It was my birthday last week and it happily coincided with some of our favourite Londoners visiting the US. They desperately wanted to do Vegas and I'd never been - so six of us organised a last minute trip to the Wynn, Las Vegas for 48 hours of pretty unbridled hedonism.
We were the second to arrive on Friday afternoon - and joined Chris and Helen by the pool to start our evening early. In gloriously Vegas style the (unashamedly surgically enhanced) bikini clad pool girls kept our cucumber coolers topped up - and by the time Mike and Sarah arrived a couple of hours later we had well and truly got our party started.
After a couple of months of constant new people - hanging out with old friends has been incredible. I haven't laughed so much for months. We people watched, swam, danced, drank, teased each other mercilessly and giggled endlessly.
By the time the pool bar closed at seven we were all desperately in need of sustenance other than gin -so we Vegas-ed up (lots of gold and fake eyelashes for the girls - and some pretty questionable shirts for the boys...)
...and headed out for a stomach-lining burgers. Hooters seemed like a hilarious plan after 19 drinks. Less so when the food arrived and we remembered we were in a city with some of the best restaurants in the world.
From Hooters we went to the Bellagio - for a quick pre-dancing gamble and to take in the fountain show.
And from the Bellagio (the gamblers are a bit too seedy and serious here – no fun!) back to the Wynn to get our VIP club entry stamps before the cut off.
After an hour long stomping round the Tryst dance floor we had to concede that, despite valiant Jager consumption, the DJ wasn't getting any better...
... and, despite it being just after midnight, we were flagging - so back to the Casino (where they boringly don't let you take photos - apart from this sneaky phone shot)
The brilliant/horrifying thing about Vegas casinos is that they pump oxygen in to the air to keep you awake - and as long as you're gambling the drinks are free - so an excellent place to head for a burst of (not-very) fresh air and a pick-me-up-gin.
After half an hour of (scarily compulsive) Black Jack the girls were definitely ready to dance again - so we left the boys at the gaming tables and began a circuit of the three clubs in the hotel. All of which had picked up enormously by the time we re-entered.
We jumped in the pools with all our clothes on, danced on tables, pointedly ignored stag parties, splashed, leapt, span around in circles and collapsed in to bed at 5ish (The boys, buoyed up by the oxygen and free whisky - didn't make it in until 8.)
All plans for an active Sunday definitely put on hold. We all traipsed down for a very late pool side lunch and cured our exhaustion with gigantic sandwiches and more giggling.
Our second evening was infinitely more sedate - a walk down the strip, a trip round the shops of the Venetian, an amble through Caesar's Palace and a supper even more Gigantic than our lunch (Detox-ing for a month after this) before collapsing in to bed at midnight to be up for our 6am flight back to Texas.
We didn't make it to the grand canyon - but undoubtedly had most fun weekend since relocating this side of the Atlantic - who knew I'd love Vegas quite so much. Absolutely made by our hilarious company. I love these guys.