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Las Vegas Trip Report

Author: Jaco
Date of Trip: April 2008

No, this was not a good start . . .

Hurtling down the runway at 135 mph, I had the distinct feeling that our pilot had lost control of his airplane. The only other time in my life I can remember feeling this particular sickening pull of G's was when I attempted to navigate my red wagon down a 45 degree incline around cones . . . blindfolded. I felt pretty confident that our pilot was NOT attempting to take off with his eyes closed . . . but I had a gnawing feeling in my gut telling me that if Mr. Pilot didn't get the plane off the ground immediately, there was no way this bird was going to stay on the runway.

Whoa Nellie . . . . we made it . . . the plane was airborne and immediately thrust into heavy turbulence. Prior to getting on the plane in Phoenix, I consciously sought out a flag to see if the wind was heavy. . . it was not. Maybe our pilot was just having a laugh.

But fifteen minutes into the flight, the constant thuds of the plane flying through the rough air was far from humorous. Nor was the announcement from the steward that no hot liquids would be served on this flight due to the turbulence.

Great, no coffee, guess I'll just have beer.

I tried not to focus on whether or not turbulence can weaken the structural integrity of a plane, or whether or not my sweatshirt would work as a parachute if I needed to ditch out of the plane at 35,000 feet . . . no, instead I tried to figure out why there were two male stewards on this plane . . . both had full beards, glasses, and looked to be about 48 years old. I never could come up with a good backstory on these blokes . . .

Finally I just settled on shutting my eyes and counting backwards from 10,000.

4,599 . . . 4,598 . . .

And touchdown. I was alive.

And I was in Las Vegas.

First order of business was getting out of the airport as quick as I could. I flew in on US Airways, a first, and was pleasantly surprised to find that I had landed at a gate that did not require riding that stupid train. I engaged my speed walk gait and made record time to the limo stand. No line, nobody there and two seconds later I was speeding towards the Wynn in a nice black Crown Victoria. I told the driver she smelled really nice and our speed picked up quite a bit.

My phone rang.

Whale Jo.

The night before I had received a text message from him saying he was up $14k . . . . first question was whether he still had it.

Yes, and some.

Awesome, he had gotten the trip started off nicely and I only hoped that his luck would rub off.

The sedan pulled into the Wynn's main entrance and there, looking quite ragged, was ole Whale Jo.

"Welcome to the Wynn Mr. Jaco!"

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