Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Las Vegas

Of course the most important reason I'm home is for Sky's wedding in Las Vegas. He had roughly 50 people turn up for it (about half from either side) which isn't bad for a destination wedding. The wedding was on a Thursday but the first part of the group flew down on Monday, including us. The wedding (and most of the guests) stayed in the Mandalay Bay hotel, though a few, including us ("us" being Grandma, Bre and Donovin, Savannah and Kees and my parents), stayed next door in the Luxor. The weather was roasting as expected, just over 100F during the day. I didn't do much during the first day though the others split up to see various shows that they were interested in.
Tuesday was the official bachelor party day and we started off with a 3 hour ATV tour in the desert to get us all hot and dusty. It was fun and my first time on an ATV. I still think the desert is beautiful and I love the heat. I was probably the only person the whole trip down to Vegas that wasn't sweating like crazy when we went outside... After quick showers the boys,, continued the day at The Gun Store where it's possible to shoot off a huge range of firearms from pistols to fully automatic SAWs.

The remainder of the night was rounded off with dinner, drinks and dancing. Because people were still arriving all day Tuesday our group kept changing size as people joined when they could.
Tuesday was also special for us because Rhiis (our good friend that had done the videos in Egypt with us 4 years ago) drove over from California for a couple days to visit as well. He was not an invitee to the wedding but crashed on our floor and hung out all day Wednesday and Thurday morning to catch up after so many years apart. The others had seen him 2 years ago when he came up to Vancouver to visit. In the last few years he's had growing success with the death metal band he's created called Ana Kefr. If you're into death metal be sure to check them out.

With Rhiis.

The wedding itself was on Thursday afternoon with the reception on the 60th floor of the Mandalay Bay hotel after. I was one of the groomsmen. It was a nicer wedding than many of us had expected. The first thought that comes to many minds when a Vegas wedding is mentioned is something quick and tacky but this one was nicely done and the bride and groom beautiful and sappy. Overall it was great to have a chance to catch up with a lot of extended family all at once but I still haven't really spent much time at all getting to know my new sister Adriana. Something to look forward to in the years to come I guess. They are off to Europe for a month of honeymoon, a little ironic considering the rest of the family has just left Europe.

The whole family reunited again for the first time in 3 1/2 years to welcome a new addition.

We don't always look like scruffy travellers ;)

As for Las Vegas itself. It was my 5 time visiting but first in almost 10 years so I was curious to see how different things looked this time around. I was disappointed actually. Vegas used to be hot, busy and full of lights but after living in the tropics, Cairo and seeing places like Hong Kong at night, these 3 adjectives don't seem nearly as special anymore. It is still a crazy place of course but I think as it diversifies itself (the city was at one point the fastest growing in the US and there are now big stores on the strip and not just casinos) it feels even more like a tacky tourist trap city and less like something tackily specialized (and thus still a must see). I still think if you haven't been you need to go once, but I doubt I'd make a special effort to return. I do get a kick out of the architectural scale of the thing. 19 of the 25 largest hotels in the world are still found in Las Vegas so it is all a bit crazy. I just think the direction it's going with the newest editions is making it more mainstream and less fun for me.

Buffet time!

Bellagio's Fountain.

Where we stayed, Luxor.



At 2:56 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

HEy Ammon,
Sorry to have missed you on your parents fly by. I know what you mean about Vegas, was here for a conference and it all seemed to be trying too hard. But then I'm not much of a crowds and lights person. My favourite place in Vancouver is up on Seymour Mountain Escarpment past the lake. Ask your Mom she's been up there with me and friends a bunch of time, very peaceful.
So now to recharge and regroup and figure out where to go?

Bear Hugs as Always.
The Bear

At 4:16 PM , Blogger Ju_B said...

Ammo, you scrubbed up pretty well ;) looking good in that suit mate (well, last time I saw you we were riding bikes through a jungle and eating cheap food-court curries in singapore).. hhehe

At 10:06 AM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

We were really glad to have you "home" for the wedding :) Thanks again!


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