Anyway, Vegas was about four weeks ago, so I don't really have a blow-by-blow on instant recall anymore, but I'll try to rehash anyway so that I can remember later.
I got back to Vegas and had a few hours to kill before Melanie (I don't think she's on LJ) and others showed up from SLC, so I went to the Gemini Arcade Palace, site of the G2 tournaments and a lock-in on Dec 30. It's a somewhat small arcade, but fairly roomy; it feels like AI would if it had a little more space. The owner is a total sweetheart and had no problem with me burning time hopping on their wireless AP and going online. It had IIDX18 (albeit on a widescreen tube TV), Pop'n 18, GF/DMV6, two Taiko 12 (I think) machines, a DS Disney's Rave (heh), a DDR8 and a DDRX, and three hacked ITG machines, and some other non-music games that I didn't pay any attention to. I played some IIDX and Pop'n and watched one of the locals swear loudly at the randoms he was getting before heading out to meet everyone at pretty much the northwest corner of Vegas and crash for the night.
Melanie had originally been planning on leaving SLC on Dec 28, but because of the impending snowstorm, decided to leave a day earlier, just like I did. meerkatzukin decided to leave on Dec 28 as planned. Melanie had a 5 or 6 hour drive down; Robby wound up taking just over 24 hours to do it. The snowstorm had blown in as expected, leaving the roads ultra-slippery and traffic ultra-slow, and as I recall, it took them several hours just to get to Nephi and then Fillmore, with one spinout into the ditch along the way. They wound up stopping for a little while and then making decent time the following morning when the snow had stopped. In contrast, we spent the 28th getting food at Hash House A Go Go (highly recommended, and be sure to share plates), visiting the Cosmopolitan (open for just under two weeks at that point), and trying unsuccessfully for hookah (though I would've passed) before giving up and going back.
I don't remember too much about the intervening days. Melanie's birthday was the 30th, and we went to a casino for that, and I went to the Gemini lock-in afterwards, getting tired and going back to sleep around 3. Those pictures are up on Facebook, though I don't really know how to tell you where to go there. The 31st had planning for a party at which beer pong, Rickrolling, and surprisingly high amounts of Jäger consumption occurred. I've never ever seen someone turn British when drunk before.
I'd decided to leave on the 2nd, a Sunday, even though I had the 3rd off as well. My lack of anticipation of Vegas filling up with people for the new year is a recurring theme here. I-15 was a total parking lot for the 30 miles from Vegas to the CA border, and having spent half an hour to go 5 miles, I decided to give up and turn around. At this point, there were warnings of more snow (probably part of why the queue to get out was so long, perhaps), and Melanie had been talking about leaving at 5am on the 3rd to drop a friend off at McCarran before continuing north, so I figured I'd leave then.
5am rolls around and it becomes clear neither of us is going anywhere far. For me, CA-58 was closed, as was the Grapevine on I-5, and so if I was to leave at that point, I'd have to take I-15 down into San Bernardino, wander west through metro LA, and then drive north on 101, which would add significant additional time to my trip. So I decided to stay put. Melanie still took her friend to the airport, but while she was out, another guy who came down with her found his parents booking a flight out that morning for him, and I got drafted into taking him. I didn't mind; I got to watch the snow falling pretty heavily on the way, which is apparently something that's very rare in Vegas.
Not too long after that, CA-58 was opened to escorted traffic, and I decided to try my luck a bit after that. I-15 was moving just fine. Shortly after I left, CA-58 was opened completely, and I had no trouble getting home, arriving back around 10pm.
My little overshoot from Vegas to southern Utah was to check out the area a little in advance of my Coyote Buttes North permit date of Jan 20. I did fly back out there, and I did hike The Wave. But that's another post.