Las Vegas – Wrap up

We returned very late last night, so late that it was actually today. Our plane landed around 12:15am and we began the process of getting our luggage and starting our drive home. Needless to say we found ourselves sleeping in quite a bit this morning before finishing the unpacking and starting laundry.

This is the second time that we’ve gone to Vegas to visit family, and overall the trip was a success. There’s always a bit of stress involved when you need to work with schedules that involve bunches of people, but everything seemed to work without issue. We has some good family time, some time alone, and some time with just select family members. It ended up being a really good mix.

One day while my wife and I were walking around she asked me a question about what I like when it comes to travel and vacations, and so I thought I’d share some of my thoughts about it for today’s entry. When I travel, one of the main things that I like to experience is a sense of what a place is really like. It’s easy to visit the tourist areas and have fun in entertainment districts, but I like it when my trip can expose me to things that most tourists might not see. I want to feel the reality of the place I’m visiting as it goes about everyday life, not just the best face that is put on for travelers.

Often when traveling, I like to just walk around on my own and see regular everyday life happening. I remember when I visited China I commented in my reflections that in many ways things weren’t that different from home. Parents got their kids off to school, people went to work, all very normal and mundane. I made sure to get in at least one walk on my own this trip to just experience everyday life.

I’ve found the breweries and taprooms are another excellent way to experience the culture of a place. I love chatting up beertenders when sampling local brews. It gives me a great opportunity to learn more about the local beer culture, and just the general feel of the city. On this trip I got to visit four different breweries and had a nice time chatting with some of the locals about how the brewing industry is shaping up in Vegas, and where places are looking to expand.

Beyond beer, another great way to get a sense of a city is to see the wilderness that surrounds it. On this trip I had a couple of opportunities to get out into the desert, both to run, and to simply relax. The desert is a biome unlike any we have here in the midwest, and I enjoyed getting to experience it in all of it’s rugged glory.

Finally, I enjoy finding out of the way places to explore. Often quaint little museums, art exhibits, and historical displays can be some of the most fun places to stop and experience. On this trip I discovered a little Polaroid museum tucked away in a small corner and we visited a quaint cactus garden. Those finds alone made memories of this trip that I will never forget.

These were a few of the thoughts I shared with my wife, and I think they capture at least part of what I enjoy when traveling. This trip afforded me the chance to do many of these things, and for that I am grateful.

Jamison

Beer, running, and geeky things.

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