My first trip to Las Vegas was in 1997. Spring Break. Me and my (now) wife were going to go camping in the Grand Canyon. It was going to be spectacular. A commune with nature. A week-long tranquility unlike any other. An adventure that…was never going to happen.
We were not…correction, we ARE not outdoors-y people. Hiking, nature, woods, cabins, campfires…all things best saved for a kitschy show on such things we might watch on NatGeo or HGTV or probably not at all because we are so much not outdoors-y people we don’t even watch the shows about outdoors-y things.
So, why we thought it would be a good idea to do that, I dunno. So, many hours away from Texas somewhere around Flagstaff, Arizona at about midnight, we saw a sign for LAS VEGAS. We knew just about nothing of Las Vegas but knew it didn’t involve a tent or wolves or rivers or being “off the grid”. No, in fact, what I’d seen on TV about Vegas…it was very much ON the grid…hell, it WAS the grid.
So, we drove our 1997 Crown Victoria-like luxury yacht through the night to find Vegas… and a few hours later we could see the lights in the distance…and so it began.
I might tell you about that first trip in another post. It was epic. It had to be. All infatuations with Vegas start with an epic trip. A tango with the city that makes you say yes even though you want to say no. (wait, what?) Since then, I’ve gone to Vegas many many times. I usually average 3-5 trips a year (this year it will be SEVEN). And in all the years I’ve been going, I’ve only been in Vegas briefly once without my beloved wife…and that was for work.
You see, what makes Vegas great is that it appeals to so many senses across many personalities. I am not anti-social but I’m not particularly fond of most people…or crowds…or most people in crowds. I score super high on the Myers-Briggs introvert scale. I like to gamble…almost non-stop. I drink and smoke (only in casinos…don’t judge me). My wife, however, leans a tad more extrovert. She can match my gambling with shopping. She also enjoys a nice beverage. We both enjoy the town for shared and different reasons. And it’s different every time.
I was kindly asked by the editor of this great site to write musings and trip reports on my visits. I’d not written about my travels in a while so the idea was both taunting and appealing. I’m not a hit-the-clubs, yell-yo-and-high-five-at-the-craps-table, raucous party-in-a-body type of guy so I don’t do that in Vegas. I love that in Vegas I can be alone in the crowd. People-watching is great and you definitely have lots to see in Vegas. I do enjoy a good drink and have a good time with my wife or anyone with whom I travel. I stick to slots and video poker and enjoy shows and good food. I am opinionated and some even think I’m funny. My plan is to give you an idea of what it looks like to travel to Vegas (and other casino locales) from the personal perspective of someone who has been visiting for nearly 20 years. I’m not a pro or an expert, but I’d like to think I know where to turn to find the best information.
My next trip is in November, during but not for SEMA. Staying at SLS and Cosmo…well, if SLS is still functioning (hence double-booked at Cosmo). But, we are going to Beau Rivage in Biloxi right after Labor Day. Interesting timing with the 10-year anniversary of Hurricane Katrina. It devastated the region. (see this story for a bit of history: ) I’ll write up a report to give you all a taste of what my style is like and to also add some insight into a steadily-performing and always intriguing gaming region. I welcome your comments and insight and look forward to writing for this great site.
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