Leaving Las Vegas


I was very eager go to west coast. I started off around 2:15 pm and by 4:00 pm had finished the security check in. But around 5:00 pm I came to know that due to thunderstorm at New York the planes are delayed by 3 hour. But then I had a connecting flight from New York. So I was put on a flight to Oakland which was supposed to leave at 11:00 pm. That was first time my flight was getting delayed for so long and was in for a experience of “The Terminal”. I was anxious and worried what will happen to the flight we had the next day to Irvine. I had to spend 6 hours alone and thankfully the terminal had points for charging the laptop and was happy to use laptop though not connected to the net.

At around 10:00 pm they Jet Blue guys started serving snacks at the boarding point and 15 minutes later they announced the New York flight is canceled. Butterflies started fluttering in my stomach. I called up Nikhil to find out the alternatives I had in case the flight got canceled. I came to know that the planes do not take off after 12:00 pm in US airports. When the boarding started at 12:00 am I was relieved. I reached Oakland around 3:30 AM and Nikhil and Mun Mun were just in time to pick me.This was my first real "flight delay". Never before I have waited for so long and so much of anxiety.

We reached San Jose around 4:00 and then I had my dinner which included delicious samosas and baingan ka bartha. Dinner and talk lasted till 6:30 am and we took a “power nap” of 3-31/2 hours before we started packing for our trip to Vegas. When we reached San Jose air port we came to know that the flight was delayed by 1 hour. This time I was happy at the delay and I and Nikhil happily utilized the time to quench our thirst with drink and satisfy the appetite with some Pizza. I was surprised that they were serving chilli flakes along with pizza which was not the case in east coast pizzerias. It was a short flight to Orange County. When we took the bags and came out Shetty was ready in his recently bought BMW to pick us. We went to his home to pick his stuff and some CDs and without wasting much time we were on the road to Vegas!

Mojave Desert

Our first pit stop was buying essentials for the trip then we we took another break to have some delicious Mexican food in the desert. It was pleasant drive to Vegas across the Mojave desert. At some places the speed limit was 80 mph and with the allowed tolerance of another 10 mph we were flying on the highway. As the sun started to sink the sky was sprayed orange and blue. With the occasional tall electric poles it on the mountain peaks it was getting scenic by the moment. I guess Nikhil managed a "Power" nap in between while I was trying to take some snaps from inside the car moving at 90-100 mph. At around 8:00 pm we went past first of the casino cities. Around 9:30 pm we had checked into MGM Grand. I was amazed by the look of the casino. After relaxing for really short time we were out on the the Vegas streets.

On the card was to watch all the shows put up the different casinos. First was to musical fountain in a lake in front of Bellagio. I captured the my best video ever of the swinging fountains to the tune of "Heart will go on..." by Celine Dion. The next was the simulated volcano at the Cesar's palace. Though we wanted to go to Wyn which was the latest kid on the block the time was close to 12:00 midnight we returned in search of a casino where the rookies like us can play on the table.

We settled down at Hooters for the dinner and there after gambling . To start with I lost some quick money at the slot machines. Then looking at the success of Nikhil at roulette table, I decided to try my luck. As it turned out be that was certainly not favorable as I lost some money after playing for more than an hour the fun was worth the money lost. After a while NP and VS moved to the Black Jack table as I did not know the ABC of this game remained as a spectator for some time. Then I found Black Jack on the terminals which gave me the opportunity to try the tricks learned so far. I got deeply engrossed and when VS and NP came searching for me it was already 6'o clock in the morning. It was time to go to bed. But now I was addicted to "Black Jack". Later on this became the most frequently played game on Fedora)

Cesar's Palace, From Las Vegas

We got up around noon and hurriedly got ready to visit the Hoover dam which is one of the symbols of American determination. Though I had visited many dams earlier it was nothing more than mere staring at the big turbines and some thrill of hearing the gushing waters. But this visit turned out be impressive with the guided tour which included a documentary show and an enthusiastic young lady explaining history and working of the dam. There was also a museum which brought alive the conditions when the dam was under construction. On the way back we were thinking of a helicopter ride, but did not venture as it was getting dark.

Back in Vegas we purchased tickets for the Zumanity show by Cirque de Solil and spent some time at New York New York, eating and gambling. Zumanity show was stunning and sensual display of acrobatics. We watched without closing eye lids. When we came out it was close to midnight and time for some grub then again to gamble! By this time I had brought a card explaining how to play Black Jack which certainly helped to learn the tricks of the trade :)

Next day morning we roamed around watching all the architecture. Treat of the day was the view of Vegas from Effiel Tower replica at Paris Paris. VS managed to win everything lost in two with a stroke of luck at slot machine. Our memorable trip of Vegas was coming to an end. When NP was repeatedly asking me to have a nice vacation I had not thought it would be this great! Thanks NP and VS for such good begining to the vacation at west coast.