Ok well it took a bit to get this post out the door but it was a wild week and I needed some recovery time. Last week I hit the big 4-0 and the only way to celebrate that was to head to Vegas for a few days. I had wanted to do something I had never done before and Vegas was the spot to do it! I hit up Expedia, found a good deal on a great room, a suite in fact, at Aria and off we went! We arrived on the 12th and after settling in the birthday weekend started. It was a whirlwind of great food and good times and Lisa and I enjoyed every moment. You know you are staying in a classy hotel when the toilet seat is heated and has it’s own control panel ‘;)
We started with a visit to The Gun Store. I had never shot a gun, heck I never touched one, so off we went. I went with the Coalition Package and got some hands on training and shooting with an M9 9mm hand gun, a REM .700 sniper rifle, an M4 semi-automatic and a fully automatic M249 SAW. The hand gun was fun, the rifle was accurate, the M4 was a blast but the M249 was unreal. After a few warm up shots to get a feel for it the instructor said “Pull and hold the trigger and hang on!” It was unreal as I shot off 30 rounds it about 3 seconds. I even managed to hit the target!
That night we were off to TWIST in the Mandarin Oriental for dinner. Alex, my manager, gave me approval to expense a birthday dinner “up to $500”. I had spotted TWIST before that and really wanted to try the $198 Japanese A5 Waygu and with Alex making the offer I made the reservation. From the second we walked in the door to the second we let it was incredible. The Waygu was AMAZING, well worth the $198 (for a 10oz sirloin) but everything else down to the butter they server with the bread was amazing. It was by far the best meal I’ve ever eaten. I’d go back again and gladly plop down my own money for a meal like that!
The next day we were off to see The Pawn Stars! But alas they were closed for filming. We ended up making it back a couple of days later and it was great. I love the show and it was cool to see a lot of the items from the show on display. None of the stars where there as it was a Saturday and they just wrapped up 3 days of filming but it was still great. I even ended up buying something I saw from the show, a 1 Troy Ounce silver coin they had made out of a huge silver brick someone sold them.
Our big adventure for the trip was heading to Death Valley. Lisa wanted to see a desert and I wanted to see Badwater. I had just finished reading Eat and Run by Scott Jurek and he talks about his runs through there for the Badwater 135 and I’ve followed Epic Bill Bradley on his two runs through there. While it wasn’t 50C while we were there it was still an incredible day trip. It is a desolate and beautiful place at the same time. We started with a drive through Rhyolite, a ghost town, and then headed to Stovepipe Wells, Furnace Creek and then down to Badwater Basin before heading home.