Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky. (slithytove) wrote,
Be wise. Be brave. Be tricky.

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Vacation thoughts: Vegas, etc.

FLYING-into-Las-Vegas thoughts.

1. Don't buy black soft-sided luggage. In the Las Vegas airport, about 90% of the bags on the baggage carousel were black, soft-sided, and about the same size. Nearly impossible to tell apart without picking up each bag, examining it, and maybe even checking the name tag. Lots of frustration. Buy red, green, blue, covered-with-hide-of-endangered-species, or something, but not black. I've got a large, black soft-sided suitcase that I'm seriously thinking of painting with huge circles of Construction Site Fence Orange or Police Line Yellow, just for easy identification.

2. Maybe don't buy American Tourister. A couple of years ago I was looking for a large piece of luggage in which to travel my backpacking gear (airline baggage handling systems do horrible things to packs). After searching, I came to the conclusion that the most respected brands among professional travelers were Briggs and Riley and TravelPro. People were complaining that American Tourister bags tended to fall apart after only 100,000 miles or so. But I don't travel that much, and AT bags cost half or a third what those other brands do! So I bought AT. My AT bag is now on its second or third trip, and the plastic molding around the pull handle has begun to crack. >.< It's only got around 5,000 miles on it. Grrr. Maybe I should have sprung for the Briggs and Riley after all.

3. Seigfried and Roy are getting awfully old. Middle-aged celebrities typically look twenty years younger than their actual age, in their publicity shots, and Seigfried and Roy look haggard, and 50 years old at least. Deathwatch time.

4. Can I buy stock in Cirque Du Soleil? They've now got two shows going in Vegas alone, along with all their other projects. Only a matter of time before they start building theme parks and hotels, producing films, getting McDonalds promotions of Cirque action figures for toddlers to choke on, TV shows, and the whole entertainment franchise brand expansion ramp-up.

5. Las Vegas is ugly to drive into from the south, up I-515. A heavy layer of pink-grey smog lies over the city. The Las Vegas area is the fastest-growing metropolitan in the nation, and it's paying for it.

6. Good experience with American Airlines. 4 flights (stops in Chicago and Dallas-Ft. Worth) total, every one on-time, or very close. AA claims it has expanded coach leg room slightly, and in fact, things do feel a little more roomy. Last trip I took was on America West, which was horrible: most flights were late, one was canceled, one arrived so late as to make me miss a connecting flight, and added about 12 hours to my trip.

7. Decent experience with Dollar Rent-a-car. Satisfactory, clean car. Understaffed counter at the Las Vegas airport, which resulted in long wait, but it may just have been a day when too many employees called in sick. I think most of the car rental places are okay, with the exception of Alamo, which is several cuts below the rest. It always gets the lowest rating in Consumer Reports surveys. I've used Alamo once, when a friend was in charge of setting up the car rental, and never again! Long lines, surly service, lousy car.

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