Instead of a blow-by-blow, I'll break the TR up into categories: LODGING - The first two nights were at the Cortez (2-1 LVA coupon). Worked out to $15/night expense. This place get bashed, but the rooms are spacious. I'd rate them comparable to Plaza or LVC. Don't let the location scare you away. The last night was at the Hilton ($45 LVA coupon rate). I felt fortunate to get this rate, as the Steelworkers had a convention going on there. In fact, I think the place may have been sold out, but they bend over backwards to accomodate LVA coupon-holders. The Hilton was a hot spot the night (Thursday) we were there. Diamond Rio was putting on an outdoor concert (we caught much of the show from outside the party venue and it was excellent) for the Steelworkers in one of the parking lots and the LPGA tour was getting ready to kick off at the Las Vegas Country Club across the street. Thumbs up on value for all three nights! DINING - We (my son was on the trip with me) always check out one local spot on a Vegas trip and Hue Thai's Sandwiches on Spring Mountain Road was our first stop when we got into town. Let's call it French-Vietnamese cusine. The sub sandwiches ($2.33) have Vietnamese ingredients inside a baugette. Add a bowl of Trieu Chau Noodle soup and you're in business. Otherwise, we buffeted for the remainder of the trip. The usual suspects - Alladin, Rio, etc. We did try Sunset Station for the first time and found them to be a decent representation of the middle-tier Vegas buffets. ENTERTAINMENT - Since we were at the Hilton, I had wanted to see Barry Manilow. Don't make fun of me, but I've been a big fan of his since the 70s. I just didn't have time though, as gambling comes first. About the only real entertainment I was able to take in was the Lon Bronson All-Star Band. They jam Monday night at the Golden Nugget showroom at 10:00 pm. It's a 14-piece unit, complete with horn section. It's just like a good-old contemporary show band. They'll bring other Vegas entertainers from the audience up on stage to jam/sing with them. The added plus is it's free with no-drink minimum. If you're downtown Monday night or Saturday at midnight (same deal), check them out. GAMBLING - This was the highlight of the trip. My son came home $2,100 ahead and myself $800. Most of this was made the last day and all winnings were from craps. We were both up $200-300 each about 2:00 that afternoon with a 7:40 plane to catch and the Rio buffet yet to eat. Before going into the buffet, I decided to take a few rolls (betting $50 on the pass line and a couple numbers) of the dice. In a surprise to me, my son bought for $500 and asked for the black chips. He bet $300 that I'd hit a 6. Two rolls later, a 4 and 2 came up and he had a nice payoff. Plus, it got the attention of the pit bosses. They asked if we planned to play longer and if there was anything we needed, but we said we were going to eat and leave. I even turned down a request for a lunch comp, explaining to them that we hadn't played long enough to justify one. Neither of us had ever played at the Hard Rock so we figured we do a quick in-and-out on the way to McCarren. That $300 win at Rio must have gave my son some courage, because he bought in for $1,000 and started placing $100 bets. Needless to say, he did quite well in about an hour's time. Off my rolls, he had to have made half his total winnings. For my first time rolling at the Hard Rock, I enjoyed myself. Friendly deals, lively crowd and hot dice. Their chips are hard to tell apart though. In fact, my son almost accidentally gave the dealers a $500 tip instead of $25. A sign that someone is doing well is the fact that he estimated he gave out about $200 in tips on the trips. We will be back to Hard Rock. They have a table set up in their pool area that will be open all summer and is open weekends right now. Earlier in the week, we played at one of my favorites and where I cut my teeth as a crap player - the Sahara (good dealers). I took my only loss ($100) at the Hilton, but that was okay since we got our room so cheap. Most of the other time was at the Bellagio. We bot had a solid run each time we played there, even though I dropped a quick $300 the last 15 minutes we were there. My only regret was not getting down to the Plaza are leaving the day before Mikey started at the GC. I would have liked to have been his first T2V client. This was the sixth time out coming out ahead at craps out of the last seven trips I've been on. We're probably talking atleast 80-100 hours of total play. I'm convinced the hit-and-run (once you hit a number you take your bet down) strategy is the best way to play craps. That's how I've been playing for the past three years and I'm up a few thousand dollars. TRANSPORTATION - Monday afternoon thunderstorms in Iowa and Nebraska really rocked the plane for about an hour on the flight out from Midway. Otherwise, all went well. No problems at all with Budget on the car rental. I do wonder, though, once WYNN gets up and running, how much worse Strip (and Sahara/Paradise) traffic is going to be. The traffic seems to get worse every time I come out. MISC - Stopped by the Las Vegas Advisor office to renew my 2006 membership and pick up ken2v "Neon Nupitals" book. I'm saving it for reading this summer o nmy annual NC beach trip. From what I've seen, it's looks very good. Spent most of Wednesday afternoon at the Hilton pool. I tell you, you women just keep on getting better looking all the time. The pit poss at the Hard Rock told me I should check their pool out. I was only out there about 30 seconds and a 20-something young lass took her top off. Later, one of the dealers said that kind of stuff goes on all the time. Over the years, I've gotten to know a number of locals. A fair amount of my time was spent visiting with them. THOUGHTS - This was the first time, I didn't play any craps downtown. For that matter, even though we stayed there two nights, neither of us did much of anything downtown. Maybe, we're becoming Strip denizens. My worry about winning at craps is that we'll want to come out even more and bet even more. I need to remain a conservative betting and not attempt to go high stakes. However, when the pit bosses starting showing interest in our level of play, I could see us succombing to the lure of comps. Need to be on the lookout for that. I've got to get off this buffet jag and hit an occasional nice steakhouse. By the waym when visiting some folks out on Ann Road (about 15 miles NW of Vegas), I stumbled upon the oldest existing restaurant in Vegas. Some of you had mentioned it before. It's name escapes me, but I thought it was Taylor's Ranch Steakhouse or something like that. Sinatra and the boys used to go out their for drinks and eats. At one time, it was in the middle of nowhere. Now, it's being surrounded by subdivisions. Still, it make for a getaway from the hustle and bustle of Vegas.