Getting reintroduced to the city and MJBizCon

I had dubbed it “Vagabond Adventures” since we would be checking into a hotel five times during an 11-day trip. Part work and part sight-seeing vacation, but all expected to be fun. And it was.

The timing of this trip depended on when MJBizCon was scheduled for in Las Vegas. The large convention is an annual trade show where the company I work for exhibits. It’s attended by nearly 30,000 industry professionals who can talk with nearly 1,200 exhibitors.

Since I was bringing Karen, we left on Sunday in order to reacquaint her with a town she hadn’t visited in over 20 years. Later in the week she commented that the Las Vegas Strip has turned into a long mall.

We flew out of Cleveland in the early afternoon so we could have some Vegas time Sunday and part of Monday.

That was our first hotel check in for the trip. We stayed at the Luxor Sunday and Monday nights. A hotel I was familiar with from a previous work trip to Vegas.

Here, we had the first of several odd issues with our hotel rooms.

Quite frankly, we freaking froze Sunday night. When we got to the room, it was freezing. Even for me. The thermostat said it was set to 65° and the fan was set to high. Simple enough. Turn the fan to low and raise the temp to 72. Nothing happened for several minutes. Then still nothing happened for several more minutes. And finally…nothing continued to happen.

So I set the thermostat to off. See the previous three sentences.

The thermostat had a mind of its own. We’ll get back to the thermostat later.

Early Sunday evening, we took our first walk along the Las Vegas Strip. We were hungry and this was one of the only nights we didn’t already have dinner reservations. Where to eat? Where to eat? Too bad there aren’t any good food choices in this city.

One thing I’ve been doing since 1985 is collect Hard Rock Cafe T-shirts. I have 15 and I wanted a second Vegas edition. So that’s where we decided to eat. I’ve been to Hard Rock Cafes all over the country and their food is OK compared to many other places, but it’s never bad. Same here, but we may have had a little more fun. Especially since we got to pose in front of a green screen and ate our dinner looking up at James Brown’s butt. (see images)

Karen is writing a Restaurants post for all the restaurant reviews and photos

We got back to the Luxor, once again to a cold room. The air conditioning had decided to stay on even though the thermostat was set to off. Since it was late, we decided to cuddle up and keep the blankets on. Well, that only partially worked.

Miles walked: 9.7 (this daily stat is only based on Frank’s iPhone Health App)


I still had work to do from the hotel room on Monday, since that was technically a work day for me. To my surprise, I ticked everything off my to-do list for that day. Not something I can say for the next day, but no harm, no foul.

I also had to grab my badge for the show. The line for registration can be really long during the show. (once I saw a line at registration for this show estimated at 3,000 people)

I was the only one in the entire registration hall on Monday. We walked onto the tradeshow floor to let Karen experience the mayhem that is happening two days before the show. Including things like our booth not having been delivered yet and it’s already 2:00 PM. This would be the only opportunity for Karen to see anything on the other side of the trade show floor doors since they start requiring badges on Tuesday.

We took this opportunity to walk back to our hotel. If you aren’t familiar with Vegas or where the Convention Center is in relationship to the second farthest south hotel on the strip, it’s about four miles.

Since food is never far from either of our minds, we were figuring out what we were going to do for dinner while we were searching for lunch. We were also doing some light gambling and drinking at several casinos along the way. Karen found her new favorite pizza except we noticed that a full pie would cost $40. It was good though.

Since part of this day included some early souvenir shopping, we needed to get back to the Luxor to drop off the bags before we headed out for dinner, which we had figured out along the way. The room was still freezing, so we took this opportunity to report the thermostat problem to hotel services. That in itself was a half hour process.

We wrote out a long note on what was wrong and what we did. We left it for the tech, then headed out to Guy Fieri’s Vegas Kitchen and Bar.

If you don’t think you need reservations for some of the popular places in Vegas, you would be wrong. Not sure why we had some friends tell us there aren’t a lot of people now, so you can get right in.

The hostess was turning away people at both Battista’s and Gordon Ramsay Steak if they didn’t have reservations.

However, Fieri’s was one of the few places in town not taking reservations, a fact we had checked on earlier in the day during our travels. We didn’t have a very long wait.

As we were still getting used to the time adjustment and the following day would start an extremely hectic four days for me due to the conference, we decided to slowly head back to the hotel.

We returned to a still-spastic, but tolerable thermostat, which apparently had dead batteries. There was also a nice surprise included in the tech’s note back to us. The hotel gave us each a $25 voucher for food anywhere at the Luxor. You don’t have to invite us twice.

Miles walked: 14.2


Tuesday was the first check-out, check-in day of the trip. We moved from the Luxor to the Embassy Suites Convention Center where the rest of my work team was staying. Well, except the three who didn’t get rooms and had to stay at the Virgin down the street. I think we’ll stay there next year.

Before I reported to help with booth setup, we decided we needed something to eat. Found this place down the street from the convention center called Baglemania. Those sandwiches were so stuffed, there was no way either of us were finishing them.

Before I headed to the show floor, I brought Karen over to the Westgate, where I had stayed with the company on other trips to Vegas. It’s adjacent to the convention center. She could drink and gamble while I played with fake marijuana plants.

We obtained these fake plants from a Hollywood prop artist. Even though this is the world’s largest marijuana business conference, real plants are not allowed on the show floor. This is the third time the company used these fake plants and they are always the hit of the show. We even had a competitor offer to buy just one plant. My co-worker said to charge them $30,000. (about half the price of our booth)

Booth set up went quickly, so I headed back over to the Westgate to pick up Karen. While we were walking through all of the ballrooms in the conference area of the hotel, we noticed that they all were being set up with dozens of billiard tables. Not only was there a huge pool tournament going on, but I knew a couple of the competitors who came out later in the week. I used to work with Jodi at Kent State University, her daughter went to the same babysitter as my daughter, then she and her family moved to Kentucky a few years ago. Her photos of the event were awesome.

After booth setup it was on to my all-time favorite Italian restaurant, Battista’s Hole in the Wall. It’s one of the places the Rat Pack used to hang out, along with plenty of other celebrities. This was my fifth trip to eat here and Karen’s first. It will certainly not be our last. I highly recommend it!

Then it was back to the hotel for the evening to get some rest for what is an intense three day trade show. I was going to be on my feet quite a bit, plus the nearly ¾ mile walk to and from the hotel.

Miles Walked: 8.1 (Booth set up. I sat on my ass for at least an hour doing some odd job having to do with the fake marijuana plants we had with the display.)


MJBizCon 2022 Day One. It’s really been odd being “part” of the cannabis industry for the last several years. I‘m responsible for the digital marketing of a company that manufactures grow lighting.

This trade show is the nation’s number one cannabis industry trade show. Nearly 30,000 attendees could visit as many as 1,200 booths of varying sizes. It’s not all about just the growing, but every aspect of the industry, from seed to consumption, with plenty of side industries popping up all the time. For example, my first year there in 2017, I met a rabbi who made a living making sure edibles were kosher.

This was the fourth time my company exhibited at this show. EYE HORTILUX had spent nearly 20 years as the number one name in grow lighting, but had been struggling the last couple years due to changing technology.

Day one is usually the busiest and draws the most celebrities. Mike Tyson, Tommy Chong and Snoop Dog are regular attendees. We had a busy booth.

Karen went back to the Westgate for more gambling and more losing.

We always have a team meal one of the nights. We always get to some great restaurants and this year was no exception. We had one of the large party rooms at Del Frisco‘s Double Eagle Steakhouse. And by the time dessert and espressos had been served, and we had walked it off on the return to the hotel, it was already time to turn in.

Miles Walked: 6.4 (I do a lot of standing around at the show. We’ll make up for it)


MJBizCon day two. Booth wasn’t as busy today, which is normal for day two. That also meant I didn’t have as much of an obligation to stick around.

Karen and I found a great Indian place close to the hotel for lunch. Too bad they didn’t have the lunch buffet – because of Covid – because I’m sure it would have been great.

The forecast we packed for did end up being what the weather ended up being that week. Thursday was finally warm enough for me to wear a tank top and Karen to wear a spaghetti string shirt. Spent some time walking the strip drinking daiquiris and witnessing two people jump into a fountain to try to save a family of baby ducks.

I also took Karen to one of my other favorite Italian restaurants. First time I was at a Carmines was when a coworker and I had dinner at their NYC location in 2015. It is now the chicken Parmesan I measure all other chicken Parmesans against.

I was also sitting with a good view of the TV so I could watch the Browns beat the Broncos.

We walked the strip some more and I took Karen into her first dispensary, Planet 13. We didn’t buy anything there because they’re really expensive. I just wanted Karen to see this place. I was first there in 2018 during MJBizCon when I first described it as dispensary meets Apple Store.

Miles Walked: 10.1


The end of MJBizCon and check-out check-in day number two. We were granted all of an hour for a late check-out time by the really unimpressive hotel. It was good enough. We were able to check our bags until after the show.

The last day is always slow. All the good educational sessions were over. Most were pretty hungover from all the industry parties from the previous two or three nights. And, boy, did that include one of OUR team members.

Thanks to the lack of attendees, I was able to slide out earlier than scheduled. Karen and I grabbed a late lunch so I got to take her to another one of my favorite Vegas restaurants, the Peppermill.

Like I mentioned before, the weather was just not cooperating while we were there. There were some pretty intense winds. Take a look at Karen’s hair in the photo outside the Peppermill to see what I mean.

We walked back to the company hotel to grab our bags. We had five days of vacation to look forward to.

Miles Walked: (will finish the day with 10.1, but had only done maybe 2.5 at this point.)

And the end of this day will start the Vacation part of the trip. See that post here.