Today, I resolved myself to take it easy. On Wednesday night, I attended the screening of “Overhaulin’s” 100th build at the Westgate Hotel/Casino. When the event was over I walked back to the Convention Center only to discover that the shuttle buses had stopped running for the evening. Now I had a dilemma. How to get back to my hotel. I found an employee exit the Central Hall and he suggested the monorail. I climbed the steps, checked out the map and found the stop that was closest to my hotel. Paris/Bally’s was the third stop so I got off there and tried to find my way out. I kept following the signs for the Las Vegas Strip but they seem to go on forever. I finally found a food court and since it was around 7 pm, I decided to eat and then continue my quest for the Aria. I finally found the Paris concierge desk and asked them where the Aria was. After receiving my directions, I headed out the door and found my hotel. What a relief that all my walking for the day was finished.
So today, my mission was to meet more celebrities and contact some vendors for some friends back home. First thing was to head to the North Hall and see “Gunny”, R.Lee Ermey. What a great guy. He was very personable and took his time with all those who came to see him. I also found Dan Woods, of “Chop Shop” on MAVTV, and Jessi Combs of “Overhaulin'” and “All Girls Garage”. Spectacular cars were displayed everywhere and my camera’s shutter kept clicking away. By the time this week was done, I shot 950 photos and 6 videos.
Over the course of 3 days, I have accumulated dozens of posters, pens, lanyards, calendars, and other trinkets being given away by the thousands of vendors and/or their models. Lexas was giving away thumb drives shaped like “dog tags”. This was a very popular booth based on the lines stretching around the booth and along the walls. The secret (we found) was to get in line before the doors opened. Having an All-Access badge allowed Rick and me to do just that. Pypes was giving away “shot glasses” with recipes for a few “libations”. BASF was giving away water-proof cases, stress balls, and mirrored puzzles. Several vendors gave out bags, and they were soon being filled with all the free stuff.
Today I spent a lot of time maneuvering around thousands of people who stop, start, look in one direction, and walk another while texting. Some people had small bags on rollers that you tripped over if you were not careful. SEMA should be used as a training venue for running backs to learn their quick moves to evade tacklers.
In spite of the walking and dodging, SEMA is well worth the experience. It is a great event and a place to network or get some ideas for “tricking out” or “souping up” your “Cool Ride”.
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