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After our poker trip to Tahoe we were planning to travel to Dallas for Thanksgiving.  About halfway through the trip we got word that La’s mother wasn’t doing well and we decided to reroute and spend some time with her and the Cali family.  We had purchased our original round trip tickets with points, but Southwest airlines is our favorite carrier for a reason.

We fly Southwest for their cheap prices and flexibility and they didn’t disappoint, but they don’t fly to Fresno.  Southwest refunded our return tickets to Dallas and allowed us to use the points to buy one way tickets to Vegas, where we could catch a flight to Fresno on a regional carrier.  We had a two day layover in Vegas before we could catch our flight to Fresno, not a bad thing, but it meant we would be spending Thanksgiving day in Vegas.

Vegas isn’t a bad place for a short layover.

With family all over the country we are used to having to reschedule Thanksgiving meals before and after the actual day to celebrate with everyone.  As long as we all get together the date on the calendar isn’t important.  This would be the first year we were going to spend Thanksgiving day without either side of our family though, and spending Thanksgiving day at a casino buffet didn’t sound appealing at all.

One of our favorite spots on the strip, Mon Ami Gabi
Pre-Thanksgiving Dinner at “Mon Ami Gabi” with my baby.

Luckily for us, Vegas is home base for much of our traveling poker family from the WSOP circuit.  Before we even took off from Tahoe we had our short trip booked up with friends to see and a couple Thanksgiving dinners to attend.  Unfortunately we weren’t able to catch up with all our friends in such a short stay, but we will be back soon to catch up with those we missed.

First stop was our good friend Alan Fowler’s house for a pre-Thanksgiving get together.  We used to see Alan on the circuit regularly when he was one of the traveling WSOP media guys, however the birth of his baby girl took him off the road. So this celebration was both a reunion with an old friend and a chance to meet his better half Mia and new baby girl Maliah.  We had a wonderful evening with the Fowler family, it was great to catch up with Alan and meet both the beautiful ladies in his life.

Great to finally meet Mia and baby Maliah (picture by a proud daddy, Alan Fowler)

Thanksgiving day rolled around, and like most things in Vegas, the day started a little later than it would anywhere else. We had two dinners to attend and we didn’t have to be anywhere until 5pm.  This gave me time to hop a cab over to the Riviera and redeem a 500 dollar free play coupon from a summer promotion.  They had changed the machines since the last trip and it took me a minute to track down one with solid payouts, but I found a bonus poker machine that fit the bill. I definitely caught some Thanksgiving run good as I was able to clear the free play and bink another 500 cheese plus cab fare.

After the VP session  I headed back to the hotel and woke La up so she could get ready for the festivities.  We were spending the day with two of our favorite people from the circuit: Adrian Lopez (@akrisl55) and Miranda Schmidt (@mirandaschmidt2). We weren’t the only additions to the festivities though, there were a couple other circuit dealers passing through Vegas that joined in as well.  It was a very WSOP Thanksgiving.

Binksgiving.

Thanksgiving day felt like any other year, which is to say we spent it surrounded by friends and family.  We are grateful for the hospitality of our poker family on such short notice and feel blessed to know so many amazing people across the country. After an excellent Thanksgiving day in Vegas we caught a plane to Fresno to be with mom and the Cali family.

On such short notice we were only able to get together a little of the Cali family.

After an enjoyable layover we finally made it home to mom.  Our stomachs were thankful for a few hours of rest between meals and we were happy to be home.  Its always great to be back in Cali, and as you can see from the picture, we have plenty of family to catch up with here.

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