Wednesday, December 26, 2007


Pictures of my trip can be found here.

December 20:

I left from Vancouver to Las Vegas at 2pm. There was some severe turbulence on the descent into Vegas (enough to start some of the passengers screaming). In Vegas I met my brother, his wife, and her parents. There was a sandstorm when we were driving through town that night so that probably had something to do with the turbulence. The sandstorm was actually interesting to see since I have never been in one before. We were staying at a hotel called Harrah's which was right on The Strip. That night we went to Fremont Street. The massive display on the ceiling was very impressive. The slot machines I used on Fremont Street also turned out to be the only profitable gambling I did in Vegas.

December 21:

We started the day by going to the top of the Stratosphere. This is high enough that you can immediately feel a change in air pressure as you are riding up the elevator. It is way taller than any of the other buildings in Vegas so there are some amazing views. Our next destination was Hoover Dam. On the way there there was some authentic desert with cacti. The dam was a very impressive display of engineering. That night we had dinner at Sam's Town and saw a laser light show.

December 22:

I spent the morning sleeping in while everyone else went to the grand canyon. I had decided not to get tickets to go since it was very pricey. That afternoon we visited a few of the hotels and casinos along The Strip. Each hotel has very unique themes and shows in order to attract visitors. Two shows that I enjoyed were the fountains at the Bellagio and the volcano at the Mirage.

December 23:

We saw a car show in the morning and spent the rest of the day touring The Strip. That night we went to the best part of the trip for me - Cirque du Soliel. We went to Mystère at Treasure Island. This was by far the best circus I have ever seen. The music, theater, and performances combined perfectly to create a magical show. I was so impressed by the quality of it that I now want to see the other Cirque du Soliel shows in hope that they are as good.

December 24:

We went to a few more famous hotels and casinos along The Strip. My favorite building was the Luxor; an Egyption themed hotel/casino in the shape of a pyramid. The MGM had some lions on display. Some other cool places we saw were Caesar's Palace, Paris, New York, The Venetian, and Excalibur.

December 25:

We had a relaxing Christmas, mostly enjoying The Strip and playing some poker. Our hotel had an excellent buffet selection. It was almost overwhelming the number of different food options there were so I inevitably ended up eating way too much. I am fairly sure that I have gained a decent amount of weight in the last six days ;)

December 26:

I had to wake up at 4am to catch a very early flight. I was pleased to see that there was some snow when I returned to Vancouver. Waiting for me at my apartment was the PS2 lens I ordered. I spent about five hours working on the PS2. Although the lens was non-functional when I first installed it, I eventually got it to read original DVDs. It refuses to read any CDs or burnt DVDs however. At least it wasn't a total waste since I can now play a few games in my collection. The fact that it still isn't completely working implies that the lens was not the only problem.

For the rest of vacation I will be splitting my time between Robocup and CIspace. I am also playing the following games right now: Final Fantasy Tactics (on PSP), Grim Fandango, Unreal Tournament 3, and Crysis. Although these are all great games, the game I really want to play is Final Fantasy XII. That is why I have been putting so much effort into getting the PS2 working.

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