SAN ANTONIO AND LAS VEGAS
I got to attend Siggraph in San Antonio down in Texas which was a blast. The size of it was huge. Siggraph is a conference for graphics people, so lots of talks on technical things like modelling and renderig techniques. Most of those were above me, so I liked looking at the pretty pictures and drooling over the latest hardware.
San Antinio was good. Reminded me a fair amount of my hometown of Perth for some reason, possibly because it was so warm. The people were so friendly it was almost scarey. My only regret is that I didn't get to Sea World. Well, maybe next trip.
After San Antinio I got to spend a night somewhere between there and San Francisco. On my round-the-world ticket I had a choice of either Dallas or Vegas. I chose Vegas, never having been to Dallas I can't comment, but Las Vegas even sounds more interesting. After I told people this it would appear my logic was right. (Sorry to all those Dallasians).
I was not really in Vegas for long - I arrived at 9pm on Thursday night and left at 6pm on Friday night, but I think I gave it a good look going over for less than 24hrs there. One thing I did find annoying was the fact the swimming pools in the hotels close at 6pm. I checked in at 10pm and it was 42C outside, a swim would have been brilliant. As it was, I had to make do with the airconditioning, so not too many complaints.
I stayed at the Treasure Island which I managed to get at a brilliant rate on the 'net, something I was really happy about. Not only that, I got a room on the 18th floor, so I even had a view. (Oh, note for the curious, the hotel seems to skip floors 4-8), so I was probably only about 14 stories up, but still high enough.
I did some midnight wanderings, visiting most of the casinos down the strip. Nighttime is definately the best time to see 'Vegas, lots of pretty lights, its cooler and you can't see the rest of the mess. I won $62.50 on a poker machine, so I was stoked and convinced I was able to buy the hotel. When I put it into one of those cups they give you it only filled aboutthe bottom inch... I was watching people with two or three of those cups overflowing walking around. The amount of money people gamble is mindnumbing.
I also visited the dolphins at the Mirage - I love that underwater viewing room, plus it was airconditioned and out of the heat, so that was nice. I got to memorise the talk the guides give and every five minutes another batch of tourists would swing past, take photos and continue through. I think out of all the people, less that half a dozen came back for a second look.
Vegas incidently is still amazing, I can't believe that its that much over the top.