Hi Everyone, I just returned from a short 3 day trip to Vegas, and just wanted to share. On a typical gambling trip (solo or with buddies), I usually stay at Mirage or TI, but we had girlfriends, wives, etc joining us so I decided stay at the Bellagio so that the ladies can use the pool, shop, and dine (basically leave the fellas alone at the tables). Our group consisted of a few Vegas veterans and a few who had not been in years. FLIGHT: I flew Continental out of Houston and had no problems (my friend from Dallas was delayed 3 hrs on American). Both flights departed and arrived on time. I bought the ticket for $198 plus tax so that made the $15 dollar bag fee palatable. I still prefer SW because its more convenient for me, but I'm glad there are two very good airlines who to fly to Vegas for us Houstonians. RENTAL CAR: I usually rent from the discount guys (Advantage, Thrifty...), but since all the rates seemed high across the board, I went with National using my business account. I must admit that it is worth the money to me to use a rental agency that allows you to skip the counter. In Vegas more so than my other experiences, the people behind the counter get pushy with the extra insurance and prepaid gas. I am not a fan of waiting in line while on vacation so it was nice to be able to walk directly to a car and drive off. HOTEL: I arrived at the Bellagio around 12:30pm. My reservation was booked through a room offer I received in the Spring. I was able to check-in early without any issues. I received a standard double bed room in the Spa Tower on the 11th floor. The room was very clean and the registration desk was very accomodating. I simply asked for the room in the spa tower and recieved it. I asked for a lakeview as well, but was told that would cost extra, so I took the room with a partial pool view. The spa tower is noticably newer than the casino area and halls that lead to the main tower. Its also considerbly more quiet and has less people traffic. I don't like dragging my bags through the casino. There is also a sundry near the elevators (which has direct access to the pool). All the resort staff I encountered from registration to housekeeping were very friendly and professional. On a typical Vegas trip I do little besides gamble and eat. However, this time I took the opportunity to use some of the hotel amenities (actually forced to a few times). I truly enjoyed watching the fountains on the Fontana Bar balcony. I would definitely recommend to anyone who hasn't viewed the fountains from there. Though Wed was a scorcher, we couldn't have asked for better weather Thurs night. We had a few drinks and watched the fountains for a least two hours. I must say I never get tired of seeing that free show. The pool are was actually closed most of the day Thurs due to high winds, but reopened in the afternoon. There were a large number of people out, but not crowded at all. There were plenty of pools chairs available around the pools. The water had some debris in it, but I'm sure it was from the winds. Other than paying $45 at the business center, I would say the resort was top notch and many of my friends who stayed elsewhere plan on trying the Bellagio next time they visit. I have spent a lot of time at the tables here over the years, but never stayed. I would definitely recommend the resort. GAMBLING: Bellagio - I'm a craps player and always drop by the Bellagio on each trip. I have had really good luck finding hot tables here and this trip was no different on Wed. Of course, eventually I gave it all back by Thurs night, but thats ok because I'm in it for the thrills. I saw Phil Ivy on a reserved table on Thurs night and Damon Jones the NBA player on Weds and Thurs. I remember Phil Ivy getting approached by some people while he was shooting the dice. He ignored them and after what seemed like 5 minutes they finally walked away. Good for him, I can't be bothered when mid roll either :evillaugh. I had a rather crappy experience (pun intended) with a dealer but I'll save that for the casino gaming section. Lets just say I won't be playing at the Bellagio again for some time. Encore -This was my second time visiting the casino at Encore and it was just as slow in there on Wed as my last visit. Its a really opulent place so it was a suprise it still wasn't busier. There weren't many sightseers either. The casino staff there are great however. They do a convincing job of acting like a regular joe such as myself matter which was a nice change from how the pit views me at the Bellagio. They weren't offering me a villa or anything, just seemed to appreciate my play is all. Palazzo - Similar experience to Encore, not as busy as Venetian but the staff didn't care that I wasn't tossing black chips around. I still find the casino a little stale but its easy to navigate and you can't beat the proximity of the parking garage (right underneath the casino). TI - Still smoky, but still decent craps. A control shooter and a eastern european woman (with her grandmother watching) rolled for what seemed like an hour on Friday. That was good thing because the tables went cold on me at the Bellagio the night before. I returned some of my winnings after lunch but still left almost even for the trip. Mirage - I took the tram over from TI and stopped by my favorite casino. I doubt the dealers and pit remember me, but I still consider them old friends (I mean that literally ) based on the way they welcome me. At least once every visit, I'll hear the older dealers giving someone at the table a hard time for the manner in which they play. I personally find it funny, and don't see any harm in schooling new players on a little table ettiquite. However, in my opinion this seems unique only to the Mirage. I lucked out on a couple of good rolls and ended the trip almost even. In my book thats a huge success. Overall, I had a great time. I will be back in LV in 3 weeks with my parents (I owe them a 35th anniversary gift.) I can't wait to report again then. I hope some you find this helpful. Also, if anyone has questions, I would be happy to answer or clarify.