Once in Arizona, we hooked up with merde, on her way through from CA to TX (she's moving to Austin, adding yet another reason to go visit there, along with emeraldliz, n5red, and some other friends). We put her up in the Baymont, which is run by one of fizzygeek's parents' friends, and is quite the nice place. We went down to Tubac to hang out and shop for arts & crafts. On the way back, we just missed a large monsoon. The interstate was washed out, there was hail all over the place, cars in ditches, and a big electrical fire.†
That night, we went to eat at the Longhorn Steakhouse, a restaurant charmingly housed in a gigantic plaster cow skull, complete with red glowing eyes.† merde was amazed at the quality of food available in southern Arizona, and enjoyed herself famously.
Then we flew up to Vegas where there happened to be a pinball expo. We'd invited our friend C, who flew out from DC to join us for a couple of days. The pinball expo was a small sort of affair, but there were plenty of machines to play, with lots of nice old EMs. And, as C pointed out, there were super-hot chicks all over the place, due to the roller derby convention next door.†
We also went to the new pinball museum that's now open and played even more pinball there. We cast around for other things to do, ending up going to the Bodies show (plasticized human bodies with anatomy on display) which was pretty interesting. We also finally got to see the Amazing Jonathan's show, which was great for people (like us) who enjoy rude humour.
Then we found out that cz_unit was also in Vegas for training, so we got to have dinner with him too. That was a pleasant surprise. We stayed the final night at the new Wynn hotel, where we'd scored a good rate. That place is NICE. The view was amazing, with floor to ceiling windows.† The toiletries were not perfumed enough to kill a horse (there was even unscented soap there). Nice flat screen TV, remote controlled drapes, separate tub, shower, sinks, and toilet compartment with its own door. And the staff was universally friendly and helpful (which put the equally expensive Bellagio to shame). The only things that we didn't like were the odd colour of the room (sort of a rose rust colour), the fact that the vent in the toilet chamber piped in tobacco smoke odor, and (like expensive hotels everywhere) you have to pay for high speed internet (but it was 100baseT).
Now we're back at the airport in Vegas, ready to head back to the east coast and see our kitties again.
† I'll probably post pictures soon.