My guilt has got the better of me and I’ve decided to do a Trip Report. I was going to be very lazy and not bother but love reading everyone’s so thought I should at least do my bit. This will be in sections as I can’t remember what I did day to day as I’ve been asleep since then! You won’t find any degeneracy here (sorry) but if only I’d found Vegas 35 years ago, instead of 10 years ago, my life may have been so different! * Flights Virgin Atlantic from London Gatwick. All flights have now got upgraded seating and entertainment systems. Fantastic. Choice of over 40 films and various tv programmes and documentaries, games, music, etc. Had four seats to myself on outbound and three inbound. Two massive wins on this trip on a ten hour flight, return flight even landed 45 minutes early. What more can anyone ask for? Well, decent blankets for one, that don’t cover you in red fluff. Even took my own lint roller this time. Food was OK, nothing major but adequate for a flight and mass produced food. Didn’t have too long to wait at customs in Vegas either which made a change in Terminal 3, very smooth and not long to wait for a cab to Bally’s either. * Update: BA phoned this week and informed me my flight in August is now departing Gatwick at 9.40am instead of 12.20pm, RESULT. * Bally’s Finally having achieved Diamond for this year, first and last time for sure, it was nice to be able to check in at the Diamond Check In at Bally’s and be booked in the North Tower with no $20 trick, just a $5 tip. Things are working out great so far. The room was fine, a bit worn but clean and tidy and a view over the mountains and Bill’s (that was). Heard a little bit of construction noise from the old Bill’s parking lot out the back but nothing that spoiled my sleep. Was assured a fridge on check in but that never materialised so I just got an ice bucket and used that to store the milk for the tea. * Trip Buddy I was joined on this trip for five days by my friend Pat from Toronto. We met in Barbados many years ago and had so much in common that we stayed in touch and meet up usually in Vegas or Toronto or once she’s been to England. She’s a great friend but after this trip I now know she’s not just from another Country, she’s from a different planet! Why? Well, let me tell you and this you won’t believe. * She is in her house in Toronto and lives fifteen minutes from the airport. Decides to book a cab two hours before the flight. Realises she has just moved house and doesn’t know any local cab numbers. Texts her son who lives nearby and he’s at work so doesn’t reply. She Googles and finds a number, rings it and they pick her up at 6.50pm. She gets to the airport, checks in, goes through customs and departures, checks her watch, hmmm, 6.50pm, got ages yet, sits down, reads her book, checks her watch again, hmmm, 6.50pm, got ages yet, carries on reading. LAST CALL for Air Canada flight xxx to Las Vegas. She checks her watch, 6.50pm, oh, must be two flights to Las Vegas tonight. I wonder if they will let me on the early flight, that would be great, I’d be there early. SO, she picks up her boarding pass and passport and goes to the gate for the flight. Great, no one says anything and she thinks she’s managed to get an earlier flight. Amazing, the seat number on her boarding pass just happens to be empty on this flight too. Perfect. She sits down and gets ready for take off, amazed at how clever she is that she’s going to get to Vegas early and not wondering for even one second how she’s managed to get on a flight she’s not booked on with the current state of security. It took another hour for her to realise it was still 6.50pm and there was something amiss. * Words fail me, lol. This same friend was with me last year in Vegas and her daughter met us there. They (not me, thank goodness) had a trip to the Grand Canyon in a hire car, South Rim which takes at least five hours each way, didn’t leave The Strip until 10am and decided to do the full tour at Hoover Dam on the way, then when the daughter had asked twice whether they had enough gas Pat finally realised she had been looking at the temperature gauge instead of the gas and they were on empty. That’s another whole story! I love her though really. * Anyway, needless to say, I’m in charge when we meet in Vegas. * Food Every morning was breakfast at Ellis Island, $10 for eggs, bacon, potatoes, toast, jelly and tea, including tip. Perfect start each morning. Only had a ten minute wait once. After Pat left I ate at Sidewalk Café in Bally’s. No different to Ellis Island but twice the price and a long queue but luckily I skipped that. * Gordon Ramsay Steak in Paris. Couldn’t decide on this again or Gallaghers at NYNY but as we were there we decided on GR. NOW, amazingly Pat’s brain starts working and impresses me no end. Anyone who has been knows the entrance to the restaurant is through a type of tunnel thing. Pat says, is that the Channel Tunnel from London (Gordon Ramsay) to Paris (Hotel). Well, she was right and it hadn’t even occurred to me. The Diamond card held no sway here but we got a table right away in the bar section, as compared to an hour wait for the restaurant. We had fillet steak, beans in tempura batter and a baked potato between us. The steak was fantastic, the beans were thicker than I had last time and were nowhere near as good. Instead of being thin, cooked and delicious, they were thicker and just shown a bit of boiling water for about a minute I should think. We shared it all and enjoyed it but I think Gallaghers is better now. Haven’t tried any of the other steak houses so can only compare these two. * We had the free MyVegas buffet at Luxor which was OK, not worth going all that way for unless it’s free or you’re staying there. Probably on a par with most others in the same category. * Entertainment Spent an evening at The Piano Bar with Duelling Pianos at Paris. It was OK but the guys weren’t as good as we’ve seen previously. Parasol Down Bar at Wynn to see the Shows on The Lake. Saw the frog which is my favourite so I was very happy. I love that frog. * Shows Nathan Burton: Second time I’ve seen this and it’s a great show. First time was free tickets, tried again and was told $10 booking fee so didn’t bother, this time was told $5.50 booking fee so we went, really good show for not a lot of money. Really enjoyed it and had a good laugh. * Jubilee: Ballys. Used the two free Diamond tickets. It was a good show and a huge cast, approx 50-60 people, in it, the costumes were amazing. I wasn’t aware before that it was topless. I thought it was just the late show that was topless and this one was the 7.30pm show. That didn’t bother me, however I was very surprised at the lack of what these females had ‘up top’. Two were so flat chested I thought they could have been male. For sure I thought they looked much better when they had tops on. I don’t suppose many males would agree with me but I was very surprised by this. Not one had more than a AA cup size. Entertaining show though and very spectacular. Glad I’ve seen it but not one I’d see again. * Now to the Gambling Best I’ve ever done. Despite my practising for hours before my trip on Craps I didn’t play it at all, every time Bubble Craps had spare seats I didn’t have the time. Played a lot of 4 Card Poker and mostly won each session. After big losses the last few years I have finally realised I am never going to get ‘the big one’ and was determined this time to stop when I was up instead of waiting until it was gone again. This worked well on everything. Played a bit of Blackjack Switch but not as much as previous trips. Bally’s have one table at $10 ordinary BJ with 3:2, all other tables are 6:5. I couldn’t see any signs identifying which one was 3:2 and had to ask each time, but there was always one. While playing on the tables I noticed black discs about two inches across with numbers on placed by the dealer on the table. I had no idea what these were until someone asked. We were told it was because there was a Diamond player seated there and the number corresponded to the seat number. Why does it matter? Says me. Evidently the cocktail waitresses have to go right there and look after you, they must have had complaints. Don’t know if this is new or not but not something I’ve noticed before. This was at Bally’s, don’t know if it’s all CET casinos but I expect so. * Video Poker I haven’t played much of this in the past but I like Deuces Wild so had tried to get the strategy correct before my trip. I had the paytable book with me and was trying to work out the Triple Play Deuces at Bally’s and had come up with over 100% payback. I knew this was wrong but couldn’t work out why I kept coming up with that figure. I asked four members of staff and no one had a clue about it. Eventually I realised that the paytable I was looking at paid 4,700 for a RF and not 4,000 which I was assuming they all were. This made the machines at Bally’s the worse ones ever, as I suspected. Still, I did well on them. Got four deuces on the main hand the first day for $600 and was very happy with that. I got the four deuces every day apart from the last one of my holiday. That sure helped the bankroll. * Slots Had a nice win on Tarzan with an all pays pay scatter and won $400 on $1.50 bet. Mostly played Sex and The City, Epic Monopoly, Michael Jackson, Tarzan and a few others. Have learnt my lesson on max bet and did mostly minimum bet and up to $1.50 occasionally. Didn’t lose much on that basis. * Shopping North Outlet Mall for the grandkids. Didn’t buy much as was quite disappointed at the choice this time, maybe it’s the wrong time of year, usually I spent hundreds but this time it was only about $50 or so. * Funny Story Last night on my trip and on my own. I got into the elevator with my hot chocolate. Lots of people in the elevator including a couple who were quite inebriated. Guy and girlfriend (I think!). Anyway, she had a very short skirt, big boobs and no bra and was quite drunk. She looked at my hot chocolate and said ‘that looks tasty’. I said, yep, hope so, going to bed now with this. Guy starts fondling her boobs and says ‘same here, I’m going to bed with these’. Gave everyone a good laugh, particularly when I said, ‘I’d rather have the hot chocolate, but enjoy your night’. Only in Vegas. * Conclusion Had seven days in total and came home only $100 lighter than when I went. That includes all gambling, hotel, food, shows, cabs, etc. Can’t complain at that. A great week for very little money. Hope I can do the same again in August. * Bad Me Was up about $500 the night before I left but of course had to be stupid just for the two hours before going to the airport. Maybe I’ll learn this lesson for next time. Don’t gamble on the day you go home! * Jetlag Melatonin 10mg slow release, two tablets, works wonders. * Sorry it was a bit disjointed but trying to remember what happened each day with hindsight was never going to happen.