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CrossVegas Report: I'll explain the bananas


It's early Wednesday morning, I'm looking out over Las Vegas from the 54th floor of Trump International, one of the few casino-less hotels in the city. "It's a velly clean, velly quiet, velly nice hotel...no casino," my cab driver assured. Here's the view over Treasure Island, The Mirage, and beyond to the Eiffel Tower and still sleeping Strip. Incidentally, they don't let you open windows up this high so it's a pretty bad photo.

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Despite my leave of absence and scheduling freedom, this trip had begun much as usual per last year: with a night flight getting into Vegas at 11pm. Whether this was lingering Stockholm-esque syndrome or a smart decision is questionable. Theoretically, it was in order to have a non-stop flight and to conserve energy by staying home as long as possible. However, and ambitions for respite were crushed at the gate as the agent assigned me a middle seat on the very last row of the plane.

To my left was a fidgety man who took up his seat as well as a good portion of mine, and every time he shifted and fiddled with his TV controls he shook our entire row of seats. To my right was a man who farted every few minutes, prompting the woman in front of us to spritz some very pungent coconutty sanitizer in the air. He also sprawled his limbs into my space, wedging his foot on top of my carry-on under my seat and smushing my bunch of bananas.

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Here are the poor bananas.

Dazed with a kaleidoscope of sensory input, I certainly didn't sleep a wink. But, ah well, there was no rush Wednesday morning, and I was able to have a lovely breakfast with my good friend Andrea (left) who along with Nikki (right) who couldn't make it, were my best cross buds when I first started racing.

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Later on, I met my new teammate Kerry Werner and the new mechanic Taylor. We h