Pre-Trip Drama On Sun 8/17, Southwest Airlinesâ€™website announced that passengers could change their flight due to weather concerns. Our plane was scheduled to depart on Tuesday at 10 am.on August 19th: This was exactly when Tropical Storm Fay see photo below.was going to arrive and we were not about to get stuck in Fla while the weather delayed our flight. We (Mom;Hubbyâ€œLâ€ ;and I)decided to leave a day early: Monday 8/18. After making the phone calls to change the flights, secure a room at the Flamingo (we decided to all bunk together for the first night) and arrange for a rental car a day earlier we were set to go. We boarded the plane on time and just when the plane taxied toward the runway the pilot announced that the airport runway had been shut down and could possibly be reopened -update in 30 minutes. We sat and waited, hoped and prayed and miraculously -30 min later-the pilot announced we were cleared for takeoff we were on our way to Kansas City for our connection. The plane from Kansas City to LAS was Â¼ full so we each had 3 seats to stretch out - sweet!As always, the flight attendants were jovial and cracking jokes with us all. They told us to all move to the window seats so if we passed another plane our plane would look full. Vegas! We arrived in Vegas at 9:30 pm and picked up the Thrifty rental car. No line at 10 pm! Arriving at the Flamingo, we were told there was â€œgood news and bad newsâ€. There was no deluxe double queen room available. However, we could have a Go! Room at no additional charge that night(for our inconvenience)and keep it for 25 dollars additional per night or be moved to a regular room on Tuesday between 11 and 1 if we wanted the deluxe room. We arrived in the Go! Room 14-??? and the view was tremendous: Caesars-Bellagio Fountains-Mirage all lit up and sparkling with Vegas magic.What a welcome! It was midnight and we were hungry so off to search for food. Luckily the Victorian Room at Billâ€™s was serving their breakfast special so we hungrily gobbled down our eggs, hashed browns, bacon and mountain of toast for 6.99 each. We tried our luck with a few of our favorite machines at the Flamingo and then collapsed into the sumptuous beds of the Go!room. Tuesday 8/19 In the morning we were awakened by noises outside the window. Opening the curtains we saw that scaffolding was up and a lady was putting up window tinting- or so we thought. Later we found out it was a giant Donny and Marie sign (like the one of Toni Braxton). I hurriedly snapped some photos of our incredible view -see photo below. Mom debated about keeping the GO! Room but decided she could keep her twenty something bucks a day better occupied in the casino. Besides, the bathroom was not user-friendly for her with its marble shower , unconventional lighting and frosted glass walls. We sadly left the giant screen TV, killer sound system, incredible view with automatic bedside curtain closing switches, fabulous closet, luxurious pillow top mattress and headed downstairs to change rooms around 11:30 am. After settling in on the 12th floor we set out for Ballyâ€™s/Paris -see photo below-and then took the free shuttle to Rio. After a tour of the slot machines we decided to try the buffet at around 2 pm. We were first in line but were not seated until 2:45.The hostess explained that it was â€˜change of shiftâ€™. The buffet was ok-nothing special stands out in my mind, except the enormity of the buffet and long wait. Our server was very kind and kept every beverage filled constantly.By this time it was around 4 and we were determined to see the 5 pm show of Big Elvis! He was awesome. We were so happy to finally see him and enjoy his remarkable voice. After an incredible show we went to the room and quickly dressed up for a trip in the rental car for a downtown show: â€œRat Pack is Backâ€ The Plaza. The show was quite enjoyable and the showroom was â€˜old schoolâ€™ as advertised. If you have not seen this, I would definitely recommend it to get the vibe that this era brought to our history. After the show we walked around Freemont street and picked up a few souveniers. L. shot some cool photos of the neon signs. see photo below.The cool folks at Beauty Bar invited us in but we decided to come back another trip without Mom as the band was a bit alternative for her. Back to Flamingo to our Deluxe Room. Wednesday 8/20 We started out the morning with â€˜breakfast barsâ€™ from home and coffee from our mini coffee maker we brought from home on our carry on.. As cheap a__ as this soundsâ€¦it really worked in our favor and saved us at least 20 bucks a day. Yes, you can drink coffee out of the hotel glasses-who knew? The mall was our destination so we drove up to Venetian (it was 105 outside!) and then played a few slot machines. We were hungry at 11:30 so it was Grand Lux for an early lunch. Right after we got there the line stretched out the door and was very long. The servings were huge and the service was average but polite.I like this restaurant for the amazing number of choices and good quality food. After lunch we walked all over the mall and found an ABC store for souvenirs. On our way out we decided to check out Tix4Tonight and they had a good selection of tickets. We decided on La Famme/MGM Crazy Horse 3 tickets were 97.50. We decided to go to the later show at 10:30 so we could have dinner and decided to try Fiamma for dinner around 7 pm We had a great meal with forgettable service (more in restaurant reviews) and got out by 10 to be seated for the show. Even though we were in the third section our view was incredible and the show was amazing. We all enjoyed it very much. Afterwards our day ended at the Flamingo where we played a few slots before bedtime at 1 am. Thursday 8/21 After more in-room coffee and breakfast bars we headed north for our outdoor trip to Mt Charleston. Up, up, up we drove (to 7,000+ feet) and 45 minutes later it was 30 degrees cooler and we had a view of Christmas trees and Lincoln log houses! We had a great lunch at Mt. Charleston Lodge and enjoyed incredible views- see photo below-and scenic overlooks galore. Get out of the city one day and try this place: http://www.mtcharlestonlodge.com/menu/index.html. After a day of nature we decided to head over to the Red Rock Casino. The dÃ©cor is very nice and the casino enormous but we couldnâ€™t win $. After donating generously to â€˜the Red Rock Casino building fundâ€™ we headed back to the Strip Friday August 22 Exhausted from our M-Thursday activities, some of us slept in while some of us visited Billâ€™s for am roulette. â€œLâ€ said he broke even but played for over an hour. We all met up around noon to walk to Harrahâ€™s for the Mac King show. L. scored 9.99 tickets-plus tax and fees (which included a very strong drink). This show was worth 2 or 3 times that â€“ definitely put it on your list of things to do. After the show we decided to walk to Caesars for the buffet. At 2:58 we found the buffet but they wanted to charge us dinner prices, which start at 3pm -it is15-20 bucks more each. Politely, pleading with the hostess got us nowhere (she was MEAN!). No Way were we eating there-so we took our crew to Flamingo buffet-which was closed. Feeling very hungry and crabby and low blood sugary from our stiff drink at Mac King and our walk in the 108 degree sun- we ate at the Tropical Breeze CafÃ© at Flamingo which was kinda expensive and forgettable-EXCEPT for the chicken soup which Mom proclaimed, â€œdelicious and homemadeâ€. Good info if you come here with a cold, I guess or you are very, very hungry. It was convenient to pop upstairs for a nap before the concert at Hard Rock. We arrived at Hard Rock around 8 and the place was HOPPING. The drink service was stellar. Honestly, I was playing the penny machines with Mom and adorable young ladies with tiny leather outfits on would tap you on the shoulder (itâ€™s loud in there!) and ask what you would like to drink. We won a little bit than had a quick bite at Mr Luckyâ€™s before the show. This restaurant is always good and the service is excellent- I had some ahi tuna tacos and they were superb. The boys (my nephew is Nellis AFB based) went off to see Big Bad VooDoo Daddy and Mom and I kept playing the penny slots with my niece. I love the vibe at the Hard Rock and the music is incredible! After the concert we headed back to Flamingo-L and I were exhausted. Mom (age 81) wanted to stay up and play, â€œItâ€™s our Last night here!â€. Guess who won that battle? Saturday, August 23 After an 8 am breakfast roulette run to Bills. (I won!) We were out of the hotel at 11 am and found ourselves with a bit of free time before the plane left. We visited Mandalay Bay for slots, lunch buffet and more slots. We enjoyed the lunch buffet very much-my goodness those shrimp are good!-and broke even on the slots. It was good to get on the plane with a tummy full of good food and a head full of great memories. We nodded off in the plane with dreams of returning soon. Epilogue After reading about VegasGirl80's trip and power outage my little Fay story seems silly. My thoughts and prayers are with those in Ike's path tonight.