Day 22 – Salt Lake to Las Vegas / Open Reading 2 – The Poet’s Corner at West Las Vegas Arts Center

(I wrote this entry last night (6/21) but due to Wi-Fi issues couldn’t post until today (6/22))

We couldn’t check in to our hotel in Las Vegas until 4 pm, so Sandy and I decided to leave her place between 10 and 11 am. This decision was good since we had been up late the night before. Still I woke up on my own around 7:15 am and proceeded to get my bag together etc.

We left around 10:15 am with stops to the gas station and Starbucks then got on the freeway proper heading south.

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I have successfully (I think) indoctrinated Sandy into being a West Wing Weekly fan. She hasn’t finished the series yet, but the episodes we listened to were ones that she has seen. The episodes of the podcast we heard were into season 4. She commented how she might go back and watch S1Ep1, then listen to the podcast from the beginning. I encouraged her to do that.

Our first stop was in Fillmore, where our mom and dad used to love to stop on our many trips between LM and SLC to buy potato logs. They’re basically extra-large potato wedges. We thought they were just okay, but Sandy texted Mom a photo and she replied, “I love them.”

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Next stop was Cedar City for some lunch, then St. George for gas, restroom, and snacks. Then the drive took us through this small corner of Arizona, the Virgin River Gorge. I love this section of the trip.

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Then we motored on in to Sin City and made our way to our hotel, the Rio. I forget what an onslaught these casino resorts are for the senses. We were able to use a kiosk to check in and then made our way to our room on the 3rdfloor.

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We just relaxed and rested until it was time to go to the open reading I had found for this Friday night, the first day of summer. It was called Poet’s Corner, held at the West Las Vegas Arts Center. It’s only held once a month, and unlike last night in Provo, when we walked in, someone greeted us and asked if we were there for poetry. The sign-up list was available, there were snacks, and everything was cool.

It started just after 7:30 pm, and the format was that each reader could do 2 pieces in the first round and 2 pieces in the second round if there was enough time. I was the 2ndreader, and the group was receptive to my work. This reading was extremely different demographically than the Provo reading. This one was mostly African-American, and the work ranged from graphic erotica to addiction to Jesus to Charlie Parker. It was cool because it was all absolutely accepted and celebrated. As I said, my work was also given great attention. The sound was great, and the place just had a very welcoming vibe.

Again, though, not a buying crowd, but that’s okay. It was over around 9:30 pm, and we headed back to the hotel. We were hungry and wanted some adult beverages. We headed toward the Rio’s rooftop lounge. Again, casinos are built to disorient and distract so it took us a bit to find where the rooftop lounge is, but we did, and when we got there, a security guy asked us if we wanted to go up there, and I asked if there was a cover. He said yes, it’s $20 for ladies and $30 for guys but did we see a show here? I said no but we were staying here. We must have hesitated just enough because he said he’d take care of us, and he let us just go up there. It’s on the 51stfloor, y’all, and that elevator ride, with a view of the Strip was no joke. Once up there, we made our way to the outside and were nearly blown away it was SO windy! We took a selfie that didn’t come out too great, and I took a blurry shot.

They had a DJ out on the rooftop. I found it too loud (hello, I’m old!), the booths outside and inside were cordoned off so no one could sit, and there were a lot of much younger people there, haha. We decided to go, but not before a couple more “we were here” shots.

We left and headed for Guy’s Taco Snacks (that’s Guy Fieri) that we had passed by on our first attempt to locate the rooftop lounge. We each got three tacos for $12 and a beer, then I got us a couple more beers and we headed to our room. Those tacos were damn delicious, and the beers were a great way to decompress from the hot drive and the interesting reading.

Tomorrow, there’s an afternoon reading. Before that, we’ll probably get some breakfast and chill and after, we’ll probably get some pool time in and relax. Until then!

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