I only ever skip ops nights if I’m on vacation, if there’s some kind of national holiday, or if there’s some kind of emergency family event. This past Friday I attended the second annual Life Is Beautiful Festival here in downtown Las Vegas, and I thought it was a great way to spend my time, despite missing out on ops!
I met up with a few friends, and we ended up parking at a nearby church! It was only a couple blocks away, but it was free parking for a few hours. The parking rates for the hotels downtown and other nearby areas were about $20, so I thought it was very smart! At first I was worried it was going to be too far away when the driver decided to start heading to the church, but then, once I realized how close we were, I was impressed by the smart and financially savvy idea, though I was still prepared to cough up some cash for a potential parking fee.
Because we all loved to eat and there were fantastic gourmet foods at the festival, the first thing we did was buy some food! Though I would’ve preferred something more “fancy,” we went to the Aloha Kitchen booth, which serves Hawaiian cuisine. I’m surprised I didn’t take a picture of the rest of our food, but we downed it too quickly! We shared the BBQ Kalua Pork sliders, BBQ Chicken Sticks, and the Tokyo Honey Toast, which were all $5 each. I thought this was a fair price for the festival.
On our quest to find the beer garden, which was a grassy area with all craft beers, we passed the Nobu tent, and of course I had to stop by and order the Yellowtail Sashimi with Jalapeno! Of course I am the worst blogger ever and didn’t take a picture of it, but it was delicious. I’ve had this dish quite a few times at Nobu and other Japanese restaurants, and it’s one of my favorite things that I don’t get to eat very often. Unfortunately it was $8 for three, small pieces (which seems like a lot for three pieces but actually cheaper than the restaurant itself), but I was still happy that I got to savor the taste of that dish, and it’s been a long while since I’ve had it. (For reference, at the Nobu restaurant, it’s $24 for six pieces I think.)
After looking at a few of the different craft beer stands, I chose the Ballast Point Calico Amber Ale (5.5% ABV). I prefer ambers over pale ales or anything that tastes too hoppy, and this one was great!
We ended up seeing a few different musical artists, including Baauer, Girl Talk, Switchfoot, The Weeknd, Neon Trees, RAC, and Kanye West. I’m not really that impressed by the talent of DJs or EDM artists, but they were entertaining all the same. I enjoyed RAC, and while I didn’t know who they were when one of my friends brought us to their stage, I did recognize one of the songs they played, so I will have to look them up later and listen to more of their music when I’m not trying to listen to hours of podcasts!
During the Bauuer show, my ops leader left a comment on the blog saying “Get to raid!” It’s probably my fault for not reminding the operation leader that I had a music festival to go to this past Monday, but I did let them know about it a week or two ago. I texted my guild leader to remind them that I wasn’t going to be there, because I had told him previously also! I still felt a little guilty (because being dedicated and reliably showing up on time is very important to me), so I opened Mumble on my phone during the show. Of course, I couldn’t hear them, and all they could probably hear on the other end was probably booming EDM music and me frantically apologizing for not reminding them that I wasn’t going to be there.
Later in the evening I ate a Mashed Potato & Bacon Burger from the Hash House a Go Go tent, a restaurant that I’ve still never been to. I was pleasantly surprised that for the portion that was served, it only cost $5, but the restaurant itself is known for very large portions. I also rode the ferris wheel, right before The Weeknd performed.
The last show of the night was Kanye West. I originally didn’t care to see him at all, but my friends convinced me that seeing his show would be the most cost-effective choice versus Panic! at the Disco, which was scheduled during a conflicting time slot. The reasoning was that it costs hundreds of dollars more see Kanye West in concert while Panic! was a bit more affordable. For the most part, I didn’t really enjoy myself. I don’t like him or his music, but I knew some of his songs because they are played frequently on the radio. It was danceable though, so it last least has that going for it. In the middle of the show Kanye started talking and talking about nonsense, which was really annoying. It felt like it lasted for maybe 5-10 minutes. However, his show did start with a version of the Imperial March (Darth Vader theme song from Star Wars), so I geeked out a bit when that played!
I actually had a 3-day pass, but I was so exhausted and sore from the first day that I didn’t attend the rest of the weekend. (I know–I wasted money!) I would definitely still attend next year, but I will wait for the musical lineup and the schedule before purchasing a pass.