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I actually don’t hate Las Vegas at all. I really like Las Vegas. I relish my little trips out there to relax, play, eat, drink and not worry about where I have to be. A lot of people don’t understand it. A lot of people really do hate Las Vegas. I get it. I’m just one of those people who loves it. Let me take this opportunity to explain some of the reasons why I like Las Vegas so much.

The holiday display in the conservatory at The Bellagio in Las Vegas.

It’s smoky in Las Vegas and that’s probably my least favorite thing. But, I think the free drinks and the fact that I can carry my free drinks anywhere I want makes up for the smoking. It’s also pretty easy to get outside for some air from almost any casino. This is great except when it’s 3:00 in the afternoon and August.

Casinos in Las Vegas have wonderful bathrooms and they’re generally really close to wherever you are. It seems like someone is always cleaning them and the hand soap smells good. It’s also really great that there are a few CVS and a Walgreen’s stores right there on the strip. In addition to buying any personal items you may have forgotten to bring with you, this is also where you should buy bottled water and cheap, tacky souvenirs. I LOVE shopping at CVS and Walgreen’s anywhere but it’s extra special in Las Vegas.

Almost every casino has at least one restaurant that features a Cobb Salad. This is fantastic for me because I really love Cobb Salad. The menus of restaurants in Las Vegas also seem to feature a greater number of other chopped salads than what I generally see in Atlanta. This is one of my favorite things about Las Vegas. I like it when the chopped salad is actually diced so that everything is really, really tiny. You could eat a salad like this with a spoon if you wanted. I know. I’ve done it. You also get a little bit of everything in every single bite so there is really nothing to dislike here.

Typical Las Vegas breakfast

I really enjoy eating breakfast in Las Vegas. If I had it my way, I would have a giant Vegas-style breakfast of an omelet, whole wheat toast, bacon, coffee and a bloody mary or mimosa every day of the week, wherever I happen to be. It works really well out there: eat a big breakfast, do all kinds of fun things all day, have lots of drinks, take a nap in the afternoon, get ready for evening activities and then eat a nice dinner. It’s a wonderful way to live and there really is no point to having more than two meals a day when in Las Vegas (not including liquids or late-night snacks).

The pool and waterfall at The Mirage in Las Vegas.

The pools in Las Vegas are really great, too. They’re huge and they often feature waterfalls or a classical design, which makes you feel like you’re in a rain forest or a fancy Roman bath (back in the day). There are lots of nice people who will bring you drinks, which you have to order in the largest size available to make it more economical (and get a souvenir cup). I enjoy nothing more than standing in the pool in the middle of a hot Vegas summer day, holding my cocktail and watching all the people. The ads for Las Vegas make it look like there are always beautiful people crowding the pool but that’s not really the case. It’s a good thing, too, because people watching is really dull when everyone looks attractive and perfect.

It’s fun to watch sports in Las Vegas because you can watch them everywhere and everyone gets really excited about them because they have bets on them. I like betting on sports except when I really, really want my team to win and then I can’t bet on my team because I’d get disappointed if they won but didn’t beat the spread. In those instances, I figure that my joy from a team victory is enough and that I shouldn’t get greedy.

Playing craps in Las Vegas. I had just won a Fire Bet!

I like to gamble. I mostly play craps and video poker, with a little blackjack mixed in and some slots here and there. I try to avoid the slots completely but those penny slots can suck me in. My main game is craps. It’s a successful evening when I can put some money down on the table and play craps for a few hours without having to get out more money. Of course, it’s even better when I win. I earn comps mainly with my video poker play. The MGM/Mirage M life rewards program is where I focus my playing and they have given me wonderful offers in return. I used to focus on the Venetian/Palazzo program but they never gave me anything good. M life has been much nicer.

It’s really easy to meet people in Las Vegas and there’s always someone to talk to. Sometimes there are more people trying to talk to you than you really care to talk to. Still, it’s nice to chat with the folks at the craps table (especially if you’re all winning), or with the dealers, or even with people you meet when you dine at theĀ  bar of a restaurant (which I do a lot because it IS so conversational). People visit Las Vegas from all over the world so everyone has a story to tell. Many of them are not annoying.

Campari and Champagne cocktail.

I presently have three future Las Vegas trips planned. I’ll be there in a few weeks with my mom. She’ll keep me in check and not let me gamble too much. I’ll also be there two weeks after that with a friend. We’re going to UFC 148 and I’m really looking forward to that. And then there is a Vegas trip planned for October with Becky and Beth. I love going there in the Fall because it’s football season and everyone’s watching the games. There should also be plenty of shopping, eating, drinking, napping and hopefully some pool time. I can’t wait!