TOWB: Day 1, LA to LV or Air Travel, Traffic and Tenders
I said goodbye to my apartment this morning, but since my apartment is in the top story of a house and since I've been there for ten years, it really feels more like i said goodbye to my house and home, and I am now officially homeless.
Our journey started with some air travel as we had to unite our party on the west coast before we could drive to the east. Balson woke up at 2 am for a 6 am flight out of Philadelphia. He had a stop in Chicago and then landed at LAX slightly behind schedule, but it gave me enough time to get out the first post for this series which was nice.
I had one last stop planned for my LA farwell tour, and that was having lunch with one of my previous roommates, Bryan Hong. He had picked out the excellent Guisado's Tacos and our mouth's were watering, until we found out that both locations were closed for repairs. Of course we didn't find out about the second location until we went there, but it's okay, we were nearby a good burrito place... which was also closed. We ended up going to one of my favorite west coast slow-fast food franchises Farmer Boys. It was great to see Bryan one last time, but I was itching to get out on the road.
So we said our goodbyes and I hopped on road and got started with the first leg of our journey. This was the one part of the trip that I've done before and have a pretty good handle on. We had booked our hotel in Vegas and even had tickets to two shows. We were going to see KÀ at 9:30pm that night and Blue Man Group the next day. We were leaving at 1:30; with the 5-6 hours it would take us, we'd have plenty of time to get there, check into the hotel and then head over to the MGM grand for showtime.
Oh but how foolish we were to think that the gods of the great California freeways would let us go that easily! We had some minor knots of traffic at a few different places on the fifteen but nothing to be concerned about. Then about 140 miles from Las Vegas, everything came to a stand still. Red lights as far as the eye could see ahead of us; to the right and left on small service roads nothing but lines of cars. As we inched forward we watch our expected arrival time slip further and further into the future. At one point it was as late as 9:13 pm. So with a heavy heart and what little cell service we had, we called LasVegas.com and had them cancel our tickets.
We spent the rest of the time we were in traffic trying to figure out what we were going to do once we got to there. There are tons of things to do in Vegas but we decided that our first stop should be to the chicken tender focused Raising Cane's. I had heard that the texas toast that comes with the meal is delicious and that the tenders and the sauce are not to be missed. After having a 3 piece meal, I heartily echo the sentiments about the sauce and the toast, and the Tenders are pretty good too. The place had a really strange design aesthetic to it, but I could see how the simplicity of the menu would make it an easy place to always agree on when it came to deciding where to go.
Bellies full, it was time to hit the local Target for supplies that are not TSA approved(contact lens solution, Clorox wipes, etc). We drove the strip to see the sights, always a welcome tour. Then off to the hotel where we had our first "what should we take in from the car" decision time. All checked in and unpacked we headed out on the strip for our second Vegas food stop of the day, White Castle! 32 oz souvenir cup full of Shock Top later and we're back in the room settling down for the night.
We only saw a few interesting things on the drive. First there was a pretty bad rear end collision two lanes to the left of us after we had been on the road for less than five minutes. Then later we saw the aftermath of a aluminum can collection truck with doors that wouldn't stay closed. It's hard to tell from the video, but the right two lanes were covered in flattened cans. Then they started getting picked up by the draft from the cars and they were flying around like bits of paper caught by the wind.
Conversation ranged, but a few of the more random topics were the non-derogatory origin of the phrase "spic and span" and just what exactly DPI is good for if you aren't printing anything.
Our plan for tomorrow is Vegas buffet, Blue Man Group, and then head out for Holbrook Arizona outside the Petrified forest. We're trying to set up our following days activities of visiting the Very Large Array and then getting to Albuquerque. If you have anything you think we should do between here and there, please let us know in the comments(on facebook).