If you read my last trip report, you know it was half work, half “fun”, and largely a disaster after the first day. It was a bonus trip and I thought about canceling my long-planned spring vacation, but after the mess January’s visit turned out to be… I can’t wait for redemption. 

As I reach the stage where I’m able to visit Vegas more often and more predictably, I’m still trying to get over this feeling of needing to fit as many things as possible into each trip. I don’t need to pay my “last visit” to the volcano for the 4th time. I don’t have to see the Grand Canal Shoppes.

I’m actively trying to be more content with “going with the flow”. 

Though, if you’ve been following along, planning an itinerary is half the fun for me. It helps me dream about the Vegas vacation for months leading up to the actual short trip. That’s right… months of dreaming and planning for three (not even completely full) days. 

Anyways… here we go. And yes, I’m still attempting to do way too much and see it all. 

What’s on tap

I’m spending my first stay at Park MGM (comped, woohoo!), and this trip’s highlights are slated to include The Sphere and a second viewing of Absinthe. I’m also looking forward to spending an afternoon (not evening, this time) in downtown, including some time at the Circa sportsbook if I’m able to properly watch the NASCAR race. As if that’s not enough, I’m looking forward to some possible pool time, a visit to The Gambler’s General Store, the newly remastered Slots-a-Fun and perhaps a new (to me) casino. 


Sunday, I’m scheduled to depart Kansas City about 6am and land in Vegas by 7am local time (thanks time change!). 


I love the fresh morning Vegas feel, so I’m looking forward to that. I plan to park my bags at Park MGM (I’m also going to pay for early check in, but even so, I doubt my room will be ready that early) and head to Primrose for a huge breakfast (paid for with dining credit). 

Then, I’ll go on a calm walk up the strip to Cosmo or through Aria to Cosmo. I’d also like to see the Bellagio conservatory this morning. 

I’ll need to check in and possibly get some CVS supplies before noon. 

Then, I plan to check out the Gamblers General Store (for Las Vegas Merch Co. research) and possibly swing by a new (to me) casino like Virgin, Rio, or one of the properties further off strip like Red Rocks or Durango. 


In the early afternoon, I hope to settle into a comfy chair at the Circa sportsbook and watch the second half of the NASCAR race while I try to meet the food and beverage minimum (mostly with liquids). 

I’d then like to go out and cruise downtown a bit further, possibly play some low limit table games, and get an early dinner at the famous Pizza Rock (I’ve never been!). 


I’m thrilled to say that I’m scheduled for a return visit to Absinthe. There’s a reason it’s Vegas’ most popular and highly-rated show (unofficially, I suppose). I saw it just a few years ago and though there’s lots of shows left I want to see, this topped them as a return visit. It helped that my first choice, Wayne Newton, isn’t performing the dates I’ll be in town. Bummer. 

I’m also excited to say I’m returning because I gave Atomic Saloon some rough words in my last review. Before that trip I had debated whether or not to see that or Spiegalworld’s other production — OPM (Opium) — next, and it turns out I chose wrong because OPM at Cosmo closed shortly after that Atomic Saloon visit. 

Anyways, this will serve to get me back to the strip, have a grand highlight for the first day, and send me off on the strip ready to fully rock by around 9pm. 

From there, I generally plan to head back somewhat quickly past Bellagio, stopping through Cosmo, over to Aria to gamble. Followed by more MGM stops at New-York-New-York, MGM Grand, and Park MGM before my energy runs out. You never know… I might get sucked further south now that I’ve gotten more comfortable out there. 


My only completely full day in Vegas… let’s make the most of it. 


On Monday it’s fairly likely I’ll end up at the Park MGM pool. I haven’t booked a daybed just yet and I may wait until that morning to decide (That’s a bit unlike me, but look I’m trying to be flexible). If, for some reason, I’m not into the pool, I’ve penciled in a trip to Slots-a-Fun, Fontainebleau, a new casino (as mentioned earlier), and/or the New York-New York roller coaster. Even a Mandalay Bay espresso martini could be okay. 

But this will be the best day for the pool because I’ll be too anxious about losing precious time on the last day. 


In the afternoon, I plan to be over at the Venetian and/or Wynn area. Why? I have a 4:30om ticket for The Sphere! 

I’ve finally been taken over by all the hype, and I’ve been pleasantly surprised that folks seem to really think it’s worth the $100+ for what’s essentially an hour long movie. I didn’t get the cheapest tickets, but definitely not the most expensive, either. All in, I think it was right around $140. 

After the Sphere, I’ll head back to explore Venetian or Wynn. This is really when I have planned to meander down the whole Caesars side of the strip. I specifically want to see the Piano bar at Harrah’s (and maybe Carnival Court, if it’s open this time), Flamingo, and the Linq promenade. 


I don’t have specific plans for meals today, but I do have some options. I’m also assuming there will be food at Park MGM’s pool, but I better run down there and check first! 

Tonight I plan on getting the trusty ole Dirt Dog or finally get Gordon Ramsay’s Fish N’ Chips in the promenade! 

 There’s a chance I pivot and add a magic show on this night (Shin Lim), because I don’t have anything else solid booked and I want to see this show and heard a rumor it may go away after June (before my next trip). But we’ll see because I have this on the tentative itinerary for my next trip and I don’t necessarily want to mess that up. 

Update to my update: New just broke today (I’m writing this much earlier than publishing) that Beatles Love is ending at Mirage — this makes Shin Lim’s potential long-term closure all the more likely. I’m leaning more towards going now… plus it will give me yet another anchor for the day.

I plan to mostly get swept into Vegas on this night… find some additional piano bars (Mirage, New York-New York also have good options besides Harrah’s) or other fun things to get into. 

One important stop that I’ll definitely have to make is at Margaritaville (If they’re still open, which it looks like they will be). As you know, I’m a member of the Jimmy Buffett fan club and though Margaritaville hasn’t traditionally been part of my Vegas vacations, I hate to see it go. I definitely want to pay a visit before the end. 

Since I plan to be out a bit earlier on this night, I’ll probably get to go a bit “deeper” into MGM properties further south. 


Was it just a mirage? Do I really have to go home today? 

I got the latest direct Southwest flight possible out of Las Vegas, but that’s unfortunately a bit earlier than normal — leaving at 6:40pm. 

That still gives me most of the day, though, and I’m booked at Park MGM through the night so I don’t have to worry about checking out and I’ll have a room should I need it for any reason. 


I want to get back out towards the strip for another morning walk before things get wild (and hot) for the day. I may head up through Aria for breakfast at their food hall. 

I then plan to visit the Arte Museum. This place has great reviews. Even though it’s expensive, it provides something exciting for the final day. 

I’ll then say my goodbyes to Cosmo and the center strip before heading out (Uber from Cosmo?) to Mandalay Bay and Luxor for my famous last-day south strip crawl. 


Showcase mall has a Dirt Dog, so it’s totally possible I end up here before the end of the day. That doesn’t really fit in with this timing, so this is more of just a note to say that I recognize I’ll need to eat again before the end of the day (though, knowing me, I may not). 

Besides blowing through the rest of my bank roll with low-rolling on that Gold machine (there’s got to be a better name for it, right?) in Luxor or drinking espresso martinis at Mandalay Bay, I’m thinking of going out with one last bang. New York-New York and a ride on the roller coaster! 

I had a blast the one time I did it before, and I think it’s a nice thrill to go out on. Plus, it’s close to the Park MGM, so I can cut it a bit closer to my time for leaving. 

Speaking of which… 


There’s not really a “night” on this day, other than slots at the airport, binging Vegas podcasts on flight home (and the Uber ride), and then relaxing and recounting my trip once I make it back. 

Short and sweet

So there you have it. It’s going to be short (sorry, I have a two year old at home!), but hopefully really sweet. I’m going to just say “yes” to whatever I can and see where it takes me… as long as it fits in the itinerary ;) 

Viva Las Vegas!