If you haven’t seen me on social media, please know that I’m in Las Vegas. I’m here to see my childhood boyfriends, Duran Duran, in concert. Yes, they’re on tour across the U.S., but Vegas was one of the few stops on their summer tour at an indoor venue. I’ve only done a few outdoor ampitheatre shows, and that was enough for me!

You know how they say it’s not the destination, but the journey? This has definitely been the case with this particular trip. My voyage took me from Memphis to Tampa (because that, obviously, makes so much sense), but Tampa greeted me with great food and new friends.

You never really expect to get good airport food anywhere, but Tampa has a spot called Shuler’s Bar & Grill and I was served one of the largest glasses of wine I’ve ever seen and a burger called the “Wine Country Burger” that was out of this world. It had grilled red peppers and goat cheese on it and every bite was heaven. I opted for the sweet potato fries and they were also pretty darn close to perfect, down to the crunchy sea salt used to season them.

Shuler's Bar & Grill

Because the glass of wine was so huge, I was feeling pretty happy by the end of the meal, too. Then I went to stand in line at the Southwest Airlines gate. And I stood in line. And I stood in line. There was some sort of maintenance issue with a door on the plane, so things were behind schedule.

Fortunately, that meant that people started talking to each other. And I ran into some fellow Duran Duran fans who were going to Vegas for the band, too. And another woman decided she wanted to see Duran Duran while there, so she hopped on her phone and purchased a ticket. See how that works? Eventually, though, we got on the plane.

And I indulged myself with a double feature of Star Trek: The Original Motion Picture and Star Trek: The Wrath of Khan. I saw Star Trek Beyond last week, so I was in a Star Trek kind of mood. That made the flight go fast and before I knew it, I was in Vegas.

I stepped outside to catch my Lyft. I thought I knew heat, but there is no describing how baked I felt under the 118 degree day. I always complain about our heat index, but this was just like being in an oven, and definitely worse.

I was more than happy to arrive at the Mandalay Bay, where the air-conditioner keeps things at sub-zero. I got checked in quickly, got upgraded to their Delano property and all was well. The room is definitely nice, with great amenities and a bathtub I want to steal and take back home.

But my trips are about food, so it was time for dinner. I opted for the House of Blues, where I had their delicious sweet cornbread with maple butter and a cup of gumbo. It was so perfect that I didn’t even opt for dessert. There was also a Mai Tai thrown in for good measure.

House of Blues

I checked out the Shoppes at Mandalay Bay and popped into Lush because that big bathtub screamed for some bath bombs. I got two, went back to my room and took the best lavender-scented bath of my life. And I crashed and slept.

And woke up at 4 a.m. Because Pacific Time always gets me. But I grumbled a little bit about it and turned over and forced myself to go back to sleep.

And woke up at 6:45 a.m. What can I say? I’m a morning person. But that meant that  the Starbucks line was non-existent and I can now spend some time blogging before I hit the casino floor: not to gamble, but to catch Pokemon (yes, I have Pokemon Go fever). The show is tonight and I’ve made plans to check out the James Bond-themed Skyfall Lounge after, so it’s going to be a good day. I’ve also got reservations for lunch at Fleur and for dinner at the RX Boiler Room. Because again, travel for me, is often all about the food.

Viva Las Vegas. It feels good to be back.

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