Phew what a day….. I got up at 2:45 this morning, thankfully I already had everything packed and ready to go in the car.

By 4:10 I got to New Airpark where I will leave my car for the next 17 days. A swift ride to the airport later and I was able to check in…..and I absolutely nailed the maximum baggage allowance 😎

The flight to Amsterdam was uneventful. The sandwich was pretty good, but then you can’t really go wrong with cheese…

I had seriously blocked out how crazy busy and big the airport in Amsterdam is….and confusing. There was an additional security check for anyone travelling to the US where they ask you some senseless questions that only an absolute idiot would answer with ‘yes’. Such as:

  • Did you pack your bags yourself?
  • Is this your bag?
  • Did anyone give you anything to put in your bag?
  • etc

Well….at least that killed some time 😂 so I only had about an hour to wait until check-in for Salt Lake City.

Due to heavy wind we left Amsterdam about 35 minutes late, but we still got to SLC on time.

I have to say….. Delta isn’t all that bad. There’s decent leg room, food was delicious in the beginning and edible in the end. Drinks were plentiful, I had a great Pale Ale. Only the person sitting next to me was kinda weird. Didn’t even say hi. Just sat down and didn’t interact at all for the 10+ hours in the air.

As always, I didn’t sleep, but I got through Justice League, Guardians of the Galaxy 2 and a documentary about Steven Spielberg. Time actually passed pretty quickly.

Salt Lake City is a pretty small airport, but it still took me almost an hour to go through immigration. The officer there was really nice and my concerns about being able to come back for six months in July were unnecessary. Since I am outside the country for a long enough period between entries.

Usually, when you travel to the US and have a domestic flight after your first touchdown in the country you need to pick up your checked bag(s) and go through customs personally, before re-checking your bags.

In SLC this just means picking up your suitcase from the conveyor belt, walking 50m over and through customs and then leaving your baag in a designated area. Since they had already checked my bag through until my finaal destination, this worked really well.

After another security screening I went in search of the gate and then had about a 30 minute wait. And I noticed immediately that I am back in the US.

The flight to Vegas was a little bumpy, but thankfully short. We touched down at 3:30pm and by 4:15pm I had oicked up my bag and found the local bus into the old center of town. WAX bus to 4th St.&Carson, quite a steal at $2 for a single journey. It took about 45 minutes and then I had a 5 minute walk to El Cortez Hotel & Casino, where I’m staying the night.

And I really am back in Vegas. Gambling machines, flashing lights, drunk people everywhere. I went up to the room, nice old-timey feeling, perfectly ok for one night at around $35.

I changed into some shorts, since it is about 30°C here, although thankfully it’s dry (@Cookies: remember Achmed? ^^ ) and I immediately went out in search of some food. I settled on Whitecastle, since I’ve never had it before. Well… was alright I guess. 2 sliders (“tiny” cheeseburgers, meaning a little smaller than German McD) and Onion Rings for $6.25.

Went back to the hotel for a short while, then walked around some more, trying to stay awake as long as possible.

I found a place that sells authentic Mexican tacos, in small tortillas, with great salsa, and today they had a 2 for 1 deal on chicken tacos. So I got 4 tacos for $5 .

It is now 8 pm, I have a nice IPA next to me, and will try to stay awake until 9pm. That will make 27 hours….awake. But I feel pretty good to be honest. Excited to go to Billings tomorrow.

Things I noticed immediately about the US (I basically know all of this, but it just really jumped out at me):

  • Americans are LOUD
  • everything is big….streets, cars, drinks, etc
  • you can buy alcohol in a store, but your back will be stapled shut, because you’re not allowed to drink out of an open container on the street
  • so your beer can be in a plastic CUP, but not in the can or bottle it came in – go figure
  • no matter the age, everyone finds their fun in Vegas, even if they have to roll along in a little electric chair/buggy thing
  • this might be the only place where you can find a Power Ranger, Batman, Mr. Spock and naked people (with pasties) within a five minute walk
  • somehow, there are always people gambling, no matter the time of day

So with these few nuggets of wisdom I will leave you to it. Anything else you are interested in? Would you like more details on some things? If yes, which?

Keeping you posted…

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