How The West Was Fun (Part 4) (LV again)

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Thursday, February 20, 2003 5:47 PM
“Norway! They are from Norway dude!!”

Part 4 – Vegas and a strange video experience. )

Something strange happened as I woke up in Phoenix. For a second, I had to think what city I was in. I had this happen to me on the Europe trip a couple of times as well, but for some reason, I thought I was still in Las Vegas. In a matter of a couple of hours, I would actually be in Vegas, but I still had to wake up and fly there first.

After a quick breakfast and my relative’s house in lovely Glendale, AZ., we quickly were on our way to the airport. My uncle took us past a few locations on the way including a quick drive-by the new hockey stadium that is currently under construction (and rumored to be modeled after Columbus’s Nationwide Arena), as well as the possible future site of the new Castles N’ Coasters expansion area.

The Phoenix area was a bit smoggy this morning so we couldn’t see as far into the distance as we could when we arrived 24 hours before, but it still was beautiful. Once we arrived at the aiport, the area was much clearer. In a way, I think that one section (as Phoenix kind of has two downtown areas) of the city has a kind of Columbus look to it.

The airport was more crowded than I thought it would be so Jeff and I waded through the crowds to reach the Southwest ticket counter, and a very long line. The line looked to be about 30 minutes in length. We had plenty of time to spare so we could have stood in that line with no problem, but Southwest has new check in kiosks that made things much easier for us. Jeff put in his Rapid Rewards card, and our scheadule popped up with our boarding passes printed up for us to take. We didn’t have to speak to a single person to get on the plane……and we finally got in group A!

An hour later and we soon found ourselves back in Las Vegas. We didn’t have to leave for our next flight until 10:00pm so we had plenty of time to check out the area again. We had plans to do the Stratosphere again, but we still needed to ride one more coaster we both had never ridden. It took us a few minutes to find the Las Vegas Mini Grand Prix, but once we were there, we were ready to ride a new coaster….or were we? This place was more like a Giant Chuck E Cheese than an amusement park. Yes, there was a coaster but it was a very tiny Wisdom coaster. I doubted that we would be able to ride it.

Also, inside the main building was a DDR 7th Mix machine (6th machine of the trip) that I played a couple of games. After I was through playing, I was ready to ride. Jeff and I took a look around the place checking out the go carts. Once we reached the coaster, we noticed we were going to be the only ones riding it. There were many familes all over the place, but no one wanted to ride the coaster.

----Dragon(#499)----

I admit I felt guilty riding this coaster. It was very tiny, but that hasn’t stopped me before so I rode it. A lot of those families that were outside stopped and watched as Jeff and I rode the coaster. I believe we got 3 laps. Needless to say, once we were done riding, we left the place, well…..after one more game of DDR that is. =:^)

We still had a lot of time to spare before heading for the airport so we took a quick drive to downtown Vegas. I had never been to the actual downtown so it was nice to finally get to drive through it, as small as it is. After out quick drive downtown, we made our way back to the Stratosphere.

As we approached the ticket area inside, I noticed the Crystalix booth. I decided to go ahead and get one of the cubes. I paid my money and was told to sit down and remain very still as my face was being scanned. After the first scan, they offered a second scan so I could have two choices to choose from. I decided to go with the second. While my cube was being laser etched with my image and text, Jeff and I went and purchased our tickets for the tower. Soon after, I picked up my cube. It was pretty creepy to see it as this is one of the only times I have seen my own face in full 3-D, but I got used to it.

I also purchased the $20 unlimited ride wristband so I could ride the Big Shot as much as I could. This was my first day ride on Big Shot and I was eager to see if it would compare to our amazing night rides a couple of night before. There was a bit of a line so I had to wait 4 cycles before getting on. This was probably because only 3 sides of the tower were being loaded, but that meant more air for everyone! Jeff rode only once but I went around again, and again, and again. The day rides were great. I loved facing away from the strip and watching the shadow of the tower 1,000 feet below. However, I still think those first night rides were something special.

With each ride, the line would be less of a wait so I took advantage of it. I met some guys from Norway who were terrified about riding it and wondered why I had my arms sticking out during the launch. I asked them if they had ridden the Thunder Coaster at Tussenfryd in Norway and to my amazement, they had and loved it. They wanted to know how I knew about it. I just told them I love coasters and wanted to ride it someday.

After 7 more rides, I noticed that High Roller was running with just two people in the train. I thought this would be a great time to get a front seat ride. Sure enough, I was the only one waiting so I was able to get my front seat ride, but only after waiting 20 minutes for people to fill the train. I just found this to be strange as I just saw the coaster running with two people but the ride up insisted that the train be full when I rode. Oh well, I can’t complain. I still enjoyed my ride.

Once my ride was over, I went down to the indoor observation level and walked around looking for Jeff. Due to the circular nature of the tower, Jeff was walking around on the other side, complete oposite of I, so we kept on missing each other. Finally, we ran into each other and left the tower and headed down The Strip.

Jeff wanted to see the Treasure Island show so we made our way over to the hotel and took our places just as the show was starting. We seemed to be in the perfect spot. While the show didn’t last very long, I found it to be pretty good. By this time, we were starving so we went inside and took advantage of the buffet. We both ate our fair share of grub before heading to some other hotels including the Mirage to see the volcano, and Ceasar’s Palace to check out the tiger display.

It was about time for us to get going so we made our way back to the airport to drop off our rental car (and a couple attempts to fill up the car) where we boarded our shuttle to take us back to the actual airport. Jeff and I were the only ones in the shuttle. I don’t know if that played a factor or not but the dude that was driving the shuttle turned up the tunes, and ended up taking us on a wild ride to the airport, complete with airtime and laterals! Woo hoo!

The flight back to Ontario took about 45 minutes. As soon as we landed, something happened that I had never seen before. Our plane missed the “turnoff” to go the gates so the pilot ended up making a complete U-turn, and headed back down the way we just came, and turned into the correct turnoff. At first, I was a bit freaked as I know this airport is quite busy and a plane had to be coming down the runway at us, but luckily we were the last flight of the evening.

We were to stay at our friend, Chris Murray’s house, but still had a two hour drive to the Valencia area. Jeff decided to make us some time so we “cruised” at around 90.mph for most of the way to Chris’s and made it in an hour flat. Once we arrived, Chris and his brother Tim welcomed us. At this point, I was drained but Chris had other plans for us.

Chris had just finished production on a DVD called Road To Nowhere 2. This was a joint effort between Chris and friend, Mike Kallay. I know they both have warped senses of humor after seeing the trailier for the DVD online at Mike’s site, but I wasn’t sure if the DVD would live up to what I had seen in the trailer.

Chris asked us to view a beta version of the DVD. Jeff and I agreed. I won’t go into details about the video but I will say it wasn’t your typical coaster video. Actually, that’s an understatement. There is SO much more to this video than coasters. Actually, coasters play a back role as the sick (and that is not an understatement) humor is the star of this 1 hour and 45 minute video. Some of the stuff in this video made me say, “Oh man, I can’t believe you just did that.”, where others had me actually crying, some of it I didn’t want to even comment on.

There is one thing you should know about it though, and that is Chris and Mike have no desire to sell the video. They are simply going to make a few copies for friends and leave it at that. So, if you want to see the DVD, you will probably have to watch it at someone’s place that has it. I am just glad I got to see it because I have been hearing about it for quite some time. Now I understand why it took so long to put together because the actual production is unmatched IMO.

After our viewing, I decided to go to sleep. Tomorrow we would be spending a day at “the park up the street” so I needed some sleep.

Next up….. A great day at Six Flags Magic Mountain, and yet another viewing of RTN2

Thanks for reading,

-Sean

*** This post was edited by Sean F. 2/20/2003 10:54:39 PM ***

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Thursday, February 20, 2003 10:28 PM
D@mnit, you've seen Road To Nowhere 2 twice, and I haven't even seen it once! Chris and Mike hate me!!! When you say "crying" was that crying from laughter or just plain crying?

Good TR's, Sean, keep em coming!

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Mike Miller - Harbinger Of Doom - Killer Of Threads - Cheap Rates, Ask About Our Special!

*** This post was edited by BaSSiStiSt 2/21/2003 3:30:37 AM ***

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Friday, February 21, 2003 2:18 AM
Nice TR! I never knew there was a coaster called Dragon on the strip. I'll have to try to get on it. LOL Bass. RTN2 sounds funny. How long did it actually take them to make it?
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Friday, February 21, 2003 5:08 AM
Bass--
I think I can accurately answer the question of crying....

The crying stems from gasping for air, due to the lack of oxygen to the brain, caused by laughing uncontrollably.

Funny, funny stuff.

Jeff

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Friday, February 21, 2003 5:17 AM
Hey, Phoenix *does* look like Columbus! Except for the mountains, of course. ;)

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A day is a drop of water in the ocean of eternity. A week is seven drops.

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Friday, February 21, 2003 7:02 AM
Man....those pictures have started my Vegas yearning again.

Nice pic of the mountain in Phoenix...isn't that Camelback Mountain?

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I'd rather die living than live like I'm dead

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Friday, February 21, 2003 8:01 AM
Yes, CPLady, yes it is. I think I might head over to CnC tonight and get a ride on Desert Storm. It's been a while :-).
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Friday, February 21, 2003 1:23 PM

JJmailman said:
Bass--
I think I can accurately answer the question of crying....

The crying stems from gasping for air, due to the lack of oxygen to the brain, caused by laughing uncontrollably.

Funny, funny stuff.

Jeff


Oh cool, Jeff, thanks. The little bit of footage I saw literally had me falling off my chair with laughter, I can only imagine 105 minutes of that madness!

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Mike Miller - hoping his idiotic DCA stunt was left on the cutting room floor...

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Friday, February 21, 2003 5:20 PM
Thanks guys! I guess I didn't have to answer anything this time. =:^)

-Sean

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Saturday, February 22, 2003 3:46 PM
What is this Road to Nowhere thing?

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If Milli Vanilli fell in the woods, would someone else make a sound ?

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Saturday, February 22, 2003 9:20 PM
It's basicly a composition of Chris and Mike's trips around the country, and all the weird **** they get into. It's one of the funniest things I've seen in a good LONG time, very well done! I too was literally falling out of the seat laughing. Heck even Ric Turner (who doesnt usually exhibit a sense of humor, no offense) was nearly in tears! I wish Chris would sell this thing, but I don't think thats gonna happen

BTW Bass, that "idiotic DCA footage" WAS included... :)
*** This post was edited by ThePhantomLives 2/23/2003 2:23:21 AM ***

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Sunday, February 23, 2003 10:35 AM

ThePhantomLives said:
It's basicly a composition of Chris and Mike's trips around the country, and all the weird **** they get into. It's one of the funniest things I've seen in a good LONG time, very well done! I too was literally falling out of the seat laughing. Heck even Ric Turner (who doesnt usually exhibit a sense of humor, no offense) was nearly in tears! I wish Chris would sell this thing, but I don't think thats gonna happen

BTW Bass, that "idiotic DCA footage" WAS included... :)
*** This post was edited by ThePhantomLives 2/23/2003 2:23:21 AM ***


Oh that's great. There goes my A-list standing!

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Mike Miller - Psyched he FINALLY gets to see RTN2 at Solace!

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