This is my first trip report so hopefully it’s readable. This was a 3 day trip for my husband (S) and I. We usually travel to Vegas 2-3 times a year. S plays proper strategy on $1 VP and he also plays craps and some blackjack. I play basic strategy blackjack and lousy video poker. We don’t have a host but get plenty of offers from downtown casinos due to S’s play. I play enough bad 25 cent VP to get the odd free play offer but I don’t get rated for BJ since I’m not playing at the $25 level. For years my husband has told me I don’t press my bets enough so after a little practice before we left, I vowed to go for it this time. On previous trips, if I ever left the table ahead $100, I’d be grinning from ear to ear. Heading into this trip, S had collected: 3 free nights at the 4 Queen’s 3 free nights at the Golden Gate (didn’t use) 3 free nights at the Plaza (didn’t use) $80 freeplay at Binion’s $80 freeplay at 4 Queen’s $40 freeplay at Golden Gate $75 food credit at 4 Queen’s $75 food credit from Binion’s to be used at 4 Queen’s I had amassed the grand total of $20 free play at Binion’s. We also had some credits on our player’s cards from the Plaza, Binion’s and the Golden Gate which could be used for food. We were a little hesitant to go during the summer when the forecast said it would be over 100 degrees but circumstances with our kids gave us an opportunity to get away without worrying about them ‘partying the house down’ so we decided to grab the chance. S recently retired and was given a gift certificate for free travel. After using the gift certificate, the trip ended up costing us $12 for tickets. We left home around 6 am with 2 small carry on bags. Flew to Seattle and breezed through customs with a sigh of relief. Last April, we flew through Vancouver on the way to Reno and had a bit of an issue with customs. We were carrying $9600 on us and we filled out the form saying we had less than $10,000. (Canadians can take $10,000 per family to the U.S. without declaring it. Coming home, we are able to bring back $10,000 each without declaring it.) Anyhow, the customs guy in Vancouver for some reason asked how much money we had so we told him $9600. That seemed to set him off and he wanted to know if the reason we had $9600 was so we didn’t have to declare it. After a few more questions about our money and lack of baggage (we had 1 small duffel bag and a laptop bag – we travel light), he sent us off to the back room to have our bags looked at and our money counted. The customs guys were determined we were trying to hide something, even adding exchange onto the $9600 to try to bring it up past $10,000. (Ya right, the exchange was all of 2 cents so yes, that brought us up to $9,792.00) Then they added in the Canadian money we were carrying ($100). Just a warning to Canadians taking near or over $10,000 – leave some extra time. 30 minutes of dickering in Vancouver and we were on our way. So we were very thankful to breeze through Seattle as we didn’t have alot of time before our flight to Vegas. We got to Vegas around 10 :30 and landed at the new terminal. Had a bit of a wait for a cab, seems they aren’t quite organized yet. We told the driver no tunnel and had a quick trip to 4 Queen’s for $28. We had no problem checking in early and got a room on the 19th floor. It was a typical 4 Queens room, basic enough to do the trick. After unpacking, we headed out and hit the bar at 4Queens where S used his $80 free play for VP. I did my regular $20 and played quarters for free drinks. After an hour and a half of play, and 3 comped drinks each for courage, we both left as winners. We headed over to the D where I vowed to press my bets on BJ. I was playing $10 BJ and after 30 minutes, left a couple hundred up. Feeling pretty good at this point, we headed over to Binion’s. I don’t normally play BJ at Binion’s because of their rules and grumpy dealers but managed to find one table with pretty good rules ($10, D on any 2 cards, DAS, 3-2) so decided to give it a try. I was up about $200 when S came by with $1000 VP win so after I finished my session, we headed to the Golden Gate. S used his free play while I played BJ. Neither of us had much luck so it was off to the Las Vegas Club, followed by the Plaza and then to MSS for lunch. I’ve heard Joe and others here rave about the 777Brew Club so it’s been on my list of places to go for a long time. We both ordered steak sandwiches and they were pretty good. This is the only meal we paid for and it was about $30 with tip. It was about 4 in the afternoon and we were running out of steam, so we headed back to the 4Q for a nap. Between us we had spent about $1000 and managed to put $2400 in the safe, so we slept well. Our next session started around 8 p.m. Did the rounds of 4Q, The D and Golden Gate. Can’t remember too many details but we ended the night around 2 a.m. with our wallets needing a refill. Oh ya, we had dinner at Magnolia’s using our food credits and it was better than usual. I like chef’s salad but have always thought the chicken at Magnolia’s tasted like it was left in the fridge for a week. This time it was fresh and S’s clubhouse was loaded as well. The second day started at the Plaza. I wanted to try Hash House a Go Go since I’d heard so much about it on this board. We went to the Slot Booth to check our points and found that they had been deleted from S’s account since our trip last February. This is the 2nd time his points have magically disappeared at the Plaza but we had free food at enough places that it wasn’t a big deal. We headed over to the Golden Gate and checked at the Club booth and found we both had comped credits, so we took a $20 voucher for breakfast. Did the rounds of downtown clubs, had lunch at Binion’s with comps from our card, played an hour of Sigma Derby at the D (they had great drink service there btw) and generally had an average day. These are just random notes from the day : The D was undergoing renovations at their Vue bar. They are building a larger balcony and adding an escalater from Freemont Street up to the second floor. They are also changing their chips at the end of this month so now’s the time to grab your last Fitz chips. There is also a Denny’s coming soon downtown. I saw the sign somewhere but can’t remember exactly where. We checked out the pool at Binion’s and where surprised to see no one using it. It was about 105 degrees and the place was empty. It looked like a clean pool with lots of seating area. We didn’t see any drink service though. The Golden Gate renovations are nice, especially the new washrooms. But I do have one complaint about the sinks. They look like a urinal trough. The water comes on for 0.2 seconds (and I’m being generous about that time). There is no hope in hell of ever washing your hands under that water. By the time you flap your hands in front of the sensor and move the ¼ inch to the running water, it’s done! With the slope of the sink, water splashes everywhere and I noticed the floor in front of the sink is covered with water. How anyone manages to be quick enough to actually splash water is beyond me. Some designer sure goofed there. The Golden Gate has a high limit area where the old washroom used to be. In the 3 nights we were there, we never saw one person playing. It’s all table games, no slots. They also have valet parking which is kind of comical given the parking lot out back is not very full and only 10 steps from the building. But it’s a nice touch. (Since writing this, I talked to my husband who says the valet parking was really busy. Who would have thought?) Do not order bourbon at Binion’s. It’s beyond bad. We wore shorts during the day and pants at night. Since the only time we are out of the casino is to walk quickly from one to another, the heat wasn’t really an issue. Standing at the corner waiting to cross over to the Plaza was the only time we got a little hot. Unless you’re spending alot of time walking, you can wear whatever you usually do and be comfortable. You can always zip into some casino to cool off. I'll post the rest tomorrow.