Sunday, March 4, 2018

WPPI 2018 :: Las Vegas

     A couple of years ago, I went to my first WPPI convention and had a blast.  For some reason, I was really itching to go again this year.  It may have been that I was looking for a new rolling bag, and perhaps a replacement for my old Shootsac lens bag.  The WPPI expo has been known to have special pricing for a lot of things, so when the $70 round-trip ticket showed up on Kayak, I was sold!  Then I saw which airline it was, and I started to get anxiety.  I decided to just get over it, and book it.  My plan was to fly in for the day, and if I found any goodies that didn't fit in my one personal item (my backpack), then I would have my friend Mike haul it back for me since he was in Vegas for the whole week for WPPI. He also volunteered to be my Uber for the day (sucka! 😀)

     It was on this day that I discovered that I am too old to be doing this.  Doing what, you ask?  Oh, you know, waking up at 3:00 am in order to catch a 6:00 am flight out of LAX.  Let's just say that even though there were no hiccups along the way, I still barely made it to the airport on time to board the flight.  I did score a window seat though, and really loved the views on the short 45-50 minute flight to Vegas.  

All photos were taken with my G7xII (since I soon realized at the expo that bringing my DSLR was a bad choice!)

Flying over Catalina Island

Landing at McCarran Airport

The airport was pretty empty near baggage claim, but the security line was crazy long!  You know you're in Vegas when there are slot machines at the baggage corral. 

     I've had short layovers at McCarran, but never actually flew into Vegas since it's close enough to drive to.  I must say, I really enjoyed flying in, despite having to first drive to LAX at the ass crack of dawn. The signage is great, and the passenger pick up area is really well labeled.  There was a time that I dreamed of wearing all these great outfits to the airport.  I even pin them on my Pinterest board.  Well, this picture just confirms that those dreams are dead. It was too cold for my California blood and since I knew my itinerary for the day included tons of walking, I was perfectly content with my Skechers and stretchy jeans. 😍

     Once Mike picked me up, he had this coffee for me.  OMG, it was so good.  I made a mental note to look for this coffee brand because it tasted better than most coffee I've had.  He said he got it at the Chevron gas station.  Nothing but the best for this gal. 😉

     Our first stop was breakfast at Bouchon at the Venetian.  Talk about fancy and opulence!

     This bacon and spinach quiche was soooo creamy. 

     This pecan bun was lightly crispy and not too sweet. 

     The WPPI expo was at Mandalay Bay this year.  Afterwards, we were going to head to New York New York for some Shake Shack burgers.

     I stopped by the Peak Design booth.  They didn't really have anything I wanted or needed (and by that, I mean that I already own everything I want or need from them haha!)

     This camera is $15,000 for the body only.  I added it to the list of things I won't be owning. 😊

     It's always cool to see well known photographers at the expo.  I think that next year I'll try to stay longer and take some classes.

     There was this booth called and they had the CUTEST flash drives, cups, and mugs.  

     I ended up getting a water bottle for myself.  Shhh. 😉

     With the DSLR market getting more and more competitive, I definitely noticed a stronger presence by Sony and Fujifilm this year.

     I didn't have time to look at everything, but I did come away with a new Tenba rolling bag (the Roadie 21) and saved $100 off the Amazon price.  I also picked up a new Shootsac lens bag at the expo price as well.  My free tote bags were full of freebies and catalogs of things I'll have to do more research once I got home.  My favorite freebie was my Leica keychain (to go along with the Leica camera I don't have). 

     After about 3 hours of the expo, we were finally headed to Shake Shack!  It's always better to have it in New York City, but hey, I wasn't gonna complain.  

     This Shake Shack is so much bigger than other ones I've been to.  I love the flashy signs (the Vegas touch).

     Our next stop was to head over to the Cosmopolitan for some cereal milk soft serve from Milkbar.

     Mmm... cereal milk soft serve with corn flake topping. 😋

     I remember when Vegas just had regular crosswalks.  Yes, that's how old I am.  It's such a chore to have to go up an escalator, over a bridge, and sometimes back down an escalator just to cross a bridge.

     We made a quick beeline to the shops over at Planet Hollywood.  I'll always remember this place as Aladdin though.  I have so many memories from this place!  I recall the first time I saw the fake cloud ceiling, and thought it was the coolest thing ever.

     Next, we went across the street because I wanted to see the conservatory at the Bellagio.  It was decorated for the Lunar New Year.

     After the conservatory, we went on a mission to find these chocolates that were never found.  Apparently, the store was closing and they didn't make them anymore.  I tried to be positive and look at it as bonus exercise, but man, I was BEAT by the end of the day.

     When Mike dropped me back off at McCarran, I was content just sitting down and playing on my phone for about an hour and a half.  I was also thankful for the short flight home, and there's nothing that welcomes you more back into the chaos of L.A. than LAX itself. 😂

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