I continue to be absolutely tuckered out since returning home from Vegas--too much work stuff, not feeling well--so I'm not going to make this the stupendous trip report I had initially planned and just instead give you the highlights (check here for my pics). 7/7/07: our Southwest flight arrived an hour early (love that schedule padding), which was lucky; we also got a free upgrade to a Chrysler 300 through Dollar, which was pretty lucky. The new rental center was a breeze, at least for those who are Express, and if you aren't, then you're just wasting time. Check-in at Main Street Station was easy, and our room was nice and just about what we expected. We did a brief tour of downtown and snagged a shrimp cocktail and a football drink from La Bayou before calling CK to get downtown. That La Bayou drink kicked my ass, but it was goooooooood. We did some walking around with CK and then settled at the Cal for some Pai Gow, which was a lot of fun, from what I can remember. We then got some crazy good and enormous garlic knots at the Chicago Brewing Company at 4Q. After that, I needed to turn in (jet lag and football drinks)--thanks for playing with us CK! Sterling Brunch at Bally's: if you haven't done it, I'm not going to say that you have to do it. However, if you are Diamond and have enough reward credits, then definitely do it. We were seated in the Bally's Steakhouse, instead of one of the ghetto seating areas (Chang's and Al Dente)--that would seriously suck to have to sit in one of the other places and have to trek over to the buffet. However, because of our amazing waiter Tony, we actually didn't have to trek to the buffet at all: he delivered plate after plate to us. Rick actually never left the table: I went to get some breakfast stuff after the plates of sushi, caviar, lobster, filet mignon, etc. (I love my bacon) and Tony was actually insulted that I had done so. Our champagne glasses were never less than half full, so I have no idea how much we drank, but it was a goodly amount. We ate and drank our $65 worth and more. However, I don't know that I need to go back: it can get awfully crowded around the buffet, and if Tony hadn't been delivering food for us, I know it would have been a vastly different experience. Also, if you are not a big eater, nor a big eater of the high end food, it probably isn't a good deal for you. Bellagio: this was our first time staying there, and I really liked it. We had a lakeview room reserved because we wanted to make sure we had a view of the fountains; Rick did the $20 trick and got us a Tower Deluxe room, which gave us a slightly bigger room with windows facing east AND south, including one in the bathroom. Great room, great bed, great bathroom. Overall, very good service. For those of your looking for something quicker to eat, I recommend both Jean Philippe patisserie, "Snacks," and Noodles--all were quite good, though a tad overpriced. I also enjoyed gambling here and the drink service was good. I doubt I'll get many offers from MGM Mirage, but I would be willing to pay to stay here again. Mon Ami Gabi: it was my first time here, and I was very pleased, though the service was not as attentive as I'd hoped. The food though was great. I had the Butter Lettuce, apple, Gruyere, and walnuts salad, which was excellent, followed by the Croque Monsieur, which was wonderfully decadent. One note though: those are not frites. They were good, but they are not frites, at least not like the frites I have had in Belgium. Very nice lunch with a great view and good wine. I would go again in a heartbeat. Late night roulette: after Rick had gone to bed, I stayed up both nights at Bellagio to do some roulette, both times ending up ahead. Nothing particularly spectacular about either session, but it felt very Vegas: the first night there was a guy who had just gotten married; the second night a random assortment of characters, including a very nice woman who joined me in making fun of the random assortment of characters. Just some of those moments that you can't have anywhere else. Hard Lemonades at Caesars: we discovered these a few trips ago. The kiosk at the corner of Flamingo and the Strip serves up these killer lemonades with various alcohols. They're a bit expensive, and though it's hard to justify paying for alcohol, they are worth it. Disappointments: gambling overall sucked (I must stop dumping money into slots and trick VP machines...but Double Pay Spin Poker WAS fun); not using coupons, not taking advantage of Diamond, and not eating In-N-Out as much as I would have liked; not getting to VooDoo (no room in the restaurant when we were hungry); IP once again killing me at craps; having to step foot in the casino formerly known as Barbary Coast to cool off. Other nice things: Kiwk-E-Mart!; quick trips to Wynn and GVR reminded me why I like those places; chips with blue cheese sauce at Lucky Strike; Rick winning $350 on penny Jackpot Party...without knowing what the hell was going on; seeing New Frontier one last time, playing cheap blackjack and Sigma Derby; hitting the nice Paris Diamond Lounge for a drink; hitting my sports bets; seeing the great Mystere for $50. Not a bad trip, but I think we have determined that the three night trips aren't enough, and that one more night may be in order...but not for a while. I think we are going to head for my spring break, which will be just before March Madness. Thanks for reading, and let me know if you have any questions!