As I stated in my previous blog post, my first full day in Vegas started off pretty miserably.  I was tired, emotional and had a stomach that was doing its best impression of stormy seas.  Checkout was at 11am, so I packed up, handed in my keys and set off for the Tropicana.  As bad as the other two hotels were, this made up for it times ten.  The place was HUGE!  It was bright, gaudy, loud and I loved it.  Check in wasn’t for another hour, so I chilled by the bar and had a few non alcoholic drinks.  One interesting thing for the Brits.  You can smoke in the hotel bar and around the slot machines.  That was quite the culture shock for me.  Once checked in, I had to walk through the casino, up the escalator, along another long hall to the conference center, in the elevator to the 12th floor, along another hallway and to my room.  By the time I’d done that it felt like I’d walked from the UK to the US!  Once unpacked, it was time to hit the shops for presents.  This became a major part of the next two days.  I never really travelled far from the hotel.  Everything I needed was within a mile circle of the hotel.  Walk to the shops, do some shopping, walk back to the hotel room, chill out for a while, then repeat.  During one of these trips, I bumped into a familiar face and accent.  Elisa Mclean from Queek’d is someone I’d met a few months earlier in Manchester when I was up there filming.  We’d discussed working together on some stuff for her app, and I’d written a long piece about scammers for her.  She was meeting the guys from Scamalytics the next day and invited me along.  I’d met Scamalytics at the Germany iDate conference the year before and we’d been working with them on some stuff too.

The evening can be described with one image:

IMG_20150119_212354

Yep, there was a fire at the hotel!  Sorry scammers, your assassination attempt failed.  You picked the wrong floor.  Better luck next time 😛

So, after all that drama I finally managed to get a good night’s sleep.  The meeting was at 12:30, so I snuck off to do some more shopping.  Let me say that everyone I spoke to was incredibly friendly.  Not fake friendly, but genuinely friendly.  I even had a 20 minute conversation with one lady working in a shop about flights and the shows to see.  I finally ate too.  Just a banana, but it was a start.  The meeting with Elisa and Scamalytics went well.  After that I did some more strolling around before bumping into Elisa again and arranging to go get something to eat later on.  I had a burger and even found some hard cider to drink.  Company, food AND cider.  I was in heaven!  I was invited to a speakers party in Marc’s room, but by now I was tired so went to bed.

I’ll continue this story in the next blog post, when I meet lots more people and finally get to play pinball.