Got in about 10pm from Tucson. Pilot was doing the wing waggle all the way down to a chorus of uuhs & aaahs. Landed on one wheel and then bounced the other one down. Temp was 94 and WINDY. Grabbed the CAT to downtown and was checked into the Fitz by 11pm. Took my luggage up and checked out the room. Standsrd Holiday Inn (Barden has discontinued the franchise) in great shape with 27" TV, payforview movies (who goes to Vegas to watch TV?), iron/board, inroom safe and coffee maker/coffee. Had read that elevators were slow but I was on the 23rd floor and never had a problem. Not the Golden Nugget but definitely No. 2 downtown. Had a shrimp cocktail at the Golden Gate, caught the Sunspots last set at the Omaha Lounge and spent til about 2am at the Horseshoe BJ tables contributing to the cause. Next morning took my juice (Bloody Mary-doc told me not to drink anymore so I don't drink any more-just about the same as always) and a cigar (doc told me to stop smoking cigarettes) out on Lucky's Lookout and watched the world go by. Then it was down to the El Cortez for late breakfast and a little BJ-still losing. My friend from California arrived at noon as promised and, after taking her luggage to the room, it was off to Harrahs where we caught the shuttle to the Rio. Cashed my rebate check and bought tickets to Ronn Lucas then settled at a BJ table to wait for the show. Lights kept going out and when we finally went to get in line there was a sign "Due to the weather no show today". Both Gerry and I wanted to see it so back to the box office and exchanged for Wednesday. Then across the street to the Gold Coast-almost got blown away. The temps had dropped and the wind was blowing a ton of sand around (closed the airport for 3 hours). Stopped for a hot dog at the race book-maybe not the best in Vegas but close. Got tickets for the Wednesday performance of Honky Tonk Angels and decided we best get back downtown due to the weather. Now it was really getting cool with a real wind chill factor. Stopped at the Fitz for my windbreaker (for Gerry-chivalry is not dead-I wore goose bumps) and some people were even in down parkas with the hood up over their shorts. Played a little VP at the Plaza; me at FP JOB and Gerry at FP DW. She's got a mind like a steel trap especially for numbers and can work the strategy for Dueces. Then to the California for Prime Rib. Great food, great service, great deal. Saw them serving huge platters of snow crab and decided we'd have to come back another night for that. Then finished the night off at Binions at BJ til about 1am as I hadda get up to go to Grand Canyon the next day and Gerry was tired from the drive. I'm still losing but Gerry is up a little. Up at 5AM!!-this is the time you should be getting in! Grabbed a Bloody Mary to go and I was off to the GC. Gerry rolled over and looked at me with one eye,"you're an ass". She was going shopping ( I know guys-but it must be a woman thing) as she had seen the "big hole in the ground". For those of you considering it, eat breakfast-their continental breakfast was BAD and so was their buffet lunch. The ride was LOOONG. I thought I would be able to sleep through most of it but the speaker from the movies they showed was right over my head. They are going over Hoover Dam now but I really feel you are better off taking the fly/bus deal even at the higher price. Got back to the Fitz at 10pm and found Gerry at the BJ tables. She had eaten so we went to the Golden Gate Deli and she had a shrimp cocktail while I got a corned beef to go with my shrimp. She had gotten us matching sweatshirts and a ton of other stuff that I had to listen to her giving a blow by blow about for a half hour. In all fairness she gave me two minutes to tell her about my trip. Then it was down to the El Cortez were we did both the VP and BJ deal til after 2am. I'm still losing; she's still doing good. Up about 8am and over to Main Street Station for a buffet breakfast. It had been going downhill the last two times I was there but now it's hit bottom (and it used to be my favorite even over the Nugget). The only thing edible was the omelette (yes, they still have the great omelette chef) and the service was horrible. The only time the waitress asked if we needed anything was when we got up to leave (looking for a tip?)-the rest of the time we had to holler across the room to get her attention. Since coffee, juice, etc. is not self serve this meant a constant hollering match. I'm not giving it another chance. Back to the RIO where we saw the Ronn Lucas show. Great!! Maybe even steal the best afternoon show title from Mac King. Over to the Palms-first time for both Gerry and me. Curious mix-kinda upscale (strip)low roller (locals). Dropped a few quarters in the VP machines to say we had played there but couldn't find any full pay so then to the Gold Coast where I found a FP JOB and FINALLY started to win back some of my money. Gerry had to drag me away to eat at the buffet. We had taken the buffet with the dinner show as we wanted to try it due to all the hoop-a-loo. Trust me folks-this is the best buffet value in Vegas bar none. Loved the custom you pick stir fry at the mongolian station but there are seven stations in all and we couldn't begin to sample from each. Asked for a "little white meat" at the BBQ carving station and got a quarter chicken. Huge room but the service was fantastic. LVA knew what he was talking about. Honky Tonk Angels was great. I'm not the biggest country fan but most of their music was cross over to pop so it was good for everyone. Did a litle BJ at the Fitz but went to the room early as Gerry had to leave the next day (she had a morning meeting Friday) and we hadn't had a chance to spend much quality time together. Gerry still winning. I'm still down but beginning to slow the slide. Up about 8am. Gerry does the packing bit and we get the stuff to her car. Then it's to the El for a comped breakfast. Now service there is always slow but this morning they were out to make MSS look good. Then a little BJ and Gerrys off for LA a winner all four days. I go back to Binions were I play BJ all day but end up about where I started. Back to the California for those snow crab legs. Great food, great service, great price. Down to the Plaza where I play a little FP JOB and catch another set of the Sunspots (corny I know but I like 'em). Back to the Fitz where I find a BJ table and the guy setting there warns me that the dealer is murder. After losing the next 8 hands (both of us) we decide to quit but gotta wait for the drinks we ordered. They slip in a new dealer, so what the heck. Him and I start a streak that runs for hours. Good game, good people, good times. Didn't useta like the Fitz casino-now it's one of my favorites. Funny what a little luck will do. Off to bed about 3am. Have just about won back everything I was down. Up about 8:30 and start packing. Then down to check out and leave my bag at the bell station. Over to the Nugget buffet. Line is out the door, move up three slot machines in 15 minutes, guy behind me doesn't care-he drops $10 in each of them. Can't spend my last day in line so I go back to the Fitz buffet. Barden has remodelled and improved it but it still isn't anything to brag about. Back to the BJ tables at the El figuring I'll finish up the trip later at the Fitz. Hit another streak and finally force my way out just in time to get up to Lucky's Lookout to watch the opening parade for Mardi Gras. Grab my bag from the Bell Captain and fight through the crowds to the DTC. One of these days I'm gonna stay for the whole Mardi Gras-looks like a real wild party weekend. Take the CAT back to the airport and get there about 10:00. My flights a redeye about 11:45 so with the new secuity rules (don't get me started on that subject)I'm running just about on time and get a snack and a beer to hold me over til Indianapolis. Gotta start planning my fall trip as I didn't get to do as much as planned (too much sleeping time). Hopefully Gerry'll be able to get some time off again then. Still it was a great trip and when you can come home a winner to boot it's pure heaven!