Here's an account of our family trip that we took Aug. 18-23. We had a great time, and I'm looking forward to our next trip, this time just DH and I! SUNDAY: We arose at 3:30 am for a 6:50 am flight out of Seattle/Tacoma airport on Southwest. Flight was on time, and we got good seats. Vacationers were: DH, me, Jen (22 yr old daughter) and Ang (22 yr old friend of Jen), 13 yr old DD , and 11 yr old DD. The younger girls (11 and 13 yrs old) were so excited because neither one had ever flown before. (we usually drive to where weâ€™re going on family vacations) To see the 11 yr old squeal in delight at take-off was worth the price of the flight! We landed in Las Vegas at about 9:20 am and were met in baggage by the Las Vegas Limo driver (thanks to you guys for the tip) who took us for a tour down the strip and then dropped us at the Excalibur. The ride was $38 plus tip, so a fun way to arrive, and not too expensive since there were 6 of us. I checked in through VIP check-in â€˜cause I had the â€œOne cardâ€ with points on it from a trip to Reno last March and had called the casino hosts to see if I could check in there). The line for regular check-in was really long, so I was glad I had found this option. We were able to get a room right away (10 am) if we didnâ€™t want a view. That was fine with us so we took 2 adjoining rooms on the 4th floor.The rooms were deluxe rooms with 2 queen beds, a table and chairs and a small sofa, and were quite roomy. We had them bring a roll-away bed for the 13 yr old and if fit fine once we moved the sofa. These room were actually fine for this type of family trip...they were clean and roomy and fairly sound proof and the bed were very comfy...not rock hard like some hotel rooms. Donâ€™t get me wrong...it wasnâ€™t the Bellagio, but clean and comfortable. The bathrooms were very large, although only a shower, no tub. After checking in we went down to the Excalibur buffet, which was really aweful!!! Yuck! They send you through the salad bar line before they seat you, Iâ€™m assuming to get you to load up on the cheap food before they let you see the meats and other foods. This was definately the worst buffet Iâ€™ve ever eaten at. Dirty floors, dirty drink stations, blah food, yuck. You couldnâ€™t pay me to eat there again. Even the kids didnâ€™t want to go there again. After lunch we walked over to the M&M store. the Coca Cola Store and the Harley Cafe. Then we returned to the hotel and DH took the kids to the arcade while I went upstairs to play the slots for a while. We had dinner at the coffee shop, the â€œSherwood Forest Cafeâ€ which was decent enough food. Tasty and hot. DH finally got to gamble, he played Keno during dinner! That night we saw the Blue Man Group at the Luxor. These guys are really talented!!! A really fun show!!! Unlike anything Iâ€™ve ever seen before. Itâ€™s hard to describe, and I donâ€™t want to spoil it for anyone who hasnâ€™t seen it, but if you get the chance...go see this show...itâ€™s really, really good! After the show we all crashed, as weâ€™d been up for 18 hours straight. MONDAY: I awoke at 6:30 am and was ready to go. I tip-toed around so as not to wake the sleeping kids and woke DH to go downstairs for some early morning gambling. Finally! We grabbed coffees and hit the slots for a while. But my real love is blackjack so we headed to the tables. We played $5 to$10 a hand blackjack â€˜til about 11 am. I was surprised to be told by the pit boss that they donâ€™t rate under $10 per hand. This is the Excalibur, folks! â€œWe donâ€™t rate $5 bettorsâ€!!! Huh? Oh, well. So we played $10. That morning we both actually came out ahead, me by $50, DH by about $75. So, a good session. We woke the girls and the 22 yr olds and went to eat lunch at the Rainforest cafe next door at the MGM. It was pretty good food. Then we shopped and walked around at the MGM and the Luxor and the NYNY. For dinner we went to the Tournament of Kings which is a jousting show at the Excalibur. It was fairly entertaining, not really my kind of show, but the kids loved it. My 13 yr old oogled the horses while the 22 yr olds oggled the knights!! LOL The dinner was just okay...chicken and JoJoâ€™s and soup. TUESDAY: Once again woke up early for coffee and blackjack. Came out about even at this session. Got the kids up and went down to the Mandalay Bay for the Shark Reef exhibit which was really interesting. Amazing to stand under the tank and see the sharks swimming above and around you. Well worth the cost of the tickets. ($14.95) Afterwards we took the MGM tram to Ballyâ€™s and did the mid-stip area. It was windy that day so the pirates battle at Treasure Island was cancelled so that was disappointing. Then we walked to the Bellagio and watched the fountains, but they cancelled after we saw one show because of the wind too. So we wandered back to the hotel, and DH took the 22 yr olds out to play slots while I took younger girls and went to bed. WEDNESDAY: Again got up early and played BJ â€˜til 11 am. Then got the girls up and went to sit by the pool. By then we needed a day of just laying around. The pools are okay at the Ex, one slide and 2 big pools and a snack bar and pool shop. We ordered margaritas by the pool and just kicked back and relaxed. Ahhhh. Nothing like laying by the pool, soaking up the sun, and having someone bring you frosty drinks!!! Once we were suffiently relaxed we wandered down to Mandalay Bay for their dinner buffet. Now this is a wonderful buffet!!! $22 per person, but well worth it. Nice room with high ceilings and big windows looking out over the pool area. And good food. A pasta bar where they cook-to-order your pasta, crab legs, peel and eat shrimp, smoked salmon, pasta salads, bagels and lox, cheese tray, fresh fruit, yum. And a terrific desert bar. We had 3 deserts each, (I had an eclair, a white chocolate mousse in a chocolate shell, and a fruit tart) We all waddled away from there totally stuffed! After that we grabbed a cab down to Stratosphere and looked at the lights over the city at night. A beautiful sight. THURSDAY: Early morning blackjack again, this time we lost about $75 each...ugh! However I did get a meal comp for six at the Sherwood Forest cafe. After lunch we made the mistake of getting on the strip casino trolley with the intentions of going down to Circus Circus to the Adventuredome. Well, we dubbed the trolley â€œthe ride from hellâ€ because it was hotter than hell, stopped at every casino, and was unbelievably crowded! After an hour we had only made it as far as Harrahâ€™s so we bailed out and went to Giardelliâ€™s ice cream parlor and had the â€œEarthquakeâ€ sundae. The kids were pleased and so was DH. Then we wandered down to the Venetian to see the Wax museum. It was really very interesting, especially since you could touch and pose for photos with the figures. After that we cabbed it the rest of the way to the Adventuredome. My 13 yr old made me go on a roller coaster ride that made me almost lose my portion of the Earthquake! Went on a few more rides and then went back to Harrahâ€™s and caught the shuttle over to the Rio just in time to sign up for the Parade in the Sky, where you get to ride on one of the Mardi-Gras floats that goes along at the top of the casino. They give you tons of beads to wear, and maraccas or tambourines to play. We had a great time doing this, definately worth it if youâ€™re at the Rio. After that we went home to the Ex. We put the kids to bed and since this was our last night we decide to go downstairs and gamble a little. I played video poker and wound up $25 ahead and my DH won $120 on a nickle slot. After that we turned in. FRIDAY: Got up, had breakfast, packed. Went to VIP room to see if I could get anything taken off the bill based on our play and was given one night free and rate reduced to casino rate ($49) on other nights. So, not too bad, was hoping for more, but, oh well. Shopped the rest of the day picking up souvenirs for everyone back home. Went to the airport, got on the plane, and then were made to wait for 45 minutes because flight attendant had lost her FAA manual and wasnâ€™t allowed to fly without it. So we got into Seattle about midnight and waited another hour because we couldnâ€™t find 2 of our bags, and when we went to file a lost bags form found out they were in the back room. Argh! Conclusion: A fun time was had by all, but a really exhausting trip. I also observed that you CAN take a family trip to Vegas and have a very good time, itâ€™s just a very different trip than an adult trip.