I arrived via bus at about 7am to Salt Lake City. I had no idea where i really was, and anyone i asked where Salt Palace (the conference venue) was, just looked at me funny. There was a taxi outside the bus station, but I'm really cheap, so i decided to take my bags and walk. Which in retrospect, was a bit silly, because it could of been km's away.
As it turns out, it was about 2km's a way. Problem was carrying all my bags it got a bit heavy after about 200 meters. I finally found the conference venue and checked in. I got given a whole bunch of new stuff I had to carry around. It was about 8am now, so I had an hour before the keynote speech to find my conference. I managed to find a shuttle (novell sponsored the shuttles) to the hotel (i wasnt sure it was mine, but luckily, it actually was). So i checked in and then got the shuttle back to the conference.
The conference venue is massive. There are about 500 people at the conference. I'll be taking some pics and updating this entry.
So I left Atlanta at 12:00pm, flew 4 hours, and arrived in Las Vegas at 2:00 pm. These time zones are soo screwy! So so far I've been awake since Friday morning at about 7. Its now Saturday 14h00 Las Vegas time, and about 11pm South African time. I didn't sleep much on the plane, so i'm feeling pretty tired.
Because the flight to Las Vegas was during the day, i got to see some countryside from the airplane. Las Vegas is in the Nevada Desert which is a red sand desert. There's nothing for miles, and then we passed over a big dam, which happened to be the Hoover Dam. Shortly after that, its like an oasis in the dessert this city started to appear. There's so much space they have to expand, as around them is flat desert, and they say Las Vegas is one of the fastest growing cities in the US.
As you land, you see some of the famous landmarks, the Luxor Hotel being one of them. Its a black hotel in the shape of a pyramid. The second thing that strikes you as soon as you walk into Vegas Airport - directly out the terminal door - Slot machines!! Tons of gambling slot machines in the airport. Its soo funny. And there are people sitting there playing them... its crazy!
If you don't know the story, the main reason I went to Vegas was to meet up with my friend Shannon - who was a marine in the US marines in Kosovo at the same time i was there. So when she heard I was coming to the US, she said we need to hook up, and was willing to drive to Salt Lake City (where the conference is), but she lives in California and Vegas was kinda in the middle... So we decided to meet there.
Before I left SA, my aunt told my other aunt I would be in the US and in Vegas. By pure chance, Ruth (my aunt) and Merrick (her husband), were in Vegas at the same time as me for a conference!! I couldn't get hold of Shannon or Dave and I had been waiting at the airport for about an hour. I decided to phone Merrick and try get through to them. He was staying at the Venetian Hotel on Las Vegas strip. I took a shuttle to the hotel (i can defiantly recommend shuttles or buses, as I think taking a taxi is just a big waste of money) - The shuttle cost me $6 while a taxi would of cost me $30. So if you are traveling, try find the cheaper options, way better.
So i took the shuttle, which goes down the strip to the Venetian Hotel. You cant believe the amount of people that are there, its just hundreds of people walking up and down. You drive down all the famous hotels going down the strip - new york new york, MGM, Balagio, Treasure Island, Mirage, Ceasers - have a look here for a virtual map of the strip and the casino's in it.
Its really wierd how the different states in America have their own rules and regulations. In Nevada, you can drink in the street. So its really crazy to see people drinking and then just walking with their drinks to the next place. All the nightclubs are inside the casino hotels. Kinda like Monsoon in Emperors Palace.
On the way to the Venetian in the shuttle, i was sitting next to a hot chick, who I spoke to. She was polish. I carried her bags for her, and then kinda said bye, like i thought, i'll prob see her a bit later. No chance for that. Everything is soo busy and soo big, so that plan didn't work. So i met my Uncle & Aunt at the Venetian. They offered me a place to stay there, which was great. As i was hotelless. They also took me for lunch and actually, they were really great and paid for all of my meals and offered to buy me stuff. I kept having to saying no!!
So i met Shannon and Dave at the Venetian. Dave is a US marine and had a friend who was getting married in Vegas. So instead of going to watch a show, i went to the wedding. Little did i know that it was at a cheap Vegas chapel. I couldnt believe it! We went down the strip and then on the right hand side, you start seeing wedding chapels. like 6 straight after another. We stopped at the chapel called Little Garden wedding chapel. It had to have been the trashiest thing i've ever seen!
So everyone's been wanting to know whats up, what been happening, what i've done, who i've done. Its already Tuesday 20th. Really late to actually try remember everything, but I'll try mention the highlights. (Not all the highlights... most of what happens in Vegas stays in Vegas)
So i guess we need to start in the beginning. Well, when a mommy loves a daddy, and they come together... ok, not that far back.