Perhaps this month’s 2econd Friday was a slightly missed opportunity.  Perhaps there was a similar opportunity, two months prior.  25 years ago, this month, MGM Grand opened.  Wow, 784 of its original employees were still there, that month.  Jeez, that’s about 10% of the staff, surely.  We weren’t at MGM Grand, just in the same way as we weren’t at Luxor, or Treasure Island, two months prior, for when they were marking their 25th anniversary.

In February, 2002, Zoe and I came to Las Vegas for the first time.  I loved it.  Zoe was less convinced.  In February, 2004, we returned to Las Vegas.  And then again in 2005.  And 2009.  By then, Zoe’s mind was changed, and we both now loved Las Vegas.  It’s my favourite place on Earth.  I love running on The Strip.  I love walking on The Strip.  Hey, I love driving on The Strip.  The sunshine brings joy to my heart.

2econd Friday was downtown, for the second month in a row, this month (please see last month’s blog for details as to why we ended up downtown at all).  And what an utterly fantastic time we had.  Perhaps El Cortez will be awarded a Worst Room award; perhaps El Cortez will be awarded a Worst Bathroom award; but perhaps our time at El Cortez shows that none of that really matters. 

This month finds 2econd Friday downtown, for the first time ever.  Originally, it was never going to be downtown.  Originally, all the destinations were going to be on and around The Strip (since it was The Strip which brought Zoe and Peter to Las Vegas in the first place).  However, on looking out the window at Palms (Part 10), and seeing Gold Coast across the road, it was realised a foul-up had taken place.  Suncoast had been booked for the following month.  Suncoast obviously wasn’t across the road from Palms.  We discovered Suncoast is actually in Summerlin.  Oops.  And so a 2econd Friday rule was changed.

This month’s blog begins with Melissa Calinao, who’s an In-Room Dining Events Manager at Wynn and Encore.  I was put in contact with Melissa, so she could help arrange the 2econd Friday Special Event which was to take place at Encore.  I immediately felt at ease with Melissa; her emails were personable, and always answered in a really timely manner. 

The connection between last month, and this, was a nice one.  Aria, Hard Rock, yip, a nice musical theme.  And this month’s activity was musical-themed; we were having a nosey at the music memorabilia that’s on display at Hard Rock, including a snazzy David Bowie suit, and Elton John’s L.A. Dodgers kit.

This month, there was a Very Special Guest, Michael Stacey.  I met Michael after moving to Las Vegas.  We bonded over music from the 1990’s. 

 I grew up (sort of), in that decade.  My musical universe revolves around 1991.  Did I mention, The KLF were the biggest-selling singles band of 1991?  Mu mu.  They would’ve been Christmas No. 1 in the UK, that year, had it not been for Freddie Mercury dying, and Queen re-releasing Bohemian Rhapsody.  If Freddie could’ve remained with us, until after Christmas, Tammy Wynette (who sang on “Justified & Ancient (the song that would’ve been Christmas No. 1)) would’ve been rejoicing on Christmas Day, having scooped her first No. 1 in the UK since her 1968 smash, “Stand by Your Man”.

This month’s 2econd Friday was bookended by some nice police action.  On the Friday after work, I just had a quick walk/jog from the office, up to Mandarin Oriental.  It was a beautiful day.  I was in the middle of a bit of a jog, going north up Las Vegas Boulevard, just passing the bit at the airport where the Maverick helicopters park, when I heard, “Hey, stop running.” 

I start typing this with uncertainty.  I’m uncertain on any possible tune selections, for something released in 2018.  Drat, Hardfloor’s latest album was released in 2017.  Hmmm, hopefully some inspiration will rise from the mind, by the end of this typing.

 What I certainly am not uncertain about is a fantastic piece of customer service which I received at Park MGM. 

In a pretty nifty move, Monte Carlo followed Suncoast.  The French Riviera could be classed as a sun coast, and the real Monte Carlo is on said French Riviera.  In 2007, Husband Downie, and Wife Camper spent a bit of their honeymoon on the French Riviera, in Antibes.  It was delightful. 

On the walk from the car, there was discussion as to what exactly a Suncoast is.  It was concluded it was another word for riviera.  Looking at a dictionary definition, this means, “a coastal region with a subtropical climate and vegetation”.  Well, that sounds perfect, in regard to next month’s Destination.  That’ll be the French Riviera, won’t it.

A new calendar year of 2econd Friday might suggest new beginnings, and there are currently some new beginnings in the making, at Palms.  The Front Desk we went to was in a pokey wee room, down the side of somewhere.  I commented to Zoe that it wasn’t quite as grand as The Venetian Front Desk.  I later realized I was being a bit unfair to Palms, as they’re in the middle of a big renovation project.  Is it renovating, is it remodeling, or is it perhaps reimagining.  Hmm, it’s surely not the last one.