All good things must end. That sucks.
I got up very early this morning to make sure I could acclimate myself to New York time appropriately. So after waking at 8am and packing and showering, it was 10am and I didn't quite know what to do with myself. I had a 4:55PM flight out of Vegas but I didn't know how early I had to be there since I thought it would be a heavy travel day. I still had time to hit some poker rooms though. Top on my list was Tuscany, which is an Off-Strip room I didn't yet get to visit. And it was close to the airport, so I figured I'd hop into a 1-2 NL game and sit there for a few hours until I had to go. Uh, no suck luck. I arrived at Tuscany and found out the poker room, all four tables of it, was runnning a tourney. I could buy in if I wanted to, the manager told me, but I didn't see the point of buying in late into a tourney. You're at a big disadvantage because you haven't picked up your reads in the early rounds where mistakes are cheap. So I picked up a few chips and headed over to Mandalay Bay. I dumped a buyin at 4-8 and it was still only 12:30. Mandalay Bay is attached to Excalibur and Luxor so instead of rebuying at MB, I thought I would get as many other rooms in as possible. So I visited Luxor and Excalibur as well and managed to get a total of 4 rooms under my belt before my flight! :-)
I needn't have worried about getting to my flight on time. We assume the airport will be awful because we come from New York and that's our experience. The rest of the country, it seems, has great airport experiences. It took a total of 45 minutes from the time I drove out of the Mandalay Bay garage to:
1. Refuel my car at a gas station.
2. Drop the car off at the Alamo Rental Car center
3. Get on the shuttle bus to the airport
4. Get off the shuttle bus and walk to the Continental counter to get my boarding pass and drop off my luggage.
5. Go through security and arrive at my gate.
45 Minutes. Wow.
So I actually had a full 80 minutes to kill before boarding my flight. I had a Pepperoni Pizza and pint of Sam Adams at Wolfgang Puck Express (excellent) and watched USC kick Illinois' ass in the Rose Bowl (at least until the halftime). Then I was on my flight and headed home to Newark. I got into Newark at 12:30a (10 minutes early) and waited until 1:20a for my luggage to come onto the carousel. Welcome Home. But my car service picked me up and got me to my brother's house on Staten Island in record time.
All is right with the world again. Tomorrow is work. I am in dread fear but eager to tackle a new year. Who knows what the year will bring? Except for one thing.
There will be poker. Oh yes, there will be poker.