After my 8 week internship in Reno ended almost as quickly as it began, we hit the road again to head East to Pittsburgh. Our first goal was to get across the state of Nevada, from Reno to Las Vegas where we’d stay with my cousin Heather and her family. It was a long drive so we made plans to stay in a very little town called Tonopah, almost exactly halfway between the two cities. There was a historic hotel that had been remodeled called the Mizpah that a friend recommended we stay at, so we were glad to have a bed for the night there. After eating BBQ at the Tonopah Brewery we turned in to watch some shows on a laptop and got a great night of rest.
Once we arrived in Las Vegas, we met up with Heather, her parents, and her boyfriend and his parents (they were having a family gathering and we kind of showed up the same day) so we all went to Cheesecake Factory for some dinner and chit chat. Grant and I eventually went to old Las Vegas and Freemont Street to check out the weirdness Vegas has to offer. It lived up to expectations – costumed people all over the place, weird performers on side stages, literally every type of person walking around spectating, and open containers on the street. I had a good time checking stuff out while drinking a hard Arnold Palmer but now I can say I don’t have a need to ever go back to the “Freemont Street Experience” again…
The next day, Heather recommended a hotel pool called The M that we could pay to swim at for the day, and it was an awesome day for it. The pool was beautiful, the weather was hot as per usual, and we even went to In N Out one last time for lunch before returning to the pool again. We changed at Heather’s house before going out to the Strip for the night. We parked at the Bellagio and walked towards the Strip, noticing a man on the group with paramedics trying to revive him – he was very overweight and just had a heart attack right there on the sidewalk. It was really crazy to witness and I don’t know what happened in the end.
For dinner we had pizza at a trendy restaurant down the alleyway near The Linq, a new (within a year) casino that we walked through and had admiration for their air quality – it certainly smelled newer than the other disgusting casinos that smell like caked-in cigarettes over years and years. Regardless of this appeal, casinos just aren’t our thing and we mostly stuck to the outdoor strip for walking and drinking beers as we people-watched.
We had tickets to see the Beatles “Love” Cirque du Soleil performance and it was spectacular! There was so much going on onstage, the stage changed constantly to accommodate each act, the effects were great, and even just hearing some of my favorite Beatles songs on a quality loud speaker was fun for me. We really, really enjoyed it. Afterwards, we sat under the “Eiffel Tower,” watched street performers, saw the tail end of the Bellagio fountain show, and drank some more. It was a fun time.