Howdy all! This is all about my trip to Vegas Oct. 14-17. I've been to Vegas about 4 times before this and this time I was going with a Vegas Virgin. We were both on a long weekend away from school. Theoretically, we were going to bring our text books on the plane so we could study on the way to Vegas. Yeah, right! You can guess how much studying was done. Thursday (10/14)-We caught a 720am flight out of Madison via Allegiant Air. I had never flown Allegiant before, and I was impressed with them. I had an exit seat, so there was plenty of leg room, the check-in went smoothly and we left on time. During the flight I actually did pull out a text book and looked at it for about 2 seconds before I put it away and pulled out People magazine instead. We landed at McCarran about 20 minutes early and got our bags. We then hopped in a taxi and proceeded to get caught waiting for the President's motorcade! AARGH! We waited for over 20 minutes! The cab ride to the Orleans ran us $30 and the cabby turned off the meter for awhile when we were waiting! Not the best way to start a trip, but it got better from there. Once we (finally) got to the Orleans, it was only about 1000am. I asked the front desk clerk for an early check-in and then pressed my luck and also asked for a strip view. I was pleasantly surprised when she let us check in that early and we got a great room with an awesome view (rm 1228 in case anyone is staying at the Orleans soon). We threw our bags in the room and then caught the shuttle to the strip. Ah, the strip...as soon as I stepped off of the shuttle, I knew it had been too long since my last trip to Vegas. All of the hustle and bustle and the beautiful weather. When I left Madison, it was 47 and raining with snow predicted for that night. While I was walking around the strip, it was 89 and sunny. We walked down to Paris and then back up to the Venetian playing in the casino's along the way. I had pretty much broken even up to that point, until my friend and I saw the Sephora shop at the Venetian. Holy cow I didn't know I could spend that money in that short of time! After the Venetian, we cabbed it back to the Orleans and took a nap. That night, we shuttled it to the strip again and just kind of wandered around. We went to the top of the Eiffel Tower and we also watched the Bellagio Fountains. Friday (10/15)-We woke up at about 900am and had breakfast at the Orleans buffet. The buffet was AWESOME! The food was plentiful and delicious and the price was right, only $5.95 for the breakfast buffet! During breakfast we decided that we would totally blow our trip budgets and head to the spa for some treatments (hello larger student loan next semester!). We bought a spa package that included a massage, hair and scalp hot oil treatment and a facial. It was heaven. I highly recommend the Orleans spa to everyone! Even if you don't have a treatment done, the spa facilities are really nice. After the spa, we sat out by the pool for awhile. At about 200pm, I couldn't take it anymore, I was in Vegas and I was relaxing by a pool? I needed to be on the strip! So I left my friend and shuttled and bussed it up to the Fashion show mall. Oh my lord, they have a huge Skechers store! An hour (and a pair of shoes) later, I was ready to tackle the rest of the mall. I can't believe how cool this mall is now that they have renovated it. After that I hoofed it back down the strip and shuttled it back to the Orleans and relaxed for an hour. We were ready to go again by 700pm and we decided to start the evening by going downtown. Downtown...what can I say? I think my sister put it best when she said about the strip, downtown and Las Vegas in general "The further north you get, the classier it ain't." We stayed long enough to pick up some cheap souvenirs and to see the light show. We were back on the strip by 1130pm. We wandered through most of the big casino's, caught the late night dinner specials at the IP and got back to the Orleans by 200am. Saturday (10/15)-We were up by 1000am and again ate breakfast at the Orleans buffet. We had to check out of the hotel by 1200pm, but we weren't flying out until 100am (you gotta love the red eyes) so we stored our bags with the bellhop and went to the strip. After some shopping and a lot of walking, we went back to the Orleans and used our coupons for free spa access (we got a fun book when we checked in). It was about 600pm by this time so the spa was pretty dead. We sat in the steam room and the Jacuzzi and then sat in the steam room some more and the jacuzzi some more...well you get my drift. After that we showered in the spa area and grabbed dinner at the Orleans coffee shop. The Orleans coffee shop is a really good place to eat too. After dinner we played in the casino until it was time to head to the airport. We got to the airport at 1015pm and I was amazed to see all of the shops and fast food places close at 1030pm. I didn't think ANYTHING closed before midnight in Vegas. Caught the plane and it was only half full, so I was able to stretch out over a row of 3 seats, which made sleeping more comfortable. Now I am back in frigid WI. A few notes about this trip: -As much as I loved the Orleans, I think I will go back to staying on the strip. I felt to far removed from everything. -If I would ever stay off strip again, I would definitely rent a car, even if the hotel had a shuttle like the Orleans. I felt like I spent half of my trip waiting for the shuttle. -We had awesome weather during our trip. It was in the high 80's and sunny everyday. It might sound weird that I'm commenting on the weather since it's Vegas and it's usually nice, but during my last trip it rained 3 out of 5 of the days. Well, that's it! If anyone wants detailed info aobut the Orleans, I posted a pretty lengthy review in the "Staying off strip" bulletin board. Until next time!