This was the big one, the one weâ€™d all been waiting for. Five days in Vegas and about 45 other people coming to join us for our wedding. Stress? Oh yeah, there was stress. Expensive? Donâ€™t make me laugh. Weâ€™d already been repeatedly violating the checking account in the month leading up to this trip, and that was just the preamble. The plan: arrive in town on 10/17, stay one night at the Barbary Coast. We needed a low key day to ourselves to run errands, meet with the chapel & reception people, and ease into this a bit. We had originally planned on coming in on Thursday, but with a lot of family coming in on that day, we got a cheap night at the BC, then would move to the Luxor for the rest of the trip. The FiancÃ©â€™s birthday is the 20th, so we booked the Salt Lick at the Red Rock for a birthday party/wedding rehearsal/welcome to Vegas dinner. Than Saturday afternoon weâ€™d have the ceremony & reception. Itâ€™s go time. Wednesday, 10/18 We woke up at 7 am and took care of the final touches; cleaning up before the house sitter got there (itâ€™s really no fair she gets to enjoy a cleaner house than I ever get to), a couple of errands. We hit the road by 10:45 and call the bank on the way to up the check card limit. Traffic was light most of the way and even with a stop for lunch we were in sight of the Strip in four hours. Thatâ€™s when the highway came to a crawl. So close I could almost taste the stale casino air. Delicious. I knew Las Vegas was scared of me and the fantastic winning streak I was about to go on, and they had obviously planned this traffic to disrupt my mood and delay the inevitable. Well played, Las Vegas. Well played. We pull into the Barbary Coast, our home for the first nightâ€™s stay. At check-in I turn on my charm and fail to get an upgrade, although we do get a view. And itâ€™s a very nice view of the fountains, so Iâ€™ll take it. We drop our bags in the room and immediately do what every young couple does when they first get into town: we turn on Dr. Phil. In fairness the last two weeks had been two of the most exhausting and stressful weeks ever, so we were tired. We dozed for a while, but I couldnâ€™t keep my eyes closed for long. I left the almost-wife in the room and hit the craps table, quickly turning $100 into $266. The table was so hot I couldnâ€™t even check out Big Elvis. Your traffic was futile, Las Vegas. We were getting married and the Mandalay Bay, and as part of the package we got a limo to the courthouse. So we wait outside the BC for the limo. A completely ridiculous, completely gold limo pulls up, and we just know itâ€™s for us. We hop in and take the quick drive down to the courthouse. We fill out the forms (and I have to call my Dad to find out which state he was married in. New York, it turns out. Why the state of Nevada had to know that, I couldnâ€™t begin to guess), gave them the money, and marveled at the efficiency of it all. If they had this set up in California it would be a three-day, non-stop process involving stool samples, interviews with the doctor who delivered you, and cashiers checks for large amounts of money. But at least the forms would be available in 18 languages. Back in the limo and to the Coast. We decide to go to Isla, at TI (going for the cool factor with just the initials. Soon it will ask to be called Tiddy, just like that one rapper Grandmaâ€™s heard of.) Weâ€™d been to Isla on our last trip and were looking forward to the margaritas, which are tasty and strong. We got seated right away, next to a large bachelorette party. By which I mean there were a lot of people in the party, and they were all large. Then they decided it was photo time, so the large bachelorette and her sizable cohorts gathered at one end of the table. The end next to our table, of course, which they almost knocked over. We laughed about it with the middle-aged couple sitting on the other side of us. They were nice, from Indiana, in town on business. We told them we were getting married and they congratulated us, the photo was taken, and everyone went back to their meal. I got the pulled pork tamale, she got the cheese enchiladas, and we each got margaritas. Everything was quite tasty. When the middle-aged couple left, the woman casually put a twenty on our table and said they were buying a round of drinks for us. What? Awesome, because we were deliberating whether to get more or not. They left before we even got their names. So if youâ€™re reading this, middle-aged couple from Indiana, thank you very much for the cool gesture. It was a good omen for the rest of the weekend. The drinks came, we toasted to the kindness of strangers, and went back to the Coast. She went up to the room and I gave back what I had won at craps earlier.