About 7.5 days until my 13th Vegas vacation begins. It's been hectic at work this summer, and I'm definitely in need of a break. Planning: After my trip to LV in March, I had a strong desire to go back later this year. My March trip was with my wife and we had a wonderful time, but I didn't get a chance to visit downtown, play more than a few hours of poker, or do some more extensive casino touring. I very much enjoyed my solo trip to Vegas last year for a convention, and wanted to do another solo trip this year. After receiving spousal approval , I booked the following: Wednesday = fly, 1 night @ M Resort Thursday-Friday = 2 nights @ Vdara Saturday = fly home. re: M Resort I've heard really good things about this place, and figured it would be fun to explore and stay at an off-strip casino for a night. I'm looking forward to the buffet, and the 32 deg. bar. re: Vdara We stayed here in March, and thought it was fantastic. Great location, really nice room (corner suite), but still relaxing due to the lack of a casino. My tentative plan: Thursday @ M resort for video poker, some baseball betting, and some relaxing by the pool after my flight. Wednesday @ Vdara to stay, up to the Venetian/Palazzo complex for dinner, and then to downtown for fun that night. Thursday @ Vdara, and visiting various casinos on the strip. I'll hopefully fit in the afternoon poker tournament @ Caesars or Aria. Prelude Last week, the company I work for was selected to evaluate the IT systems of a business in Vegas, and my boss assigned me to the project. A coworker and I flew out Tuesday afternoon, worked Wednesday, and flew back on the red-eye Wedneday night/thursday morning. We stayed at the JW Mariott in Summerlin. The room and hotel was nice enough, but not really up to the standard of other JW's that I've stayed at (Oahu, Washington DC). It was close to our client's location, so it fit the bill for one night. We ate a late dinner at the Irish pub/restaurant @ the JW Mariott. My rating was "meh." The food was ok, but it was pretty empty at 8pm-ish on a Tuesday night. Although I had to work Tuesday night, I broke away for 45 minutes for some video poker. I hit 4OAK on the triple-play machine winning 1600 nickles, and putting me up a grand total of $28 for the night. I figured that was a good stopping point and omen for my trip in 2 weeks. After finishing work Wednesday, we headed to Red Rock to use their wi-fi, and work for a few hours before dinner. I'd never been to Red Rock, and was pretty impressed by the place. It was pretty crowded, and there seemed to be a fair amount of families w/ children out and about. At around 6pm-ish we headed to the Strip to have dinner at Jaleo @ Cosmoplitan. I still think Julian Serrano @ Aria is a bit better, but we very much enjoyed our meal at Jaleo. Service was outstanding, and the whole experience made for a nice way to spend the remaining few hours in Vegas before our plane ride home. Made it to the airport about 3 hours before our 11:30pm flight home. We hung out in the United lounge until our flight was scheduled to board (it's going to be hard giving this perk up when I stop traveling regularly). We make it down to the gate, and find out that the captain declined to fly this plane, resulting in a 2 hour wait for a plane inbound from SFO to replace our "downed" aircraft. I was pretty tired by the time we finally left LAS, and completely dead by the time we got back home at around 6am-ish. Next Steps: As I wrote above, my vacation begins in about 7.5 days. While I don't have quite the level of talent or Vegas expertise as other posters on this board, I'll try to post semi-live trip reports.