Our flight arrived on time at 9:30am, which meant that we had a full day available to us. It was nice to have, but it also meant that we had to get up at 5 that morning, so it did leave us a little bedraggled all day. I think next time we will choose a slightly later flight that will make us more rested. We took a cab straight to Mirage to check in (our cab driver was a Philly native who was very nice and didn't even attempt to long haul us). Our first two nights were to be in a tower suite earned through MyVegas, followed by two nights in a standard room. When we arrived, all that was available was a smoking room. We went up and determined it was too smoky for us (I smoke, but never in my room), so we went back down and checked our bags while a nonsmoking room became available. We then walked down to Cosmopolitan to meet our four friends who were staying there that night. We gambled there for a bit and then walked to Bellagio to see the slightly underwhelming display in the Conservatory. Two of our friends were Vegas Virgins, so a lot of our activities this trip were going to be oriented around them, which was a nice change of pace: visiting places we've not been to in a long time. From Bellagio, we headed through Vdara to Aria for some light gambling. We crossed the street and walked through PH and Paris. At that point we left them to see if we could check in, stopping at the margarita, mojito, and lemonade kiosk outside Caesars, which is a tradition. Mmmmm, adult lemonades. We realized we were starving, so we stopped at PJ Clarke's for their happy hour, something we'd always wanted to try but had not yet made it to. We had the oysters, sliders, and mac and cheese, all of which were excellent. When we got back to Mirage, I found Mark, a great desk agent, and he told us he had upgraded us to a penthouse suite (he had also tried to get us into a suite for our last two nights, but was unsuccessful). The suite was very nice, as was the view south (though the Love wrap was very distracting). The decor was nicely modern and the room was very comfortable. After dropping off our stuff and lounging for a bit, we headed back to Cosmo to meet our friends for a light dinner at the Milos happy hour. We didn't eat much, but we were pretty disappointed: the portions were very small even for the price, and the service spotty. We had enjoyed a great lunch there before, but the happy hour was a miss. We gambled at Cosmo a bit before heading to Bally's for the Veronic Voices show, for which we'd gotten the free tickets through the Ticketmaster deal. The show was good, though I don't think I'd spend much more than what we did for it. She had some very good impressions, but even at ninety minutes the show dragged for me at times. After the show, we headed to Ellis Island for drinks and karaoke. The drinks and vibe were great as usual, but the karaoke machine was down, which sucked since most of us sing (I met my friends in a choir) and we were really looking forward to it. We headed back to Mirage disappointed, tired, but also a little tipsy and pretty satisfied after a long, great day. In the morning, we decided to try the Harrah's buffet since we had never been before and I had a two-for-one coupon and some reward credits to use. It was fine, but I don't need to go back. We did some light gambling at Casino Royale and Mirage before making the long walk down to MGM to meet our friends. We stopped at Fresh in the Miracle Mile shops to get two of those huge drinks since I'd bought a Groupon for them. They were tasty (the strawberry daiquiri was much better than the margarita) and ridiculous and kept us hydrated for the walk. The walk only convinced me that I'm a mid- or north-strip kind of guy: the crowds and vibe down south are just not my thing. We got the guys at MGM and then walked over to Excalibur, through Luxor, and then to MB. When we got off the escalators from Mandalay Place, before us was the Deal or No Deal "All Deals, No Reels" slot which they'd already been playing, but which we hadn't. Each bet spins the wheel, which either lands on a wedge where you add money to cases or get to the bonus round. Three of us sat in the love seat and took turns betting, while the other three sat behind and cheered. We made quite the spectacle playing (I think the yard drinks might have helped) and it was a lot of fun. We walked around the pool a bit and then headed back to Mirage while they went to Cosmo to pick up their stuff and then check in at Mirage, where they were spending their last two nights. After they checked in, they decided they were hungry, so I suggested PJ Clarke's since we enjoyed it so much. We again had a great experience, having a few bites to eat and a few drinks. We returned to Mirage, where they headed to Love, while we went to the Hard Rock where we were seeing Pet Shop Boys. Before the concert, we decided to eat at Culinary Dropout. We chose the $25 pre-theater prix fixe dinner which includes an appetizer, entree, and "dessert": a 32-ounce can of beer. I chose the pretzel bites with provolone fondue and fried chicken with mashed potatoes. Both of them were very good. I don't think I would go out of my way to return (service was a bit spotty), but it was a good deal and a good meal. The concert was excellent, the crowd fun, and the venue great. We headed back to Mirage, where we met the guys for a nightcap at the Sports Bar (poor service, but I really like that bar for some reason). Saturday morning, we checked out of our suite and into a regular room. Unfortunately, they only had ones with two queens instead of a king, but we took it anyway. We met the guys at Cravings since three of us had gotten the two free buffet reward from MyVegas. I have always liked Cravings: I think it's the best of the second-tier buffets (> PH, Paris, etc.). We were not disappointed, and had a great server in Maria, who hooked us up with to-go cups filled with champagne. Those got us to Wynn and Encore where we gambled for a while and drank even more (gotta love their cocktail service and quality). Despite my protests, we then went to the other end of the luxury scale and hit Circus Circus. I actually had a decent time playing Three Card Poker for a while. As we were walking out, we came across the other kind of Deal or No Deal slot: it's a "community gaming" slot where five people every ten minutes (as long as you qualify, which is pretty easy to do) play the game. We again had a great time, making something of a scene ("NO DEAL, MOTHERFUCKER!"). One friend had the winning case twice in a row, which meant...something. From there, I had to introduce them to the Fireside Lounge, which they loved. We hit their happy hour for drinks, wings, and chips, and had a groovy time. That basically functioned as our dinner. We got back to Mirage and found out the front desk had worked a little more magic and turned our standard, low-floor room to a "premium" room facing the volcano with a king bed. Then, we just chilled out in the room (we did a lot of day-drinking) before gambling a bit downstairs. It was our friends' last night, so we saw the last two Bellagio fountain shows before returning to Mirage for some more Deal or No Deal of both varieties, and some munchies-driven fries and rings from BLT burger (very tasty and so convenient, having that to-go counter). Maria had given us some two-for-one coupons the day before, so we returned to Cravings and had another great meal and another round of to-go champagnes. We headed over to Palms to use our slot play coupons we bought online. We had to kick a loitering old guy out of a seat, but we hit the Deal or No Deal slots once again. From there we cabbed to NYNY so two of us could use our $75 vouchers at the Times Square bar from MyVegas. We had a couple rounds and some snacks, which were tasty enough, though I don't know if I have to return. We decided we all had to do the roller coaster, which the two of us hadn't done in years: it was more fun than I remembered, and I was glad we did it. From there, we walked through MC to get to Aria, where we redeemed our MyVegas vouchers for a slice and a beer at Five50, both of which were very tasty. We made our way back to Mirage through Bellagio for some more fountains and Caesars so the newbies could see its insanity. We loaded up on candy from the Sugar Factory thanks to MyVegas and headed up to the room to hang out with the guys before they left for their red-eye home. After bidding them adieu, we headed straight for downtown where we did a circuit. We hit MSS for craps (bad) and VP (good), Plaza for quick roulette using some matchplay coupons (profit!), Golden Gate for blackjack (profit gone), The D (where we planned to gamble but couldn't find an available table; besides it was a bit too loud and crazy for my mood), El Cortez for some VP, Four Queens for some craps for a good while with some good people, and then back to MSS for an extended session of VP. Energy, buzzes, and bankrolls all fading, we returned to Mirage. We woke up and decided that on our last morning we should have a "nice" meal, since we had had a pretty erratic dining schedule this trip. After deciding we didn't want to wait at Bouchon, we headed to Tableau at Wynn, which we hadn’t been to before and was exactly what I wanted. We ate outside in a beautiful setting and had a relaxing, delicious meal. My banana sour cream pancakes topped with granola were excellent. We gambled for a bit more at Wynn before heading back to Mirage and then the airport. Gambling pretty much roundly sucked this trip, but since we didn't pay for rooms (MyVegas and mLife combined for $39 total for four nights) or airfare (used points), I guess I can't complain. It was our first time staying at Mirage, and while the rooms and staff were great, I don't love the casino, so I don't know if I need to return anytime soon. It was fun being with a group and visiting places we hadn't been to in a while and seeing Vegas through the eyes of Vegas Virgins. We hadn't been in a year, which was a longer span than usual, so we are glad we are heading back in March because I don't think I can do that long again!