I begin by saying that this was almost as good a trip to Vegas as I can have with my wife. These trips are always different than those with the boys, which always involve a little more drinking, alot more gambling, and much more debauchery. These trips involve shows (at least the kind where you are not allowed direct physical contact with the performers), fine dining and more sightseeing. With that disclaimer, onto the report. We flew AirTran out of Indy on thursday afternoon. It was an uneventful flight and arrived in the only place in the world where I am truly happy exactly on time. While I have read how slow things have been in Vegas with the economic downturn, I was still shocked to see how completely empty the airport was when we arrived. The baggage claim area was a virtual ghost town and our luggage arrived there at the same time we did. We walked immediately into a cab and were checking into TI 15 minutes later. We were in our room less than 40 minutes after our plane arrived at the gate. The rooms at TI have recently been remodeled and are nice. The beds are very comfortable. I would complain about the size of the new flat screen TV if I spent enought time in the room to actually watch it. While the room was nice, I do have a complaint with the casino at TI. I have become, and I have a hard time admitting this to myself, a dedicated slot player. Other than several misguided, but well intentioned, forays into a craps table, I spent most of my gambling time playing the slots. TI has removed my favorite slots, the 5 line reel Jackpot Party games. Not only did these machines serve as my personal ATMs, but they payed off consistently enough to allow one to build up considerable points on your players card resulting in comps and free offers. Besides, who doesn't love the sound of party horns and the music of the Village People. Suffice to say, I was crestfallen to discover the Jackpot Party was gone. For those who still see the video Jackpot Party games, I refuse to play any game with so many lines that I cannot tell if I won anything by simply looking at the screen. Not finding my favorite game on my arrival, I was forced to play another of my lucky games, Wheel of Fortune. (Are you starting to see a trend that I only play the most irritating sounding games in the casino.) I got a quick spin for $200 and took my winnings to the craps table where a great roll by a very nice elderly gentleman netted me another $300 profit. (Another sign of the slow times in Vegas were the low table limits. TI had more $5 tables available than I can remember in the last 10 years. The same trend of low limit table games seemed true at all the casinos I visited.) After getting off to a quick gambling start it was off to the Palms to take advantage of my 50% off LVA coupon. By running up a $92 tab at Gardunos (which was not hard when drinking the large $22 margaritas) we got nearly the full value of the discount. After dinner, I continued my impressive streak of never winning a dime at the Palms and giving away a substantial part of my earlier winnings. We then head over to the Rio via the Gold Coast. Walking into the Gold Coast from the Palms is like being in two different worlds. We went from being the least hip people at the Palms to being the young trendy jet setters at the Gold Coast. Since we had already eaten and the only reason I would ever linger at GC would be to dine at the highly underrated Cortez Room, we contiued on to the Rio. Even the Rio seemed to have slightly lower limits than usual. We saw the new sexy show in the sky and I proceeded to give away the rest of my winnings. It was on to the VooDoo lounge, where we we paid for several overpriced drinks and took in the breathtaking view of the strip, which was somewhat lessened by the construction of the City Center. It was a gorgeous night to be on the roof of a Vegas casino and the crowd was all outside taking advantage of it. I was a little diappointed as no one grabbed my ass as occurred on my prior visit to this establishment. We cabbed it back to TI and went accross the street to check out the new Palazzo. Sheldon, let me give you a tip. You should not build a fancy casino that cannot be reached from directly accross the street without walking through a construction area along the street or winding your way throught all of the shops at the Venetian. I liked the casino once we were able to find it. It was small, but still had that new casino smell that I love. It also had many of my second favorite game, King Cash. God I love those silly bonus games. While I got to play one of my favorites, my luck did not improve as the lions were as elusive as a sober man in Vegas. After leaving the Palazzo we made our way throught the labyrinth of the Grand Canal shops to the casino at the Venetian where I found my holy grail, Jackpot Party. It was just as wonderful as I remembered and I even got to see the Party Animal. (For the uninitiated, the Party Anuimal appears randomly to allow the bonus game to continue after the pooper- often GW Bush, would have shown up to end the bonus round.) For the rest of the weekend I discovered that the Party has been removed from most of the MGM Mirage properties. The one exception was the newly unEgyptized Luxor. Thanks to the party, I made it through day 1 of my Vegas adventure with my bankroll still intact. As we were still on Indiana time, we returned to TI and went to bed, where I dreamed of how I was going to spend the Megabucks jackpot. To be continued.