June 28th - July 4th (long, summary at the bottom. And yes Mikey, one part!) 6/28 Rochester to Las Vegas through Atlanta via Delta. First Class thanks to FF miles. Great flight , arrived ~1pm. Short wait for our checked bag! Made a point to exit the building down at the end where the Alamo shuttle has always been. Of course it had moved the week before. Alamo/National are now 1. I had not known this. The Quicksilver machines were gone and the Emerald club is now the way to go. Still went smooth. Check-in at Harrah's was uneventful. They allowed to use our club coupons for 3 days each June and July back2back despite being told on the phone it wouldn't be allowed. Got unpacked, and hit the buffet for lunch. OK buffet. gambled for a while, Let It Ride and Video poker. Lost a little. Headed downtown for dinner and The Amazing Jonathan. Sandwichs at the Cafe at the Nugget were fine. We enjoyed the show, but commented that it was very much like the TV special. Back to Harrahs and the room was warm! It was cool when we left, huh? After a few days, it became clear that the air was either sound or motion detected once the door was closed. Since whenever we got to the room late, we were ready to crash, this "feature" was very annoying. 6/29 Breakfast at Harrahs buffet. OK again. Walked to Bally's, tramed to MGM. Wave at the lions then over to the Trop to challenge the Chicken and pick up some free tickets to the Follies B. The TicTacToe Chicken was a kick. We saw several people lose. We both played to a draw, glad that we didn't lose to a potential entre'. Some slots, a little LIR, then the Birdman show. Nice show. Across the strip to the Mandalay Bay tram. We enjoyed the Shark Reef. I think those handheld, self-tour thingys are great! Lost a little more at MB before returning for a lunch at the Trop Cafe. 241 burgers were quite good. Follies B. We saw this 15+ years ago on our first visit to Las Vegas. I remember it being impressive. I don't know if our tastes have changed or the show has changed or both. First, we could not believe that , on a Saturday night, there could possibly be a Strip show that was barely half full. The show was basically dance numbers. Not bad, but tired. We do not recommend it, even for free. Trammed back to Ballys, returned to Harrahs, Hot room again at Harrahs! Ordered nachos via room service. Great! 6/30 Tried 3-card poker at Harrahs. Dealer soon took all of our money and we left. Checked out Ronn Lucas at the RIO. Great show. It cost the price of a drink thanks to an on-line coupon. Highly recommend it. We went to 2nd City in the evening. Lots of laughs and a great small room for this show. Dinner at Conrads, the Flamingo steak house. Excellant food, not unreasonably priced. Checked into the Flamingo for two free nights. 21098 looked across the strip at Caesars fountains. Clear view of the Bellagio water show. Air that stayed on when we left the room! Change of plans, we extended our stay at the Flamingo and bailed out of Harrahs! 7/1 Checked out the Dolphins/Secret Garden at the Mirage. Very nice couple of relaxing hours. Had lunch at the Mirage Cafe. Went over to visit Mdm. Tuassads (sp?) at the Venetian. OK, but a little steep even with $3 off. Saw Clint Holmes show. He was using a crutch due to a recent knee operation. Very good show, great voice. Dinner at the Flamingo room. Steak & Crab special was good. 7/2 Finally got to see the Cars at the IP. It has been on our to do list for the last several trips. Nice cars, some reasonably priced. Did not buy any though. Gambled a little at the IP and then returned to the Flamingo for some Video poker and LIR. $1 video poker was very kind. Dinner at the Flamingo Deli and off to clean up for West Side Story at the Alladin Theater for the Performing Arts. We have some experience with attending plays. Mostly summer stock in New England and a few in upstate NY. We saw Phantom in Toronto, Miss Saigon in Rochester. I'm telling this to put into context our opinion of the play at the Alladin. West Side Story We were confused that there were so many empty seats at 7:30 (show started at 8). This was opening night of a "Broadway quality" production. In Vegas, it wasn't a sellout? 8 o'clock and only half full? Well, maybe others knew that it wasn't going to start on time. The orchestra started the music ~8:25. By that time most of the center sections were filled in. The side sections and the balcony were EMPTY. Where was the orchestra? The music sounds recorded? IT WAS! I never heard of a pre-recorded musical. Someone set me straight. Is this common? The players were good dancers/singers. One scene where Tony and Maria are dancing, Tony's song is being played from a tape! Now the singer's aren't even singing?!? The sound and light guys were also off several times. One more comment. Every time any stage crew activity took place with the lights off, they could be plainly seen. We thought the play was OK , but would not pay to see another at the Alladin. Back to the Flamingo. I decided to stay up a while and do some gambling. LIR tables were filled, so I played a little video poker. Won a bit and went over to the LIR tables again. I sat down with $100 buy-in and got terrible cards (237, 359, etc). I got up with $10 and changed tables. Another $100 in and after ~4 hours and lots of beers and laughs, I got up with $650. During that stretch there was a straight followed immediatly by a full house. I lost about $50 at a roulette table and broke even after ~1hr at video poker. Time for bed, 6am. I can't do that too often anymore, but I was having too good a time to quit. I crashed for a couple of days and we headed out for our last full day. 7/3 Raining in Vegas? Even a few drops was weird. We walked down the the Desert Passage to pick up a pair of earrings that we would have got the night before if the play didn't start so late. gambled a little at the slots along the way. Trammed back to Ballys, and returned to the Flamingo. Tried the Flamingo buffet, we liked it. The crab and shrimp were tasty! I decided to give the LIR table a little more of my money, but they wouldn't take it , and I left $200 up. Time to crash. 7/4 I decide to give the $1 video poker one last shot. It had been kind overall, but not generous. I sat at the machine that my wife had played during our visit. $100 in and $250 for 4-10s. Decide to play down to $300, hit 4 As for $800. Cash out +$1000. Time to go up and wake my wife. I gave her the good news and we returned to the Flamingo buffet for breakfast. Good again. We sat by the waterfalls and watched a Swan and a hummingbird. We had about 1/2 hour before checkout, and tried spin poker. Ended up +150. Check-out eneventful, Alamo car return hard to find, skeleton crew at return line. Happy 4th! Checked our bag at the curb. I am sure that they regretted it, but they made me remove my shoes at the gate. After a week in the heat and lots of walking, lets just say that they were scented. Return flight through Cincinnati uneventful. Summary Great trip. net minus gambling, but not too bad. LIR - even Video Poker - UP 3-card - dismal roulette - down slots - down The last hour and a half on the 4th helped alot! Saw lots of shows. In order of recommendation: Ronn Lucas 2nd City Clint Holmes Amazing Jonathan West Side Story Follies B. Attractions we enjoyed Birdman at the Trop Dolphins/secret garden Shark Reef Car exhibit at IP Mdm Tuassads (sp?) Hotels Harrah's air conditioning in the room was terrible. It shut off whenever we left the room! We would not stay there again. Also, the pool sucked. We think that the Flamingo might be our new home in Las Vegas. Great pool. Good buffet. Parking. This was the first trip we relied on Valet exclusively. We are hooked! Drink service seemed plentiful to us. Glad today is a short week!