Tuesday, December 20, 2016

Platinum in Vegas

It's hard to believe but with this, my 278th post, I celebrate 10 year doing this blog. The first entry appeared on January 6, 2007.  In it, I vowed to write at least one post a month. That resolution held up for a couple of years, often with the help of frantic typing on the last day of the month so I could make the deadline. Then one day, I discovered the "back date" feature where I could procrastinate to my lazy heart's content, yet still make it look like I was staying up to date. The backlog that resulted from this got to be so great that I considered abandoning this project altogether.

Thankfully, I didn't. My original intent was to force myself to maintain some kind of travel journal and looking back, that's pretty much what ended up happening. When asked about what to do in city x,  I can now reference my own blog. This means I am probably giving out a lot of erroneous information but I am having fun doing it...and isn't that what really counts?

For this blog's diamond anniversary, I should have probably gone somewhere really exotic. I could have finally gone to Australia and returned home with a kangaroo named Fred.  Or I should have sailed around remote Pacific islands and posted selfies with members of undiscovered tribes. Or I could have toured the oceans by submarine and come face to face with a giant squid.

None of that happened.  Over the summer, while I was in Europe, my apartment was surreptitiously converted into a penicillin factory by a very enterprising mold gang.  I came home to find spores galore. I was forced to spend a substantial amount of time and money reclaiming these 750 sq ft of real estate. Four months later, I feel I have won the battle but at the cost of my usual December vacation.

I had no plans set up and no money to execute them if I did. I was also 2000 miles shy of achieving Platinum status on American Airlines. AA helpfully offered to make up the difference for a mere $600.

A friend, who was also just shy of platinum, had a better idea. We should fly to Vegas during the week, when round-trip MIA/LAS tix hover around $150 and make a day of it.

This sounded like a good idea until I checked groupon for things to do.  Like a mystical sign, they were offering passes to KISS themed mini golf. Suddenly, this was not a good idea, it was a great idea. The best idea!

Who knew that such a thing even existed?  But it does and it is located in the lobby of the Rio hotel.

Of the three of us that ended up going to Vegas, none of us even had a clue as to hold the little putters we'd been handed, but there was a DJ (playing nothing but KISS, of course) and drinks were permitted on the "course" so all was good with the world.

While other groups played through and completed the 18 hole course in half an hour max, we- with multiple assaults on each hole - squeezed maximum entertainment value out of this groupon.

Without bothering to check what is the correct way, I'm going to go ahead and assume I am holding this thing all wrong.

By the time we'd finished playing, it was already night time, perfect for enjoying the city lights from the 51st floor Voodoo Lounge.

The next day, I'd opted for the evening flight back so I had to the day to enjoy in Vegas.

The Bellagio Tree
I hit all my usual haunts and discovered some new ones, including the new park that has popped up between the NY-NY and the Monte Carlo, featuring some really cool public art.

This statue was originally displayed during the Burning Man festival

Getting my zen on
I flew home that night in first class as a newly minted platinum card holder, a status that should come in handy as I kick off the second decade of Adventures of the Month. There will hopefully be many more new countries and experiences, all of which I will attempt to post in a more timely manner.

A heartfelt thank you to all that have joined me and offered encouragement along the way. And to those that ended up getting whack misinformation from these pages....my bad. That part is probably not going to change.

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