What happens in Vegas....

Stays in Vegas.

Gets shared on the blog!

You had to see that coming, right? ;)

We had THE BEST time in Vegas last weekend.

We may have only spent two days there, but we made them count!

We flew in late, late Saturday night and went straight to bed.....but were up early to head to Cowboy Christmas!  We shopped, look around, visited the rodeo booths and saw some friends from Pendleton, got a hat shaped, checked out new pickups and just really enjoyed ourselves for the better part of the day.  I like to say that if you can't find a western item at Cowboy Christmas.....it either doesn't exist, or you didn't need it anyway.  ;)


After shopping, we ate lunch at Dick's.

Which - if you haven't heard of Dick's before - well.....let's just say it's an experience. And not really a polished, professional, fine dining experience.  Haha. ;)

I was going to post more pictures, but I didn't want to offend anyone.

Then we spiffed up and hit the shuttle bus to head to the Thomas & Mack Center for Night 4 of the Wrangler NFR!

The rodeo was great! 

Before hand, I did a little celebrity stalking (country amateur paparazzi, lol) and we visited with a few friends we saw before the rodeo.  Then we took our seats and settled in for the show.

The grand entry is so cool - there really isn't anything like it.

Wade Sundell riding in on a draft horse was pretty fun too.  That guy is wild! :)

We settled into our seats and enjoyed the show.  Oregon had a good night, and it was fun to cheer from the stands!

The next morning we headed to the MGM to have breakfast with some blogging friends (read about that here) and then since we were at the MGM we headed into NRS's trade show and did some shopping and watched some roping.  Then we caught a cab out to the South Point and watched some of the teams competing in the World Series of Team Roping.

We all watched the roping for awhile, and then Anna and I headed out and went thru the booths that were set up there.  The guys wrapped up, and we caught a cab back to the LINQ casino (which is where Clint & I got engaged 5 years ago at the 2009 NFR) and played Blackjack for a few hours.

And not to brag - but it was a pretty profitable afternoon.  :)

I'm not a big gambler, but I let myself gamble $40 and not worry about it.  I figure that's not a bad price to pay for a bit of entertainment.  Well, I got lucky and that $40 lasted a long time and by the end of the afternoon, I had played for about 2 hours and walked away from the table with $100.  I don't think that happens very often, but I was glad it happened to me.  :) 

The last time we were in Vegas, we headed down to "Old Las Vegas" and watched the rodeo one night at the Golden Nugget.  It was free, and the rodeo was streamed in via satellite to a theater they had there.  The seats were super comfortable, you saw & heard exactly what you would see at the Thomas & Mack, and they had a bar set up - so we figured we wanted to do that again this year.

Only thing was - we couldn't remember what casino it was that we'd sat in.  So after going through four casinos, we finally figured out we were at the Golden Nugget.  I took a picture afterwards so I could remember for next time.  :)

If you're headed to Vegas during NFR but don't have tickets for every night, I'd highly recommend watching the rodeo this way.  The crowd cheers, the bar is accessible and the experience is free.

The next morning (Tuesday) we had to be at the airport bright and early as we headed home. 

It was so great to get away for a few days, and have fun and relax.  Vegas is super fun during NFR because there are so many like minded, polite people all there to enjoy the sport of rodeo.

Hopefully we'll get the chance to go back again soon!

------  PS  ------

Anna scored us GREAT rooms at the Excalibur and I would totally recommend staying there.  The rooms were beautifully decorated and comfortable and the casino had a ton of amenities and restaurants at all price points, a Starbucks (bonus!) and gaming tables that were friendly, easy to use and had professional dealers.  It also has a free shuttle to the rodeo (hosted by the NFR Experience) and is kind of situated in the middle of the strip which makes getting around easy. 

If you're headed to Vegas, I'd definitely recommend staying there!


  1. Darcy,
    I am bummed that J and I missed out this year. It would have been super awesome to meet you, Myla and Crystal.

    Looks and sounds like you had a great time. You are right, Vegas in December is fun because of the rodeo atmosphere. I have never been to Vegas except in December, so I don't have a comparison. I just like to see all the cowboy hats in the big city.

    I'm not a gambler either; J's favorite game is roulette.

    We have never stayed at the Excalibur. Two years ago we were at the Mirage and really had a nice stay. We didn't have rodeo tickets and ended up watching the NFR at a motel (can't think of which one off the top of my head and it might have been the Mirage). It was in real time and we got to listen to the announcer at the T & M Center. It was a good.

    Thanks for sharing your trip with us!

    1. Darcy, you are Johnny on the Spot!!! We headed out to South Point for the Buckle Presentation Monday night, so fun! I wish we had time to hit up the shopping there too, but alas. Your thoughts on the shopping are spot on too! I was convinced that if I couldn't find new boots that I liked, they just didn't exist. It took me three different places, but I think I've settled on a pair of Boulets!

    2. Robyn, maybe next year we can do it again and you can join in too!!

    3. Myla - curious to see which ones you settled on. :) The tooled Boulet's were my favorite pair I saw down there.

    4. Robyn - maybe next year with the NFR....and if we both end up at Denver in January we should totally get together then! :)

    5. Darcy, yes on "if" we make it to Denver. I really hope the weather cooperates so we can go.

      My family went regularly when I was growing up and there is something magical about Denver. The last time I was there was 2001 when I was on the Meat's Judging team.

      J has only been there once and got the flu while on the trip. He went with college buddies in 2001.

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