I've written trip reports before but never a pre-trip report so I thought I would give it a try. You won't find this one written cleverly or funny but maybe it will bring a smile to your face a time or two. If I can help someone else out with their trip, then it's all worth it. A couple of weeks ago, we celebrated our 30th wedding anniversary. It was spent in Arkansas at our niece's wedding and my husband's, Joe, first family reunion at the Degray Lake Resort. It's a beautiful venue for a wedding and a great place to stay by the way. I kept telling myself that a 30th anniversary warranted something special and I thought back to a conversation that Joe and I had in February. His cousin, Charles, lives in Henderson, NV and he and his wife, Mary, have been wanting us to come and visit for about 12 years now. They came to Texas to check out property down around Austin/San Antonio in February and we drove down to visit them at the beginning of their trip. They're thinking about moving in the next year or so and becoming snowbirds living in Nebraska during the summer and Texas (maybe) during the winter. After we heard that they were probably going to move in the next year or so, we thought that, hey, we better get on the stick and go see them. We decided to give it some thought and bring it back up in a couple of months. Neither one of us have been to LV and I've never been to the GC. It's on my bucket list of things to do. Joe went as a child and gave his mom grey hairs when he and his brothers played on the edge. Fast forward to June and our anniversary. It's our turn to plan the next family reunion. Joe favors having it in New Mexico so we decide instead of taking one big trip for the big 30, we'll take a couple of smaller trips, one of which is to go to Ruidoso and kill two birds with one stone. Celebrate our marriage and check out reunion spots. This is fine with me but I have that Las Vegas trip in the back of my mind. You see, I don't like to fly. I have flown but it gives me the heebie-jeebies to even think of getting on a plane. And it gets worse the older I get. My last flight was to New York about four years ago with my daughter's high school band. My doctor was kind enough to prescribe Xanax, five little pills, to help me on the plane but I can tell you that was not enough. I had to start taking them a day in advance. I should have called my doctor for more but one of my friends just happened to be chaperoning also and she had a bottle full enough to share with me. Then this deal with Southwest came up last week and we can each fly one way to LV for $80. What a deal! I know that Joe is not wanting to drive to LV, not this time around. After waffling and hesitating for two days, I bite the bullet and tell him about the deal the last day it's offered. He says let's go for it and we do. Once we get in touch with his cousin and find out when would be a good time for them, I get the flight booked in about the eleventh hour, Thursday, September 22 - Tuesday, September 27. We get air fare plus a car for a week for about $600. I also tell Joe that if I'm going to fly, then we're going to stay at what ever hotel I want to on the Strip, no matter the cost. That was fine with him. I know what he's thinking, that if he can get me in the air this time, he can get me in the air another time. Hhmmph!! The excitement sets in! And the trepidation. We're heading to Las Vegas!!!! I can't sleep, my stomach is going round and round with the thought of flying. Surely this is not going to be the norm for the next three months! The next day, I was finally able to get my nerves under control. If I think about the trip and not the flight, I do fine. So that's what I've been doing. And when I go see my doctor in a couple of weeks, we are going to have a nice little chat about giving me drugs. Definately more than five little pills. I'm a planner, so guess what I've been doing for the last week? Spending all my available time here, on Trip Advisor and where ever else I can get info about Las Vegas and the Grand Canyon. It's mind boggling, all that information out there. One person likes this, another doesn't. One like this hotel, another doesn't. Yikes! First off, where on our trip do fit in the Grand Canyon? Do we do it all in one day? Not likely. Neither of us want to spend eight plus hours on the road. At first we think that we will go there first, on Thursday, spend the night and then head to Charlie and Mary's on Friday. After perusing the internet for hotels in the GC area, I pick the Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn in Tusayan. It doesn't always have that great of reviews but they're no worse than than reviews for the other hotels there. It's not that far from the park either, we don't want to spend any more time driving than we have to. I also like the fact that it has it's own restaurant plus a bar. Joe might want a beer in the evening. I'm not a drinker but I do have a marguarita every now and then. Then I get an email from Mary. She suggests that we hold off renting a car and let them pick us up, take us out to breakfast since we get in about 8:55 am and do some sight seeing. I talk it over with Joe and since I know I'll be starving by then (I doubt I'll be able to get a thing down before we fly), we decide that we'll spend a couple of days with the relatives, then rent a car and head out to spend four days tootling around. This was such a better idea than doing the GC first and then having to rush to get to Charlie and Mary's house at a decent hour on Friday. Once this was decided, I canceled our car and hotel reservation. I rebooked the Best Western for Saturday night with no problem. I had been reading a lot about the GC on the internet and about the hotels in the park on the South Rim. I looked them up online and it showed them all booked. But I had read that if you called, there was a chance that there would be a cancellation. I was completely happy with my hotel choice but that idea of staying in the park and near the rim kept kniggling at me. So finally I called Wednesday and guess what? I got a Saturday night reservation at the Kachina Lodge! How cool is that????? After yelling a happy whoopee!!!! loud enough to spook my dogs out on the patio, I canceled our Best Western reservation. I lived off the excitement of staying inside the GC Park all day. So, today is Friday and I'm writing this pre trip report. It's only been a week. A week!!! since I've started making plans. Can I last for the next three months?? I received an email from Mary tonight. She said that they were planning to take us to hit some high spots and go down on Fremont. I hope we go at night! Then we can go back on Sunday and Monday and tootle around on our own. So, where do we stay? Hmmmmm, I first thought the Bellagio. It would be so romantic to have a fountain view room. Joe was leaning toward that one. Caeser's Palace appeals to me. But I'm wavering. Where do we want to stay? I read and read online but nothing helps. We've decided against the Bellagio just for the cost factor. Now the Mirage is more attractive. But I'm also looking at the Monte Carlo. I want to stay at a hotel that I can't stay at here so Harrahs and Bally is out. It's hard to decide when it's your first visit. Then I start thinking about where I might feel most comfortable. I read threads about what to wear and what not to wear. We really don't want to take dress clothes with us so we're not planning to try any upscale restaurants or clubs. We're just plain old jeans people. And then the issue of gambling. Neither of us has gambled before. I only want to play the slots for fun. I told Joe tonight that I would take only $100 to gamble with. He looked at me and said "but it takes me an hour of work to make". I told him it would be the money we were saving by not staying at the Bellagio. I'm determined not to stay up late tonight researching LV. It's getting to where I am having a hard time waking up in the morning from my late nights on the computer. This has gotten to be quite lengthy so maybe it's a good start for a report.