I am currently on trip number thirty to Las Vegas. Actually by the time you read this I’ll already be there… and No, not my thirtieth airplane flight…my thirtieth trip to Las Vegas. My first trip was way back in March 2003 as a postponed honeymoon for Joni and I, while a friend of ours was getting married out there. 2003 in Vegas years was forever ago. The first hotel (The Frontier) we stayed at is no longer standing. I’ve seen many implosions and new hotels since that first trip. The days of the easy $5.00 supper are long gone, but that doesn’t mean I don’t have some Las Vegas Travel Tips (we will get to those in a future blog article).
Funny thing is now, even though traveling is more expensive, I have found ways to spend less money. I travel to Las Vegas a lot so finding tips to cut down on expenses is a must. Last year was seven trips alone to Las Vegas, this year will be another four or five.
Do you just love to gamble?
This is probably the most common question I get asked… but people… Las Vegas is more than just gambling. I have seen some concert greats over the years such as George Strait, Garth Brooks, John Fogerty, and Reba with Brooks and Dunn. Over the last two years, my trips have now started to focus around UFC Fights and UFC Fight Week. Outside of the UFC fight week, my trips usually are an early flight out on Thursday with a late flight on Sunday night.
Vegas is not just gambling, I gamble very little. Its the weather, concerts and people watching. In March, I catch my fourth NHL game (first Golden Knights game) prior to the UFC fight. One night in 2016, I was able to walk through NASCAR cars from the presentation banquet, catch my favorite music band of all time and UFC Ultimate Fighter Finale in person. Where else can you do that.
Las Vegas Favorites
Just like when you are home, you develop favorite places to go. One restaurant (Dupars), the wait staff even recognizes me and just brings out my order. Kind of strange being a regular, and them knowing your order, when you live 1,000 miles away. I have started to stick to the same three to four hotels that are part of the same hotel group (MGM Resorts).
Joni has her favorites too that we can’t avoid if she joins me. Luckily for me she typically only joins me for a trip or two per year. Joni loves to go look at the Bellagio Fountains and the gardens. We usually spend a night downtown so she can get her slushy drinks and people watch. We enjoy watching the free entertainment downtown like the spray painters and typically you can see some other interesting street vendors.
Favorite places to eat include Dupars, In and Out Burger, Peppermill and Hollywood Cafe. Some of our favorite things to go see (which happen to all be free) are neon lights downtown, Eiffel tower at night and the Mirage Volcano. And last but not least our favorite hotels to stay at are Mandalay Bay, Vdara and MGM.
After the shooting….
Hardest trip I have ever had, was the one this past October. It hit me hard. Earlier that summer, spent several days debating on if I could guess when the October UFC fights would be or if Joni and I would go the Route 91 music festival. I had thought about going to that concert for almost a whole year as I had missed it by a week back in 2016. I decided to guess on the UFC fight weekend which ended up being correct. Had we gone to the concert we would have been in the middle of that shooting since we are big fans of Big and Rich and Jason Aldean.
After landing at the airport for the UFC fight, we were driving up to our hotel I booked for the trip, Mandalay Bay with the window boarded up. Knowing I was one decision from being at that festival the weekend before was surreal. Joni knows I would have been there. Cheyenne knows I would have been there. At times, I still feel a pull in my mind to the what ifs, and I don’t think that will ever go away. But this alone will not keep me from going to my second home.
As I go back, I go back to my second home, proud of how the real residence of my second home came together, give thanks for the angel that told me to take that fork in the road. Vegas will always be my second home…
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