Day -35 – What does the FOX Say?

What does the FOX say?  Haley’s home!  She got back from Japan a couple of weeks ago and found a way to see her old mom this week.  In fact, she rode the Greyhound to Vegas to see us.  It is SEMA week here in Vegas, a huge undertaking, the largest automotive after-market trade show in the world.  SEMA brings together anyone that has to do with cars; for us, that includes anyone that has to do with off-road vehicles as well.

We spend the week talking to people, cruising the aisles, setting up for 2014.  There are competitors there that we want to talk about the schedule with; there are partners there that we want to talk about the events with; there are media folks there that we want to know who we are.  Our drivers had cars in booths, our partners had booths…it was awesome.

Haley is an easy person to have around, she smiles a lot, stays fairly quiet and unobtrusive…at least when she needs to be.  But throw her an opportunity to tell a story and she will keep everyone enthralled.  I noticed that Tuesday night at an afterhours event when I looked up at the group I had just introduced her to and they were all paying attention to a story she was telling about the trains in Japan.  I was proud of her.  Everytime we cruised by the Fox Shocks booth, I couldn’t help but ask…What does the Fox say? And Haley would sing for me. 

Haley is also one of the luckiest girls I know, we were standing in the aisles of the show and she found a gaming chip; we looked around, not a soul to be seen.  Turns out it was real, she went home with a few dollars in her pocket, a few hundred dollars even.  Since she had extra, she treated her mom to a trip to the Stratosphere.  We rode the Big Shot on Friday night, there was a moment that I thought, “Holy F***”, but it only lasted a moment.  It was something new for me, happy to check it off my list!

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Day 194 – Las Vegas, Baby

vegasLas Vegas, Lost Wages, Sin City, What Happens in Vegas….we all know the city.  There is so much to do in Las Vegas it is hard to get started sometimes.  Casinos, shows, strip clubs, amusement of every variety, all to be had for a few sheckles.  So when I tell you about our time in Vegas, please don’t judge.

We moved the semi from Congress, Arizona up to Cedar City, Utah – met with BLM, a couple more errands, then off to Vegas.  The Mint 400 put on by Best in the Desert is going on this weekend, we are going for the contingency party on Fremont Street.  Always a good time to see friends.

We pulled in to town in the late afternoon, the hotels in town are expensive this week with so much going on.  Monster Jam Finals, Mint 400, Spring Break – the hotel I usually pay $60 was asking $135 – no way was I paying that for a crappy bed.  If I’m paying that much, a Hampton Inn is in order.  I love Hamptons, great beds, breakfast, consistency.   The best price on a Hampton is $94 – only catch, it’s out in Summerlin, not exactly metro Las Vegas, getting around will be a bit inconvenient.

We checked in, then drove Josh down to Fremont Street and dumped him off with some friends, the party was hopping down there.  Rich and I drove back out to our hotel, a quick stop at a 7-11 and we were in for the night.  I should have taken a picture as to what thrills me in Vegas….a bathtub, a pint of ice cream, a big water, and for Big…a remote control.  I was in heaven.  We’ve been on the road since KOH, this is the first night that we weren’t working.

In the morning we went out for a shop visit to a friend who has moved to Vegas from Austin, talked some business then off to the Mint Contingency.  I think I’ve described it before in context of SCORE, the Mint is the same, all the cars have to come down the street to tech, vendors have booths set up all along the way, there is a party atmosphere, lots of excitement.  We spent the day visiting with friends in the industry, old party buddies, teammates and crews, it was a great day.

Topped it off with sushi at a local place beside our hotel and called it a night.  So our Vegas trip probably wasn’t like most, no alcohol, no party, no gambling, no debauchery, but it was just what I needed, a quiet night (or two) and a clean, comfortable room…did I mention a bath, I love a bath.

Day 334 – Life is short, eat dessert first

Our last night in Vegas was a ton of fun, sadly, not everything we planned, but we did have a great time.  Dinner was at the Hofbrauhaus.  Rich had wanted to go there all week and we could never quite manage it, so Saturday night at six found us sliding in to a table next to two guys just finishing their dinner.  We ordered our steins full of beer and asked for recommendations, dessert was just being served next door.  I said I’d start with one of those!  Our waiter smiled and said, “I like your style” and ran off to get apple strudel for my appetizer.  When he returned we ordered the sausage  platter for two, delicious.  The party was just getting started with the polka band and the jagger shots.  That place gets rowdy.  We ended dinner with an appetizer, a cheese plate with a large, and I mean gigantic, warm pretzel.  I love having a meal backwards, you just never know when there will be a fire drill and dessert gets left out, some days, I just don’t want to chance it.

I don’t often order dessert first, but when I do, I certainly expect it.  Only one time do I remember not being able to get it.  In 2009, I visited Zanzibar with my Dad, Step-mom, Pam and sister, Tracie.  We had been on a photo safari for awhile already when we made the jaunt to the island.  To say the least, it was interesting.  The hotel we stayed at made up for any shortcomings of the island or the people, it was incredible.  We were there for Easter dinner, so chose the “exclusive” restaurant for that meal.  A prix fixe menu was presented, seven courses, all apparently necessary to serve in order.  Pam and I wanted dessert first, they wouldn’t serve it.  We were outraged, or at least thought we were, that may have been the rum drinks we had enjoyed at the tiki bar.  We ended up having an incredible meal and dessert was worth waiting for, but patience just isn’t one of my virtues, or at least not one I want to test often.