Sunday, August 02, 2009
Last Day in Vegas
Woo woo $7.50!!
While waiting for the group going to the World's Largest souvenir shop I lucked out and won 7.50 on one of the slot machines. Did I mention the woo woo!
Classic Joker and Anya Face squint at the gondoliers.
Waiting for the Deuce, the bus that runs up and down the strip, we find sanctuary from direct sunlight in front of the Venetian. The heat was pretty crazy today. Standing in the sun was like standing in an oven or as one derby person said "like standing in a hair dryer".
One of the things I've discovered about visiting the desert, other than your lips get parched in minutes, is that you can wash your t-shirts, socks, clothes etc. in the sink, then dry them out on the balcony. In two hours or less, not only are they dry, but they're dry to the point of having had starch in them. This is great if you're traveling light and have a limited amount of clothing. The other option is to buy more clothing while visiting. Insert plug for Wicked Skatewear here. It was one of the booths that sold T-shirts and you could personalize them to boot.
Anita Martini in "Venice"
One of the gondoliers poses for us tourists with cameras
Just one of the many billboards in Vegas.
A six pound burrito! (no, I didn't have one)
A familiar gift shop
The gift shop had everything from bacon themed wallets, battery operated parrots that would insult you as you walked by, dice, cards, and even an inflatable Las Vegas sign. I picked up an ice cube tray. It makes ice cubes in the shape of small icebergs and ships that resemble the Titanic.
Plastic can with terrible tasting drink
A map, a van, a bunch of Aussie girls, and a Robot Chicken
While on my way to the hotel entrance with the express purpose of hailing a taxi to get to the robot chicken party, I ran into a bunch of Aussie girls. They were milling around waiting for a guy. A guy with a map to get to the same party I was going to. When I said "I have the directions and I have the map", showing them the Robot Chicken postcard, I found myself being invited along with the girls in place of the mystery guy that didn't show up. The next thing I knew I was hopping into a van heading to the Crystal Palace.
"You've filled the box with shit."
On the way to the roller rink a bunch of the girls presented Bombchel with a box, a thank you gift for organizing the trip. She thought it was a gag, a box filled with manure. When she opened the box she found a pair of shorts, Quadzilla's shorts.
Quadzilla, a skater whose skating prowess has taken on legendary status among those of roller derby, donated his clothing. If I had a nickel for every person I've heard say they want to bear his children I'd be pretty well off. An image of him getting ransacked by the six girls in the van came to mind. Left in some dark alley. Geez, who are these girls? I'm sure my mother would have told me not to get into a van with a stranger when I was younger. She didn't mention anything about a bunch of roller girls.
Seeing Bombchel open the box was definately one of the best derby moments of the week. Her face went from looking suspect to glee in seconds. Quadzilla's shorts! Yep, I'm sure there would be stories when they got back to Australia.
The Crystal Palace skating rink
We arrived at the Crystal Palace to see a line starting from the front doors and wrapping around the building. Geez. Despite this we parked the van and made our way into the line. Once in the back of the line up I left the girls to do some preliminary surveillance to see if we could get in and how long it would take.
Using the magical powers of having a camera and a media pass (for rollercon) and a lot of pleading I managed to get in. I did a quick run through the venue taking quick snapshots, saying hello to the skaters that had already made it into the venue and scoping out if there was food or not. There was.
"I'm not the droid you're looking for."
Yes, even within the short period of time I was in the venue I still managed to get these guys in stormtrooper outfits to pose. Wow, they were great.
"What you're not staying?"
It's Nerd Rage (42)!
Nerd Rage and some Robot Chicken skaters
Nerd Rage in her environment
Meanwhile outside in line with the Aussie girls
There were a few people inside the building and in the line that said I should just stay inside and photograph. As great as that may have sounded, leaving the girls that drove me to the venue to stand outside in a line seemed pretty crappy. So rather than ditch my new friends I went out to join them in line.
Standing next to a parking lot wasn't all that bad. There was a huge screen playing Robot Chicken so we weren't just twiddling our thumbs. Then the line stopped. The venue had reached maximum capacity. Drat.
Just when we started to think that we drove to the venue to miss everything, Seth Green and Breckin Meyer came out (on skates) to talk to the leftovers waiting in line. They apologized for us not being able to get in, then proceeded to go up and down the line to take autographs, pictures, with the fans.
While they missed the Aussie girls because of a well placed tree, some of their helpers came by to give us robot chicken souvenir cups. How many actors would do something so cool as that? Standing in line while all that crazy derby stuff going on inside didn't seem as bad.
As people exited the building the line slowly moved in and eventually we all managed to get into the venue. I arrived inside just as the floor was being cleared to set up some sound equipment. I talked to Quadzilla who updated me on what happened. For all of you that want to see and read more of what happened click here.
Seth Green and Breckin Meyer on quads
Seth Green and Breckin Meyer thank the fans waiting in line
Seth Green skates by us... d'oh.
So close to the entrance.
"Yay, a Robot Chicken cup!"
Getting into the roller rink and rejoining the Aussie girls.
They seem to be setting up something.
"What? You missed the skating?"
The food line
Travis and the band perform for the Robot Chicken Fans
Back to the van... Let's get food.
We got the word that a bunch of skaters would be at the sports center until midnight. Since the Aussie girls wanted to skate and because we didn't get into the Crystal Palace until after the skating, it was a general consensus to leave the party and meet up with other skaters at the sports center. I had gotten a text message from Justice FeelGood Marshall about some skating going on the the Flamingo Flats. The Sports Center won out because there were medics there.
But first food... I like the way these girls think.
Stopping at the local Sonic Burger
We stopped at a Sonic burger, which I found funny, because they were going on about how great the In and Out burger was. The Sonic burger was set up like a 50s drive in. Except instead of people coming to your car there was a sign and a speaker system where you could order your food. As a Canadian who has to get out of the car and walk to get food this sign thing was pretty awesome but perhaps a bit strange to us.
Not everyone in the van could see the menu so we ended up getting out and ordering food from the booth next to us. I wondered if the folks at Sonic burger thought we were strange, crazy foreigners, with weird accents. By the way, I still don't hear the "boot" when I say "about". Ah yes, I love travel.
So many options
The Sonic Burger menu
It's easier to read the menu outside of the van.
Whoops, we're ordering from the wrong lane.
waiting for our order...
Cookie Cutter checks to see if her food order is correct.
Once loaded up with our take away food we made our way to the sports center only to find that the people in it weren't skaters. They were putting the basketball floor back onto the cement floor where the derby practices were being held and the doors were locked. On top of that there were police cars at the entrance.
We hopped back into the van and passed the police, driving by at a slow and steady pace trying to figure out what was going on. By this point it was too late to go to the flats, the girls were tired, and we all had a flight tomorrow morning, so we ended up going back to the Imperial Palace.
Police outside the Sports Center, "Keep Driving, Don't slow down"
Back at the Imperial Palace.
"Have a safe trip back everyone."
Note: "flip the bitch" is a term used by the Aussie's to make a U-Turn.
the Karaoke room at the Imperial Palace
Since it was the last night being in Vegas I ended up going to the Karaoke room, took a few photos, then went off to walk around the Strip, in search of food. I passed by a bunch of food signs (ie. the legendary lobster special) but nothing really grabbed me. I ended up returning to my room and ate some of the Pork Cracklins.
The highlight of wondering around was seeing a cockroach scurrying down the street. I followed it for half a block to take it's photo. For some reason I thought I could start a travel collection of roach photos. There was London after all.
Girls from Chicago
Hey, hey, what's going on here?
"We have a Bitch Slap Barbie back in Hamilton."
Walking the Strip
I really liked this building it reminded me of bubble wrap
Hey, a cockroach.
Ooooh... the legendary lobster special.