Off to Las Vegas Tuesday July 7, 2020 EDT 
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Philippine Connection - August 4, 2002 Sunday

Off to Las Vegas

As much as I wanted to spend time with Julia the last 2 hours I had left before leaving for the airport, it didn't happen.

At 5:30AM, I hugged the family and Dad took me to the airport. The crack on his voice gave away a concealed sadness. How many more years before we see each other again?

The flights to Tokyo and then to Las Vegas went as usual without incident. The empty row on the 13-hour flight to Las Vegas allowed me to use all 3 seats to get my much-needed sleep. The plan was for me to check in my baggage in Vegas and use my 12-hour layover to walk along the strip. Upon arrival in Vegas however, Air Canada would not allow me to check-in my luggage sooner than 3 hours before my flight - September 11 issue. I thus had to cancel my planned tour and just wait out the 12-hour layover in the airport for my connecting flight to Canada.

Good fortune smiled upon me when my friend Chica, a former New York roommate who now lives happily in Vegas with husband Bill, offered to take me around town and had my luggage stored in her workplace. I boarded a shuttle bus to the hotels (US$4.25) and was dropped-off Caesar's Palace where Chica was already awaiting my arrival. It was good to see her again after nearly 7 years.

I took a walk around town trying to see as much as I can given my tight time constrain - Treasure Island, Venetian and Madame Tussaud's wax museum.

I hooked up with Chica at 5 for buffet at the elegant Bellagio - her treat.The array and quality of the food was terrific. Later, we watched the fountain show synchronized to the music of Celine Dion and Andrea Bocelli. No bad seat on that one.

Chica dropped me off the airport and I was on my way home.

--- TheLoneRider

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