I am the secretary for our local HOG chapter. No, not the animal….although I am sure many of you that know I am from Iowa might think so! HOG stands for Harley Owners Group! A little over a year ago a few of us started up yet another incarnation of a local chapter. It has been a lot of work and a lot of fun. Every year, nationally they have several Harley Officer Trainings. (HOT) We decided being a fairly new group, basically winging it, we needed to go. When we saw there was a training in Las Vegas at the end of February, we couldn’t help but jump at it. Not only would we be with 700+ like-minded motorcycle people, but we would be able to escape the long cold Iowa winter for a few days!
We arrived early on a Thursday to our hotel, Planet Hollywood. What a great place! We were able to upgrade a room and got this beautiful view from the 29th floor. It was breathtaking. I loved being able to look out the window and see mountains. Not a bit of snow in sight!
Our classes didn’t start until the next day so we decided to use Thursday to sight-see and go to eat at the one place I wanted to go while there. I found out that Gordon Ramsay had opened a restaurant called BurGR in Planet Hollywood. After a short wait, we were seated and treated to one of THE best burgers I have ever had! I would highly recommend this place to anyone who loves burgers! Even if you only liked them, I know you would leave here loving them!
Walking down the strip was an interesting experience! It reminded me a lot of Hollywood Boulevard! There was always a lot of people and many of them were ‘unique’ to say the least. You could see Dr. Evil, Freddie Krueger, Barney, Elmo, Elvis, of course, showgirls, and even a gold man. The people visiting were just as diverse.
We got to see many of the casinos and hotels that I had only ever saw on tv. Vegas was another place that I never thought i would visit, and like many other places, it was surreal to be standing there. I have to take a moment to mention the weather! We left weather that was snowy and -13. In Las Vegas that day it reached 70! At several times during the day we just hung out and enjoyed the warm air. I could have stayed out in it for a long long time!
After walking around for a bit, we headed back to our room for some rest. At some point, the guys dozed off, and us girls decided we didn’t come to Vegas to sit in a room, so we headed out! We ended up at a place called PBR Rock Bar. It had outside seating with fire pits at each table. We sat at one close to the sidewalk and enjoyed the warm evening, the fire and yet more great food!
Friday I heard it rained all day. We were inside at class so it didn’t bother us! Our training is the part of our Las Vegas trip that DOESN’T stay in Vegas! We gained a lot of knowledge to take back to our local HOG Chapter. What we learned can only make us a stronger chapter. I hope we can continue to make it grow!
Harley Davidson treated us very well while at the training. The breakfasts, lunches, dinner buffet and entertainment were all first class! I am pretty sure I gained a few pounds while in Vegas!
We had a gorgeous view from our room at night, too!
Saturday again was a day of classes. We did take some time to go out on the strip again. There were certainly a lot more people that day! Again, many ‘interesting’ ones to be seen! We had to check out early from our hotel as we had a Sunday 1 a.m. flight home, and we used the last free time we had to take in a few more sites, none as beautiful as the light and water show at the Bellagio.
We had one last dinner before we headed to the airport. We ended up at a place called Twin Peaks. For those of you that don’t know what that is, think Hooters with flannel and khakis. We were led up to the third floor of the restaurant. It was rather loud so there wasn’t a lot of conversation. We were approached by a woman with a camera at one point. It was hard to hear her, but she asked us if we wanted a souvenir picture of us for our trip. Of COURSE! We had not had a chance to get one of us. I thought it was odd, at first, someone offering a free picture, but as expected she had printed the small free postcard and two other pictures that we could buy. We did not hesitate because the price was right and we got to keep a great picture of our trip! Captured was a memory that I am sure many of us will keep close to our heart for a long time!
Too soon it was time to head to the airport for our middle of the night flight home. It was delayed because we had to wait for a replacement flight attendant. He must have made up time in the air, because although we left much later, we didn’t get there that much later! There is something to be said about flying in the middle of the night, the plane is dark and quiet and you can rest or sleep. The flight went fast! Before we knew it, it was back to the cold and the snow!
Being that it was a short trip and we spent much of it in class, we didn’t get to see a lot of Las Vegas, didn’t get to any shows. I would love to go back again when we had more time. I want to see more of it, to go to a show, just to enjoy so much more of what Las Vegas has to offer!
If any of you are sitting at home, wondering IF you should spend the time and the money to go places, I say ALWAYS you SHOULD! I don’t regret ANY of the trips I have taken. The best part? Making memories. Not only for yourself but for everyone that is with you!
And THAT is PRICELESS!!