The sole reason to go was to see Van Morrison at the Hard Rock. Flight Festival seating on Southwest was the usual cluster coitus. But the tickets were cheap. I had an hour lay over in Denver so I decided to text my brother who lives nearby in Parker. The exchange went like this: Me: Yo! Sitting here at a brewpub in the airport in Denver downing a couple IPA's, waiting on the connecting flight to Vegas to see Van Morrison. Bro: Who is this? Me: (thinking my brother doesn't recognize my work phone #) It's your brother from the same mother! Bro: Wow, that is an amazing reversal of fortune to swing a trip like that. Me: (Thinking he's referring to our wayward brother) Buzzzzzzz. Wrong answer. I'm not Matt. Bro: Who is this? Me: (Realizing I dialed the wrong number) My bad! Wrong number. Not Bro: No worries. Have a killer time seeing Van the Man and down a pint for me. Mr. Random. Connecting flight was on time and it was an easy out a McCarran and quick cab to the Hard Rock. Hotel Check in at the Hard Rock was uneventful. I spent the first hour looking at all the too cool R&R memorabilia they had on display. The room was clean but tacky. A lot of black and white stripes in a lame attempt to look cool and chic. Gag. Like all Vegas hotels, the TV had very poor sound and reception. Obviously they want you down gambling and not sitting in your room watching the tube. Gambling I dropped a twenty in a slot machine at the HR. Twenty pulls and no mo money no mo. Well, that sucked. A vivid example of why I don't like slots, but I must possess some recessive immature gene that draws me to flashing lights and bells. The gene Vegas was built on. I hiked up to the strip. That was quite a bit longer than I thought it would be, compounded by the fact that it was much hotter than expected and I was in jeans. Played some video poker at Bills and cashed out up $100. I wasn't gambling any more this trip so it was a positive in that respect. Reason for the trip Met quite a few folks at the HR cafÃ© that I've only known online on the Van listserve. That was enjoyable. I've seen Van twice, once in Edinburgh in 85 and in Minneapolis in 2004. The first show was magic, the second show utter crap. Van is known for hit or miss shows on the extreme edges. They're either completely fantastic or completely crap. This show was fantastic. I splurged and got center 2nd row seats. Great tics, great show and a little win on the VP machine. Short, but very satisfying trip. Headed back in four months for the annual pilgrimage and can't wait.