Friday, March 27, 2015

Six nights in Vegas

When all goes well, I make it to Vegas twice per year, typically in the spring and the fall, at least according to my recent history.

That changed last year, I only made it to Vegas in mid-November. I had to forgo a spring 2014 trip because my girlfriend had her heart set on San Antonio. She had been to Vegas with me three times in the two years we had been dating, so I couldn't tell her no. While I have no desire to hurry back to San Antonio, I enjoyed it and would welcome a return visit someday, even though the $630 bill for three nights at an Embassy Suites pained me greatly. 

Part of the ability to sell my girlfriend on a return trip to Vegas less than six months after our last trip is the weather. We've been in Vegas on Oct. 31, March 31, Oct. 31 and Nov. 19 during the past four trips. We had decent weather for Halloween during that first trip, and had a really nice afternoon at Palms Place during that March 31 trip, but the dates we've traveled haven't coincided with ideal pool weather. The idea of 90F weather in early May appeals to my girlfriend, even if we should be seeing daily averages of 60F or so here in Minnesota. Nobody swims outdoors in Minnesota in early May. It can get hot, but that's unlikely. Heat in Vegas is unavoidable come early May. Bring it on, we say!

Part of the reason I contemplated the first week in May was my interest in being a part of another sad chapter in Vegas history: the closing of the Riviera. I happened to be in town on a solo trip a few years ago when they closed O'Sheas (April 30, 2012). Being at a casino when it closes isn't a spectacular experience, but it was an entertaining atmosphere that Monday afternoon, and I won't miss the chance to do it again since I'll be in town for the closing of the Riv. 

I'm looking forward to those final hours at the Riv, in part because I've already arranged to meet with one member of the Vegas online community whose contributions have been appreciated by many in recent years. And I'll be able to share words and pictures from those final hours with my friends back home, as well as the tiny online community I'm connected to via this blog and its Twitter account. This blog isn't here to make money, it's an outlet for my recreational writing. But it would be nice to know my effort reaches some sort of audience. And if one member of that audience appreciates the effort, I'll be a happy bear. 

During our last trip in November we went to a few shows, which isn't something we've always made a priority. We were in town four nights, and we saw three shows. (More on this another day.) We may go to one mid-level show while we're in town later this year, but it's not a priority this time. 

Four nights will be spent at the Orleans, a regular destination during my visits, and two nights will be at Downtown Grand, our first time staying there. I enjoy being downtown, and I enjoy the Orleans a lot, so I'm always happy when I'm able to split my time between the two destinations. 

My biggest disappointment about the week we'll be in Vegas: I won't be able to attend a Las Vegas 51s game. I've wanted to go to a game for years. When I went to Vegas solo in early May 2012, I managed to visit when the 51s were out of town. Three years later I've done it again.

While I had been considering this trip for a few weeks, it wasn't booked until three nights ago. As soon as that happened my online activity increased exponentially. I keep tabs on the happenings in Vegas throughout the year, but I spend far too much time online during the weeks prior to departure. I'm terrible that way. 

Needless to say my blogging average will likely be better than an entry per week for the next month. Everybody wins! 

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