I’m packed. Kind of. If there were a global list of travelers listed in order from most capable to least, I’d rank in the lower 10 percent. Right above those who’ve never left their homes and below those who once took a trip to their Aunt Jane and Uncle Bob’s place one town over.
No, scratch that, they’re all likely more capable than I am, and at one time in my life I flew weekly to visit schools all over the country. Back then, I was a lean, mean packing machine. I could cram all my training materials and a week’s worth of clothing into one suitcase in less than an hour.
And now? Now it takes me all day and I still end up leaving something at home or packing the wrong clothes or forgetting that my tennis shoes don’t necessarily go with everything.
Still, I’m packed. Kind of.
In spite of my failings, I’m super excited. I’ll be at Bally’s (aka The Horseshoe) in Las Vegas for a writing conference where I hope to learn from some of the best in the business. I wonder if any of them teach a class on packing? If so, sign me up!
I spent several days in the city known for showgirls, casinos, and over the top productions. But, lest you think I was in Las Vegas, Nevada, purely for pleasure, think again. Oh, I had plenty of fun, but not the kind you might be imagining.
Sometime last year I applied to attend a writer’s workshop hosted by author Craig Martelle. Knowing that my acceptance was a long shot, I quickly stored the thought of it in a deep, dark recess of my mind and got on with my life. Then, miracle of miracles, I received an invitation to attend and my mind was blown.
Those of you who know me can probably imagine the anxiety I felt. I began making excuses to myself so I could back out of the event. Then, I visited with my brother, Kelly. When I told him about the workshop, he offered to come to Vegas and hang out with me for a few days prior to the retreat weekend. That was all the encouragement I needed.
After spending six days in Sin City, I’m exhausted, but I wanted to share a few photos of what turned out to be an epic experience.
From the Las Vegas Meow Wolf art installation:
But behind the scenes, if one is fortunate enough to find it, lies the most incredible adventure.
One evening we had dinner at Gordon Ramsay’s Hell’s Kitchen. I really should have taken photos of my beautiful food, but in the heat of the moment I forgot. Let me tell you, the meal was incredible. I had salmon and green beans cooked to perfection. And the sticky toffee pudding was the bomb.
I did take a wonderful photo of Kelly and Susan though.
After dinner we strolled through a casino or two and Susan took this of my “little” brother and me.
Part of one day I hung out at Kelly and Susan’s travel trailer and visited with their dog, Gus.
So glad I had the chance to enjoy this time with Kelly and Susan. The older I get the more I appreciate these moments. And Kelly is barely even annoying anymore.
I’ll write a bit about the workshop in a day or so. It deserves it’s own post, but for now, I’m going to bed.