While the city of Las Vegas is not my favorite place in the world, it was so good to see my academic siblings, those people who I went studied with in graduate school. Given I began graduate school six years ago, I was struck by the ways in which our work has changed over time. The research questions that brought us to graduate school have changed and morphed in really fascinating and interesting ways. I am fortunate enough to be surrounded by interesting and curious people, people who push me to do better and be better.
While not my favorite city in the world, Vegas is filled with pretty amazing stuff. Take, for instance, the Fremont Street Experience. Located downtown, the Experience links several of the casinos downtown beneath a lit canopy that bursts into color and sound every hour on the hour. We were there for a Doors medley and it was really quite awesome. The Experience is downtown's answer to the Strip and it was a markedly different feel: this is the Vegas of the Rat Pack. A little gritty, less polished, and, overall, much more enjoyable. Too much polish is bothersome, particularly as I am not a very polished person.
Another attraction I didn't know about but really enjoyed was the aquarium at the Mandalay Bay hotel. It is, apparently, 1.6 million gallons of water culminating in a pretty amazing shark habitat. Being in a hotel/casino, it was less educational than I would have liked but the staging was amazing.
All in all, I'm glad to be home, though there is a to-do list that is so, so, so long as I attempt to get caught up and prepare for my bestie to arrive for turkey day. There will be stuffing, there will be turkey, there will be pumpkin cheesecake. But first: email. Lots of it.