fri 10/24 to sun 10-26 getaway to celebrate our 25th wedding aniversary. It was a fabulous trip. Way too short. I'll try to sum up everything in a couple of topics. Hotel: We splurged big-time with a spa suite at Monte Carlo. The room was beyond belief. 19th floor just to the right of the elevator. Room was probably more than double the size of the regular room. First things first. Huge Jacuzzi tub under a window that partially faced the the Strip (a slight drawback). Had a view of Bellagio and the MC pools mostly, but it was still wonderful. Very comfy king bed and full bar area with two stools and a sink. Couch and a couple of chairs around the TV. Nice Bose stereo system. Huge bathroom with killer shower. No complementary champagne from MC. Room price was $425 a night, but considering the regular room rate for Saturday night was $295 (a VERY busy LV weekend), we had no regrets. For very special occasions everyone needs to live a little! Food: We had reservations Friday night at Picasso at Bellagio. It was everything we thought it would be and more. Our table was directly in front of the water show. Service was excellent. Food was out of this world. We did the tasting menu which I think was $85 apiece. With drinks, wine and tip the total bill was $360. Worth every penny. My first time eating goose liver (there's a fancy French name for it) but at $360 I would've licked the plate clean. We had made reservations on line 90 days beforehand (the earliest you can do it). Loved it. Ate Saturday night at Pearl at MGM. Very very nice. Too much food for two. We took a fancy doggie bag back to the room. Total bill about $80. Sunday night we ate at the Mexican place in Desert Passage. Cantina-something. Too spicy for me. Burrito ranchero definitely different from Portland to LV. Entertainment: Saturday night we took in the 10:30 La Femme at MGM. I had bought the tickets early by phone and was told they would give us the best seats -- first row center. When I picked up the tickets that day, I was again told the seats were great. NOT. We ended up being way too close. I saw way more than I needed to see if you get my drift. When some of the women did a kick out toward the audience I flinched a bit. It was like watching a 3-D movie with a leg reaching out to my face. Five rows back would have been perfect. If you go, don't get stuck on the sides. Very tiny stage. View from the edges must have been terrible. Tickets were $53 each. Women were amazing phsyical specimens. As my wife remarked: Not an ounce of fat anywhere. I had expected it to be a bit more subtle with more use of shadows and lighting. It was just OK. Not something I would see again. Gambling: Broke just about even for the entire weekend, which is great in my book. For you hold em fans, I have a great story. I bought in for $100 at at 1-4-8-8 game at MC. Was down to $70 after 45 minutes and just treading water. All of a sudden I was thrown into a monster hand. I was dealt pocket eights. One round of betting before the flop. 3 players in. I was cautious. Flop comes 4-8-Q. First guy bets 4. Then somebody raises. I call. Then first guy re-raises and then other guy raises. I just shove my money in knowing I'm riding my trips all the way. Turn is a 7. Again max raises. All my $70 ends up in a huge pot. So they start a side pot. The guess what flips on the river? The other eight!!!!!!!!!! I was a little bummed because I had nothing to bet with, but, hey, I proudly laid down my pocket eights and started scooping. And, MC awards a bonus for quads. Turned out to be $61. I stayed another half-hour and then had to meet my wife. Cashed out about $130 to the good. A nice couple of hours, for sure. On Sunday we headed downtown to Golden Gate where we always seem to be lucky. Used our 2-to-1 blackjack payoff LVA coupons. (Thanks, LVA!). Played for the hour designated on the coupon. Wife won $175, I bagged $50. Everyone happy. We then walked over to The Cal. Had never been there before. Two words describe it: Clean and comfortable. A great place to gamble (it helped that I won a quick $95 at blackjack) and the Lappert's ice cream store was a real find. Big scoop in a dish only $2.50. Cheaper than Maui! I know we'll be back. Transportation: We cabbed and walked it this time. Seeing how it was a very crowded weekend, I know we made the right call. If I was staying five days, I would have rented a car. Flights to and from on Alaska were just fine. The one bummer was having a very loud toddler in the row behind us as we're trying to grab a few winks Sunday night. Oh well. I need to remember that our kids were young once. All in all, a wonderful trip. I'm in withdrawal already.