Trip became a rodeo of its own

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Farm Forum

Our great traveling companions Connie and Jack Waltman, who Mary Ann and I have been traveling with for at least 30 years or more, wanted to attend the final three days of the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas. They asked us to accompany them to this great event.

So Connie got a package deal for Sam’s Town Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. Sam’s Town discounts the rooms for four nights, and they provide free shuttles back and forth to the Thomas and Mack Arena where the National Finals are held. We have taken part in these packages in the past and it was always just a grand old time.

Aging provides the tolerance for early airline departures, which were 5:10 a.m. out of Aberdeen. We don’t mind rising at 0300, but to some fliers it might seem a bit trying.

Anyway, we arrived Las Vegas about 11 a.m. and took a $35 cab ride over to Sam’s Town. When we finally got to the main desk for check in they couldn’t find our reservations. The very kind and friendly check-in lady made some inquiries and discovered our reservations were for the Gold Coast Hotel and Casino. Ugh! What?

Connie remembered she had talked to a universal agent who said she made reservations for all the package deals for the Rodeo. But she had specifically asked for and heard confirmation that we were booked into Sam’s Town. Wrong. Somebody had made a mistake and there was nothing we could do but cab it over to the Gold Coast which was a very long ways away.

Sure enough they had our prepaid reservations for four nights there at the Gold Coast. It is off the strip about a mile, but was an average, clean place and we did enjoy our stay. Gold Coast offered free shuttles to the strip but not downtown. And the Gold Coast gave free shuttles back and forth to the Thomas and Mack arena.

The National Finals Rodeo is a unique event in that only the world’s best cowboys can compete. And the entire rodeo is run with such precision. There is no idle time. As soon as one cowboy hits the ground and walks off another one comes out of the chute. The whole evening goes that way.

And there are some spectacular events. Watching these super athletes compete is pure entertainment of the nth degree. The world’s best announcers give the backgrounds on each cowboy.

We were in for a surprise when it came time to go. We were due out of Las Vegas on Sunday morning after four days and nights. We asked the front desk to check us into our flight and get our boarding passes. Wrong. Not listed for Sunday, but a check revealed we were not due out until Monday. So we were charged another night at the Gold Coast and left on Monday.

Guess the old guy here was the culprit for that goof-up. Must have told the travel agent the wrong date.

Nuff said.

Gerald “Jerry” Krueger is a retired educator, coach, commercial pilot and farmer. His column publishes Mondays.