About Me

An avid traveler I have had the good fortune to have spent my career in the travel and vacation industry. From Bali to Copenhagen and all points between is where I have been or intend to go. This blog however is specific to the Western half of the United States as I explore this part of the world.

Monday, October 31, 2005

Halloween Night

Wow, the first time I can remember the night ending with an empty candy bowl. I bought 4 bags of candy for Halloween night, 2 bags of Hershey miniatures, a bag of Reese's bars and a bag of Kit Kat bars. Most of the traffic was young kids with their parents. A few junior high and high school kids came by too... the junior high kids in costume, the high schoolers in civilian clothes on skate boards with this retro punk look... I am amazed and think it is pretty cool to see the punk rock style come back. Tight black jeans, black shirts with punk logo's and punked out hair with leather jackets covered with white out punk and anti-establishment slogans all over them. It's nice to see the youth of America getting back to a little non-conformity... punkers and intelligent design are like oil and water I imagine... however, punkers and Darwinism are probably like oil and water too! Man!

So anyway while waiting inside the door for trick or treaters I decided that I too would be in civilian clothes to had out candy... being 6'4" and 250lbs if I put on any of my scary stuff I would terrify the majority of my trick or treating audience who were primarily super cute youngsters dressed as mostly princesses or fairies if they were young girls or Star Wars and super hero types if young boys.

The tie for cutest was between an infant whom the parents had dressed in a skunk suit that had "little stinker" embroidered above the tail and a little girl dressed as scarecrow. She liked the carved and lit "punkins" as she called them on my patio wall... and I soon learned that "punkins" was to be her word for trick or treat, hello, thanks and goodbye.

While waiting for trick or treaters and Sonny to get home from work I was tearing through a great book by Colby Buzzell called My War. Mr. Buzzell kept a detailed journal of his experiences in Mosul, Iraq as an infantry army soldier in a Stryker platoon. He transitioned his journal to blogging and became one of the most recognized soldier bloggers and he later wrote this book... great and raw experience writing... hard to put down.

Sunny came home and it was dinner and a movie... since it was Halloween, a scary movie seemed appropriate so we watched Steven King's Riding the Bullet which wasn't bad.

As an adult I still kind of miss the mystery and atmosphere that I experienced when I went trick or treating... of course in our neighborhood I think there were about 7 houses decorated and our house was one of them... where are all the inventive adults and high schoolers who were around when I was a kid doing block and multiple house themes, with scary music, decorations and costumes to make trick or treating fun??

Vegas... the best Halloween City

It was time to put on the zoot suit and go out into public... this is a shot that Sonny took of me at Rain nightclub at the Palms. Her company had the club rented from 7:00pm to 10:00pm Saturday night with an open bar that I took full advantage of! For me the drink of choice was Glenfiddich on the rocks and for Sonny it was...

Cosmopolitans as a Go-Go girl from the Austin Powers era...

Initially there weren't a lot of people at Rain so we got a nice VIP table and enjoyed some tasty drinks as we watched for some of Sonny's co-workers and enjoyed the music while watching for interesting costumes in a sparsely populated club. However, there was a huge staff on duty so we expected that it would be standing room only... once the doors opened to the general public at 10:00pm... we had arrived about 7:45pm.

This is a view of the clubs dance area at about 8:00pm and as you can see there wasn't much going on yet...

By 10:15pm this was the scene... packed, everyone drinking, dancing and having a good time. I was glad to have my camera and Sonny and I took a lot of pictures with some of the wildest costumes... there is no place to celebrate Halloween like Las Vegas!

Let's go out and shoot some photos!

We were amazed to run into Richard Simmons at the party and Sonny had to get a shot with him.

The Suit... Stacy Adams... the shoes... Giorgio Brutini... Smoooookin!

Would have been pretty cool but there were about 4 or 5 Napoleon Dynamites at the club...

These girls were digging on my Zoot Suit....

And so were these and I was digging on their outfits too! And what were their Halloween names?

Fook Yu and Fook Mi

While I was hanging with the Fook twins Sonny was getting a shot with Jack, CEO of Jack in the Box and making him forget all about his plastic date...

The Witchdoctor is in!

Pimp Suit Man meets Zoot Suit Man... they have a fight, Zoot Suit wins... Zoot Suit Man.

She called herself the "Walk of Shame" the experience any girl has walking from a Frat boys room through the front door after a one night stand.

Sonny and I after a few and feeling good!

As we were leaving as late as it was there were still a bunch of people loitering around outside and a lot waiting to get in... I hope they were coming from somewhere else because I wasn't sure that they were going to be able to fit anymore in there. And of course on the way out I ran into this crew which made a great parting shot...

More Halloween shots at Rain

Would you like to dance Miss?

Hmm don't know about this??

Me and Holmes...

Jack and date.

While wandering around I was suprised to run into the Don and his escort Miss Third Base... I had seen Miss First Base and Miss Second Base but I suppose the Don knew what he was doing seeking out Miss Third Base :-)

Myself being an avid gamer I had to get a shot of Mario and Luigi as soon as the UPS man delivered them.

Ahhh vintage clothing...

Boogie Down!

This trio had some unbelievably realistic Asian costumes! The girl on the right saw the red in my suit and I had to run for cover... Sonny Help!

It was about time for Ronald and Mrs. Mcdonald to find a room...

Sonny and Foxy Brown... two peas in a pod...

Ahhhrrr Me Hearties!

The only Bunny in the place.

Ted enters the Matrix and also stands next to some poor slob with a sucker and crazy hair.

Pink is good

Quieren Margaritas?

Sonny with a Marlboro smoking, dark side Jawa or something.

That red hat looks good on someone other than me!

Thursday, October 27, 2005

Italy in Vegas

Sonny knew I would be at the strip meeting with some clients today and she asked me to pick up some makeup for her.

There was one place that had what she was looking for and I was going to be nearby (2 miles). Sephora is a super large makeup outlet in the Venetian and it had Sonny's fix. Some special kind of blush and facial cleanser.

Hmmm the place looked like a giant chemistry set and it must have shown on my face because one of the makeup ninjas (they all wear black) jumped to my aid...

"How can I help you sir?"

"I have a list."

"A list? ha ha ha he he he"

":-P yes a list"

"What are you looking for"

"I need x and I am also looking for y" (don't expect me to remember as it is like a foreign language)

"Ok see that woman in black?"

"They are all in black."

"That woman with black hair in black?" (now we have eliminated half of them :-P)

"That one?" I point.

"Yes talk to her and she will help you find y. Then walk down 10 rows take a left then and immediate right and then look on your left... I mean right."

I begin to think that this is some strategy to confound straight men. Any way, after waiting 5 minutes for the expert in product y... who was applying makeup to two very stern looking Chinese woman who's glances warned me off any question asking interruption... I finally got the blush Sonny wanted... then down the isle... left, right, left, right... there it was. I knew I should have gotten more excellents in my "listens to and follows directions" line on my elementary school report cards... instead of those damn U's for unsatisfactory.

$75 for 2 blushes the size of a carmax container and bottle of facial cleaner! Holy smokes... I don't think I spend that much a year on Speedstick and Lever 2000.

Well, after I had braved the women in black it was of through the Venetian to get back to the parking lot. Of course as my friend and fellow blogger suggested I carry my camera everywhere. And so I took some shots.

They had this hall decorated with banners for their Guggenheim exhibit on Russia... Nice hall.

This is a view from the front of the Venetian looking at the Mirage and if you turn around you see...

Notice the Tao banners... hmm Tao, Guggenheim... maybe this should be called NY,NY. Tao just opened recently here in Vegas and from what I understand it has been doing very well... I took a shot of the entranceway to Tao... notice the concrete containers on either side of the entrance hall? They are filled with water and rose petals...

Then it was back out toward the car and I took this shot from the high balcony overlooking the main Venetian square... the gondoleers actually sing while they steer you through the canals.

On the way out I noticed something else interesting. The walkalators going into the casino were working... the ones leaving?? Not working... gamblers glide in... but they walk out. Notice the man on the left with knee bent leaving the casino and obviously walking... the man and woman on the right are gliding comfortably toward the tables and one armed bandits...

Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Preparing for Halloween

The coolest spot to get a Zoot Suit or some other stylish apparel of that ilk is Valentino's on South 6th Street in Las Vegas... my costume this year is a brite red zoot suit... and quite a nice one at that.

I was trying to decide what to be this year and I was over the ghouls, vampires and zombies and wanted to be a little bit different. I definitely wasn't going to be an "in" character from some recent movie or show... not much originality in that. So my initial thought was Heat Miser... Remember him?? "I'm Mister Green Christmas... I'm Mister Sun... I'm Mister Heat Blister... I'm Mister Hundred and One... They call me Heat Miser,What ever I touch... Starts to melt in my clutch...I'm too much!

He was one of the more memorable characters from The Year Without A Santa Clause. If you have an urge to go out and buy a SHARP (mine is a Stacy Adams) Zoot Suit then talk to Valentino and Beverly Parker at Valentino's and they will hook you up!

I wanted to be more up to date and stylish Heat Miser like the Big Bad Voodoo Daddies updated Heat miser/ Freeze Miser song... The Zoot Suit looked so goooood I decided that was enough to be smooookin for Halloween... I'll make sure to post myself in my full regalia.

While downtown at Valentino's I also took some time to check out some of the other stores in that district... and there are some cool ones. Everyone that has been to Vegas knows about Caesar's Forum Shops and The Fashion Show Mall both excellent malls that should be toured if you have any interest in shopping.

What most people don't know about, that visit Vegas, is the underground fashion district. It is located south of the strip around main street and you know you are there when the store fronts start taking on a lot of color and the signs advertising the stores name and products/services are painted on in artistic ways rather than the standard metal and fiberglas illuminated signs.

The jewel of this underground fashion district is probably The Attic a collection of custom made and consignment vintage clothing and all kinds of other items such as furniture, appliances, etc.

I took a few out-the-window shots that aren't so great but give you an idea of what this district looks like... to the ordinary tourist it may look a bit like the "bad" side of town but that is not the case... of course I wouldn't suggest shopping after dark however... most stores are closed and in Vegas the freaks really do come out at night!