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Apparently not only does what happen in Vegas stay in Vegas, but so does what happens on the slow road from Vegas to San Francisco. Not because of any tigers-in-my-hotel-room levels of depravity, in my case, but laziness in updating. The short version:

My first experience of Vegas was fun and even relaxing. Thank god for friends who plan everything and let me sleep in. My first glimpse of The Strip at night coincided with Earth Hour, which we’d forgotten about. The cabbie joked that the lights must be out due to an alien invasion.

We saw Cirque de Soleil’s Mystere, which was creepy goodness. We ate at great restaurants and drank at whimsical bars and on the last night, finally did a little gambling. And I do mean a little: $3 bets on craps, which Jen tried to explain to me, and our table neighbours tried to explain to me, and which I still don’t understand. People sure loved me when I rolled certain numbers and were not impressed with me when I didn’t, though. I also spent a total of $2 on slots, which are not as fun as they appear. Shockingly I did not come away with my fortune from Vegas.

Of course I had to get my picture taken in front of the Luxor’s sphinx, since I’ll be seeing the real thing in a couple of weeks, and in front of the Eiffel Tower, since I already have a pic of me in front of the real thing. Who needs world travel when you have Vegas (and, last year, Legoland).

I’ve been calling the upcoming San Francisco to Vancouver coastal trip Phase 2 of my post-employment holiday, so I guess that makes the road trip from Vegas Phase 1.5. I had time to kill before Jenna arrives so I’ve been winding my way from Los Angeles to, so far, Monterey, doing more head-clearing, horrible car-singing, and gasping at beautiful scenery. Last year I fell in love with the rugged coastal area around Big Sur ā€“ as well as the elephant seals who molt around there ā€“ and the love remains. This was the area that inspired Jen and I to joke about becoming pirates so we could afford to live here ā€“ though it’s only coincidence that we ended up staying at Treasure Island in Vegas.

I pick up Jenna from the airport in a few hours and then it’s off to Phase 2, starting with a couple of days in San Francisco. One of my favourite things about my brief time in that city was a surprise encounter with the sea lions at Fisherman’s Wharf but I hear they’ve mysteriously disappeared. I’m sure we’ll have a good time anyway.