Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Lessons from camping and Las Vegas

1) Take dry ice. It lasts way longer than regular ice. The secret is to put it in a plastic bag on the bottom of your cooler, line the dry ice with regular ice, then pile your stuff on top. On a related note, if you have a choice between block and chipped ice, block lasts longer.

2) Don’t ever rent a PT Cruiser. It has to be the most underpowered car on the face of this Earth. The rental guy at Payless tried to warn me, but I’m cheap, and I figured he was trying to sell me on a pricier upgrade.

3) If you’re planning to camp somewhere new, research whether there are any state or national parks nearby. When I went to Lake Powell, I stayed at an RV campground. I basically had a big patch of hot sand in the middle of a concrete parking lot. The water in the indoor pool was greener than Kermit. (I swam anyway -- I'm preparing for a triathlon sprint.) However, 10 minutes away was Lake Powell in Glen Canyon National Recreation Area. You literally can camp on Lone Rock Beach at the lake. I chilled there for the day. Best part was laying out on the beach. Worse part was the guy next to me blasting heavy metal from his Honda Accord. Ignorant.

4) Don’t try to drive a PT Cruiser in soft sand. I got stuck twice. The first time, a couple pushed me out. The second time, a nice guy from Utah pulled me out with his gigantic pickup.

5) It is not cheap to party in Las Vegas. You can’t take a cab ride anywhere for less than $10, including the tip. Most places charged a $15-$20 cover. And one beer cost $9. Criminal.

6) Don’t eat at the Sidewalk CafĂ© in Bally’s in Las Vegas. The food is average and the service is horrible.
7) If you have a large group in Las Vegas, the buffets are a good way to eat. They have food stations with cooks who make soups, steaks and omelets to order.