Monthly Archives: August 2013

Las Vegas 2013 – the Valley of Fire

Friday May 10: Valley of Fire

We discussed it on ECN since February I think and I managed to get 2 more people interested in taking this trip with me: Allen Ward and Mark Browne. Since it was only an hour North of Las Vegas we decided not to start the day too early and we had a small but tasty little breakfast at “Cafe Presse”, next to the V-bar (there are more than 1 in the Venetian/Palazzo¬†building). We rented a VW Jetta (I think) and we drove off to our little 1 day adventure. The more we drove away from Vegas, the more the desert and its heat impressed us. It took about half an hour to reach the highway exit and another half an hour on a bumpy road to reach the National Park entry point. The sight was amazing. Red rock everywhere you looked, but also red, grey and I even spotted some blue and yellow.Valley of Fire

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Las Vegas 2013 – the way back home

Saturday May 11

To end my little diary about my 2013 trip to Las Vegas the final weekend started with checking out of Harrah’s, a hotel which I got to like. It’s not that bad at all and it’s reasonably prized and it’s right in the middle of the action, since it’s next to the Venetian. But my favorite will always be the Venetian of course! That one is a class of its own.

McCarran

Oh well, after checking out, getting in the shuttle and a nice chat with the driver I ended up at McCarran airport, 5 hours too early, but this is the thing with me: on departure day I can’t enjoy the sights anymore and I just want to go home as quickly as possible and being on the airport is as close as I can get, so there I was. Luckily I had my iPad all charged up and I had a nice long Facetime chat with Anna and Elisa. For them it was already Saturday evening 20:00 or so. It was a bit hazy where to check in: British Airways or American Airlines. The ticket said BA, operated by AA and indeed: AA it was. I checked in my luggage and visited the little airport museum upstairs to kill some time. After take off it was “goodbye LV, hope to see you again next year”. We’ll see what happens.

Los Angeles

A drinkThe title suggests a lot, but in fact I only had a 3 hour stop at LAX. We flew South from Las Vegas towards Primm, which I visited 2 days before, and then crossing the hills towards LA. We landed in a little fog, but I managed to see the “Hollywood” letters on the Hollywood Hills as well as the LA city skyscrapers. To my surprise my arrival gate and my departure gate were only 6 gates or so apart from each other and since WiFi worked just fine I found myself making updates to Facebook and Twitter a bit. My flight back to Europe was supposed to be a 747 and to my surprise the information said it was a 777. Well, I didn’t think too much of it until it dawned on me that the departure time didn’t check out as well.

Wrong Gate

Flying over a bit of the Pacific OceanI was at the wrong gate! With only 1 hour left I rushed to get more information, but that’s something I disliked about that airport: no clear directions anywhere. So I went outside, asked a cab driver and found my way to the next pier. Going through security again was nerve wrecking, but I got to my gate on time without any problems. This time I was able to relax.

We took off, headed for London Heathrow and that gave me a chance to get some sleep. To my surprise we headed South at first and we didn’t fly over the Grand Canyon as I was hoping for. So right after diner I tried to watch some movies, but with the chair in front of me leaning backwards plus the fact that the earplugs weren’t of a decent quality this was undoable. I fell asleep.

Europe

I woke up right before we entered Irish airspace. So that proves that I can sleep just about anywhere. Sometimes it’s a good thing, sometimes not so much since I have a history of falling asleep on my own birthday, a visit to our neighbors, friends, in cars, buses, planes, even in a Novell course I took in 2000 when I fell asleep on my table, right in front of the instructor!

London - BrentfordAnyway… Seeing British airspace again and flying over London and seeing European style houses made me feel at home, even if I was still hours from home. My layover on Heathrow was only 90 minutes and although the transfer from the one plane to the next seemed fast at first I totally forgot the fact that I needed to go through security again. Luckily the friendly people in front of me were willing to let me pass and I made it in time to the next gate.

The last part of the trip from the UK to Germany was a piece of cake. Only about an hour or so and somewhere in the afternoon of Sunday the 12th I arrived on the main land. I called my wife and daughter and let them know I was close. The search for the exact place where I left my car was a bit of a challenge since I forgot where I wrote down on what spot it was, but while walking to the parking garage I found a note in my agenda on my phone. After a 1 hour drive home my trip to Las Vegas 2013 came to an end. And a successful trip it was, social networking related that is.

Thank you all

I’d like to thank all old and new friends that I enjoyed my stay with you and I hope we will meet again!!

EMC World 2013 – day 4

A little late, but better late than never. This last EMC World post has been sitting in my drafts, knowing two of my coleagues already posted theirs about the exact same thing that I wanted to talk about. And since I don’t want to play copy cat, I’m going to refer to their posts. That seems the best thing to do.

EMC World 2013, day 4

Thursday is traditionally (half) a day to say goodbye to the many old and new friends, visit some last day sessions, leave the hotel and head back to the airport, but this year I planned ahead and I decided to stay a bit longer for some quality time with the EMC Elect: My plane wouldn’t leave until Saturday afternoon!! I had to switch hotels though from the fancy and luxurious Venetian to the hotel next door “Harrah’s”. It’s a huge step down, but¬†Harrah’s does what it’s supposed to do and that’s offering me a bed to sleep.

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