Even though I just watched a story about a huge Air France jet clipping a smaller Delta jet on a runway at JFK, I don’t worry too much about air travel. Of course, my 8:40am flight on Sunday was delayed a bit because of maintenance issues. That’s usually all they tell you when a flight is delayed. It was only supposed to be an hour delay but we didn’t take off until 2pm (yeah, that’s over 5 hours). Delta provided meal vouchers for the waiting area of disgruntled passengers. It was only $6, but they did provide $50 off a future flight. The good thing about this trip is that it wasn’t for business, so there wasn’t really a time factor involved. Once we were on our way, the pilot told us that there was a fuel valve leaking and that they had to fly (!) a part in to fix it.
Once we were in the air, it was a pretty smooth trip. I’m traveling with someone who had never gone to Las Vegas before, so there was the kick of seeing the slot machines in McCarran Airport.
The last time I was in town, the airport was being renovated, so the baggage claim was a mess. That work is long over, but it looks like they’ve still got some things to take care of. The plane crew told us which carousel to head for, but after waiting nearly an hour; no bags. The Memphis flight notification switched to another carousel, then went blank. About an hour in, there was finally an announcement and a switch back to the original carousel.
So, hours later, we were in the car and making that 5-minute trip to the strip. We’re staying off-strip, but did the tourist walk to check out the Bellagio and the dancing water. Always nice. The weather’s spring-like. Not Memphis spring, where it starts warm and gets warmer, but cool at night. The other good thing is that it’s not the very heavy, soak-to-your-bones Memphis heat & humidity when it gets warm during the day.
Seems like there are always hundreds of people, wandering up and down the strip. They must be trying to get out of the casinos, which may be the last indoor place that’s safe for smokers. I’m noticing a lot more cigar smoke than I smell anywhere else.
The National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) is holding is annual convention here. If you’re in TV or radio, whether news, production, broadcast or whatever, there’s some kind of equipment that you could use. HD is the norm now. This year, 3D and “clouds” seem to be popular from what I saw from day one on the floor. The Convention and Visitors Authority has managed to make the place entertaining. Check out the view from the urinals in one of the men’s room.
I’m trying to work in visits with a couple of old friends while I’m out here. One was the former news director at WTVF in Nashville. He retired here (although he’s absurdly young to be retired – but hey, if you can, why not?). The other is a former college friend. Lynda Hammond, currently the Garage Sale Gal, shows people the best ways to get the most out of holding or visiting those ubiquitous neighborhood events. If you have the chance, check out her new book, “The Garage Sale Gal’s Guide to Making Money Off Your Stuff.” She’s making a pair of TV appearances in Vegas (her husband is with the AP, so is here for the NAB Convention). 25+ years later, and she still looks like the 20-something I met at Ohio State. Buy her book.