Category Archives: Travel

I Haven’t Forgotten About You My Dear, Dear Blog

Long time since I did an update, mostly because I had nothing important to say. I should write down a few things today so I can look back once the future rolls out to see what I did at the time back then.

First off, I’m hitting up Denmark, Sweden and Norway for 18 days this month. I’m leaving tomorrow at about 7:00 PM on a KLM flight with my parents and brother. The last time I flew with KLM was when I went to Turkey for a whole 2 months to visit my grandmother. I recall the flying experience with KLM to be pretty damn good (I’d say second best airline, after Swiss in my opinion). The only downside to this flight is that there will be a transfer in Amsterdam for a second flight to Norway (I much rather a direct flight). Hopefully everything goes by smoothly and no delays occur.

One thing I would like to mention is that this travel is a tour organized by Globus. Last time I toured with them (in the United Kingdom) I swore to never use their services again for the sheer fact that your liberty to explore the cities/countries at your own pace is strictly limited. Don’t get me wrong; the whole tour was fantastic but I felt like we were rushing at times and that most of the traveling was done on a bus going around the city with few stops. Why am I going back with Globus again, you may ask? Well, I don’t really want to miss out on this golden opportunity to visit these countries as I may not be able to travel to Europe again for a while (rising prices are discouraging my parents to fly out East…) so I should really enjoy it while I can. Anyway, the food and luxurious hotels really do kick ass. 🙂

I am going to miss my friends, however, for the 18 days that I will be gone. I’m heading out for some sushi tonight with the boys before I disappear from Montreal. Another thing I would like to mention is that I wish I didn’t miss out on the camping trip organized by ACYOC Toronto. If they had stuck to the same schedule like they did for the past 4 years of my participation, I wouldn’t be missing out on a wonderful experience (especially since more of my friends are going this year). I even told my mother not to book our trip at the end of August for the sole fact that I can go camping again this year. Damn shame…

The past two months have been pretty slow, both at work and at home. I need to push SPOS on our existing clients and seek new business opportunities. I’d like to have more time to myself to do projects of my own. My strength training workouts stopped last week when I sprained my ankle (first time ever!). Bleh.

The invitation website that I’m working on with Seb and Dave is slowly coming together. There’s still a lot of stuff to code, but Dave and I have an overall plan on what to do first to get the ball rolling. If I have any spare time on my trip, I should be able to code a large portion of the site (I’m thinking those long bus rides between cities might be a good time to do some programming).

Wow, a lot of topics covered in this post. Time to get some sleep for tomorrow’s adventure.

Las Vegas, a review

Saturday night at 12:30 AM, my friends and I drove to Burlington International Airport to catch a flight to JFK (New York) at 6:45 AM. The drive itself was 1 hour and 30 minutes, so we ended up getting to BTV very early. After a 4-5 hour wait along with a 45 minute delay, we boarded the aircraft and finally departed to JFK. One thing I have to say is that I hate propeller airplanes. It was pitch dark outside and we were about 14 people on board a cold aircraft. After a scary flight, the next plane was a proper jet-engine powered aircraft, heading straight to Vegas. It had comfortable vinyl seats with LCD screens for every passenger (mounted in every seat’s headrest). This flight was probably the second best one I’ve taken. The flight attendants made me switch seats because two people “had to” sit together. The flight attendant, in return, gave me a free beer and headphones to my 3 other friends for the trouble, along with a free movie (or else you had to pay for ’em). Woot!

Getting off the plane, I entered McCarran International Airport only to be greeted by a multitude of slot machines. I thought this was pretty fucked up, having slot machines in an airport and all. This was only the beginning of my Vegas experience. Fetching our bags, my friends and I cabbed it to Harrah’s hotel on the strip. Our room was pretty standard as far as hotel rooms go. It’s not like we were going to spend our time in there anyway.

It shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone that the first thing we did when we dropped our bags off in the room was grab a quick bite to eat and head straight to the roulette tables. I think I made a quick 20 or 40$ before I called it quits for that session. Dave and Alex broke even I believe, while Joe made about a hundred dollars. Now, before we begin this adventure of gaming, you should know that Joe is the luckiest person I know, but he doesn’t stop until he gets what he wants. That said, the rest of us didn’t know what the hell he wanted. He had made over 100 dollars yet he wasn’t pleased. We told him to stop for now till we switch casinos. He disapproved that idea by nodding his head. He pretty much bet all his money and broke even. “Whatever” we thought, better to break even than to lose! The next few days, however, was quite a ride with Joe.

Stepping off the gambling topic for now (we’ll get back to that story in a few) we saw all the big hotels and casinos: The Mirage, Mandalay Bay, Bellagio, Paris, Treasure Island, Luxor and The Venetian. They’re all very nice, but they all have the same thing in common: a gaming floor that is impossible to escape or bypass. If you plan on finding washrooms in a casino, good luck. You’ll lose a few dollars along the way.

I witnessed quite a few crazy stunts in Vegas. Here’s an unordered list:

  • I saw an old man with a reading novel walk up to a roulette table and deposit fifteen (15) 100$ bills on the table as if it was nothing. In return, he received fifteen 100$ casino chips. He went back to reading his novel for about 10 minutes when suddenly, he dumped all fifteen of his chips on the colour black. Faces around the table were rocked. The man went back to reading his novel, peacefully. In a matter of seconds, the man made 1500$. He collected his chips and walked off with his novel. The dealers shouted his name (since he was deaf) asking him if he would like to exchange his chips for 500$ ones. Oh yeah, the dealers knew him well too. His name was Jerry.
  • Countless stories of loss were told by random people around tables. “I lost two grand last night. I have to make up for it.” was the general statement. These people ended up losing another grand while we played.

I have to say that every slot machine player out there is a zombie. Day and night, they’ll spend countless hours and money on a machine without budging. Quite a scene I must admit.

Joe made 850$ with his last 20$ bill at the roulette table. It was beautiful.
This post will be edited in the future as I add more to it.