It's a long one. I never think it's going to be a long trip report and it always ends up that way. Ok....when I say "ass kickin"......well let's just say Vegas got their money out of us this trip. We couldn't win crap, didn't come home with any extra moneyâ€¦We took $2k, and lost about $1600 total. Might not seem like much to some people but we usually take about $1600 total and we come home with at least $1k in our pockets. After 8 yrs of visits, I guess we were due for an ass kicking! We didnâ€™t go downtown (yet againâ€¦.), I didnâ€™t get my tattoo, and I didnâ€™t try any new drinks. Guess there is always next time! 1st day - 2/19 I got into the airport from Dallas about 645pm, and hubby was waiting at baggage claim. He had driven in from LA since he was there working. He got there about 3 hours early so he just sat and waited. He did check us in at the airport desk -- tried the $20 trick. Didn't work for an upgrade but the guy took his $20 and gave us a West Wing room. I thought that might be an upgrade of some sort, but the room actually seemed smaller to me than most we have stayed in. It was very clean and very nicely decorated though. The bed was very comfortable. My husband liked the TV built into the mirror in the vanity area. After getting comfortable, we headed to the big wheel Wheel of Fortune 5 cent slot. Put about $60 in and started to play. I told my husband to max bet it, but he didnâ€™t. What do you knowâ€¦.on the 3rd pull, he hit the bonus and 1000 times line bet!!!! It wouldâ€™ve been about $700 I think if he had hit max. He hit this bonus not one, but TWO times while playing and still wasnâ€™t betting max. For some reason, hubby was not listening to me â€“ a theme that would continue throughout the trip, youâ€™ll see why. The machine sucked it all back. We then went over to NYNY and wanted to get something to eat. We ate at Gonzalez Y Gonzalez. I had some sort of rum drink that I didnâ€™t know would come frozen. It really was not good at allâ€¦but, I drank it anyway. The food there was just ok, I had the cheese quesadillas (I donâ€™t eat red meat or chicken) and hubby had the big burrito. He said it was good but I wasnâ€™t overly thrilled with mine, it had a strange taste to it. Maybe it was just me. After dinner we just played a little here and there and at that point the ass kicking began. Needless to say we didnâ€™t know that it wouldnâ€™t stop! We retired around midnight or so since we were both pretty tired. 2nd day â€“ 2/20 We got up and went to eat at Stage Deli inside Cesarâ€™s Forum Shops. It is our favorite place to eat in Las Vegas. I know it sounds crazy but the food is awesome, the service is good and it is cheap. Our breakfast was under $20. Hubby had the strawberry pancakes (with REAL strawberries baked inside) and I had my regular, a potato knish. I canâ€™t get those here in the Dallas area! We walked around for a while there and then went over to Planet Hollywood by lunchtime to use our Restaurant.com coupon at Blondies. I did read the reviews of this place on the board, but you really canâ€™t beat a cheap lunch. So, yesâ€¦.the service sucked. It took a long time to get our drink order taken. But, the food was pretty good. Hubby had a personal pizza and I had the Greek Salad which was huge and very good. Lots of feta cheese, just how I like itâ€¦..just way too big for me to finish. After the coupon and tip, it was like $15 which isnâ€™t bad. Right outside the patio seating, there was a guy dressed up like Captain Jack Sparrow. Let me tell you, the only thing that told me he wasnâ€™t really Johnny Depp was just the fact that there were no bodyguards close by! He was the BEST Captain Jack impersonatorâ€¦.all of his movements, his stature and right down to a gold tooth! We watched him throughout lunch staggering around and talking to himselfâ€¦..LOL he was really entertaining. I had to get my picture with him, so I did. He was handing out flyers advertising one of the other shows there at PH. After lunch I headed over to Fat Tuesday to get a Margarita and I nursed it for about 3 hours before walking over to the Bellagio just cause. In there, we lost some money at BlackJack. But, I did win a free bag after racking up 8000 points at the free slot tournament. They had that going last time we were there so we decided to do it again to burn some time. That evening we were going to go see Wayne Brady at the Venetian so we headed over there and my husband was hungry again. We stopped into the food court for some fast â€œChineseâ€ food â€¦I got noodles and he got some kind of chicken. As you can see, we arenâ€™t at all into fine dining! Before the show, we lost some more $$ in the slots there and made our way over to the Wayne Brady theatre. The theater he is in is very small. There really isnâ€™t a bad seat in the house. We were in the 2nd row, dead center so I really couldnâ€™t ask for a better view! The show was hilariousâ€¦.singing and dancing and also improve, just like you have seen in â€œWhoâ€™s Line..â€. he has a guy working it with him and this guy was just as funny. I volunteered for one of the segments and ended up on stage with about 4 other people. We had to be â€œpropsâ€ to what he and the other guy were acting out. It was pretty funny. During the next act, he had a man come up on stage and be his â€œhandsâ€ while he and the other guys acted out a scene. I laughed so hard, I thought I was going to puke. Really. He did some improv songs (titles suggested by the audience) like â€œYou Only Have 3 Boobsâ€ to the style of Rod Stewart, â€œWhat Drives me to Drinkâ€ in the style of In Sync and my personal favorite â€œWho Dropped the Snickers in the Swimming Poolâ€ to the tune of â€œPurple Rainâ€ by Prince. TOO FUNNY! He ended the show with some singing and dancing and some impressions like James Brown and Sammy Davis. Over all, a VERY entertaining show. We might go see him again sometime, as I am sure no two shows are the same! That night we went back to MGM and played some BlackJack. I made my husband walk when he still had about $250 of the days budget in his pocket. It was around 230-3am when we went back to the room. 3rd day â€“ 2/21 My brother is a pilot for AA, so on this day we knew he had about a 20 hour layover and so we were going to hook up with him and spend the day. His flight didnâ€™t get in until around noon, so we decided to head over to Hooters to check out their $100 free play offer. We went over there and signed up for the card. Got our $100 each of free play, BUTâ€¦.they had it set up in pre-determined $1 slot machines with a $2 max pull. Needless to say we didnâ€™t win anything. My brother was catching the monorail from the convention center area to MGM so while we waited, we played a few penny slots. My husband can usually stretch his money out for quite a while. He still lost in the end, but we burned some time. We met my brother at the entrance of MGM and then hopped back on the monorail back over to Cesars. Knowing that he would love Stage Deli, we went there again with him. He had the open faced Meatloaf sandwich with mushroom gravy and a beer. I had my regular and my husband got the big ass hotdog. Again, another cheap, filling lunch. My brother LOVED the food and said heâ€™ll go back there. We walked around for a while and then went over to the Mirage so he could check out the â€œLoveâ€ stuff. My niece (his 15yr old daughter) is really into the Beatles. He had been contemplating taking his wife and 3 kids (ages 13, 15 and 17) for a couple of days and going to see Love. He was pretty impressed with the Mirage and their Beatles/Love area. It pretty much made up his mind that he would definitely be taking the fam back for the show very soon. After that it was vege time so we went over to the Wynn and enjoyed a $12 margarita next to the fountain wall. The weather was nice that day so we sat and rested for a little bit. We then went over to TI so that we could see the 530pm Sirens show. We still have not seen it since it was the old pirate show! The inside of TI looks so much different than the last time we were in there, probably about 3 years ago. I really like the inside now. We met up with the other captain my bro was flying with and had Starbucks while my husband tried a little more BlackJack. This time at least he didnâ€™t lose it all! I held his white chocolate mocha hostage until he walked away from the table to get it. We went outside to get ready for the show. My bro asked the employee standing there, which side would give a better view. The guy said â€œWell, this side if you want to see the girls, and that side if you want to see the guys!â€ Yeah, well my brother made it known he was NOT wanting to look at the guys! So, the guy asked him if we were guests at TIâ€¦..when my bro said no, but this guy let us in the guest area anyway, right up front. Nice guy. All of a sudden around 5 minutes until the show start time, the wind started to pick up quite a bit. We got the announcement that they were monitoring the wind, but that they might have to cancel the show. We started to joke that it was my sister-in-law looking through her crystal ball conjuring up wind so that my brother wouldnâ€™t see the show without her. We had a good laugh on that one and once we saw the tech guy walking away from the booth we could tell that the show was cancelled so we got the hell out of dodge before everyone else found out. As we walked away we heard a unified â€œNoooooooooooâ€ come from the herd of people waiting behind us once they learned the show would not go on. Hunger began to strike the guys so back over to Venetian for a snack. We hung out there for a bit and then my brother and his friend had to get back to the hotel because they had a 7am flight the next morning. We decided to go back over to the Mirage cause my husband wanted to try and win the money to go see the 10pm Love performance. They had very few seats left but he wanted to try anyway. I noticed at all of the MGM owned casinos, there were OCC choppers and slot machines. The Mirage had a cool one themed to â€œLoveâ€. I won about $35 on those penny slots and it took some time while hubby was losing at BJ. He doubled his money at one point but didnâ€™t walk away and lost it all back. He almost had enough for the show, but not quite. I quickly cashed my little slot ticket and put that money in my pocket! It was definitely time to walk away!! We didnâ€™t see Love that night, as you can tell! Back over to MGM for a quick shoe change (for me) and then we went to visit Excalibur. We were looking for some different scenery as we havenâ€™t been over there in years. It seems as though the casino would be huge. It really isnâ€™t but it is easy to get turned around in there for some reason. We sat down at a single deck blackjack table and started playing. We only started with $50 each and managed to stay alive until almost 4am. It was a very fun table. There was a couple from Oregon at the table and the husband must go there all the time because he knew the dealers and pit bosses. He was a hoot. Then these 2 ladies from Texas (close to where we live) sat down and played for a while. One left but the other lady stayed and we had a great time. Our dealers were for the most part â€“ very friendly. We had 2 dealers who were complete characters. They made us laugh and contributed to the fun-ness of the table. Then we had this one dealer. You could just tell the minute she walked up that it was going to be a long night. She wouldnâ€™t say hardly anything or smile. Of course, it always seems like people start losing when you have a crappy dealer. They were giving out free Budwiser t-shirts with a suited BlackJackâ€¦â€¦I got one and my husband got one, then the guy we were playing with had ended up with about 3. Our un-friendly dealer thought this was totally unacceptable and told him â€œOnly ONE shirt per person!!!â€ . We didnâ€™t know that and it was the pit boss that gave him all 3 shirts for cryin out loud! She then proceeded to tell our next dealer â€œNo more shirts for him!â€. Yes, those 50-cent quality t-shirts would definitely break the casino should a person get more than one! Anyway, we were very glad to see her go. We just about doubled our money at one point, but didnâ€™t walk awayâ€¦.and guess what??? We left the Excalibur with $0 in our pocket. See a trend here? Day 4- 2/22 We were still on target as far as our daily budget was concerned but we had no extra $$ from winning. So, we couldnâ€™t say we were â€œaheadâ€ but we werenâ€™t out of money either, which was a good thing! We went back over to the Exclibur to do a Roulette class. My husband thought that we would get free chips if we took the class. He swears that he saw a sign that advertised that. We took the â€œclassâ€, no chips. Afterwards, of course he had to try his luck at some Roulette and quickly lost $40. While he did that, I went to a slot machine and made back $20 of it. Back to the MGM, we went to the players desk and they comped us a lunch buffet. We had finally lost enough to qualify for something! Yay! The MGM Grand Buffet was very good. We have eaten at the Mirage buffet twice, but to me, this one was much better. I donâ€™t eat meat, but I do eat fish so I was happy to eat my salmon and sea bass with some mashed potatoes and a little bit of salad. My husband discovered the 25-cent horse racing machine and decided to waste $10 there. Then we went back to the room for a short rest before getting ready to see Bette Midler at 730. Before the show, we stopped into the sushi place across from Cleopatraâ€™s Barge in Caesars. We had some sushi for dinner, which was really good and reasonably priced. After I picked up the tickets, we had about an hour to burn so we played a few slotsâ€¦didnâ€™t win anything, then we discovered the penny slot â€œDavinciâ€™s Diamondsâ€. This one kept us entertained for quite a while. Although we hit some big payouts, hubby still doesnâ€™t know when to walk away so we didnâ€™t leave the machine with a profit. Then, the highlight of my tripâ€¦Bette Midler. I can only describe her in 2 words. Absolutely FABULOUS! The colosseum was sold out and she performed for nearly 2 hours. It was only her 2nd show so there were some kinks here and there but she played them off beautifully and it made the show very unique. Her voice was like gold, her dancers were amazing and overall, it was an utterly amazing 2 hours. Our seats were in the 2nd mezzanine and although I couldnâ€™t see her as good as I wouldâ€™ve liked, the sound was great and we were able to see the â€œbigâ€ picture of everything going on upon the stage. She closed with â€œWind Beneath my Wingsâ€ and I donâ€™t think there was a dry eye in the house. Ok, wellâ€¦..most of the men were dry eyed but us ladies were just overcome. One word of advice â€“ if you are going to see Betteâ€¦..DONâ€™T bring your camera. Donâ€™t even have it in your purse. Leave it in the room because they go through your bags (all of them)â€¦.wand you and confiscate your camera. They check them for pick up after the show. I must admit, that made me real nervous but I got it back safe and sound. I plan on going back to see her again with my mom. It was definitely a â€œgirlsâ€ show and although I love my hubby, I couldnâ€™t help but wish my mom was there with me. She wouldâ€™ve enjoyed it so much. Now we are trying to plan a quickie trip in May so we can try and see Cher and Bette both. After the show, hubby wanted to go play more Davinciâ€™s Diamonds. So, in the mad rush of peopleâ€¦.we made our way over to the Davinciâ€™s Diamonds machine. It just happens to be right next to the pussycat doll BlackJack tables where the girls dance in the middle. Needless to say, there was a huge crowd gathered around there. It was crowded and loud. I was dreading having to push through the mob just to get to the bathroom. We sat and played that machine for about an hour. During the course of playing, hubby more than doubled his money. I told him numerous times to walk away and cash out. Did he listen? Nope. Back to the MGM, no winnings and I was pissed. We played the Davinci Diamonds there and I was up to about $300 off of about $60. I was also racking up points like crazy. Hubby said, keep going! I shouldâ€™ve listened to myself and not him cause I cashed out with only $150 of the $300 I was up to. He had 2 $25 chips in his pocket from his loss at the BJ table and decided to play a little more with that. We both lost miserably in the course of less than 10 minutes. It was just a sad situation. Not wanting to go back to the room because neither of us was tired, we stopped by again at the players club where they comped us another meal for our final day. $40 at the Studio CafÃ©. Then of courseâ€¦youâ€™re not tired, you want another drink and you have $150 burning a hole in your pocketâ€¦.so, what do you do???? Hang around and play more slots dammit! More Davinciâ€™s Diamonds. We were up, down, up, downâ€¦etc. it went all back. Went to the room with our heads low and our pockets empty. Ok, I didnâ€™t have any pockets but if I did, they wouldâ€™ve been empty. One word of advice about Davinciâ€™s Diamondsâ€¦..play enough money so that you can always bet max. At Caesars the max was 200 credits, or $2. The max at MGM was 400 credits, or $4. The reason I say this is, the bonus round can really pay big and if you bet max, you can end up with a lot of $$ really quick. The bonuses come frequently and you get 6 free spins with each. The winning symbols disappear and new ones replace themâ€¦.you can win on those too so you have more than one shot of a winning combination. Even on the bonus round you can win more bonus spins. Itâ€™s a cool game, totally addicting. You have to be able to weather the storm though because you might have quite a few spins where you get nothing â€“ and you are losing $4 a pop. So, weâ€™re decided to stop playing our money all over the place and just maybe try all of our slot money on this one game next time. Even though we eventually lost it â€“ it was our faultâ€¦we were winning and we shouldâ€™ve left. Day 5 2/23 The flight was leaving at 445pm so we got up late, packed and headed down to check our baggage at the bellstand before breakfast at Studio CafÃ© to use our $40 credit. The $40 covered both of our meals and the food was really good. The service was a little slow but it was really crowded. They were seating people constantly and I donâ€™t think that the servers could keep up. We made a trip to the ATM to try our luck one more time at our machine. No luck. We decided that weâ€™d better go before things got even uglier. By now it was about 2:00 and we caught a taxi to the airport. Surprisingly the ride was only $9. Next time we stay on that end, we will take a taxi both ways. Coming in, hubby spent $50 on a towncar! The flight was uneventful and we were glad to get back home to the kiddos. Now as I write this thoughâ€¦thinking of having to go back to work tomorrow and waking up early to get the kids to schoolâ€¦..ehâ€¦.I wish we were still in Vegasâ€¦..