Aloha, peeps, and hope y’all had a great weekend!  Just found out that today is the beginning of back-to-school (ugh!) which means that traffic’s going to be a huge mess.  For those of you who don’t have kids in school, I’d highly recommend that you wait a bit before heading out on the road … it’ll save you a lot of time and frustration.

We arrived back home last night after a spending a relaxing few days in Vegas.  Other than the awful heat (106 +) and room a/c (read on) it was a great trip for us.  It was a total escape for Carla and me – didn’t tell anyone we were coming and just snuck in and snuck out!  The flights to and from were great – smooth, on time, and no problems (unlike when you fly with Alex!).  Rented a car from Dollar which took about a minute (hint: become an Express member – it’s free), but it took us forever to get out of the lot which is usuallly very quick.  We stayed at Main Street Station (first time for a regular Vegas trip) and our overall experience was good.  The pros: great location, easy access to rooms, valet parking and the Fremont Experience, great staff, awesome food & drink at Triple 7 restaurant, and of course, my personal favorite – 20x odds on craps!  The cons: the room air conditioner – I mean, this was like a large version of a window air-conditioner and definitely sounded like one.  It was so damn noisy that we couldn’t hear the TV unless the volume was turned way up, and I even had to buy ear plugs just so we could sleep at night!  I called housekeeping to see if maintenance could do anything about it, but was told that it was pretty much the norm.  We had been warned about possible train and traffic noise (train tracks and the freeway are located right next to the hotel), but we didn’t hear anything because the air conditioner was so frickin’ LOUD!  So a word of caution to all who stay there; it’s a nice little hotel but those room air conditioners suck big time!  Ok, so moving on … we found some great eating places downtown – Vic & Anthony’s Steakhouse in the Golden Nugget, Du-par’s in the Golden Gate Hotel & Casino, and of course, the Triple 7 Pub.  Vic & Anthony’s was awesome – pricey, but very good, especially the rib-eye and crab cakes.  We ate breakfast at Du-par’s before checking out … their signature pancakes were fantastic – reminded me of my favorite Liliha Bakery, they were that good!  Their bakery also looked awesome from the fresh-baked muffins to the mile-high apple pie … definitely will check those out during my next trip.  And the Triple 7 was always great … my favorites include their custom beers, the sirloin & black bean chili, the fish & chips, burgers, and believe it or not – their sashimi and sushi!  Yup, a beer joint that serves good sashimi and sushi!  Only in Vegas!  We saw Cirque du Soleil’s “Michael Jackson – ONE” over at the Mandalay on Saturday night and it was great!  If you’re a fan of MJ’s music, you’re gonna really love this one … trust me!  Before the show, we had dinner at the Border Grill – good contemporary Mexican cuisine with guacamole and signature margaritas to die for!  There was also a One Direction concert at the Mandalay’s event center that night so the place was crawling with screaming teenage girls (which made me thank my lucky stars that we had boys!).

So now we’re home and it’s back to work.  I’m going to visit my mom later this morning … sure hope she’s doing better but it looks like she’s slowly going downhill.  Will try to make her smile, though …

Take care and have a great week, everyone!

Aloha, “D”

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