The Cosmopolitan for free through a voucher I got after playing kickball at Lollapalooza a few years ago. We will definitely be staying there again. It's custom built for us and while it's a bit pricey it doesn't seem to attract the same herds that lumber about The Bellagio or The Mirage so it's a couple extra bucks well spent.
It was my second time to Vegas and GalPal used to have friends who lived there so she's vacationed there a number of times and neither of us were huge fans of the town, but we approached this trip with the mindset that it was first and foremost a vacation with no additional expectations. It was wonderful. We paid an unbelievable amount of money to see Cirque du Soleil's LOVE but walked away having so thoroughly enjoyed it's numerous WTF?! moments that it was totally worth it. We sat at blackjack tables in the middle of the afternoon while helpful dealers and pit bosses taught GalPal just how to actually play blackjack. We didn't walk out with our pockets stuffed with cash but we did win enough during the time we were in town to pay for a nice meal. I ate a $13 steak and a $16 hamburger. The hamburger was way better.
We did a buffet that was subpar and we ate at a swanky joint that actually looked more like a retirement home that also had food that was, amazingly, worse than the subpar buffet. We saw a hardcore band that I enjoyed but GalPal hated. We took a limo because we couldn't catch a cab.
We drank under a chandelier. We watched two hookers vie for one old dude's attention and tried not to laugh out loud when one of them bought a grilled cheese sandwich with fries and then tried to eat it in an alluring manner. She failed in that but did emerge victorious in snagging the man and his money and escorting him back to his room. I ordered two-for-one drinks based on a Foursquare check-in only to discover that the offer had expired, but the bar started serving two-for-one drinks at midnight just a few minutes later to everyone as the night's special. I did not realize it was the night's special and ended up with two beers and a tumbler full of bourbon.
Best of all, GalPal and I had time to reconnect. In Chicago we both lead incredibly full but extremely busy lives, so we don't always have time to just focus on the two of us. This trip gave us that time. It was grey and windy and rainy the whole time we were in Vegas but I flew back to Chicago with sunshine in my heart. It was a good vacation.