Well, after spending the past year busting my butt going back to school, I finally got a chance to head back to the town I love. Here's the story of my first trip in almost a year; this is definitely going into multiple posts. I'll give details, plus a bit of a summary at the bottom of each post if needed. Background: As I mentioned above, I spent the past year back in school, and hadn't gotten to make a trip in a long time. I usually try to spend a night or two downtown, with another couple days on the strip. For this trip, I was arriving on Sunday the 27 for a night at the Plaza, 3 nights at the Quad (for a VP tournament), and a night at MGM Grand (My Vegas). It's a little more moving than I liked, but it is what it is. And since I would have six total days in Vegas, I made sure to budget my money according to only $X a day (this is important later). So let's get going with this story... Sunday: Sunday involved a direct flight from IND to LAS on Southwest. Movie of the flight was "Now You See Me" (two thumbs up), and drink of the flight was scotch. Nothing major about the flight, other than the pilot decided to take his own sweet time in getting there. One of the longer non-stop flights I've taken. Got my bags just after 4pm, so I missed the WAX; a shuttle to the Plaza it is! Unfortunately, this was one of the longest shuttle trips ever; with stops at Harrah's, Venetian, Encore, Riviera, Strat, and Golden Nugget, it took over an hour to get to the Plaza. I understand that you give up some time and convenience to save money with a shuttle, but that was a bit ridiculous. I have a goal of staying at every major hotel on the strip/downtown, and that is one reason I chose to pay for a night at the Plaza. That and I was hoping if I spend some money and did a bit of gambling, I can get some offers for future stays. The room was in the north tower, third floor. So no view, though if I looked over the electrical boxes on the roof outside my window, I could see the top of the dome over Oscar's. The room was nice though; good shape, comfy bed, no smells. It's the little things like that which are important. OK, time to get moving: went to the Golden Gate to get my $15 food and beverage for April, and treated myself to a shrimp cocktail and chicken pot pie. Good as ever. Played a bit of BJ at the Plaza, lost $100 kinda quick, so I decided I needed a Black Chip Porter to make myself feel better. $100 in a 9/6 JoB machine got me 4 of my favorite beers, though at $25/beer they were a bit expensive. Since I was on a budget, and didn't want to violate any of my self imposed rules, it was back to my room at the Plaza to stream Game of Thones over the WiFi my resort fee bought me. Not a bad episode, though not the most memorable, either.... After a TV break, back down to the Plaza for more gambling. Since I've already gone through two quick losses, it was just $5 BJ for me. Made it last for about 3 hours, and had a good time drinking and BSing with a couple people at the table. Even got a couple shots of Patron out of it. Alas, my money finally disappeared at 1am, and I decided to hit the sack, since it was 4am to my body. I learned a while ago that trying to stay awake on the excitement of being in Vegas for the first night is no match for my bad attitude when I've gone without sleep. OK, that's enough for now. A few quick observations and I'm done: *Plaza is pretty nice; a bit more people in the casino than I expected, which was cool. Rooms complement the casino, which is nice, clean, convenient...and not much else. I still think the Plaza could be something nice if done right. *I'm about done with shuttles, especially to downtown. It's either cab or bus. *If you haven't had the chicken pot pie at Dupars, you're missing out. *Barely came in under budget for gambling. Not a good start, as my last trip I hardly ever won and had to find things to do to distract myself. But there are many days left.