“Extra,” a day in Las Vegas

I’m soaking up what accounts for excitement here. It’s a giant theme park in an outdoor mall in the desert. If you don’t look too closely you won’t see the rest…but you aren’t reading my words because you’re looking for the cookie cutter. 

What I wish I could do here (that I cannot do) is tip every local that I interact with $20. The amount of sheer workforce needed to keep this place spinning boggles my mind. There have been people that have given me a ride, served me cold drinks, played cover songs on a stage in 115 heat and kept the hotel guests safe near the elevators. I’ve been in Ubers with some truly fascinating people visiting, and with local drivers that are more than willing to share their perspective on Vegas. 

After going down to Fremont today, I had a ride from a 3rd grade teacher that’s taught in Vegas for ten years and Uber-drives for vacation money. He said “they never send us to Vegas for conferences, they always send us somewhere out of state.” We talked about data driven decisions and how important PLCs are, which happens to be what my conference is about. Deshaun also suggested I ditch the conference most of the time I’m here. Apparently that’s how it’s done. (HAHA!) We talked about poverty, about how he’s often picked up unhoused people from the hospital (Drs order the Uber) and recently one soiled his car so badly he lost the rest of the day fares to clean his vehicle. He said “I’m not an orderly! I feel for the people, but I’m mad the Dr sent that man home in an Uber.” A native of Georgia, he loves Vegas and has no plans to leave, despite the frustrations.  Our conversation was delightful. 

I went to Fremont to visit “Writer’s Block,” one of the COOLEST bookstores I have ever entered. After the entire day traveling and being in casinolandia, I was exhausted by Big Vegas energy. I needed Quiet Vegas energy. I sure found it. The theme of the bookstore is an “artificial bird sanctuary,” and there are indeed artificial birds and trees everywhere. There are two tiny offices inside magical little windowed rooms. These working office rooms are a fantasy of delights. I am immediately transported just thinking of them. There are stacks of books on big black bookcases and it made me ache with delight. It was so beautiful it will take me a while to recover. 

I walked from there to the “Fremont Experience,” which while less intense than the strip, is still a whole lot of something. I got a diet cola and hung out watching a band. I was sitting in the little bar counter on a stool, near the front of the stage and the stage crew. I wanted to feel like I was part of the band. It made me miss home, but it also made me smile.

The bassist was a woman and I watched her fix her levels with the sound guy when they took a break. 

You can get a Clark County Marriage license from 8 AM to 12 AM every day of the week. Even for one of the most sacred ceremonies humans have, the office is almost always open. 


  1. Your first line of the blog is perfect. I’ve never been to Vegas and probably won’t, unless I have a conference to attend LOL

    • Yeah. It’s just way more than my nervous system can handle or should be expected to handle. I got a solo room in the room assignments and I’m grateful. I can just be. I’m going to more bookstores today. Ha!

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