids vs. grown-ups. Note that the average age of the kids' team was about 30, so maybe "kids" was a misnomer… but if there is one place that inspires childish wonderment, Las Vegas is it. Especially so because three of the five "kids" had never been to Vegas before.

Anyhoo, both teams partied hard, had late nights, and worked together to take over The Mai Tai Bar at Imperial Palace. Some of us saw Kà, the latest Cirque show, and we were in the front row! It was fantastic, since all of the action happened not an arm's length away from us. Though the highlight has got to be when the performers had to stop Faye from climbing onto the edge of the flaming fireball pit to take a picture of us. Andy and Pete opted for seats further back, which was a shame, because one of the performers had confided her preference for bald men. You missed out, Pete!!

The weekend was full of sightseeing, gambling, clubbing, and even fence-hopping in eveningwear… there was even a helicopter tour of the Grand Canyon! The latter was Dave's birthday present from both sets of parents, who joined us in the helicopter. We flew over Hoover Dam, into the Canyon, landed for a champagne lunch, and then watched the sun set over the desert. The setting sun scorched the land to brilliant reds and deep browns, as the sky became deeper and deeper blue. And to top it all off, we flew back to Vegas over The Strip as all the lights came on. The experience was positively fantastic, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. Thanks, Ben, Chris, Margaret and Wayne!!!

Since returning, Dave and I have been catching up on all the domestic stuff we'd neglected in anticipation of Vegas. Namely, Christmas shopping, cleaning, and all the blissfully mundane stuff you find yourself missing during periods of prolonged adventure. Luckily, we've now finished most of our Christmas shopping… now the question is, will we stay sufficiently organized to ensure that all those cards and presents get into the mail on time? (Karla and Dave organized…?! Uh oh…) Stay tuned to find out!

And in case Ottawa life was not exciting enough with the parliamentary chaos we returned to, now the streets have degenerated to outright pandemonium. The Ottawa bus system -- which, for you non-Ottawans reading this, is the main way anyone gets anywhere in this city -- has gone on strike, thus rendering all traffic to standstill status. This is moreso exacerbated by the 30+ cm of snow we've had thus far, much of which has not yet been ploughed. It's bedlam out there.

But if anything, it's an absolute reinforcement of our choice to buy within walking distance of work. All of a sudden, those many extra thousands we paid for location seem a lot smaller. And better still, for the duration of the strike we've bargained out our extra parking to our suburban friends, on the grounds that they help us shovel our long-assed driveway! Everyone wins!! :-D

So what's next for Helga and Hume? Well, a Hume-less Helga will be hitting her hometown, The Peg, for the weekend to celebrate her grandparents' anniversary. It'll be a short trip, but hopefully I can still see a few friends along the way… wish me luck! :-)