Even though I’ve made more than 50 trips to Vegas over the past 40 years, each upcoming trip gives me a rush and fills me with anticipation. This one was no different. PRE TRIP PLANNING I usually visit in March, but work circumstances other issues caused me to go in late Feb, and solo. I’ve been solo before, and actually don’t mind the freedom it provides. In early January, SWA offered fares of $404 including early bird check in……..booked. I received similar offers of two nights comped with some free play at both Monte Carlo and NYNY. I hadn’t stayed at NYNY in several years, and planned on playing a significant amount of BJ, so Monte Carlo’s rules left me no choice……NYNY it was….booked. I was able to add on two successive nights via MyVegas. I then reserved a car from Thrifty for four days, even though I’d be in Vegas 6 hours longer than four days. It seems once the rental exceeds 96 hours, you’re required to get the weekly rate, which nearly doubles the rate. I’ve taken a cab from the airport to hotel, and hotel to rental center for $30, so I opted for that plan. Thrifty’s rates went from $180 all in for four days to a low of $90 all in…………booked, and modified as the rates lowered. I learned long ago to check rates daily. Golf was booked at Legacy and Tuscany through Sterling Golf. Oh yea, my wife decided we needed a new puppy to keep our Aussie company, so I drove a few hours the night before the trip to accommodate that wish, and pick up the 8 week old terror. Have fun while I’m gone, dear. FLIGHTS The flight out of MKE was on time, and was only 2/3 full, leaving me with an empty seat between me and my favorite exit row seat with no seat in front of it, and my row mate on the aisle. The flight arrived an hour early, luggage was quick to arrive…….great flight overall. The return flight was oversold, and also on time, plus, it too arrived an hour early. Both pilots said we had tail winds exceeding 150 mph. Luggage was quick again……..another great flight. HOTEL Because I got to NYNY at about 9 am, my room was unavailable and there was no “invited guest” check in person scheduled to work for an hour. I received my room key and was given a number to call by noon . I was given my room number when I made the call. I checked my bags at the bell desk in the meantime. The room was recently remodeled and looked fine. There was a wide screen TV, but no HD. Kind of like going to a movie without popcorn. The window that overlooked the new hockey arena to the west was absolutely filthy. The resort fee, like most hotels in Vegas, was a complete rip off IMO. $116 for four nights. However, why is it we don’t complain about paying $90 per night for a Holiday Inn Express equivalent in Anytown, USA? FOOD I planned most of the dining experiences to supplement my other plans for the trip. My Tuesday lunch was from Nathan’s Hot Dogs at MGM using a coupon from ACG. I redeemed a MyVegas award for $50 dining credit at Monte Carlo. Tuesday night, Brand Steakhouse was my choice, and rated similar to Gallagher’s in NYNY, IMO. I was more than satisfied with the quality and the preparation of my Filet and loaded baked potato. Wednesday lunch was really a late breakfast buffet using a MyVegas reward from GVR. Average, but ok. Wednesday night I joined a BIL and his wife at their favorite locals place, Emerald Island in Henderson. They bought on player points. Decent little café in the casino! Funny thing happened shortly after being seated. We were asked not once, or twice, but three times, by three different servers if anyone had taken our drink orders. We thought we were on Candid Camera. Thursday breakfast was at Palace Station, again using a reward from MyVegas. On par with GVR, but the omelet chef was outstanding. Had a late lunch at Tuscany golf course between nines (included in the price of golf). Dinner was at the home of my BIL and his family. Friday breakfast was at the café in Monte Carlo, using Express Comps on my Mlife card. The eggs benedict was very good, but not exactly worth the $17 menu price. Dinner was a slice of pizza from the NYNY food court. Typical food court pizza. Saturday breakfast was another buffet at Palace Station. I got a meatball sub at the airport for the trip home. GAMBLING I played most slots and BJ with some PGP and VP included. My net was a $100 win over the 5 days. Obviously lots of ups and downs. I tend to pocket small wins when I achieve them, and separate them in the safe so I bring money home. I budget a certain amount for gambling each day, adding my left over to the take home pile each day. I like to accumulate slot tickets, chips and cash in the safe. I also use a hotel glass to keep the change I gather from slot tickets throughout the day. It’s a program that works for me. I made several coupon runs during the trip. The results were mixed of course but shown below: FP MP NYNY $165 Orleans $7 $10 Gold Coast -$10 Palms -$10 Tuscany $1 $10 Ellis Island $15 -$5 Plaza $8 LV Club $-5 Grand $19 $15 Silverton $60 Every time I sat at the $25 BJ double deck table at NYNY I won. Never a lot, but wins ranged from $30-$200. I still marvel at how frequent it was to find a player at the $25 table, betting black chips, and being oblivious to basic strategy. I’m not even sure they can spell strategy. There were no big penny slot bonus rounds, the biggest was about $95. I tend to play 50 cents or so per spin. VP never gave me 4OAK or higher, but I about broke even. PGP was almost always a slow drain. SUMMARY It was another fun trip, highlighted by outstanding weather and a very fun time.