Yesterday, after landing, it took a while to get my bearings on the airport and figure out the smartest way to get to my hotel. I ended up choosing the economical route-a shuttle bus to various hotels on the strip. When I arrived at my hotel at 10:00am local time, I expected they’d make me wait until 3:00pm to check in, but the kind concierge let me into my room. I also imagined that my room (and hotel in general) would be dingy at best, and disgusting in all likelihood, because of its price and reviews, but I love it. It’s perfect for my needs. I opted to stay slightly off the strip and in a basic standard hotel, rather than a “resort” with a casino, to better evade the stimulation of the lights and action that is Vegas. My room is spacious, with a comfortable king bed, a clean bathroom, and a kitchenette, which is a necessity for me with the severity and breadth of my food allergies. It has a nice outdoor pool and friendly people. The air conditioning leaves something to be desired; no matter how cool I set it, the temperature of the room stays at a slightly too balmy 77. I sleep best when I’m freezing; even in the frigid January sub-zero nights, I sleep with a window open!
After getting the lay of the land and putting on appropriate summer wear instead of warm airplane layers, I took to the streets and checked out the area and part of the strip. As a Food Network and culinary lover, I was particularly excited to see all of the celebrity chefs’ restaurants! I also went over to where the conference will be held, just to practice navigating there. I bought some groceries and also a few necessities that I forgot: sunglasses, sunscreen, flip flops, etc. I also rested, did a little work, read, and swam in the pool.
As always, I had a lot of trouble sleeping. I’m very tired as I write this and I’ve been up since 12:50am local time, which is about my usual at home (3:50am). However, I went to bed at my normal time in this time zone, meaning I shaved three hours off my sleep window. Moreover, I was up a lot of the night. It will all be okay though because I don’t have any scheduled programming today, so I can take my time doing the things I want and rest whenever I need to. Instead of pushing myself, I’m going to listen to my body and slow down and take it easy when I sense the need. My only real obligations today are to go to the event site and pick up my registration; I’ve already practiced that, so that will be easy. If I’m up to it, I am planning to venture down the strip a bit more to people-watch and get a brief taste of the “Las Vegas Experience.” Tomorrow morning, the madness and busyness of the conference ensues, so I will soak up the luxury afforded by a “free” day and keep a spontaneous and flexible attitude. Here’s to a safe, fun, self-sufficient, and brave day!