Well, I've certainly read enough of everyone's Trip Reports on this board, so I think it's time that I give back with one of my own. The first day is very boring, as you have to set it up and explain how you got there etc, but hopefully the coming days reports will be better. Day 1 Two years ago, I stayed @ the Encore on a 3 night comp. The room was absolutely amazing, the hotel was incredible, the service, was absolutely phenomenal. Ever since then, Iâ€™ve been waiting for another offer like such to come swinging by. Well, around the end of October, that long overdue, but surely welcomed offer finally arrived in my inbox. If offered me another 3 night stay, 2 Le Reve tickets, $150 in slot credits and an upgrade to a room @ the Encore. This offer was truly a no-brainer; I simply could not pass it up. I put out the word and once again, found a friend who was willing to go with me on a crazy adventure. This friend who has never gone to Vegas before in his life, only witnessed scenes of it in television shows and movies, had no idea what he was in for when he agreed to join me on my trip. Letâ€™s call him Frank. I had warned Frank that I literally get 3-4 hours of rest each night and that weâ€™re always constantly on the go and there will be a ton of walking. Frank said sure, that wouldnâ€™t be a problem! He must have thought I was joking! Iâ€™ll start the story off by recalling the first memorable memory. So, weâ€™re sitting at the gate waiting for the plane to arrive, weâ€™re informed that itâ€™s slightly delayed, it should be here in the next 15 minutes or so and that we should be able to board shortly after they clean up the seats. They ensure us that all the connecting flights at this point will be able to be completed. Weâ€™re just sitting there not really doing anything, Iâ€™m listening to my MP3 Player, and heâ€™s on his new fancy phone playing his games. I decide to lean my head back on the chair and get some shut eye, my eyes are closed for maybe two minutes at most, yet I have an eerie feeling going on inside my head, itâ€™s going â€œSomeoneâ€™s watching you!â€. So I pop my head back up and there he is, Frank is just staring at me, silently watching me sleep. OMG! Awkward! I can only imagine what was going on through his head @ that time. In the interest of not ruining my trip, I decide not to inquire further about it; I will just pretend that never happened. After we board the plane and some light conversation, I find out that he doesnâ€™t sleep on planes; he canâ€™t, for some reason. Then all of a sudden he goes frantically rifling through his bag, not once, but twice. I was unable to fathom a reason at the time as to what he was looking for. It seemed like he misplaced something really important though, but the look on his face seemed like he was about to cry. I couldnâ€™t bring myself to ask what he was looking for, so I asked â€œis everything okay?â€ thatâ€™s when he told me that he lost his brown envelope, which contained all of his Vegas spending money. Uh-oh! We get to the Detroit airport and Iâ€™m starved! So before we board on the next plane, we make a quick stop @ McDonaldâ€™s and we each grab a Big Mac combo to inhale on the plane. He inhales all of his food in no time, â€˜man that guyâ€™s fast!â€™ About half way into the flight, he wakes me up because he has to go potty, so I have to disturb the guy sitting next to me, as I was sitting in the middle. As Frank leaves, the guy makes small talk with me, asks me if weâ€™re going for work or for fun, I tell him fun. Then ask him the same question, he says heâ€™s going for work, heâ€™s got a conference, and itâ€™s on Power Engineering. Huh! I have no idea what Power Engineer does. But would you look @ that, I learnt about another profession on another trip to Vegas. Vegas is very knowledgeable! We arrive safely, only a few people at the upper rows clap, I was expecting more excitement that people would stand up, shout hoorays, say stupid shit, because I certainly was ready to do it too, but nobody did it. Too bad, maybe next time. Next time? Yes, there will be a next time! We de-board and have to take the tram to the baggage carousel, Iâ€™ve been here twice before, but I canâ€™t seem to recall having to take the tram to the baggage claim, I must be getting old. We stop @ Carousel 7 and wait, and wait, and wait some more. I didnâ€™t even realize there were only a few people left until I started bringing myself back to reality, thatâ€™s when we went to the lost baggage to file a claim. Long story short, our flight was delayed, so our bags didnâ€™t make the connection, the lady opening up the claim said that we could go buy some necessities and then send the bill over to head office and weâ€™ll get reimbursed for it. We wanted some guidelines on what we could buy, and how much we could spend. She mentioned a $75 Kenneth Cole shirt, that they might reimburse you $50 for it. But in reality she didnâ€™t know. So we decided that once we got back to the hotel weâ€™ll call head office and inquire. Enough of the prologue letâ€™s get this show on the road already! I have no idea what time it is at this point, probably 10PM Vegas time? Still early right? Plus we get an extra hour too, due to daylight savings. We hail a cab, hop in and I say â€œExcalibur please, no tunnel!â€ The cabbie laughs. Cabbie: No tunnel eh? Boy youâ€™d have to be real creative to get to the Excalibur via tunnel. <dot dot dot> Yeah, I guess you could. <insert chuckle> Frank: Yeah, we just wanted to cover our bases, yano. Cabbie: You guys Canadian? I thought so, that tunnel thing is only a Canadian thing, I tell yah, 90% of my passengers who ask for no tunnel are Canadians. Not all of us are crooks yano, I just donâ€™t get it, why go all out of your way just to make a buck! Iâ€™m not sure if he was an actual stand up guy, or he was just saying that â€˜cause we knew to ask him to not take the tunnel. We get to the hotel, he gets out of his cab and begins to open up his trunk, force of habit? We kindly remind him that we donâ€™t have luggage, I give him around $15 for the ride, I think. We get to the front desk for check-in, time to try the $20 trick. I hand over all of my information, she takes it and says letâ€™s see, and goes â€œOh, they already upgraded you, no needâ€ and hands me the $20 back. I wanted to tip her a $5 spot, but then realized she didnâ€™t even do anything! We tell her that they lost our luggage and asked if there was any place in the hotel or around here that we could buy some necessities? She tells us that there is a store in the lobby over there! Awesome! We get up to the room, drop our things off, use the washroom, and call head office. The guy from head office wasnâ€™t able to tell us what spending limit we had either. I guess no one really knew, otherwise everyone would max out on it. This room was suppose to be a newly renovated Widescreen room. It was just like the room I had @ the Paris hotel, nothing too fancy, oh well something to look forward to tomorrow. We find the store do a quick look around, they donâ€™t have what we need. We go to the front desk again and ask a lady there, about where is the closest Wal-Greenâ€™s so that we can buy some stuff. She tells us that itâ€™s down the street from the MGM. Oh cool! We know where the MGM is, we saw it as we were coming in! But wait, she didnâ€™t tell us which direction. North, East, South, West? Ah well, weâ€™ll ask again, once we make it to MGM. We get to MGM and start making our way up the strip, looking for that Wal-Greenâ€™s, still nothing in sight, so we ask again since I wanted to make sure we were headed in the correct direction, we still havenâ€™t eaten at this point yet! We finally get there, probably spend about 30 minutes going through the store, looking for all the things we needed to buy, toothbrush, toothpaste, underwear, socks, shirt, sweatpants, 99 cent Arizona Iced tea, spicy Cheetos. We each ended up spending about $50 there. We quickly head back to the hotel to drop our things off, then quickly head on back out to go find that legendary In-N-Out Burger. We can easily spot it, but itâ€™s on the other side of the freeway? How on earth are we going to get across that? I read on the internet that some where there is a sidewalk that leads us to a crossing on the sidewalk. Luckily Frank is l33t @ video games and was able to find the hidden pathway. We head in, holy cow! The lineup is long! Itâ€™s probably 1am right now, and all the drunks are piling in, we wait in line and place our orders. Holy cow! These burgers are good! What do they put in them? Theyâ€™ve got a slight crunch to them; I suspect that the secret to the burger is fresh toppings, lettuce and tomatoes. We head on out and make our way back to the strip. No word of a lie, as weâ€™re standing at the intersection waiting to cross a random black guy strolls along shouting â€œHEY YOU WANT COCAINE? TRY BEFORE YOU BUY, FREE SAMPLE. COCAINE, MAN." We just ignored him and laughed about it afterwards. The original plan was to go clubbing after eating @ the burger joint, but since they lost our luggage and our clothes were in there, that plan went to shit. We then head on over to the Hooters hotel to try and find some $3 blackjack for Frank since heâ€™s a newbie and all, and needs to build up his comfort zone. They have 2 $3 tables going on, and of course theyâ€™re all full, we walk around for a bit more, only to discover that the waitresses are all really saggy looking and that the players desk is closed. So we head out and head on over to the Tropicana. They just remodeled the place, so the place looks pretty clean and neat. The floors are milky colored, so they have a very bright atmosphere to it. Of course being 2AM right now, the Players Desk is also closed, oh well. I didnâ€™t have any of my players cards on me, as they were all in my luggage, but I said what the heck, letâ€™s sit down and show the newbie how itâ€™s done. Played for a bit, not too long and walked away up a bit. I just wanted some spending money, so it wasnâ€™t hard to walk away. After that we just headed back to the hotel for some rest. It was going to be a long day tomorrow. Notes: â€¢ The giant slot machine that they have outside of the Tropicana, is no longer there, so now you canâ€™t spin it and get a free deck of cards. â€¢ Dan Marinoâ€™s inside Hooterâ€™s is gone. No more $0.25 chicken wings â€¢ Jerry McCambridge â€“ The Mentalist, no longer performs @ Hooters.