Toronto mural in LAS airport

One of a half dozen or so murals when getting off the train from just after security to the D terminal 

Las Vegas has changed in the last 3 or 4 years…

Since I was last there.

For better:

  • Blue recycle bins on the street
  • Bike share stations
  • More express buses (the SDX had just opened last time and is way faster than the painfully slow Deuce)
  • More newer bars and restos on East Fremont
  • Higher longer zipline downtown in the Fremont Experience

Neutral:

  • New casinos on the strip (mostly replacing older ones)
  • More big box pharmacies on the strip
  • Little liquor stores on the strip

    For worse:

    • Lots of closed casinos and shops downtown
    • Half the poker rooms downtown are no morw
    • More panhandlers

      Misc funny moments

      • Waitress insisted the daily happy hour ended at 5pm. I pointed to the sign on the wall that read in foot high letters 4 – 6 pm 
      • Airport check-in person asked if I had a return flight out of Canada. Not needed, I say. Do you have a visa? Not required for US citizens, I say. She keeps reading through the fine print and agrees.

      Atlanta – not so Hotlanta right now

      Sunny and chilly wind…

      Clockwise from top left

      • 3 stadiums aide by side!?
      • Statue downtown of chicken chain’s big investment in scholarships over the years
      • Statue of woman who helped reshaped downtown
      • Indian lunch: salad with dal, veggies and a nice hot green sauce
      • New stadium under construction (reverse side of the leftmost stadium in the other photo)
      • Flatiron building! cf near St Lawrence Market in Toronto
      • Thats one big wreath! And the fire hydrant in front has a plaque: the first display of water system in 1875

      Cute “pet me” dog at San Diego airport

      The dog’s vest says “pet me.”

      The handler’s shirt says “Ready. Pet. Go”

      Ocean Beach, San Diego

      Clockwise from top left

      • Happy hour edibles
      • Bar/resto has a partial airstream trailer built in to the kitchen window
      • World Curry (in Pacific Beach)
      • Empty Pacific Beach… was nice when sun was out, and yes, I did stick my fingers into the ocean
      • Line caught salmon sashimi
      • Lifeguard memorial statue

      Seattle “sights” (sightings?)

      Clockwise from top left:

      • Non-traditional Sb*x sign
      • Roof of torn down gas station
      • Snow!
      • Really ms*t employees have a dedicated checkin line with this airline?
      • Tasty veggie farotto (sp?) last night

      4 cities, 4 accommodation types

      Staying with friends, in a hostel, Airbnb and a hotel.

      Coming in Oct: Japan, Abu Dhabi, Dubai, Jordan, Istanbul

      Using miles to fly Susan and I in biz on this mini round the world trip (except for some local flights, e.g. UAE to Jordan and back)..

      Have a day stop in Istanbul (twice!?) where it’s easy to zip into town. Since I missed the Grand Bazaar last time!

      Interesting haircut experience in Punta Cana

      Interesting (men’s) hair cut experience yesterday afternoon for US$10 here in Bavaro, Dominican Republic.

      Painful is the word. Lots of pain. Like a bad beach massage where the masseuse is just pressing hard in a beat you up kind of way, instead of being helpful.

      He really pressed the trimmer (with attachment) hard on my head, bent my ears forcefully, poked at my head to get me tilt this way or that. No finesse. I’ve never been so uncomfortable at a haircut.

      Come to think of it, I’ve never had the trimmer portion take so much time and effort…

      And hygiene? Ha! No sterilizer, and when he dropped his comb near the end, he gave it a little tap (not even a wipe) and went back to work on my head. Really!?

       

      And to top it off, he as drinking Chivas Regal (scotch). While working on me. Nice.

      Whale = ballena = vah-JAY-na!?

      In Spanish whales are “ballenas” (pronounced ba-YEH-nas in Spain).
      When we did the whale watching cruise in Saman√°, Dominican Republic, earlier this month, with a terrific Canadian marine biologist named Kim leading the boat, it sounded like she said “vajena”. As in vajayjay.

      Though it actually  makes sense with the local dialect (her gringo accent notwithstanding):

      – a “b” and “v” are almost interchangeable (in fact you even see a town Veron spelled as Beron sometimes on the side of taxis)
      – an “ll” is pronounced like a j (as opposed to a y or “lli” as in million)
      – the “s” at the end of the word is dropped in the D.R.

      So it sounds over the loudspeaker like “the vajayjay dives at regular intervals” <snickers>