The wife and I decided to spend our 8th wedding anniversary in my favorite place.. Sin City. This would be my 29th visit and my wife’s 15th. First a little backstory before our trip. I got laid off earlier this year and my wife has been at home with our two little girls. We had to move back to Massachusetts and my wife (Beth Ann) will start teaching again this fall, so our finances were a little tight. Yet, that is what makes Vegas so cool... you can spend a ton of cash, or you can work every angle, get every deal and have an amazing vacation for pocket change. So, I am a deal master... I love getting a deal on anything and everything and this is one of the reasons I love Vegas. This trip was about getting away and getting every possible deal. I booked a crazy airfare from Providence to Vegas on Southwest for $112 roundtrip, once you include all the taxes and fees.. it was $153/person or $306 total for my wife and I. That is a Score! I booked us two nights at the Wynn Encore for $109/night with a $50 resort credit. Now, normally, I would never stay in such a high end place.. but what the heck, that was too good of a deal to pass up. The first night, I booked us into the MGM for $62 which included $20 in free play, 2 free drinks at the pool and both of us comped to the Buffet for the entire day. Again too good to pass up. I did all my research on the current promotions, got two American Casino guides for a envelope full of coupon deals and we were on our way. We left the kids with Beth’s parents and headed to the airport at 6:00am on Sunday morning for an 8:40 departure. First deal of the trip, I skipped the $20/day airport parking and simply parked on a side street across from the airport.. an $80 savings. We boarded and landed without much fanfare, although it was not a direct flight, which always sucks when you are jazzed up for a Vegas trip. We cabbed to the MGM ($8) and got a room in the “west wing”. It was a modern room.. but kinda small. We dumped our bags and headed to the Buffet. This was free and it was good. They had king crab legs, already split and yumm, I had more than my fair share. After eating way too much, we went and got our $20 free play. Normally, we try and just use the free play and cashout the winnings. We didn’t have too much luck and only cashed out $12. We then took a walk up the strip. I love walking the Vegas strip.. really, I love it... and I love drinking while I walk. But, as we have discussed, we are on a frugal trip.. so we stopped in the little convenience stores along the way and bought our drinks for like $2 each, as opposed to buying any drinks from the casino bars. Yes, getting them free while playing is the way to go.. but in between those times, the convince stores are an easy quick alternative. We played some switch blackjack at Bills (the old Barbary Coast). It was up and down, but eventually walked away down $60. Damm, we don’t like losing sessions. We caught a fountain show (Viva Las Vegas) and eventually wandered all the way down to Mandalay Bay and caught the band in the lounge. They were good and we enjoyed a night away from our 2 and 3 year olds. We finally went to bed about 2am, which was 5am for us on the east coast. Monday morning we got up and went to the MGM pool complex. They have about 7 or 8 pools and a big lazy river. The waterfalls at the pools are just like the ones at the Flamingo and provide a nice firm water massage if you stand under them for a bit. We got our free drinks and enjoyed a lap around the big lazy river. That’s the biggest lazy river I have ever been in. Unfortunately, we couldn’t stay long, as we had to check out and start our day of fun. We left the MGM and jumped on the Deuce to downtown Vegas. Once there, we checked our bags at Binions and started our afternoon of deal hunting in old Vegas. We got the $10 matchplay at Binions and the 2 for 1 at the coffee shop by getting our free picture taken with a million dollars. We won about $50 playing our matchplays and then had a great lunch in the coffee shop, with our 2 for 1 it was $9 total. Next we hit La Bayou for a quick ride on the Grain Train... it was kinda early in the day, so we decided to just split a small yard glass, as I have been known to become a complete drunken boob when riding the grain train. Next we hit the Plaza and the Las Vegas club, where we each won and lost a $10 matchplay.. and a break even result. We then hit the El Cortez, and collected $20 in free slot play for the wife and $10 for me. We walked out of there with about a $30 profit. Ahhhh, it was time to hit the Wynn. I bought a bottle of Jim Beam at “Atomic Liquors” in old vegas, and then we rode the deuce up the strip getting off at the Wynn. Now, I am guessing that not many people arrive at the Wynn with their luggage in hand from the Deuce... but what the hell, that’s what we did. We walked in through the Tower Suite (VIP) entrance and were given a room on the 36th floor. Yes, the Encore is pretty damm nice. We had the most comfortable bed I have ever slept on, an amazing bathroom and a “suite area” with a nice sectional and desk. The window is the entire wall with a great view of Vegas. My favorite part is the little control box next to the bed. You can push a button and make the blinds open or close and you can also control all of the lights from the control box.. awesome. We mixed our own drinks (jim beam in pepsi bottles) and headed to the Encore pool. Yes, it is very swank. The pool wraps around a large bar and you can play Blackjack and Craps in the pool area. The music is great and the pool is european, meaning that topless bathing is completely optional. Yes, I could stay there all day. Girls with big fake boobs love to show them off in the topless pool... and I am in total agreement with this. Ohh Yeah, the Encore pool is where it’s at. So, we stayed for awhile.. and then had to resume our drinking/gaming ways. We got changed and took a walk heading south on the strip. We started with $10 in free slot play at the Wynn, then got $15 each in free play at the Venetian... after cashing a small amount in each place we headed to our dinner spot of Ellis Island. Haaa, I am guessing that most people staying at the Encore do not eat at Ellis Island. The “not on the menu” $6 steak Dinner is a great value in Vegas, and that was our dining option. Along the way we walked thru Bills, and each cashed our “free Drink” coupon, so that we had a drink to sip on for our walk back to Ellis Island. Once in Ellis Island, we put our name in with the hostess. (they always make you wait 30 minutes so you will gamble). I went to the bar and gave them my coupon for 4 free drinks, two Vodka cranberries for me and two Gin and tonics for the wife. Then we hit the players club, where my wife got $25 in free slot play with a coupon I had for new signups and I got $10. After cashing a $20 profit there, we hit the Blackjack tables where we each played our $10 matchplays and yes we hit them both. So, with $80 in profit we went and had our steak dinners. The dinner is a salad, a steak, mashed potatoes and green beans plus a home-crafted beer for $6.99. It was very good. After dinner we cabbed it back to Encore ($8), as my lovely wife was hitting the wall. Well, she went to bed, but I decided to get back out there. I walked up to slots a fun to play my favorite craps table in Vegas. Yes, the place is looking a little worse for wear, and the big halted construction project next door is not helping, but I still had some fun. I threw the dice a bit and drank a few more vodka cranberries.. then headed south towards Bills place. I got propositioned by a few hookers along the walk, but informed them I was just window shopping and would not be making any purchases. I drank and gambled some in Bills and was completely plastered by the time i stumbled in at 4am. The wife told me some funny stories of my behavior when I arrived, but I think she was just making it up. Anyway, we woke up tuesday morning.. which is our anniversary. We decided to have breakfast at the Peppermill next door, as we both love this spot. We had a great breakfast as usual and then walked up to Circus Circus. We played a few deals here, winning about $30 total. Note: you can always get the fun book in the Market Express at Circus Circus.. it has a few good gaming coupons. After winning at Circus Circus, we lost all our winnings plus $30 more playing Craps at Slots a hell. Ohh well, easy come easy go. The wife went to get her nails done, I said I wanted to play the deals at Sahara and the Hilton and I would meet her back at the Encore in an hour. I won the $5 matchplay at the Sahara (yee haa up $10) and walked to the Hilton. I signed up for the Hilton Card (again) and got the free sign up trinket which was a calculator with a pen. I said to the girl with a totally straight face.. It’s my anniversary today, do you think I could give this calculator to my wife as a present. She looked at me like I was a retard and said..” hold on I have something you can give her”. Score.. she comes back with a big box, about 16 inched by 12 and its kinda heavy. I ask her what’s inside and she smiles and says it’s a secret. Ok, that’s good enough for me. I decide not to look at what’s inside, but to just give it to my wife as an anniversary present. (note: to those of you keeping score at home, the trip was the present to each other, so we were not planning to exchange gifts). I lose my $10 matchplay at the Hilton and head back to the Encore. Now, for the first time I realize.. it is Fricken hot out here.... It’s along walk, and I’m carrying this box of mystery gift, damm.. maybe it was all the booze, but I was sweating pretty good. Anyway, I get back to the Encore and I tell my wife I have gotten her this lovely gift to commemorate our 8 years together. She opens it up and .. what is it... humm.. not sure yet.. umm.. it’s a half moon with a star you attach to it, and it’s made of like sand.. and yes.. it’s the ugliest piece of crap you have ever seen. I immediately start to tell my wife how great it is, and that it shall sit on our mantle at home to forever commemorate our 8th wedding anniversary. The more she tells me it’s a piece of crap, the more I tell her how great it is. Well, anyway, we mix another round of drinks and head to the topless pool... I mean European pool. We have a great afternoon at the pool... just relaxing and enjoying our time together and time away from our kids. And yes, I did see a lot of nice boobies (please insert butthead laugh here) as that is what I would do every time a new pair emerged. Leaving the pool, I had a nice chat with Elroy, the pool security guy. He was about 65 years old and I don’t think he does much other than just sit there. I pulled him close and told him that there were topless chicks over at the pool.... He smiled and nodded.. saying “ oh yes, that’s our european pool”. Haaa.. good fun. We went up to shower and change, as we were gonna have a nice dinner at Switch in the Wynn. While I was in the shower, my wife came in and said she had bad news. She said that while she was changing, her towel “accidentally” hit the moon star thingy and it fell off the table and broke. Well, as you can imagine, I was devastated.. the whole symbol of our marriage had been destroyed... I told her.. “that’s why we can’t have nice things in this family” and said I would superglue it back together. We got all dressed up and went to Switch for dinner. We had the Taste of Wynn Menu. Which included corn and crab chowder, filet menion and creme brulee plus a glass of champagne . The Switch restaurant changes it’s decor every 20 minutes somewhat dramatically and its kinda cool. The dinner was amazing.. we both agreed it was the best dinner we had ever had...Damm it was good... yes, it was expensive.. but we had the $50 resort credit and it was our anniversary.. so say la vie. After dinner we went back to the room to change and rest a bit... ahhh those beds are comfortable... we almost didn’t make it out.. but hey.. it was our last night in Sin City. So we got dressed and headed back down the strip, we drank and gambled a little here and there, ending up at the bar at Bill’s place watching some pretty good Karaoke. We finally went to bed around 3am. Wednesday morning, we got up and went right to the pool for a few hours. We called and got a late checkout at 1pm, and just soaked up the Wynn vibe. We quickly packed our things and decided to leave the broken moon star thingy for the housekeeper. After checking out we grabbed a cab to the Hard Rock. We always go here on the way to the airport, to play the deals and exhaust the last gaming fever. We had $10 in free play each and $10 matchplays... we walked out of there with a $28 profit. Next, with the clock ticking on our 3:30pm flight. We walked over to Terribles and get the deals there. We each got the $10 free play and the matchplay.. plus I got this little lite up Vegas sign. Yee haa... We played quick , then decided to grab the 2 for 1 buffet in the last 10 minutes we had. This buffet is not that good.. but it was $8 total for both of us, and the Beef Brisket plate I made was quite tasty. Next we had to scramble to the airport, and I asked an employee, what’s the fastest way to get a cab to the airport, he says.. hold on... we have a free shuttle.. and he runs and gets it. As he is loading our luggage he does ask.. “you folks are guests here right?”.. to which I repleyed, “we sure are” and he conveniently drops us off at the airport... score, a free airport ride for just a couple of bucks tip.. We fly home exhausted... what a great trip. Some final thoughts.... If you are willing to walk to get all the deals, and don’t gamble it all away, Vegas is a total steal. We ate and drank and partied on a tiny budget. It can be done, but it takes discipline, especially at 2am when you have become a drunken fool. Hope you enjoyed reading my report, i can’t wait to go again.