Vegas Mega Success - Follow The Money and the Heart - CycleBlaze

January 24, 2020

Vegas Mega Success

eI won $100 and proposed to my girlfiend who's now my fiancee.  We didn't get married in a Vegas chapel, but the opportunity to propose had to be taken advantage of because I really love this girl and it was either ask the question now or never.

Let's back up to how this happened.  So I woke up nice and late at the Culver City Airbnb and then took a backup OrangeTheory Fitness class at a location nearby.  It was one of the best classes yet, a 3G arrangement where you spend equal amounts of time on the treadmill, rowing machines, and weight floor.  I burned well over 800 calories.  Next I retrieved my stuff from the Airbnb and made tracks for the LAX airport.  Everything went smoothly for check in, and it was nice to walk to the airport from the terminal station of the buses.  TSA gave me a hard time but what else is new, as long as I was on the plane to Vegas I could care less.

The plane touched down into the bright lights and my girlfriend Sophia would be meeting me at the Starbucks near the baggage claim.  Of course I had to gamble some money at the slots and amazingly came ahead $20 right there.  We met up right away and embraced, then swapped tales of arriving.  She had come directly from Shanghai and the nasty coronavirus had just got going, to the point where everyone was required to wear masks when traveling and have temperatures taken, etc.  She was very lucky to have gotten out of China *before* the US started banning entry to all foreign nationals coming from from the mainland, and many of the airlines canceled all the flights.  In many ways, both the timing for her and my trip couldn't have been any better. 

We caught a taxi to the Airbnb that was in a quiet neighborhood away from the strip, and all the painstaking amount of research I had done to pick this place paid off.  Sophia felt right at home, and indeed the hosts really took a liking to us and we were treated just like family.  The hosts were originally from Iran and so there is definitely a connection between Iran and China so this helped a LOT and especially to make my girlfriend feel welcome in the US in case there were any racist backlashes due to the coronavirus.  Fortunately that never happened, and most of the time we were together and so the combination of white/Chinese couple worked in both our favor.

We kept up with the news on a daily, almost hourly basis, and both of us were astonished at how quickly the coronavirus was flaring up in mainland China and the absolute draconian measures that were being taken.  One day I'd wake up and and Sophia would say, "Oh by the way, no more taxis or ride shares in Shanghai" and then "This airline canceled flights to mainland China" followed by many others and then "Singapore is banning entry to any foreign nationals who have been in China" which was soon followed by the US.  On and on it went, and the increase in draconian bad news and rumors on social media was just as exponential as this virus itself.  I tried to tell her many times "Don't worry about this virus, let's enjoy the trip" but it was impossible not to because it was affecting absolutely EVERYTHING include the fact she might not be able to get back to China.  So we tried our best to let that go. 

We spent much time attending one OrangeTheory class after another, in fact that's where we met in the first place in Shanghai.  Needless to say this main common hobby formed the strongest bond in our relationship.  If only I could talk her into long distance bicycle riding also, but I'll take what we have.  Aside from that we also gambled and won, did some cool parties on the strip, checked out a bunch of shows, and also did some business.  One of the biggest successes was securing an ATM card for the bank I deal with in Vegas and also getting instructions for direct wire transfer.  I also helped my girlfriend open an account and we met another friend who was familiar with property and insurance in Vegas in case we go that route in future.

Unfortunately the time went much too quickly and it was soon time to leave.  With no considerable amount of sadness, we'd be leaving on different flights.  I was the first one to go on a domestic flight to Bellingham (near the Canadian border), and Sophia saw me off at the security but not before I won another $35.  Most of the previous wins had actually come from small gambling stations inside of gas stations and pharmacies, and of course I was instructed which ones to play and which ones not to.

Some great cooking
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Walking to the LAX airport. I'm surprised there is no public transit to such a large airport.
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Well deserved after a tough fitness class
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