We can’t remember whose idea it was. At one point I had suggested to sara that we could get married in Vegas, but for some strange reason she didn’t go for it. Nevertheless, the idea of visiting Vegas had appealed, and we had talked about it on and off for a couple of years. Then in the fall of 2003, my mother started pestering me as to what we were planning for Christmas. While we were talking about vacations, I asked sara if she had any ideas for Christmas, and she jokingly said that maybe we should go to Vegas for Christmas and solve two problems at once.
The idea stayed a joke for a week or two, until I was nagged further by my mother and told that I was leaving everything too late. At that point I told her that we were hoping to go to Las Vegas for Christmas, just to shut her up. Having said it, I decided out of curiosity to see if it was a sensible idea. It turned out that it was; and better still, it was a cheap idea.
Las Vegas hotel rates are higher at weekends, and suddenly double or quadruple on the 26th as everyone flies in to spend the week between Christmas and the New Year there. By traveling down on the 21st and back on the 26th, we managed to get a good deal. That, in turn, meant that we could afford to stay in a luxurious hotel, rather than the usual Holiday Inn grade motel…
After an evening of reading up on hotels, we picked Mandalay Bay. It’s the newest of the big casino hotels, located at the far south end of The Strip. The theme is “tropical beach”, and as well as an artificial beach with wave machine the hotel also has an aquarium and shark tank. Best of all, every room has a large, deep bath for soaking in. It’s not quite an in-room hot tub, but add some bath foam and it’s a very close simulation at less than half the price. Just the thing after a long day exploring.