Well the time is approaching at last & I'm getting ready to leave for Vegas! I had an unprecedented 2 other trips this year, but they were both short & sweet. Well this one is short too, but this is my annual best friends reunion visit, where I leave all the woes, kids, cat and dog hairs behind and fully decompress for a few days. So this is the big one, with a slightly bigger budget. My friends usually like to get themselves a really nice room and sometimes I crash with them, sometimes not. This year we're all staying at Aria - I don't recall which kind of special room it is but there is some supposed nightly wine & cheese and snack area, so that will help both the budget and the pre-game. I double booked the last night at Mandalay Bay because they are leaving in the early AM and I leave around midnight Friday. I'm psyched as there is a Bossa Nova lounge band - The Sharps - playing at the House of Blues early Friday, so I will get to see that. Hopefully I can score a late check out too. That last day I will be hitting the lazy river, maybe Red Square for a drink, and whatever mall they have there to get my daughters bath bombs from Lush. Then taking the Deuce to TI for pai gow (maybe), forum shops, maybe poker, then back to MB for Bossa Nova, then the airport..or that is the vague plan now...famous last words!? Last year I got a comp at the Rio, which added a new dimension to the trip - a multi-leg drinking trip from the High Roller, to the Golden Tiki in Chinatown aka Spring Valley Road, and then to the Rio Voodoo Lounge. Say what you will but I loved all three, especially the Voodoo. Maybe not the coolest kids in town but you can't beat that view. Anyway, I am ok with my dorkiness. This year will likely be a continuation of last year, but we're probably dipping our toes into the age inappropriate department. We're in our mid/early 40's but ONE of us really likes nightclubs, so here we go. On schedule is Omnia first night, Light or 1OAK the second night, then maybe the Liquid pool the 3rd day. The only one I am concerned about is Omnia - seems too young and hip for us, but then again, it will be a Tuesday. And dark? I'm getting cold feet now but I will go with the flow. And I don't plan on going to Liquid but for the free drinks they are giving us, maybe. Day clubs are not my thing. Somewhere we'll be squeezing in the Golden Tiki, and maybe Frankies Tiki Room. I also grabbed a show ticket for Thursday night - my friends want to go to bed early for their super early flight Friday. I'm seeing Puppet Up at the Venetian. Anyone seen it? I loved the muppets, so maybe I'll like this. I was going to finally see Million Dollar Quartet - with all the show closings I am now worried I will miss it - but I can't resist puppets! There will be lots food to report on too. My friends are low-level foodies, I just like to eat and not get food poisoining. Well maybe my standards are a bit higher than that - I like to dine out on foods I can't actually make at home, or make well anyway. I know that we are going to the Aria buffet via MyVegas, probably the Henry, and maybe even the Eiffel Tower and/or Mon Ami Gabi as I have the Lettuce Entertain coupons. They have one nice dinner planned either at Bardot or Essex in Cosmo. I have an unused groupon for Serendipity 3, so I'll probably use that on my last day. Also, I've become somewhat obsessed with visiting Carmines in the Forum Shops. The Yelp photos - omg the food just looks so good! And we're low rollers. I probably gamble more that the others, but even I am a total nit with gaming money. I play poker at the home casino, but I don't usually play in Vegas unless I'm alone. It's just too much to say to your friends, "welp, got a game, see you in 6 hours" so I may or may not play the last day, when I'm solo. I did get the Aria $50 freeplay, so I'll probably slap a hundo on top of that and see if we can get anything good at $5 a spin, non-licensed slots. Ideally I will smash it and have enough of a bankroll to stay an extra day and take a swing at the Bellagio 20/40 stud game. But probably not! I just need to not be let near a slot machine unsupervised - those things really bring out a latent addictive gene in me. I have one rule for myself on this trip - in the words of Mac from It's Always Sunny in Philadelphia - "Don't be a drunk, punchy (slot) whore!" I can be a pai gow whore, even a drunk pai gow whore, but not slots! Props to whoever provided this great gif! And there will be pool time! And fancy drinks! I am going to try and take better photos this trip. A lot of my problem is that I feel foolish standing around taking pics so they end up blurry from me moving the phone. My camera-camera is more responsive so I don't have that lag time blur. Anyway, gonna try and slow down. Vegas will just have to deal with my granny stance when I want to take a photo! Like so many live trip reports, I'll be posting random snippets live, and then do a nice recap. I hope I have an awesome time as I won't be back until 2017. So much to do! So little time! Leaving tomorrow! Fingers crossed that Southwest doesn't eff up my transfer!