This past fall, a client of mine hinted that they may want me to attend a conference (CES!) with them in… Las Vegas!  

Realistically, my contributions to their efforts on this trip would be fairly minimal. However, it was really important for everyone in a couple of ways. The biggest, perhaps, being the simple chance to improve our relationships with time in-person as we hadn’t done so in several years. 

The truth is that this outcome alone was definitely worth it from a business perspective (at least in my legitimate opinion). I know that I left with an enhanced level of motivation to help them succeed (not that it was low before) and a much better understanding of how to communicate effectively to make all of our joint efforts more successful. 

Just in the past year alone, the value of in-person time with clients and the team I employ (or contract with) has been super evident. I’ve made it a high priority as a result.

I paid my way there (well, my business did), for my conference tickets, and for most of my lodging during this trip, though I did benefit from a night at their house rental and some amazing meals. 

This client knows my passion for Vegas (who doesn’t?) and really that seemed to primarily be the reason they thought to invite me anyways. I was honored. That was plenty enough of an excuse for me and I hope that we all left feeling it was a good and fair investment. 

As a result of this being a mixed business and pleasure trip (pleasure being in the fact it was in Vegas at all and around these super-fun clients in the first place, but also because I tagged on an extra night on my own afterwards), I’ve struggled a bit with how to write about this appropriately. What follows is my best, most authentic version while protecting a myriad of interests. 

Clusterf**k 

Ok, so this trip as a whole was a bit of a cluster. This had everything to do with the conditions back home. In the days leading up to this short sprint to bright light city, Kansas City (my home town) got hit by a massive snow and ice storm. 

We were covered in snow for like two weeks and the night before my original departure was supposed to be terrible

We went through the unnerving process of rebooking flights, rebooking again, and doing all kinds of crazy things. At this point, I can’t even remember all of the changes we made. 

It became way more expensive of a trip than originally planned because of the flight situation alone. 

In the end, I’d arrive early in the morning on Wednesday and just get to attend a single day of the conference with everyone. To do this, I’d have to get my dad to pick me up at like 3am (literally) to get to the airport in time. I didn’t trust the Uber I scheduled (and then rescheduled) a month in advance to make it there safely and on time. 

Of course, I only got like two hours of sleep the night before because of travel jitters, etc. 

By the time I’d go to bed on Wednesday night, I would be up for more than 24 hours after only a few hours of sleep the night before. 

On top of this, I started feeling pretty crummy midway through Wednesday and my wife became pretty ill around the same time. Yikes. 

Back to Wednesday… 

Day 1

After a lovely flight with an entire row to myself, I arrived just before 8am, grabbed my CES registration from the set up at the airport (It was really quite convenient) and quickly made my way to the rental house where the rest of the team was staying. Well, “quickly” because the CES madness made getting an Uber more challenging than I’d ever seen. I almost gave up and went back to the cab area. 

Once I made it to the house, I exchanged hugs with the team and had a chance to freshen up as we all briefly worked independently for the next hour. 

CES 

Before I knew it, we were in an SUV headed for the Las Vegas convention center. CES is wild, man. It’s one of the of the biggest conventions of the year with over a hundred thousand people, and it spreads from the convention center over to its neighbor at the Sands Expo Center (we can think Sheldon Adelson and Las Vegas Sands Corp. for Las Vegas being the convention hub that it is today) and even pops up sporadically down the strip as far as Aria.

An autonomous car from Honda on display at CES 2024 in Las Vegas

Grill 55 / Renaissance Las Vegas

We explored the halls, made notes and some connections. We had lunch at Grill 55 at the Renaissance Las Vegas. If it weren’t for this convention, or more specifically this group at this convention, I don’t think I would have ever stepped foot in this property. So that was one of several unexpected, surprise things that resulted from this unique trip. And lunch, a chicken caesar salad, was pretty great!

Resorts World

After an afternoon of convention business, one of the company owners convinced us to take Elon’s holes (the Las Vegas Loop) from the convention center area to Resorts World. That was another unexpected delight that was nowhere near my radar. It was a neat experience. I mean, it wasn’t life changing, but it was cool. 

At Resorts World, I continued to show off my Las Vegas knowledge while trying to balance not becoming too annoying. 

One thing I just couldn’t resist showing the group, because I had a feeling we needed a kickstart of quirky, weird, fun, were the bathrooms right off the casino floor in the food hall area at Resorts World. These have wacky halls of neon, disco lights, and party music. It’s a fun vibe and just totally unexpected. 

The group took to it quite well as we filmed mock music videos and one of the owners even got a random woman involved in the fun. 

Gatsby’s

Once four o’clock hit (yeah, we didn’t even make it to 4pm from like a 10am arrival at the convention, lol… this group is a hoot), we were among the first to set up shop at Gatsby’s. This was another unexpected delight and not surprisingly ended up being a lot more fun than my brief solo visit last year. 

The Gatsby's Cocktail Lounge sign at Resorts World Las Vegas

After a nice warm up, we took an Uber to our dinner reservation at the top of the world. Really, at The Top of the World restaurant at the Strat. I’ve been meaning to get back to this property, but doing it alone seemed weird, so this was lovely. 

Top of the World

We (they) paid extra for window seats and we enjoyed just the absolute best time with amazing views, great conversations, bottles of wine, and more. 

The group didn’t give me too much of a hard time about my fear of heights. As expected, it didn’t really bother me except for during the elevator rides (where they did give me a lot of crap, haha). 

We even went up to the observation deck! 

Let me tell you… the Strat is so dang high that the helicopter tours really, honestly, did seem about level with us as they circled around their night strip tour route. 

Somehow, knowing my love of Vegas, the group also went on an extra exploration down to Fremont street with me. I have one particular owner to thank for pushing the fun a little later into the evening. 

Downtown Las Vegas / Fremont Street

I showed them Circa and impressed them with the huge sportsbook. It was a hit, as expected, with this crowd that includes former owners of a professional baseball team. 

I paid for a round of drinks at one of the Fremont street bars and we were really having one heck of a time walking most of the way down and back.

We even saw Shakira (lol) !

Stunned onlookers reflect on just how far Shakira’s fallen since her 2020 performance at the Super Bowl

The Uber of a lifetime

One of the most memorable parts of the night, however, was the Uber ride home. The wildest, most crazy woman picked us up. She was the most gregarious, “Vegas” middle-aged woman (perhaps a bit past that point) you could imagine. She had stories of belly dancing with one of the original “midgets” (her term) from the Wizard of Oz. She had lived at houses (for 48 hours) along our route in previous lives. She was all over the road… both literally and in her conversation. 

I’ll never forget that. I hadn’t laughed so hard in probably over a year and definitely haven’t since (and I like to laugh). 

We got back, played some cards, and wound down the evening.  

This next part is a bit tough because I’m so appreciative of having a place to crash (and more importantly, a legitimate excuse to visit Las Vegas and see these great clients in person again)… 

I got to my room and felt a bit guilty that I had a room with a queen bed and I think the guy who arrived after me (who’s a 10+ year employee and major part of this company) got a room that I think only had a double. 

Until I sat down on the bed. 

The bed 

This bed had the hardest mattress I’ve ever felt in my entire life. Like… I almost wish it had just been plywood because I think it would have been more comfortable. And that’s barely an exaggeration. 

More importantly, my nose had gotten completely congested by this time and I was crashing really. damn. hard. 

I knew this meant I was going to snore terribly and the walls seemed pretty thin. 

I thought of trying to sneak out to a hotel. 

But, after more than 24 hours awake (after almost no sleep the night before that)… I was running on about 4 hours of sleep in 48 hours and just decided to close my eyes and try not to be too self conscious. I don’t remember anything else.

Day 2

Nobody has said anything about my snoring, but I’m sure they heard it. They probably all talked about it (knowing them, they probably laughed and laughed about it… and that somehow doesn’t bother me, but it would have probably had I endured it in person). Who knows… 

But I set an early alarm and, knowing I had the option to get in first thing at Mandalay Bay (I had a comp offer with some sweeteners that I was going to take advantage of the rest of the trip anyways), I slipped out before dawn and away I went. 

Mandalay Bay

I was checked into a room by like 6:15 in the morning and went back to bed for a couple of hours to start a fresh new perspective of this Vegas adventure. 

Note that I had the ability to just use a digital key card to check in, but I didn’t have the desire. I don’t trust these (especially after the recent hack) and had some physical cards printed. I meant to at least try the phone thing while I was there, but forgot. That’s something new to do next time, I suppose!

Day 2 (again)

I tossed and turned for a few hours and finally gave in around 9:30am. I took a minute to call my wife and see how she was going — not great, apparently. 

I turned on my Vegas playlist, got cleaned up and nicely dressed, and proceeded to feel fairly guilty about not joining the couple of folks from my client’s company that were going to go back to the conference today. 

After touching base with them and easing my feelings (again, I paid for this trip myself and was under no formal obligation), I caught an Uber to The Cosmopolitan. 

Cosmopolitan

From the moment I stepped inside, I was overwhelmed by an amazing feeling that reminded me why this is my favorite resort and casino in all of Las Vegas. I could even smell the glorious scent I always rave about… though barely through my completely stuffed nose. 

I stopped by the desk to get a player’s card and confirm that I had some resort credit. I then made my way over for my traditional time on Top Dollar. 

Fear 

Then fear coursed through my body like ice water. 

The machine was gone. I was always worried it would be moved — or worse, removed — and now it happened. 

Thankfully I found some Top Dollar machines a bit later, but I ended up on some strange variation and I was not thrilled. 

I decided to head upstairs for my reservation at Holstien’s. 

Holstein’s 

When I arrived, right at noon, the place was fairly empty but they still tried to seat me at the bar. I insisted on a table for my reservation and wasn’t given any more hassle. 

I needed all the space because I’d go on to order the Philly cheesesteak egg rolls, a huge pile of parmesan garlic fries, and a giant burger. 

The waitress was nice and did try to upsell me on some $175 mega burger thing the chef had, according to the sales pitch, just invented. 

I passed on that, but I did see another table get it. She wasn’t kidding — it was ginormous and definitely enough for the table of three guys I saw splitting it. 

Burger, Garlic parm fries, and Philly cheesesteak eggrolls at Holstien's Las Vegas

I also got a jalapeno margarita. 

Overall, the food was good but not outstanding. I wasn’t blown away like I had hoped. I will give them a bit of credit that my ever-decreasing health and absolutely stuffed nose could certainly not have contributed to a proper tasting of the menu. 

I split the bill between resort credit and a company card (for the burger and fries) as eating is a necessary part of a business trip… and I was about to get a bit more business in today after all. 

I lost another $20 on Top Dollar (a machine just to the right of the one I played earlier, and it was a bit more what I was looking for) then one most of my money back on Planet Moolah a few minutes later. 

Vdara and Aria 

Stopped and got some gatorade at the shop on the second floor on the way to the convention area / new bridge to Aria / Vdara and Bellagio. I was able to use resort credit, though it took like 6 minutes for them to do some sort of manual transaction.. For a $5 gatorade it was kind of embarrassing, I didn’t realize it took that long (and this happened the entire trip)!

I took the new bridge over to Vadara — it was actually very easy to find near Wicked Spoon. I believe they’ve recently added more signage. 

I got my first glimpse inside of Vadara itself. It’s definitely nice and professional, but not what I’d be looking for in Vegas unless it was an intensely-focused work trip. 

I quickly made my way over to Aria and then decided to go upstairs to explore that level since I always hear about things at Aria that I never see and hadn’t been to the second floor in a minute.

CES (back to work, everybody!)

It was covered in CES-related branding and events were everywhere. There were folks holding signs for NBC-universal brand meetup spots and the coffee shop near the food court… errr… food hall, was turned into some sort of a Netflix-themed space. 

Then I saw some huge activation area for NBC Universal related to the Olympics with food trucks and a few other brands that I’m familiar with in the industry (iSpot.tv, for example). I literally had the thought that, “Man, that’s a cool conference. I kind of wish I was a part of that.” Then, duh, realized that it was CES and I had brought my badge just in case. 

I put it on and proceeded to go explore. I got a free macron and browsed some free coffee and snack offerings as well. Then I poked my head downstairs and saw an awesome TikTok Live presentation. 

There was an entire studio set up and they were doing a live, fully-produced sales presentation to demonstrate how brands could use TikTok Shop to its full capacity. 

One of my clients is a major ecommerce platform (you’ve heard of them or definitely bought something from a shop powered by them) and we’ve done some work with TikTok as a result. It was fun to connect with their team and talk about some joint efforts we have in progress. 

Work? Check. 

I went to explore the Aria lobby to see what kind of cool exhibit was going on, but it was empty! Wow, I don’t remember the last time that it was empty during a visit. 

Park MGM

Then, I took the Park MGM walkway again to help myself get prepared for my more “official” trip in April at Park MGM. I’m starting to like it over there and I haven’t even stayed yet (I always seem to look back the most fondly on the places I’ve stayed more recently). 

I enjoyed a free vodka sprite as I lost another $40 or so on a slot machine. 

Blackjack 

Then, I decided to take my chances on a blackjack table I passed a few minutes before. The $10 minimum bet was right up my alley. I sat down and tried to make conversation about my lack of wanting to take it seriously as a defense mechanism for my fear I’d be criticized for not playing perfect strategy. I was the only person at the table. The dealer did not speak much English but smiled and pretended to go along with whatever I was saying. That’ll do. 

I played for maybe 20-30 minutes and only left like $20 down. I met a guy along the way and he actually did give me a couple pointers that helped me claw back from like $80 down at one point. I almost stayed a bit longer just to make friends with him (he was also there avoiding a conference), but no need to lose a bunch of money and jeopardize my solo time. Lol

One funny thing was this young guy that came up to the table brashly and laid out like $35 in five or six different bills. They insisted on an ID check. He was rude the whole time. He lost all of his money in two quick hands and stormed off. Eeek. 

I felt victorious. I got to play live blackjack and didn’t lose 10 hands in a row! 

In reality, I was down like $80 before 2pm. Spoiler: This would not improve. 

Obligatory Coke (the drink) and M&Ms world 

I walked around Eataly briefly and then over to Coke and M&Ms world to see if there was something my son would like. M&Ms were giving out free samples so I happily tried some sort of strawberry milkshake M&M. It wasn’t good. But it was a fun experience. 

MGM Grand

I didn’t find anything quite perfect for my son and so I moved on to MGM Grand. I wanted to give this place a fresh try as I’ve only really been inside once. 

Ehh. 

Still not for me, but I don’t think I really gave it enough time / explored deep enough. 

I did find one of the Buffalo Carnival games and got to lose like $40 on that, so that was… what it was. 

I got a Vodka Redbull on my way out (second drink today, no ID request, nor any ID request the day prior with the convention crowd. Though that’s a bit more normal). 

Tropicana 

I took the bridge from MGM Grand over to Tropicana. 

I wanted to take a look around because of its impending closing. At this point I’d not heard a date yet. I have an upcoming trip (more on that in a future post) during which I planned to go to Tropicana for a final visit. 

I decided to swing by a bit early and I’m sure glad I did. Shortly after this trip they announced a closing date — April 2nd, 2024 (a bit wild because their anniversary is April 4th – why not add two more days?) — before my next trip is scheduled. 

There wasn’t much to note here other than the pillars or columns are in a bit better shape than I remember and I didn’t mind the vibe that much. Overall, though, there’s just not much there for me. 

I do kind of wish I had stopped at the gift store I passed on my way out. But I just might always remember my last visit though and walking out through the front doors…

To the saddest porte cochere you’ve ever seen. I couldn’t even find a taxi. But I did meander across to Excalibur and took my first tram — the Mandalay Bay Express. 

It was better than I imagined and a quick journey overall. I’d ride it a couple more times this trip as a result. 

Mandalay Bay 

I gave Kathryn a call — she was not feeling well and I needed a rest myself. Given some time to myself I realized just how poor I felt. 

Back at the room I took a nap and then woke up and got ready for a great night. 

Espresso Martini 

I headed down to the lobby and had a life-changing espresso martini. LIFE CHANGING. I still haven’t stopped talking about it months later. 

I’ve heard about this drink (a lot) and given my love of coffee (and cocktails) I can’t believe it took me this long to try one. This is my new favorite cocktail. By far

 

An espresso martini at Mandalay Bay Las Vegas

Taxis 

I took a taxi to mirage. I suddenly found myself switching back from Ubers to Taxis after swearing them off a few years ago. I’ve started to like them for a few reasons:

  1. The immediacy. There’s almost always one ready right away and directly at the front of the casino. 
  2. The front drop off. Similarly, I like that you don’t get taken to some back area when you’re dropped off. 
  3. The lack of conversation. The drivers almost never try to talk your ear off or make friends. You’re in, you get to enjoy the views, and you’re out. 

Plus, I recently read a book about a doorman at MGM grand — Under the Neon Sky by Jay Rankin. It started off pretty sensational (and didn’t slow down much), but it was a fun read. It’s kind of like part graphic novel fiction and part autobiography. I think the author claims it’s all a true story. It would probably make a great miniseries, honestly. 

Mirage

Anyways, back a mirage I walked around and enjoyed the lobby and garden areas. I then found myself (by design) back at Rhumbar. It was once again empty but I enjoyed a nice cocktail (not nearly as good as an espresso martini) that was on the happy hour menu (I didn’t know it existed so it was lovely for the bartender to inform me about it. 

I got another to go and briefly took it out (with permission) on the patio which I think was… closed? I don’t know but it was empty. 

A completely private patio directly on the Las Vegas strip

Suddenly, as night had fallen on Las Vegas, I found myself in a completely private patio garden directly in the middle of the strip. I soaked it all up for as long as I could without feeling like I overstayed my welcome. It was amazing

The volcano 

I made my way back out front and, because I had just looked up the hours for the show, wasn’t expecting to see another volcano show. I wasn’t even checking the time. But then I saw the show was just beginning. I sprinted over (always dangerous… it’s how people get hit by cars for sure) and got to catch this great surprise. I didn’t video or take pictures… I just soaked it in. Like the Tropicana, its days are (supposedly) limited. 

Granted this is like the fourth “last time” I’ve seen it. 

Venetian 

Over to the Venetian, with my super-strong tropical drink in hand, I almost bumped into a woman while I was texting my friends about how I wish they were there with me. Well, she apologized to me, so maybe neither of us were paying attention. 

I went into a gift shop just outside the grand canal shoppes and looked for a gift for my son. I finally found a kid-sized pillow with a red (his favorite color) F1-style car on it and the Las Vegas sign. I thought it was perfect and texted a picture to my wife. “He’ll love it!”, she way. 

I had continued on my way, but came back for it. What a perfect (though kind of big for a suitcase) gift! 

They charged me 10 cents for a bag and I joked that I wanted a refund. The manager actually thought I was serious for a second (that’s sad that there’s actually enough people like that to make her think so) but the cashier and I assured her it was a joke. 

Obligatory Caesars stops

A quick walk through Casino Royale. 

A dive into Harrah’s and a stop at the dueling pianos (except it was karaoke … lame!). 

Past a closed (boo) Carnival Court and a quick jaunt through Linq. 

I then walked all the way down the Linq Promenade and noticed the High Roller wasn’t going and lights were out on about a quarter of it. Odd. 

Odd enough that I took a picture. 

Later, I saw on my Vegas groups rumblings about an unexpected closure and asking if anyone had noticed anything. So… it was definitely “a thing”, though I never found out any specific reasoning. 

I then made a quick visit to Flamingo and stopped at the ABC store that borders the strip (it’s a famous spot to me and my friends) and grabbed a beer. 

Then out, quickly into Cromwell and out, and then over to the Grand Bazaar shops area where they were putting the final touches on Ole Red. I was just a couple of weeks short of the opening (maybe less). 

Dirt Dog 

Then, always tempted by Dirt Dog, I made a stop as I realized I should probably eat something. 

It wasn’t too busy and I was able to sit right outside and enjoy a bite. 

Paris 

I then meandered through Paris, thinking it was odd that the gift and essentials shop near the elevators was closed. Then I took up a place at the bar near the red curtain stage (there’s got to be a better name for this, but many of you probably know what I’m talking about). 

I met a guy named Scott there who talked. A lot. And he talked and talked. I was feeling a bit tired after my meal so I got a Vodka Redbull. 

His talking kind of looped me into a conversation with the bartender and I got some free beer samples out of it, so it’s all good. 

Though he talked a lot. Like… I was standing up and trying to leave and this guy just. kept. talking. 

Viva Las Vegas at the Bellagio fountains

I finally escaped and made my way to see the fountains just as they were playing, “Viva Las Vegas.” Perfect. 

Cosmo

I spent a little time in Cosmo (geez this place is wonderful) and made my way up and through the bridge back over to Aria. 

MGM spots

Spent some time at Park MGM and then to New York-New York where I played an (expensive) Tabasco game. I continued my streak of the day… well a losing streak. 

I savored some time on the bridge outside New York-New York over to MGM Grand. Wow what a view. Wow, I’m thankful to be here. 

Then it was over to excalibur and the tram and up to the room for some relaxation. I wasn’t feeling great and needed a minute. 

I would make it downstairs again and even briefly over to Luxor (technically it was after midnight so it counted as okay (I visit Luxor on my last day of each trip, if I can)). 

I lost my entire budget and then perhaps a bit into the next day’s (again, it’s after midnight). Gambling wasn’t really going well. 

However, I did accidentally sit down at a Sahara game that was like a $5 minimum bet. I was too embarrassed to leave immediately so I played a few more spins and won like a $150 bonus to help me out. A bit. 

Off to bed with one more short day to go. 

Day 3 

Well, this is where things started to really unravel. I woke up with more sinus pressure than I think I’ve ever felt in my life. 

But a bloody mary to wake me up, a quick shower and pack (I wasn’t able to book an extra night for the privilege of just having all-day access to the room this time), and I was off to deliver my bags to the bell service and jump in a cab. 

I also spoke with Kathryn and she was feeling terrible. She was stuck at home with our two year old and feeling super sick. She was ready for me to be back home. 

I certainly didn’t feel well, but the adrenaline of Vegas was keeping me going. 

Fontainebleau

I was worried Fontainebleau’ would be terribly busy when I got there because of all the CES madness. But, and I guess this is now a trend, the place wasn’t very packed. 

The lobby was perhaps a bit smaller than it seemed on all of the amazing videos, but otherwise the place was immaculate. 

The floors were so. damn. clean. And I mention that because apparently it takes a full time staff of gub and rubber scrubbers to keep them this way. 

I walked all the way around the perimeter of the lower floor and then settled in at the Bleau Bar for my brand new favorite cocktail: An espresso martini. 

An espresso martini at the Fontainebleau Las Vegas

This one was a little drier than the one the night before, but I enjoyed it just as much in the fancy glass right in the center of the action. I spoke again briefly with Kathryn who was going downhill fast. 

I worked hard to keep my mood up and enjoy the time I had. 

I texted my mother and sister to ask them to check on Kathryn. 

I started to feel really sick. 

I finished my cocktail, though, and then made my way upstairs. 

The food court is amazing even if just for the amount of seating available. At most of these places, it’s impossible to find anywhere to sit. I had no trouble on this day and happily grabbed an everything bagel with a chive cream cheese spread. 

I nibbled on it (it was really delicious in reality) at a table and did start to feel a bit better, but things were crashing fast. 

I made it to the cab line with ½  of a bagel wrapped in napkins to try and fool myself that I’d eat a bit more of it later. 

Surprisingly, there were like no cabs to be had. The poor doorman kept pacing around and trying to look like he was doing something about it, but it took forever to get a ride. 

I think this is yet another indication of the struggles at Fontainebleau. The cabbies aren’t gonna go to a property where they have to sit for hours waiting on customers. Perhaps word of the slow crowds at the property had already gotten out. 

Or it was morning during CES and all the drivers (Ubers, taxis, buses, you name it) were stuck at the convention center just like they had been all week. 

Nahhhh that can’t be it. It’s Fontainebleau’s fault!

Luxor 

By 12:30 I was at the Luxor playing slots. 

Not much after I got a call that Kathryn was headed to urgent care with my mother and sister. 

Then I heard she was going to the ER for further evaluation. 

At this point I was worried about her and also concerned I might not be far behind her. I had pushed myself way further than I should have knowing we were getting sick. 

Heck, I spent the whole day traveling across the country at 3am, staying up 24 hours while being high energy for clients and standing and walking around a convention and then drinking cocktails with colleagues, and then followed it up with a full day of walking the strip and cocktails (another 12 miles of walking) the next day… now day three and I had barely slowed down at all. 

Well I was crashing, my wife was in the hospital, and a constant stream of RedBulls were the only thing keeping me going. 

Oh, and I was down. I had run through $500 of my $600 gambling budget and I had already decided to tap into another $100 reserves (still within my annual budget, but I was hoping to keep it for later in the year). 

I basically lost the entire trip. 

The GOLD machine was my only positive time… I mean, I lost, but at least it toyed with me. 

By the end I pretty much lost it all. 

Airport

I headed back to the airport and I was there with way too much time to spare yet again (I get nervous about missing my flight and this was definitely not one I wanted to miss… even though Kathryn had made it back home by then).

Some airport slots entertained me while I waited for my flight that was, thankfully, not majorly delayed this time.

So I did make my flight and had an empty middle seat which was lovely. 

I caught an Uber home and was in the door before midnight. Kathryn was awake. My parents kept our son overnight, thankfully. 

We chatted for a bit and then went to bed. And we both slept and slept and slept. 

Overall. This was a difficult trip. It was a losing trip. But it was a highly memorable time with clients. And it was nice to be there on my own a bit… even if I did feel awful and leave Kathryn stranded. 

I don’t regret going for a number of reasons, but it’s also not at the top of my most favorite trips. In fact… it’s at the bottom for sure. 

Before this trip, I started seriously thinking I might cancel my 100% fun trip planned for April. Why did I need two visits so close to each other? 

I’ll see you in April, Vegas.