I guess they say better late than never, but I still must apologize for taking over two months to post this trip report. I kind of ramble through this so bear with me. WOW!!! This luckily was a recurring feeling on this trip. It started with some planning in September and booked about 5 weeks prior. It looked like a solo trip for me as I can never talk my friends into Vegas - they are more beach and cruise people. My parents and I decided separate trips would be best so that we did not have to worry about someone to watch my daughter. I checked with my younger sisters and J said she could not go because she was busy with being the maid of honor in her friend's wedding this month. L said she did not have the funds to go. Now I do not mind flying Vegas solo, but I do prefer to have someone else there so that I do not gamble every waking hour. Without someone to sit and talk with while playing slots, vp, or whatever, I could not help, but gamble relentlessly. To help preserve my bankroll I convinced sister L to come with and I would pay for her flight and meals (I figured paying her way would cost less than gambling 24/7). She was reluctant but finally agreed so I booked our flights. (ok I lied, I actually booked the tickets before she agreed to go, but who turns down a FREE trip to Mecca?) Within 24 hours of finding out sister L was going to Vegas, sister J decided she was not as busy as she thought so we booked one more plane ticket. DAY ONE Our flight was out of Indy @ 7:30am (which is actually 6:30 our time) and I had alarm set for 1:40 so I could get up, call them, shower and be out the door around 2:30-3:00am. We wanted to hit up our Vegas routine of White Castle before we hit the airport. I awoke at 3:10 â€“ SH*T. We finally left town @ 3:45 â€“ no White Castle this morning. To add to the mix it was foggy as hell out too. After a hair-raising hour and a half trip we finally were in the Economy parking lot and boarded the shuttle with about 45 minutes to spare. Security was no problem this morning and we were at the gate with about a 20 minute wait before boarding our plane. Disaster averted! We always fly Southwest to Las Vegas and I had purchased drink vouchers off ebay. Our flight attendants were not the quickest with drinks and so unfortunately we not over served on the boring flight out. Flight was behind about 10 minutes or so. Once at the airport my sisters got a little surprise as I had booked roundtrip transportation with Presidential Limo. Our limo driver, John, said that since we were only going to NYNY we could wait and have our champagne sent to our room. We informed him that it was a perfect amount of time for us to knock out our J Roget bottle. Arrived at NYNY, checked our luggage with the bellman and headed inside for that first glorious rush of walking into a casino. My offer included three free nights with the fourth night @ $35, $75 freeplay and 20% off three restaurants (America, Gallagherâ€™s, and Gonzalez Y Gonzalez). Headed to the Invited Guest check-in to see what time our room might be ready. She says she has one available now! Asked for a strip view and she said no problem â€“ no credit card sandwich needed, but I did tip her a twenty after she had us set up. She told us the bellman will have the luggage up in ten minutes. We headed to room #2440 via Century elevators by America. Park Avenue room was nice, but nothing special like others on this board have mentioned. Bathrooms are a little on the small side and I definitely prefer the beds at the MGM Grand, but it was fine setup for me as I spend a very minimal amount of time there. Gambling time now! Find a dollar Top dollar machine and stick in a twenty for us to playâ€¦then another twentyâ€¦and anotherâ€¦should hit a top dollar soon, rightâ€¦another twentyâ€¦finally quit after being down about $180.00 within a half hour. Now here is where I should mention my previous dayâ€™s bank run to get my money for the trip. I went thru the drive-up and only half-assed paid attention as the teller counted out around $4200. Got home and counted my money to check the total bankroll with what I already had in my pocket. Wait a minute, something is not right hereâ€¦counted the money three different timesâ€¦and found out that my bank obviously wanted me to have an extra $500 to play with for them. Raced back up to the bank and told them their $500 was not needed. Now let me say that I would have never ever keep that under any circumstance, but the only thing that raced through my mind was: Will the gambling gods reward this act of good karma and hopefully fund a March return trip by letting me maintain a healthy portion of my bankroll??? Back to NYNY â€“ it was not looking to be a good gambling trip at this moment. Decided it was time to eat and headed for some Mexican at Gonzalez Y Gonzalez. As a heads up for people with similar 20% off offers for these NYNY restaurants, they only take them between 3:00 to 7:00 each day which is total bullsh*t from what I specifically asked about during the call to book this offer (I specifically asked if it was anytime we ate at these restaurants during our stay). Offer bs aside, the food was excellent and between the complimentary chips & salsa and our two appetizers we were ready to embark on our traditional casino hopping journey. My first trek is always to the tram at the Excalibur to Mandalay Bay. Played here and there then got some frozen drinks at Evening Call and headed through Mandalay Place to the Luxor. We were feeling pretty good by this time and we walked right by the escalator that leads to the casino. We hung out admiring the atrium for a bit and then headed downstairs. Walk around and no hits so I decide it is time for some VP action at Playbar near the sportsbook. One thing to note: I agree with everyone that 7:5 JOB sucks, but it is the only thing that slows the bleeding when I just want some drinks after DDB kicks my ass. Drinks started flowing and I evidently picked the right machine as this unexpectedly popped up: View attachment 2515 I looked at my sisters and they immediately knew something was up by what L calls my cackling sh*t-eating grin. This definitely helped my outlook as I went from a few hundred down to a few hundred up. We then proceeded to move on to the Excalibur through the connecting walkway. Minor rant - I wish people could figure out that the right side of the moving walkway is for people that want to stand and left for people that walk; do not take up both spots and be completely oblivious to the people that are suddenly right behind you on your ass. As usual at the Excalibur we hit up the Jester Bar for some VP. Things become a little fuzzy here, but I do remember switching to dollar VP and hitting for $400. After that hit put me up more for the trip I decided lets hop in a cab and head to the Orleans. I had never visited the Orleans in my previous 7 trips, but have heard mostly good reports. Got there and went to sign up for a card and play some VP. Umâ€¦maybe Saturday night was not the best night to look for 3 open seats together at any of the bars. Tried some $ Wheel of Fortune and lost about $200. With no open seating at the bars for us we went to Fudruckerâ€™s for some food and then caught a cab back to NYNY. J & L decided for some big 32 oz drinks at The Big Chill and were going to hang out around the piano bar. I told them they could find me at the Lobby Bar playing VP. By this point I had many, many drinks and was enjoying some more when this showed up: View attachment 2516 Two royals within a few hours of each other? Holy Sh*t! I had played a lot of VP in my last several trips and had hit one royal (.25). I realize how lucky this is to hit the right machine at the right time and am very thankful for it. After some more play, we are beat from the long journey day and call it a day around midnight or so. DAY TWO Awake just around fiveâ€¦damn, I just cannot sleep in Vegas. Down in the casino just after 6.00am I hit up the Center Bar for a Bloody Mary and a little VP then move over to a Wheel of Fortune $ machine. Wasted about $140 here with no spins to speak of, and then back to VP for to wait out my sleeping sisters. L calls around 9:00 and says J is just about ready and will be down in fifteen. Around 35 minutes later we are walking through the MGM Grand and after spending about $100.00, I finally make a small profit on a slot after hitting a few Top Dollars. On to the monorail, with a short stop at 32 degrees for a beer, andâ€¦ up the escalator andâ€¦ oh hurry girls the monorail is here and we donâ€™t want to wait until the next one. Get off at Imperial Palace and head up the escalator for breakfast at Hash House a Go Go. Girls each order a Quesadilla and then the waitress informs them that most people cannot eat half of one so they should split â€“ very sound advice. I order the Andyâ€™s Sage Fried Chicken Benedict. Both of our meals were excellent and I told my parents they have to try this place when they come out next month. I will definitely add this to my have-to-make-this-at-least- once-a-trip list. After breakfast, we played for a bit at one of the vp bars until the bartenders switched and the new one required max play from my sisters for drink comps. Oh well, time to head out anyway. We cab and back to the hotel and head north to the Monte Carlo. Once in the casino I notice the new Ignite lounge area that replaced many of the slots at the entrance. Very nice area, but I still would like to visit the 2004 version, before the extensive remodeling, which is where I broke my gambling cherry. I mean the new casino, restaurants, high limit rooms, etc are very nice in the new MGM moderne way, but sometimes I long for the days with more variety in the casinos and the surrounding areas. Anyways, we gambled a bit through here with me blowing through $100+ in short order before I got bailed out with a few good Top Dollar hits and came out a little ahead. We decide to head on to the next stop and walk back through the shops at MC. Of course we have to stop to get L & J a frozen drink (The Big Chill again? â€“ hard to keep up with all these frozen drink places now), I grab myself a Stella Artois and then we are off the Aria. I never realized how close the casino was as last time I was back in this area we had to take the tram to Bellagio as Aria was a couple of days away from opening. I must say that I like the Aria casino, but damn, I cannot win anything here. After another $100 money dump we move on through the Crystals to the tram and over to the Bellagio. I figure it might have been just as quick to walk on over, but for some reason I always like hitting up the different trams. Details start to get a little fuzzy from here on out as I have put down quite a few drinks (this becomes a re-occurring theme as I always had at least two to three hours every morning waiting for my sisters to arise â€“ and spent most of that sipping Bloody Marys at the VP bars at NYNY). I know we gave the Bellagio a little play and then made our way over to Caesarâ€™s. We put some $ through the machines and were getting a little hungry so we head over through the Forum Shops towards the Mirage. I really wanted to grab a cigar and drink at Casa Fuente, but knew my sisters would be starving by the time I finished my smoke so it is still on my to-do list. One other thing of note: out of the all the time we could have been in Vegas at the Forum shops, we picked the one day that Pete Rose would be signing autographs. What an amazing coincidence! So we make it to the Mirage and made perfect timing for Happy Hour at BLT Burger. We ordered three appetizers and L & I each got a different milkshake while Jodie thought she would like a Blue Moon â€“ which she did like until she tried each of our milkshakes! Cannot remember the names, but mine tasted like they made it out of chocolate cake batter â€“ fantastic shake, but pricey. We then ventured into the casino and played a Top Dollar slot together. We doubled our money with a good bonus round and then lost some back individually on different machines. The girls decided tonight they wanted to get a table at the piano bar at NYNY so we grabbed a cab and headed back. We played a bit of vp and decided to grab a bite to eat at Chin Chin Chinese CafÃ© & Sushi Bar. We decided to get a bottle of wine with dinner and everything was very good. It was my first time to try this place and I would definitely go back. After dinner, I decided I would just stick to some VP at the lobby bar and donâ€™t remember hitting anything of any significance. When my eyelids started to feel too heavy to keep open I decided it was time to call it a night. My sisters woke me up bit later when they stumbled in and were loud and obnoxious for about 10 straight minutes â€“ oh well, I will let them have their fun. Gambling-wise it has been a great trip so far because of the two royals. At this point I think I was up around $1000 or so. DAY THREE I managed to sleep in until around seven this morning. Got up and around and off to the bar for a Bloody Mary. I had a feeling that my sisters were going to be a while today judging by the way they rolled into the room night before. Turns out I was right and was very glad that I grabbed a slice of cheese pizza from Sirricoâ€™s for a little breakfast. They finally managed to make it downstairs a little before noon and we hopped in cab heading towards Paris. Breakfast/Lunch for each of us was a bowl of French onion soup at Mon Ami Gabi. It was very good, but in my opinion not excellent as it has been in trips past. Next we headed outside and walked on over to Ballyâ€™s and had a drink a Sullyâ€™s Pub. This was a quick stop as I knew they would require max credits played and the girls would not want to stay long. They tried another slot machine or two and we were off to Billâ€™s Gamblinâ€™ Hall & Saloon. We head to the back to grab some $ margaritas. We played a little in the back of Billâ€™s and then grabbed some more margaritas for the road. As we were walking out we caught some of Big Elvisâ€™s show. He is truly a very entertaining character. From here we moved on to the Flamingo. Donâ€™t really remember how I did gambling here as the drinks once again start to catch up to me. I do remember taking a quick look at the food court. I always prefer where I stay to have one because it is just so convenient for cheap eats â€“ cheap for Vegas standards anyway. We moved on the Osheaâ€™s and played some vp at the bar. We milked a few drinks here before moving on to Harrahâ€™s. We stopped at Carnaval Court for a drink at the bar. My sisters decided they were going to stay and check out the bands that were playing. I headed into Harrahâ€™s to get my gamble on. I barely made it indoors before noticing Numb, another new frozen drink bar! The gorgeous bartender asked if I would like a sample, and I just could not refuse. I ended up sitting at one of the two vp machines at the end of the bar and watching the Monday Night Football Game. After about three hours, $120 in vp, and several frozen drinks, I decided it may be time to check in with my sisters. I went outside and decided to try a little blackjack at the Carnaval Court tables. The dealers were great, but I just could not get any streaks going. After a $200 loss I went to the bar to see if L & J were ready to move on. I could instantly tell that yes, they were ready to move on â€“ on back to the hotel that is. We grabbed some slices of pizza at New York Pizzeria and then headed back to the room. It was only 9:30 or so, but the girls were ready to crash for the night. I was going to play a bit more, but figured I would get an early start the last day and crashed myself. I was still a bit up on the trip so far, maybe around $200-300 dollars. DAY FOUR I was up, showered, and ready to go around 6:30 Tuesday morning. I was way ahead of where I figured to be with my gambling budget so I decided that today I was going to try to hit â€˜em hard. I go downstairs to the Center Bar and ready to play through my $315 of Freeplay. $75 Freeplay came with my hotel offer and the other $240 was on my card because there was almost 24,000 points ran of my card at Mandalay Bay in February. Hmmmâ€¦I do not remember going to Vegas in February. I give the NYNY Playerâ€™s Club desk credit because they gave the points back to me in Freeplay without any hassle, but I donâ€™t understand how someone played off my account when I have never lost my card. I decided to run it through the vp at the Center Bar playing $1 & $2 DDB and JOB. Sadly no four of a kind would show up and I only managed to cash out around $200. I had several drinks here until my sisters made it down and we headed to America for breakfast. I had the Steak Benedict and it was very good. Today we decided to head through the MGM and take the monorail down to Harrahâ€™s. We played a bit in MGM, grabbed a drink at 32⁰ bar, hopped the monorail, played a bit through Harrahâ€™s, and then headed for Casino Royale. I dumped some money through the vp and WoF machines with no hits to speak of. We grabbed some $ Michelobs and headed for the Venetian. As usual, it was just another money dump here as I can never hit anything. After a bit we walked the shop area towards Palazzo. I stopped at Davidoff along the way and grabbed what was my first and only cigar this trip, although I cannot remember what it was. We went to the Fusion Bar near Dos Caminos where I enjoyed my cigar and we all drank Bloody Marys. We played a bit on our way out and were going to head to Wynn. Before we walked in, we decided that some drinks at the Peppermill sounded better at the moment. I absolutely love the lounge here â€“ excellent atmosphere, drinks, and music. The girls decided to share the Scorpion drink and I went with a Manhattan. We also ordered their appetizer sample platter which hit the spot. After a couple hours and few more drinks I thought it was time to continue north, as I would soon need to print out our boarding passes for the flight the next day. We went and played a little through the Riviera and the Sahara and it amazed me how few people were in these casinos. Up until this point I was surprised at how many people were on the strip. I know the town is not fully recovered, but for our Sat-Wed trip it seemed like there was a good amount of people everywhere we visited. However the casinos at the Riviera and Sahara seemed to be ghost towns in the short time we were through there. Now I love all casinos, but these two places were just depressing with so few people in them. At the Sahara I used the computers by the sports book to print our boarding passes for $5.95 â€“ not bad considering I will usually tip $10 to have the concierge desk print them out for us. After we had our passes we purchased a beer in the shop there and headed towards the monorail. We took that back to MGM and headed through the casino. With all the frozen drink shops throughout the casinos now we were disappointed by one common gripe â€“ none of these places had mudslides. I told the girls we will hit up the Fat Tuesday in the MGM Star Lane shops so they could get their fix, but I will be damned if they did not have mudslides here either. They just had them 11 months ago, but now have changed up like everywhere elseâ€¦ oh well. On back to NYNY we go and I head to the lobby bar for some vp. The girls headed up to the room so they could grab and refill their frozen drink glasses they had got a couple nights before. I was basically breaking even at the vp bar between .25 and $1.00. I kept switching between JOB, BP, and DDB but could never catch a good run. My sisters eventually come over and every time I have a possible good hand I have them hit the button for me. After some sarcastic comments when they cannot seem to complete my 4ok or royal L finally lands me a fourth ace for a couple hundred bucks. I play it down to $200 even and cash in, telling the bartender that I would catch him in a bit. I was on a mission and headed straight for high limit lounge. I figured only being down a couple hundred or so at this point was way better than my acceptable loss figure for this point in the trip so now it is time to lay the smack down on the casino or my bankroll. I head into the lounge and toss in my $200 voucher and play some $1 DDB. My plan was to warm up with a little $1 vp and if I was doing ok I would make the switch to $5. I start playing and my sisters head of to the bathroom. After about ten hands I wind up with this: View attachment 2517 Damnâ€¦why didnâ€™t I start @ $5?! When they came back they seen my â€œoh hell yeah, check this outâ€ grin that I was giving them for the third time this trip. They thought it was another $1000.00 â€“ not this time! After tipping for the handpay and the bartender, I gave them some money to go play for a bit. I switched up machines and tried to hit a club royal just to complete the suits. Alas, I could not quite do it. I managed some more four of a kinds including 4 aces w/out kicker for $800.00. The high limit bar shut down sometime around 3 or 4 in the morning â€“ not really sure since I had drank way too much scotch by that point. We probably spent about 6 hours in there and it all kind of runs together, but I do remember the host on-duty gave me late checkout â€“ thank god because we were not going to be out of the room at 11:00am. I remember J not feeling well and cutting out early and L and I managed to stumble back to the room around 5am. Day Five Wow, did we feel rough this morning. We managed to get up and pack everything and headed downstairs. We walked around the casino, but at this point I was pretty content with not playing much. We decided to try out The Sporting House Bar & Grill. It was pretty good, but I only managed to eat about half of what I had ordered. After this, I went to the Players Club desk and they removed the resort fees for the trip. I just kind of took it easy at this point, waiting for our 2:00 limo pick-up back to the airport. I wasnâ€™t drinking anything other than water because I knew that I had an hour and a half drive home once we got back to Indy. I will cut the rest of this pretty short since I have rambled on too long. The plane ride home was the most scared I have been on a plane. I could not see anything outside because of fog and there was a lot of turbulence on the descent. At one point the plane felt like it just dropped several feet at once, which sort of scared the hell out of me. We finally landed â€“ thank god â€“ and drove home 90 miles through all the fog. I was a very happy person to finally make it to the house after that plane ride and drive. All in all it was another awesome trip to Mecca that was highlighted by THREE royal flushes!!!