(19) Early’s Apartment (14) Artisan Hotel Boutique
The Vegas urge could strike at any time leaving me no choice but to hit the road. Living in Scottsdale, it wasn’t out of the question to pack the chariot at the last second and set off for Sin City. The drive realistically takes around 5 hours though there are tall tales of people making it in four. There aren’t many advantages for driving over flying Southwest unless one of the following applies:
1. I didn’t speculatively book a points trip to Vegas that weekend and a last minute booking would be 20,000+ points instead of the usual 6800.
2. I don’t know when or if I’m returning home and can’t or don’t feel like booking a flight for Sunday morning, Sunday evening, and Monday morning.
3. Chimney has a craving for 3 card poker after being banned again from online play.
In this instance, #3 was applicable so I loaded the car around 7PM for an expected arrival at 11PM (factoring in the one hour time difference).
The drive to Vegas from Arizona is extremely unpleasant regardless of my great Spotify playlists. Most of it is one lane service roads with no cell service. Even if you do manage to avoid all the police out of sheer luck, the good time will be lost if you encounter traffic on the Hoover Dam. (They have since added a new direct road that bypasses the dam but it wasn’t in service during most of my trips.)
Along the way, I call my buddy Early to let him know that I will be crashing at his apartment and that I will need a caffeine infused alcoholic drink upon my arrival. The advantage of staying at your friend’s apartment in Vegas is obvious; it’s free, it’s fun, and it doesn’t require advanced booking. Furthermore, it is pet friendly. The drawback is that he didn’t live right on the Strip so we always had to cab it back and forth. Even still, that ride was no more than $10-15. All things considered, it is a much better bargain than having to pay for a Priceline Pretender far from the Strip.
So why isn’t Early’s Apartment moving on in the tourney? The answer is simple: you don’t go to Vegas to look for a bargain. You go there to act recklessly in all regards and the only way that is possible is by being right in the center of the action. And even if you are bringing your dog, he shouldn’t have to sacrifice by staying in your friend’s apartment. Resorts like THEhotel and Caesars are pet friendly but prepare to pay a premium for your best friend to come along.
Chim won big that weekend so we only stayed in Early’s Apartment for one night, affording me the opportunity to review another hotel for the Knockout Bracket.
All in all it was a good time until Tuesday came and I had to physically remove Chim from the casino so we could go home. Apparently he owes some wise guys some money which is why he hasn’t returned to Vegas since.