I live a long way from an Orthodox church and I wanted to attend during the Holiday season. I will be staying one night in Las Vegas to attend a parish there(the closest to my home). I've never been to any church in my entire life, except for walking in on a catholic mass for a short time. I was raised a pagan Jehovah's witness. My days that I can attend are Wednesday, Thursday or Friday as my work schedule does not permit me to go on the weekend at this time. Are there services during the week? Which ones would be best for me? Also Christmas eve falls on a Wednesday this year and I have that off as well as Christmas and the following day. Should I wait until then? Are there special services during the Christmas week?
If anybody has additional advice please feel free to comment. I do plan on trying to become a catachumen. I am not sure what that means yet. And I want to talk to the priest about this. If there is anybody in that area of Las Vegas I would also like to meet them.
Beyond this I will just use the phone book and call to get more information.
If you are not a "plunger," first, I would get a copy of the Divine Liturgy and the Offices for Christmas and familiarize yourself with them, so you are not totally clueless and bewildered. Coming from a JW background (I"ve been told the services are just Bible, or rather Watch Tower, studies) it would be very different. Because unlike JW, it's Biblical.
If your short exposure to a mass didn't freak you out, then I would just go and try to absorb your first time. You can read up on what happened later.
In any case, don't worry if you don't get everything: you won't. Over two decades later, I'm still learning things I missed. I almost didn't take the plunge, because with the Protestant mindset I thought that I have to know everything and assent to it before becoming Orthodox. It wasn't until I realized that trying to "get" all of Orthodoxy is like trying to drink the ocean that I realized (actually, it was pointed out to me) that I trusted that the Orthodox Church was true that I went for chrismation.
Coming from a JW background I would also read the Book of Revelation, paying close attention to the liturgical elements in it (incense, alars, etc.). The Divine Liturgy is based on this Heavenly Prototype, as Hebrews tells us.
Now, to some practical matters: as you mentioned that you are far from an Orthodox Church (where exactly, if I may ask? I gather from you going to Las Vegas that you are in Nevada somewhere. Since I drove from San Francisco to Carson City to Las Vegas to AZ to Salt Lake City, and didn't see much of anything, no offense, in the way of settlement for quite a ways from Las Vegas, maybe another state might have a Church even closer, espeically if you are up around Carson City), you may realize some of the practical difficulties we have. Week day services is one: the rubrics and canons call for them but either they are put on the weekend or are sparsely attended because of the practical problems of getting around with the congregation traveling great distances. Another problem we might get, is because some Churches are the only times that ethnic group gets together, the services and coffee hour might not be in English, which can be a practical difficulty. To make matters worse, this is worse in the high holy seasons, like Christmastide. Try not to be put off if this is the case.
Although I'm Eastern Orthdox, I wouldn't write off the Western Rite Orthodox or Oriental Orthodox, though both have other practical problems.
Being a catecheumen means you are engaged to Christ's Church, but no consumation in Holy Communion until you say "I do" at your baptism.