For the second time in three years, I spent a whirlwind weekend in Las Vegas (considering my location in the Midwest). It was one of the windiest in the annals of whirl! And for the second time in three years, I was at a large party in Las Vegas for one of the best Super Bowl endings in history. In 2015, my wife attended Las Vegas with me for a trip that lasted about 25 hours from wheels down to wheels up. She wasn’t crazy about the pace, so this year I took my son with me. We also were able to leave a little earlier on Saturday, so that we had 29 hours in Vegas. Here’s how we spent those 29 hours… (All times PST, except where noted) Saturday, February 4 @ 10:00 AM CST – Thanks to a Las Vegas movie marathon on TCM earlier in the week, I was able to record Viva Las Vegas, so I chose Saturday morning to add that viewing to my personal Las Vegas Film Fest. I had mentioned it to Aaron, so he came over in time to watch. 10:45 AM CST – Ann-Margret at the pool. Sigh… 12:15 PM CST – Out the door, to the airport, through TSA and to the gate an hour before boarding. Every time that process goes so smoothly, I wish I would have stayed at home for a while longer. I hate sitting at the airport. 2:10 PM CST – Wheels up! Somewhere over 10,000 ft CST – Aaron had strategized his entertainment for the flight, and paid the $8 for Southwest’s wireless. However, his excitement turned into sad puppy dog eyes, as he learned that Southwest does not allow Netflix streaming on the flight. Now he had hours to kill with almost worthless internet access. The poor kid found something to do (including the taking of a nap), but he did learn a valuable lesson. 4:20 PM PST – Welcome to San Diego! 5:00 PM – Part of the fun of a short trip to Las Vegas is to find a ridiculously low fare. Getting $98 one-way from MKE to LAS was a score, but we did have to stop in San Diego (no plane change, though). However, depending on how you define a “visit”, it was my first ever trip to San Diego. It looked lovely through the plane windows, I may have to come back some time where I am free to deplane. 6:20 PM – We arrive in Las Vegas and are struck with how vacant the airport was. It was clear that everybody arrived in Las Vegas before Saturday evening, as I have never seen the airport so empty. 6:40 PM – As I’ve done numerous times, I checked into Alamo from home for our rental car, so we headed right to the garage for our rented convertible. Our choices were a Mustang or the Camaro. I let Aaron choose. 7:00 PM – The first audible of the trip. Originally we were going to head directly up to Carnitas y Tortas Ahogadas Guadalajara for dinner. However, we both decided to download the South Point sports betting app, so we wanted to go to South Point and open our deposit accounts. The sports book was crowded but not packed, so we were able to get that done pretty quickly. Which is good, because we had a standing appointment that I did not want to miss. 8:10 PM – We get to Commonwealth which was a little busy, find a standing spot at the corner of the bar and text to the secret number that we’ve arrived. The response said “Go to the end of the bar and wait”. I asked “Which end?” Once we coordinated, the hostess mentioned to me that nobody had asked that question before, which I found odd, as every bar has two ends. 8:15 PM – Our hostess leads us into The Laundry Room. One of their rules is “no photos”, however there are photos on-line (like these and these) which allow you to see the room. There are about 20 seats, and everything is sort of subdued. We meet the barted...er, um, mixologist (Anthony), who starts to talk to us about what we like or don’t like. For example, he said that he didn’t want to hear “I like rum” because each rum has its own taste… Bacardi doesn’t taste like anything, Captain Morgan is sweet and (dammit, I forgot which brand) tastes like tar. 9:00 PM – I can’t say enough good things about The Laundry Room. It was an oasis of calm with the party atmosphere on Fremont St and in the Fremont East district. We each had two cocktails. For the first one, I said that I like tart fruit and ginger beer, and received exactly that… a tart, fizzy, fruity drink featuring Creme de cassis. I changed gears for the second drink and asked for something with cucumber and mint and was given a brilliant martini-type drink. Aaron was a trickier study, as he wasn’t as specific with his tastes. They finally dialed it in and his first drink was tart and his second was citrusy. In both of them, Aaron suggested “smokey” so the mixologist adeptly lit some wood (maybe part of a toothpick?) and placed it inside the lime as a garnish for the first drink and singed some rosemary for use on the second drink. Each drink was $15, so we stopped at two each. This will definitely be a do-it-againer with my bowling group coming out in April. 9:30 PM – Since we had missed Mexican for dinner, and now with two drinks under my belt, it was time for dinner. The beauty of downtown is that there are a lot of quick-hitters available. We were on our way to American Coney when we got as far as Flippin Good Burgers and decided that a burger would hit the spot. 9:45 PM – The burgers were decent (they certainly won’t rival the gourmet burgers like the ones at Holsteins, the Burger Bar or BurGR) and priced acceptably. I had the 1/4# Flame burger and Aaron had the 1/4# Farm burger. We split an order of Flippin Fries, which are almost identical to In-N-Out’s Animal Style Fries. I don’t know if I’d prioritize Flippin Good Burgers for a repeat visit, but if I have the munchies downtown and want a burger, I wouldn’t hesitate to go back. 9:55 PM – We get to the Golden Nugget for their 10:00 PM poker tournament, and I am amazed at the crush of people in the poker room. Their 7:00 PM tournament still had three tables going, so they could only afford two tables to start at 10:00 PM (meaning that Aaron and I became alternates before the tournament even began). Fortunately, they were able to combine tables right around 10:00 PM from the earlier tournament, freeing up one more table for all of the alternates. I’ve played Golden Nugget’s late tournament before and it struggles to fill one table. On Super Bowl Eve, this tournament had 36 entries. 11:55 PM – Just before break, Aaron busts out of the tournament and gets up to leave. I have just about half of my starting stack ($5K) when he leaves. But in the space of a couple of hands I triple-up and rake another pot and enter the Midnight break with about $9K in chips. You've gotta wait until I start my next installment to see how Sunday went.