We took another little detour. This time for a work conference in Las Vegas. While I worked at Cisco Live, Josh worked from our Vegas hotel. In the evenings we explored Sin City together.
I work for Cisco, which is why I’m able to bounce around the country like I am. They’ve developed all of these amazing technologies to make it possible for me to work from anywhere. And so, we found ourselves, somewhat randomly, in the desert!
Walking around the floor of Cisco Live U.S. was an enlightening experience. I look through such a small window into the amazing work my company does.
From putting tiny trackers on bees to combat colony collapse disorder to creating immersive virtual reality experience to portray what the world will be like with the internet of everything. It was inspiring.
In the hours that I was not interviewing customers about their unique experiences or catching up on email, I explored Las Vegas with Josh.
An Evening at the Circus
We splurged on tickets for Cirque du Soleil “O.” For my very first feature article for Alert Diver magazine, I wrote a compilation called “Working Under Pressure,” a segment of which included an interview with the “O” dive team. I had never seen the show.
Seven years later, I was thrilled to find myself in the “O” Theater, finally able to watch the magic unfold, knowing a bit more of what goes on behind the scenes than your average onlooker.
It did not disappoint. As always, “O” featured amazing acrobatics, incredible singers supported by a talented orchestra, and an engaging storyline that kept theater goers on the edge of their seats. Performers acrobatically dropped from the high trapezes, disappearing beneath the aquatic stage.
One of my favorite first dates with Joshua was to a Cirque du Soleil show, and we’ve seen countless since. But “O” tops the charts for me.
I don’t know why, but Vegas seems to be home to many burger joints. So many, so popular, that by the end, I was ordering veggie sandwiches to balance out all the beef. My favorite, though, was Gorden Ramsey’s BurGR in Planet Hollywood.
I had a burger cooked to absolute perfection on a perfectly adorned sesame seed bun accompanied by truffle fries. It truly is a master chef who can take something so ordinary and make it taste extraordinary.
Holsteins in the Cosmopolitan also served up a pretty tasty burger. I had the Rising Sun which came with teriyaki kobe beef, teriyaki glaze, nori furikake, crispy yam, spicy mayo, & tempura avocado. I’m not going to lie, it was pretty good.
Burger Bar in Mandalay Bay also looked scrumptious, but I was pretty burger’d out by this point. I got their veggie sandwich, and it was absolutely delicious, and fulfilled my “I need a vegetable” desire that tends to accompany Las Vegas – just something wholesome after a week in the brightly lit city of indulgence.
Ultimately, though, none of these were as good as Al’s Burger Shack in Chapel Hill, North Carolina.
If you asked who would be the top of my list to see live, Maroon 5 would not have been on it, but when your company rents out an arena and offers free tickets, drinks, and blinking Stetsons, you find your way into the bottom floor and enjoy singing along.
While I knew I’d recognize the high school era hits, I was actually quite surprised to realize how many recent radio hits were, unbeknownst to me, actually Maroon 5 releases. It turned out to be a really entertaining evening filled with a few too many free beers and topped off with several rounds of high card flush in the Planet Hollywood casino.
After catching up on emails and a morning trip to a customer focus group, we spent our final day wandering the strip to see the final sights. We had lunch at Bruxie, a chicken and waffles restaurant that actually served the chicken in a waffle like a sandwich. Coming from a southern girl who is very partial to Dame’s Chicken and Waffles, it was pretty good for the southwest.
We wandered through The Park, which features art installations and an interesting water feature. We found our way over to the M&M store, where shenanigans took place, weaved our way back through the Coca Cola store and somehow found our way over to the Bellagio fountains and the garden displays.
After literally miles of walking (we may have gotten lost a few times), we finally made our way back to the Elara, where we gathered up our things and caught our Lyft back to the airport to return to our Chicago home.