November 2009
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The cards went up today as it’s just 21 days until I go back to Las Vegas.

In fact I’ve been counting the days for much longer than that thanks to the “T-Minus” iPhone app I wrote.  It’s hard to call a countdown timer revolutionary, but it’s actually the first one that works this way: by updating the number of days as a badge number on the icon so you never need to start up the app again.

And because it’s one I wrote myself, I can change the icon whenever I damn well like – which is exactly what I did.

T-Vegas for iPhone and iPod Touch

The copy on my iPhone has looked this way for a while, but since the new version – “T-Vegas” – hit the App Store last week anyone can join in the fun too.  Download it here.

I also now know which hotels I’ll be staying in 21 days from now.

We actually cancelled two existing (comped) bookings at Harrah’s Las Vegas and Imperial Palace which we didn’t need any more after taking advantage of a few offers that had come in the mail that were too good to refuse.

It hurts to throw away ten nights on the Strip just like that.  Sure, I could have kept the bookings and tried to steal the soap, but needing to be in the right place at the right time to check in and out of unnecessarily looked like it was going to be too much of a strain on a schedule where we still have 15 nights booked for a 10 night trip.

Here’s how the itinerary looks:

Day 1: Arrive, check in to Four Queens.  3 nights complimentary room and food for the duration, including one meal in Hugo’s Cellar. Free room service before crashing out will go down a treat.

Day 2: Check in to Suncoast.  I don’t like the Suncoast. I don’t want to spend any more time there than I have to, but Claire’s offer for 2 free nights included $200 in slot play which makes it worth putting up with.  I wonder if the players will look even more suicidal at Christmas time.

Day 3: No hotel shenanigans, but as the free play is split over two days we’ll have to go back to the Suncoast to take advantage of that.

Day 4: Check out of Four Queens, head back to Suncoast to check out and say thanks for the free money and get on the road to Laughlin.  Harrah’s Laughlin gave me a four night comp with $99 in cash for turning up.  We’ll actually use one of those hotel nights, and take advantage of a “Diamond in a Day” promotion that means I can keep my shiny players card until March 31st 2011 (thanks to the legendary Jean Scott for pointing this out).

Day 5: Leave “do not disturb” sign on door at Harrah’s Laughlin and head back to Vegas and check in at Sam’s Town, where we were both offered 3 nights comp but Claire’s offer came with $60 of food credit whereas mine was only $25.

Days 6/7: We can actually stay still for a while.  Includes trying to find a way to enjoy a free Christmas dinner and then download Top of the Pops and Doctor Who.

Day 8: Check out of Sam’s Town and into the Rio.  No extra freebies here, just a free suite for 3 nights.  But to be honest I can’t believe I’m still getting any room comps here.

And then that’s it.  We can finally relax!

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