We decided to split this trip with 2 nights at the Golden Nugget and 3 comped nights at the Rio. We're a couple in our Mid-40's with a 10 year old child, so when we can get a way for a few days of "personal parent time" we jump on it! I love Downtown, Hubby prefers strip. Best of both worlds! Heat extremes are forecasted for our entire trip, 110-115 degrees, should be interesting. But it's a dry heat, right? We've stayed in the Gold Tower before at GN, did the SummerBlast deal this trip for 2 nights in the Carson. Other than the longer walk from the casino, the rooms are identical. Arrived about 8:30 Friday night, pretty quick check-in and off to dump our bags and get our first drink! We usually just play some VP for a few cold beers at the Nugget and then head out to greener (gambling) pastures. This trip I had done my downtown research in advance and had a few places I really wanted to go see. First Stop: The Plaza. Casino is fairly nice, won a little bit here on Blazing 7's. Ok, onward! I always wanted to go see the Main Street Station..we hoofed it on down there in the blazing heat (95 degrees at 10pm..What!) and entered the blessed coolness. First thing, got our B-connected cards. Super nice lady at the counter..we are from Washington State, near the "Twilight" town of Forks, so we often get a lot of comments on Bella and Edward. We're not fans, but we're used to the reference. This lady was gaga for them and wants to move to Forks immediately. Ah, we don't really recommend it. Ok, got our cards, lets go gamble a bit. Beautiful old-school casino. Hubby likes Hot Shot Progressive and I jump around on Hangover, Blazing 7's, and whatever catches my eye. An hour later and we're both up 200 bucks. Score! We wander over the pedestrian bridge to the California and I played MegaBucks for a while, Hubby hit up his Wheel of Fortune 25Cent game..chaching! Both up another couple of hundred. We've been imbibing in the "free" beers for a while, time for some junk food. Let's go check out the coindroppers at Mermaids. Sit down, get our plastic half-cup of flat beer and start hitting the WOF games. Hubby hits for 120 dollars worth of coin. Nice! Ok, lets have some junk food. Deep fried twinkie? No, I go for the White Castle sliders and hubby gets a corn dog and fries. Eat standing up among the hoards of twenty-somethings that seem ridicuously overdressed to be eating this stuff standing up. Popular midnight snack place. We both worked today before flying to Vegas so we're losing steam at this point..wander back through a couple of casino's and end up at Binions. Won a little bit more on a "Ladder" type slot, liked the game but couldn't find it anywhere else the whole trip. Head back to the GN and throw 5 dollars into the giant slot near the door. I just love the thought of this machine..I've never seen anyone win anything on it but it's fun anyway. Sit down for a bit more VP at the bar, friendly bartenders and nice patrons. Get a couple flushes, straights, no Quads or Royals.. Time for bed! Tomorrow, El Cortez, Gold Spike and more of Downtown Fun. Brett Michaels is playing the free Rock of Vegas show, should be a madhouse.