This is a report of my annual boys' trip with a buddy from college and one of his friends; we have been meeting up for the last few years. I had originally planned for 3 nights but due to some personal issues, I cut the trip short and I ended up being in Vegas for about 33 hours, from a Friday night to early Sunday morning. I experienced a bit of Vegas lore by taking the bus home. I planned this trip about 8 months in advance - my hotel reservation anyway. Thanks to an extremely helpful posting on this very messaging board, I shanghaied a 2-night stay at the California hotel for the princely sum of $0.00. Since this was booked about a month before the Cal began imposing resort fees, I was exempt from that as well. I've been a little short of cash lately and probably would have canceled if this required any more out-of-pocket. I don't like staying downtown but at this price I will manage. I'm glossing over the trip highlights because you have read them many times before by other people who can probably explain in much more glamorous detail. It's the return trip taking the bus home where I really will go in deep. Friday Oct 26 - Dined with my family in San Diego and was Lyfted to Lindbergh airport for an on-time 9pm departure. Arrived at McCarran a little ahead of schedule at 10 pm. Having played check-in whack-a-mole the day before, I was able to just make it into Boarding Group A and sat in row 3 so I could make a quick disembarkation. I did so, and was at the WAX bus stop by 10:10. Hopped on at 10:18 pm and was downtown by about 10:45. The bus ride was uneventful and probably a little slower than a car. Waded through thousands of tourists gawking upward at the Fremont experience as I navigated west to meet my friends who were waiting at the Omaha lounge in the Plaza. Despite the facts that the "No Dancing" policy had been relaxed for the last 20 or so years, and the band was quite groovy (but they alas were no Sunspots), my friends were not dancing. We were going to leave because service was incredibly slow but I seemed to have several coupons for 2-for-1 drinks at the Plaza so we stayed. I also had recently bought my friends each an ACG coupon book and realized that it had different coupons from my own which I had bought early in the year. That was a head scratcher. - First late night meal (about 1 am Friday night/Sat morning) at Magnolia's in the 4 queens. For the first time in my life in a restaurant, I ordered a pork chop and was glad I did. It was delicious. There were 3 of us and with my coupon (LVA or ACG? I can't remember which) the bill came to somewhere in the high $30s. Someone else paid and I was drunk and I'm typing this like 3 weeks later so the details are murky. - Stayed at the Cal. I had never stayed there before but I liked it a lot. I was perhaps the only non-Hawaiian guest in the hotel. The room was really nice. I liked the "Parlor" arrangement where they have some lounge chairs instead of a desk. I realized the morning after I arrived that I had a smoking room, which I don't think I asked for but I may have for the benefit of friends who planned to visit a dispensary. In any case, the room didn't smell bad at all. I only realized it was a smoking room because I noticed the ashtrays. The other thing I liked about the Cal was the sports book. We spent a fair amount of Saturday watching football games and I like the arrangement of couches so you could watch games and talk, and beers are about $3. On the downside, the location is lousy with the construction at the old LV Club site. You have to walk through Binions or cross Main and walk on the Plaza/Main Street Station side to get to Fremont.