This trip works well for our people because of the proximity of Vegas to both the California and Utah locations. Highlights of the trip include:
- The Valley of Fire. I have wanted to stop at that location for years. It's about 10-20 north of Vegas on the I-15, and I have always been fascinated with the fireworks sign posted in the front. Knowing that we had time because the other guys were running late, Nick, Mike, and I stopped and to my delight, it was even better than I had expected. Once you walk in the place, it is pretty much a grocery store full of fireworks. I didn't even know that so many varieties were available, but there they were, lining the rows of several aisles. I ended up getting a few, but was restrained in my purchasing because I knew that I would be passing by again before going home for the 4th of July.
- Finding a range card with enough money left over to pay for everyone to warm up before the first round of golf...and the next day too.
- Mike Liu checking into the hotel, playing a few hands of blackjack, and winning enough in his first half hour in Vegas to pay for his whole trip. Is it still gambling when you have those kinds of skills?
- Too much sushi. The problem was letting Doug order in the first place. Five of us sat at our table, and we seriously must have had about 20 rolls come out to us. The best idea of this part of the evening was getting the completely raw shrimp (not a fan), but then having them fry up the shrimp heads and legs (even less of a fan). I couldn't believe how gross it looked. I feel like I've come a long way with my sushi boldness, but when the eyes are still in the heads and the legs look like spiders legs, I just can't stomach it. The good news was that at any all-you-can-eat sushi place, you have to eat EVERYTHING or they charge you more. This turned into having Doug eat everything he could, passing some to Mike, and then hiding the rest under dishes and the ginger. The specialty rolls were amazing, and being Vegas, they all had lewd names which goes over well on a dudes-only trip. Wet dreams, anyone? You know what's not good, though? Post-sushi burps. Not as good going out as coming in. Not even close.
- Second day of golf - hitting my driver and feeling something go drastically wrong and realizing that the head of my brand new, twice-used club, had just flown off. Even more maddening was the fact that my tee was still in place, meaning that I didn't even hit the ground or anything. It just came right off. When that happened to Dave years ago, I thought it was the funniest thing in the world. I doubled over in laughter and couldn't contain myself. This time around I didn't even know how to react. I wasn't even that mad. I just couldn't believe that it happened. Other highlights of that round...Mike Reid getting an eagle. "Burning rubber" in the cart and getting yelled at by the marshall. Playing sixes on the final three and getting yelled at by some other old guy. Dave annoying the crap out of said old guy. Figuring out that I can actually hit my woods and hybrids pretty well. Those vanilla cream cookies.
- Pool time. More specifically, playing pool-basketball, which inevitably turns into a wrestling match. Nick's shorts were ripped. Doug had a huge scratch across his chest. And after two hours of holding on for dear life, or tearing at arms, extending legs into a person's torso, or holding someone underwater until they dropped the ball, everyone was pretty wiped out.
- The Stratosphere. The best part about it was probably Joe and how nervous he was about going on the rides. Somehow the Big Shot is a thousand times better when one of the people you're going with is deathly afraid of heights. We tried the X-Scream, which turned out to be only X-Mediocre. The Big Shot was closed that night due to wind gusts of about 45-60 mph, so we hit it up the next morning.