Monday, June 24, 2019

Vegas 2019: Pt. 1/Pregame

WOW.  Over three months since the last time that I posted.  Let's see if this thing still works...  The last time that we visited, the madness of March was almost upon us.  Now it's June 24th, and the first pair of games of the college FOOTBALL season are two months from today.  Turning back time to February 19th, I had recently found out that Blue October (my favorite band) was going to be performing at Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas on June 14th.  Oddly enough, I hadn't really thought about taking any vacation days up to this point.  I arrived here in Biloxi on July 31st last year, and the only PTO (paid time off) that I had used was for EO's (early outs) on days that work was slow.  Coming from Las Vegas, I'm accustomed to not asking for time off during football season, and the Super Bowl had wrapped up only a couple of weeks prior to this day.  Blue October.  Now I've only seen them perform live like thirty-something times (ballpark).  Following the band's concert tour website over the years, I had noticed that they normally perform at the Hard Rock here in Biloxi once a year (which hasn't happened yet, and isn't scheduled to happen - and the current tour schedule runs through November 17th).  Guess what?  The World Series of Poker is in full swing in Las Vegas in June.  June also tends to be a really slow time of the year in sportsbooks, making it easier to get time off (as things turned out, my flights to Vegas took place during the next-to-last game of the NBA Finals, and there was only one game left in the Stanley Cup Final after I arrived in Las Vegas).  I also have several friends that I wanted to touch base with, all of whom I hadn't seen for over ten months (by the time that June would roll around).

Back to February 19th.  So on the 19th, I asked if I could get a couple of weeks off in June.  I was told to fill out the forms and that they would be faxed down to Human Resources.  : )  So I requested to be off from June 9th-23rd.  Next, I started working with my "travel agent" Brandi, pricing hotel rooms.  : )  A perk to working for Caesar's Entertainment:  if you stay at one of the company's properties, not only is your hotel room discounted, but your resort fees are also waived.  This is a HUGE perk if you're staying at a company property on the Las Vegas Strip.  After previewing things with Brandi, I made my final decisions at home later that night.  I used Expedia for my flights, and found round-trip tickets from Gulfport (fifteen minutes from Biloxi) to Las Vegas for under $400.  It's cheaper to fly out of New Orleans, but the Big Easy is also an hour and a half drive from here.  I was thrilled that the tickets were as cheap as they were, but I was booking four months in advance.  Also, I had to fly at some weird times, and I had some interesting connections (which we'll get to later).  I also finalized my hotel plans.  I booked a room at Harrah's for eleven nights, and it cost me less than $500 (yes, you read that right).  Now that everything was booked, all I had to do was WAIT.....

Okay boys and girls, that's the end of Part 1, but we'll continue the next time that I see you.  Back to the present, it's June 24th, and someone has to cut their neglected yard at sunrise (when it's coolest).  That will also allow someone to take a nap before they have to go back to work for the first time in about two and a half weeks.......  : (  Til next time, live your best life!