Quick weekend trip for me and the Hubs. Due to me changing jobs in the middle of last year, we had a tax refund coming from over-withheld SS and such, so the “Vegas Bank” was replenished a little earlier than expected. We usually like to take Friday and Monday off and make the weekend a little longer and miss all the LA to Vegas and back traffic, but not to be this time. And, of course, it was supposed to be torrential rain in LA all weekend, so we did not have high hopes for the drive out. First win of the trip was that once we got past Victorville, the rain let up and the traffic was mercifully light. We ended up hitting the hotel valet around 10:00 PM on Friday. We stayed at Flamingo this trip, in a GO Luxury with View. Room 27054, which is on the Executive Floor, which gives you the extra square footage, which is nice and on the South side overlooking coming-soon-Cromwell with a great view of the Bellagio fountains. The GO beds are so amazingly comfortable and we love having the fridge in room and the nice TV and such. We absolutely love staying in these rooms, but are seriously reconsidering any further stays there once Cromwell is open and the all-day/all-night party on the roof starts up. We’re afraid the noise will be a bit much to take from so close (but I’ll bet the view will be pretty interesting). This is why we’re trying out a Red Room Premier at Paris for our next trip, to see if we can be happy switching. So, where was I? Yes, got to the hotel and valeted (because the self-park garage is a complete joke at this point). I wonder if there will be more/new parking with the Linq or anything. Got to the Diamond Check In before it closed and grabbed our customary amazingly good peanut butter cookies for the morning since they were available. Dropped the stuff in the room and headed down to the casino. We were on an offer than included $300 in free play, but we had missed the “special events” window, so my host had said she would have it held at the casino cage. Well, of course, we get there and no one has any idea what I’m talking about. They can’t find it. Have to wait for tomorrow, blah, blah, blah. That’s fine. I had it all in writing, so I was willing to wait. The gambling gods smiled on us this trip. We weren’t sure how many Vegas trips we would get in this year because we’re going to China for 2 weeks in June, so our plan was to try to get the 2,500 tier credits on Saturday to get the 5,000 bonus and half way to Diamond for the year. We had no plans to spend a bunch of cash on Friday because we got in late and we didn’t want to blow through the bankroll. We started on the newest Lord of the Rings (Return of the King) at 2 or 3x, but we were both hitting pretty well. We played for a few hours on a couple hundred bucks and had a few Sam Adams. At some point during this, a host comes by to check on us, but not my usual host. I explain the issue with the free play and she’s very apologetic, but can’t do anything until tomorrow either. Again, I’m willing to wait. We then decided to walk over to the Quad to play for a bit. We sat down at the three-real Lord of the Rings games there, again at 2 or 3x, but before we knew it, a few really good hits in and we’re max betting. Soon, on a $200 buy in, I’m up to over $1,000 in the machine. We just keep playing and playing and drinking Sams and having a great time. We stopped when we hit 1,000 tier credits for the day for the 1,000 bonus. I think we were about even when we went to bed happy and way too drunk. I woke up around 8:00 in the morning, which I always do in Vegas. I just can’t sleep in usually. Kissed the Hubs and went out with the intention of using the gym and spa for a bit. When I got down there, all the treadmills and ellipticals were full, so I decided to just go take a walk outside instead. I put my ear buds in and turned on my iPod and just walked. I went down through the Linq and around the back of the Quad and Harrah’s and up through the valet at Venetian and north on the strip for a bit. I was going to cross the street up there somewhere, but it looked like construction on the other side, so I just turned around and walked back down the strip, crossed over to Bally’s and down to Pho before turning back around. The Linq is really nice looking. I like what they’ve done with it and I think it will be fun to walk through and to do the High Roller when everything is open. I don’t know that we’ll spend a lot of time there because we have stores and restaurants and stuff like that here in LA/Hollywood and I can’t imagine wanting to spend time and money at those places when we could be gambling and drinking/eating for free elsewhere (unless they’ll let us use/earn comps, then it might be worth it). But it looks really cool. I went back upstairs feeling really invigorated and collected the Hubs. We took our amazing peanut butter cookies and went downstairs to get our lattes. We love to sit and drink our coffee in the comfy chairs next to Sin City Brewery looking out over the habitat in the morning and read the news/plan our day. We decided to gamble (big surprise). Again, the plan was to hit 2,500 tier for the day to get the 5,000 bonus. First stop was to the cage, where, thank goodness, my host had finally gotten the free play issue worked out. We played the Return of the Kings for a little bit, but it wasn’t hitting like it did the previous night. We played Ironman for a while and talked to a very nice lady sitting next to us who was winning like a champ, but we just couldn’t get anything going there either. Then we moved to the Ghostbusters machines in the Margaritaville section of the casino and it started again. Bonus after bonus, max betting, we just couldn’t lose. We played for hours having a great time. Eventually we decided to move on. We hit the Quad again, picked up their silly $10 in free play with the coupon from check-in. They have True Blood slots! Oh my, do we love that show. This should be good. But, no. We sit down, I have never hit the button so many times in a row with absolutely not a single hit of any kind. Blew through $100 (plus the silly free play) in no time. I don’t think we’ll be trying that one again, unfortunately. Such a bummer. We go up to Harrah’s to do the free $1M Slot Pull, but it’s too early. We played Lord of the Rings and CSI for a while. The Hubs killed it on CSI and I couldn’t hit much, but held my own for a bit. The beer selection at Harrah’s is atrocious!! It makes us really not enjoy playing there very much. For some reason, all other CET properties have Sam Adams, at least, but Harrah’s doesn’t have anything like it. Choked down a few Newcastles and MGDs for some reason. We did the free slot pull, no $1M, but did get a BOGO buffet and a BOGO show (used the buffet, but not the show). The show list was pretty much the same as what we can get for 2 free Diamond tickets, so it’s a bit of a waste if you get it. We played around some more and at this point we are getting really drunk, so we head into the Diamond lounge at Flamingo for a snack. A few fresh veggies and potato chips later and we’re back at it. Wandered around some more playing a little bit of a few games, but not really into anything and decided to use the BOGO for the buffet at Flamingo. It’s not a very good buffet, but we didn’t plan on eating a whole lot. We had done it once before and because we’re Diamond they had brought nice, warm, split crab legs to our table, so we thought we would try that again. Well, this turned out to be a total fiasco. We pay for the BOGO buffet, but the clerk talks us into the $9.99 all you can drink addition. We were too drunk to think logically about this. We get to the table and, not only will then not do the warm, split crab legs (it must have been a special promotion last time or something), but the waiter is like, “why did you pay for the all you can drink when Diamond gets complimentary wine with dinner?” So I go back up to the register because I want a refund on the all you can drink. It doesn’t seem to be a problem, but when we checked out on Sunday, I had 3 buffets charged to the room. They put the extra 2 in “dispute” status, but she said if the buffet could show that I signed for them, I would end up having to pay. I have no idea what I signed. Moral of the story, don’t get to drunk to read what you’re charging to the room. Anyway, dinner sucked, but we stuffed ourselves anyway. Feeling a little sick, we ended up taking a nap in the room for a bit. But we hadn’t made the points yet, and we had to drive home in the morning so we rallied and headed back out. Back to the Quad and Lord of the Rings again. They have the best drink service at the Quad and they have Sam Adams. We had a hard time getting our buzz back after all the food, but we had a great time and the gambling gods smiled again and we made it to the 2,500 points for Saturday just after midnight. We decided to turn in at that point because we were getting up to drive home early on Sunday to miss the check-out rush back to LA. It was a whirlwind trip, it seemed. We had an amazing time, made a load of points and came away spending only around $1,500 for it all. Packed up, checked out on Sunday morning, tried to deal with the buffet charge issue, grabbed more peanut butter cookies and lattes and hit the road. Easy drive home and now just dreaming about our May trip – Supercross, 21st Anniversary and Paris!!! Thanks for reading. Sorry we’re the most boring Vegas visitors in the world.