Random Adventures  

rm_SxyAura 35F
3 posts
8/31/2006 4:52 pm
Random Adventures

Yet again I find myself bored, starved for new and interesting experiences. Where should I go? What should I do?

I scour "things to do" lists and gather periodicals dedicated to things going on in southern California. There are coffee houses, art galleries, botanical gardens. Because I work nights and sleep days, that leaves only late afternoons for entertainment. It's hardly enough time.

All of this is making me feel numb. Well, I could watch some TV, throw on a movie, read a book. I could call my friend to discuss things we would like to do but don't have a chance of accomplishing.

There was one time, not all that long ago, that I decided to hop on a bus and head to Las Vegas just because I could. At the time I was working 2 jobs and living in a suburb of Los Angeles. Checking out various bus schedules on-line, I realized that I had just enough time in between jobs to catch the city bus that would be passing by in 20 minutes, and from there escape for a while.

So with the clock running, I gathered up some petty cash (about $120), changed clothes, and walked to the bus stop. From there I took the city bus, to the subway, to the greyhound station for a 4 1/2 hour ride to Vegas. I slept on the way there and arrived in the middle of downtown Vegas at around 10:00 pm.

Free at last in sin city, the first order of business was getting a drink. I walked all though the various casinos, gambling at penny slots and enjoying free drinks here and there. It was important not to over do it because I was alone and more than 300 miles from home. I did, however, find a little place in downtown that fixed me up with a 2 foot tall glass of Vodka Sour (my favorite drink) for 8 bucks.

Eventually I tired of downtown and grabbed a taxi to the Sahara. For those of you who know Vegas, you will be able to follow my progression from place to place. The Sahara is the most northern station for the monorail that runs along the strip. Getting a cab ride down the strip is expensive, but the monorail was only $3 for a single ride at the time.

So by then it was about midnight, and I decided to debark the monorail at the Paris station. "I was on a Paris train, I emerged in London rain, and you were waiting there..." But that's just it, I was on my own for this one. The whole motif for that hotel is interesting, and I spent some time relaxing on a park bench in the middle of a courtyard with cobblestone streets, a blue sky, and clouds that never moved. I watched as the night crew vacuumed dead bugs out of the street lights.

Feeling refreshed, I began walking. From the Paris I headed north, through banks of clanking, musical slot machines and smokey patrons. There was nothing else for me to do but live in the moment and enjoy everything around me.

I crossed through to Bally's then across the street to Caesars Palace. That's where I met a nice young man at a blackjack table that had a limit I could never afford. I brought him good luck for a while, and good conversation too. In Vegas your luck can turn quickly though, and soon it was time for me to move on and leave him with the consolation of a friendly waitress and some drunk friends.

I went to the Mirage, and then through the Treasure Island. As I crossed in front of the Fashion Show mall the sun began to brighten the horizon. At the New Frontier I met a Valet who, at that hour, had nothing better to do than reminisce with me about the city. It was a really nice conversation and a beautiful sunrise.

At the Frontier I grabbed a sandwich and a beer for breakfast at a little sundries shop. Up at that end of the strip, things begin to get really desolate in between the hotels. It's kind of fitting, considering it was the end of my night. I made it all of the way up to the Stardust before hailing a cab and heading back to the bus station. At a little before 8 in the morning I headed home, and was asleep on that bus before we even left the station. I got a few extra hours of rest after getting home, and then went to work again. All told I only spent about $120 that night, bus fare included. Not bad for a Vegas trip.

I feel better now, I think because I decided how I wanted to spend my time today. I wanted to sit here with my blog and write about past adventures in the hopes that others will be inspired to not only write their own tales, but to go out there and create new stories.

____Phantom____ 47M

9/6/2006 5:40 am

Reading your post here reminds me of a quote by Lao Tzu that I wrote last night in a friend’s blog.

“A good traveler has no fixed plans and is not intent on arriving”.

Lao Tzu

(570-490 B.C.)

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