Loud Music is a $40 Fine

Just my personal blog.

August 14, 2007

Western Swing

We flew into San Diego from Nashville on a Thursday, rented a car, and checked into the Holiday Inn by the Bay. It’s an OK hotel, and at least they had free WiFi in the room.

On Friday, we went to the “World Famous” San Diego Zoo. It’s a huge place. We took the bus tour for the first 45 minutes there, then walked around looking at the individual animals that the bus wasn’t able to get close to. I think the San Diego Zoo is “world famous” mostly because of Joan Embry’s appearances on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson. Maybe I was expecting too much, or maybe it was because they had relocated some of the animals to the Wild Animal Park to renovate a section of the park (to, believe it or not, place fake animals in their place), but I was not that impressed.

Saturday, before we drove up to Oceanside, we walked over to the Midway Museum. That’s actually the USS Midway, an aircraft carrier that first sailed just after World War II ended in 1945 and last saw combat action in the first Gulf War. Just across the bay we could see the Navy’s newest carrier, the USS Ronald Reagan.

So, we drove up to Oceanside and visited with family for a few days. On the way back to San Diego on Wednesday, we took the scenic Highway 101, which goes by the coast. We saw some incredible ocean views.

Next up, Vegas!

We got into Las Vegas Wednesday around 3:30 in the afternoon. That’s the first airport I’ve seen with slot machines. We had a pretty packed time planned for Las Vegas. We took advantage of the Las Vegas Power Pack, which gave us three days’ admission into a lot of attractions. I also got a deal on tickets to see the Cirque Du Soleil show Love on Saturday night.

The Power Pass included a two hour visit to Hoover Dam. That’s a pretty incredible structure. We went down into the generator house on the Nevada side. Because of the low water level, they only had about half the generators running.

We also took in the two attractions at the Luxor (which is where we stayed). We went up into the Stratosphere (where people were actually on top riding the three rides). We went to Madam Tussauds Wax Museum, the Guggenheim Hermitage Museum, and the Bellagio Gallery of Fine Art. Finally, we saw Siegfried & Roy’s Secret Garden and then went to the Adventuredome in Circus Circus.

I’ve never walked so much in my life.

I have to say the highlight was the Cirque Du Soleil show. Those folks were doing incredible acrobatic things, all set to Beatles music. I guess the second highlight was playing in a real live poker game. It was a tournament with 18 players, and I finished 9th. I learned that I’m not that good at poker.

Overall, it was a very nice trip. If I had it to do over again, I would not have rented the car and instead would have taken Amtrak up to Oceanside. Also, I don’t know what I was thinking by booking the trip in August. Although the temperature in Southern California barely got to the mid 70’s, in Las Vegas it reached 100 degrees every day we were there.

I think over the next few days I’ll write more extensive reviews of the places we saw and the attractions we visited.

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