Vegas – Here I come!

We are off to Vegas – yoo hoo! This trip was a last minute idea – we were visiting our friends in the Carolinas who had booked their Thanksgiving trip to Vegas and were after us to book ours too. Now this was 3 weeks ago. We checked the prices that night but they were too high. So we checked again the next day, still too high. We finally gave up after a couple of days and stopped looking. Lets stay home and relax and go for a short winter trek nearby – that was our Thanksgiving plan until last Friday.

When our friends called us up again. ‘Check now, there’s a fabulous deal on!’ So we checked and re-checked, rubbing our eyes in disbelief. This looked too good to be true – we were getting the exact same package as our friends and at a better price, two months after they had booked and less than one week before our travel dates! Someone up there wants us to visit Vegas, we concluded and booked our tickets pronto. Another couple, college friends who live in the Bay Area, were also being badgered by our Carolina friends simultaneously and turns out they got a great deal too. I love Expedia’s last minute deals!

All this excitement notwithstanding, for the first time in my life, I am traveling without knowing much about the place I’m going to. This is not my travel style at all! I usually book at least three months in advance and then research like crazy until I know our destination like the back of my hand and can rattle off attractions and timings and restaurants and travel tips like a tourist guide. The husband knows this by now and relies on me for most of our vacation planning.

But not this time! This time, we blindly booked the hotel our friends had booked, without me reading all the 109 reviews on TripAdvisor. And we’ll be seeing the shows our friends get an employee discount on and will visit the attractions they have narrowed down on.

Somehow, this hands-off style of traveling does not suit me at all. But I had no choice, considering we had very few days left to go and lots of preparations to make. So I did the next best thing, sent a SOS email to M who very enthusiastically responded within the hour. I have found a soul sister in her, I think, she sent me a long email with a detailed description of all the attractions and her recommendations and even a spreadsheet with all the show timings and prices neatly listed down. A spreadsheet? Now this is a girl after my own heart! Thanks a ton M!

I am breathing a little easier now. I am proxy-prepared if not well-prepared this time. And to make up for the lack of research, I went and got myself a fabulous new haircut on Sunday. If I have to go on a blind trip, I might as well go with confidence if nothing else!

So we’ll be in Vegas for the rest of this week and though we’ll carry our laptop, the husband is very likely to kill me if I dare open the wordpress homepage anytime during our trip! So I may not risk updating my blog or replying to comments until we are back. Then again, I just might try my luck once he’s fast asleep, but don’t count on it. The guy takes hours and hours to fall asleep and I take just seconds! I’ll see you on the other side of this weekend anyhow. Happy Holidays friends!

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18 responses to “Vegas – Here I come!

  1. This year’s rewarding us lazy fellows, huh? πŸ˜€

    Oh yes Sindhu, spontaneity will be my mantra this time. (I’ll try!)

  2. I often wonder if we are taking the fun and surprise element out of stuff by all this internet research on what to do once you go there. I mean, looking for cheap fares seems a usefully decent thing to try, saves you money . But what ever happened to going to a place, wandering and wondering as you move about, chats at the hotel desk with long time natives advising you on when to see what…. …. and while making sudden decisions to fly to vegas maybe termed spontaneity, a spreadsheet of activities with timings is certainly not.

    Having given you my “senior” take on all this, , I hope you have a great visit and enjoy your thanksgiving outing ….

  3. I know what you mean Suranga. And I do agree, to a large extent.

    But there are a couple of things that go against this philosophy for park/show/theme-oriented destinations in the US. Hear me out on this please! For one, there are only very specific things to be done in such destinations, there’s not much scope for discovery or wandering about. For example, when we were in Orlando, we could go to Disney, Universal or Sea World etc. Not much else to see in the city at all! Plus these places are so expensive that one wishes to maximize one’s time when there. Also, there are hardly any natives one meets on the road to ask for advice, the hotel desk folks have a prepared spiel or will just hand you a brochure or worse you might be unlucky enough to run into some ‘timeshare’ guys! And finally, most of us Indians have no prior knowledge of these cities, so we prefer to be prepared.

    Okay, rant over! I am sure you would know all this yourself but I thought I’d present my perspective on this. πŸ™‚ Would love to know your thoughts again!

    Having said that, I have to admit, I happened to wander about D.C. last month without an agenda – it was the most fun I’ve had in a long long time! And we HAVE taken the sort of vacation you mention in India – Goa, Shimla and Manali. Honestly, I do enjoy these laidback/explorative kind of vacations the best – especially befriending natives, trying their food or being part of their way of life for a while. In Manali we chanced upon a local Ramlila while wandering about the town market – it was the most wonderful part of our trip, especially since I had never seen a Ramlila before!

  4. Oh, and one final excuse I thought of – shorter vacations, longer travel times and more expensive vacations – all conspire to push us to ‘make the most’ of the vacation. Not the best attitude I’ll admit, but… πŸ™‚

  5. have fun d!! i so love your name!! πŸ˜€

    and have a super super trip and enjoy letting go the control button and go with the flow!!

    waiting to hear loadsa stories now!!

    cheers!

  6. LOL @ the new haircut to make up for the research. Nice funda.
    And @ “the guy takes hours to sleep and I take seconds”
    Take your time, and bring us beautiful and interesting moments and then jot and muse on the stuff you bring back. And dont forget the pics.
    Have fun !

  7. Nice. Have fun. Vegas is fun if you are open about just taking in the sights and the sounds without expecting too much. Do not miss out on all the awesome restaurants in The Mirage hotel and casine. The Venetian has a few good ones too. Do walk on the Vegas Boulevard at night.

  8. Thanks Ritu and Mithe!

    You like my name Abha? My name? Thanks then! πŸ™‚

    He does take a very long time to sleep you know Mampi. Or so he says, I am never awake to notice! Oh yes, I won’t forget the pics!

    Hmmm… thanks for the warning Shilpa. Lower expectations = more fun, almost always in my experience. So I’ll keep your words in mind. πŸ™‚

  9. Chill! No mugging and ratta-oing allowed for Vegas trip. Have fun! It’s the perfect place for a 3-4 day weekend trip. Which hotel are you guys staying in?

  10. We were in the Luxor. I took your advice and avoided all ratta-oing btw… it’s been ages since I heard that term being used. Felt good!

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