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Sunday, July 02, 2006

back from vegas

Sorry for the lack of posting, but I was attending a conference in Vegas last week, and I'm still recovering...

I hadn't been to Sin City in about 4 years. My advice: if you're planning to go in the near future, do NOT stay at the Monte Carlo, which is where I stayed (and where the conference was). The main reason I say this is that just about the entire area surrounding this hotel is under construction, and the construction vehicles start work around 5:30 AM. Yes, I was awakened each day at that godawful time to the in-reverse warning beeps of those self-same construction vehicles. This construction will be ongoing for at least another year or two.

After the first night, I complained. The hotel gave me a $20/night break on the hotel bill, and comped a buffet meal, so they did try to make amends. They put me in another room facing a different direction, which was only slightly better. To make matters worse, the bathtub in the new room had a clogged drain. After a 5 minute shower the water was up to my ankles. I can't stand the idea that water that is touching my skin is also touching whatever disgusting items are clogging the drain, so after each shower I would get out and then re-wash my ankles and feet from outside the tub.

The casino itself at the Monte Carlo is actually quite nice - it's one of the least smoky I've seen, and it's not so large that you will get lost in it, like so many others. Plus, the on-site brewpub was excellent as usual (I recommend the pale ale). It's annoying, though, that the tram to the Belagio is not running during this construction period.

One more thing - if you take a cab from McCarren airport to a hotel on the strip, instruct the driver to take Tropicana blvd. and NOT the expressway. My cab driver took the expressway, which costs about $8-$10 more than the Tropicana route, and isn't any faster. Apparently a lot of these asshole cab drivers are pulling this scam, according to the honest cabbie who brought me back to the airport.

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