Just got back from 8 great days in Vegas. Had a blast! Was a scorcher. At least 113 degrees every day we were out there and got as high as a record 117. Are flight was delayed about 1hr so we were a little bit late getting there. We stayed our first two nights downtown (1st time) at Golden nugget so took the WAX from the airport. The first scheduled bus did not show up when it was supposed to. Thought maybe just running a little behind, but didn't show up till the next scheduled time. Some people were pretty upset but we weren't in a big hurry so it was ok. Once on the bus it was fairly quick. Stopped about 6 times. The bus drivers drive CRAZY!!! lol. Took about 30 min to get downtown then had about a 2 block walk to the Nugget. That was a bit tough with luggage and 115 out, but we made it. Once there, we had a LONG walk to get to the Carson tower check in. We get all the way to the desk, and there was a little sign tell people that the desk was closed and to check in at the Gold Tower desk (where we came in). We were pretty ticked off at this point that no signs were posted before you get back there. We let the desk know we were upset. They gave us a Gold Tower room. The room was nice and large, but are view was nonexistent. A wall just a few feet away. Didn't even allow sunlight in. The bathroom layout was not good at all. Doors opened up into other doors and made moving around a bit of a pain, but we shook it off. The casino was nice and the pool was great. Was busy and hard to get a seat but still very nice. We have never been downtown before, so did more exploring then gambling. I played 10 hours in 1 poker tournament and wife played some slots. Fremont Street was neat with the canopy. Always looked daytime out. Some of the bands were pretty good. Casino hopping is pretty easy there. Some of the artists out there, specifically the spray paint artists and face sculptors, were awesome. Although we enjoyed the 2 nights we spent there, it really gave off more of a carnival vibe than a Vegas vibe to us. It was Friday now and time to head to The Flamingo. Wife did not want to haul the luggage again so she politely insisted we get a cab..lol. Our cabbie was nice and I told him to take the strip and it was fine, although again we thought we were going to die. Man they are nuts...lol. We have been to Vegas twice before, but not in like 9 years but have always stayed at Flamingo and loved it there. Nothing to sway us from that this trip. We got there and a long line at check in. We saw the nice gold double doors marked Platinum/Diamond check in and since we are newly platinum, thanks to the rewards visa deal, we went in there. No line at all. Walked right up to the desk. I handed her my I.D. and CC and held a $20 right there and asked for a GO room on and upper floor facing Bellagio fountains. She said they were pretty booked but did some typing. Said she had a GO room on the 25th floor facing the fountains. Said it's a $30/nt upgrade, for future reference, but she was giving it to us. Thanks Tina!!!. They had big cookies and water set out on a table and she told us to help ourselves anytime. We did all weekend. Delicious! We got to the 25th floor. Hallway carpet was stained. No big deal for us. Opened our room door and WOW! Amazing room. Push button powered curtains. Great bathroom and we couldn't have asked for a better view. We sat there a minute looking out and really felt like our Vegas trip had just started. Margaritaville was great. Food was good and the atmosphere in there is so much fun, especially with a live band playing. Went there a couple times. The first night for dinner and again a few days later just for dessert. We kept our walking to a minimum this trip with the heat but did take one day and walk all the way to Hooters since we never been in there before, of course stopping in all the casinos and gift shops on the way. We walked on the other side of the strip back since Aria and Cosmo and all that is new since we were last there. Very nice buildings and mall areas but will probably always be too rich for us. Flamingo pool is still nice but very packed especially on the weekends. Unless you are in line by 8am, you might as well forget about a lounger. You will be lucky if you find an area of concrete to lay a towel out. We did find a little spot next to the smaller pool off to the side. We just stood in the pool most of the time anyways. The crowd was mostly younger (I'm 40, wife 43). Lots of hard bodies around, which was fine by me...lol. Live MC on the weekends. Very much like a Spring break atmosphere. Very fun. We caught one show. Terry Fator at The Mirage. Excellent and worth every penny. What a great show. Also made it down to Harrah's dueling piano bar. Have been there both other times in Vegas to see the twin sisters play and although one of the sisters wasn't there this time, was still a great time. In our opinion, one of the best times in town, especially for free (plus drinks of course). Not a lot of highlights on the food front. Did hit Ellis Island to try their BBQ. The ribs were very good. I think there food in general is very good. I recommended it to someone at the poker table looking for a late dinner. He got back and said he had the steak and it was very good. We had the free Buffet of Buffets from the visa card and saved it until the night before we checked out. We did dinner at Harrahs, breakfast at Flamingo, lunch at Paris and a quick dinner before our flight at Flamingo. We are glad we saved it for that time. Good to not have to buy a meal for a whole day before you leave. And again with the Platinum membership, we bypassed any lines. We really felt like V.I.Ps this past week. We checked out and again walked right to the desk in the Platinum/Diamond room. I handed our players cards and asked if any part of our charges could be taken care of. She went and talked to the host. came back and told us that she would use all our rewards dollars (I had $178 and wife had $20), plus would give us another $50 off. That added $3 back to my original deposit. I was very pleased with that. Being platinum also knocks off the resort fee so that saved us $90. I feel we got one heck of a deal this trip. Getting the Total Rewards credit card saved us a lot, plus made us feel special. Now the fun of paying off the big bill...lol Sorry for such a long TR, but the excitement is still there. Can't wait to go back. I checked the Caesars rate calender and there are comped nights all over the place for us now, including days at Caesars, PH and Paris, which we didn't have before. Although I'm thinking Flamingo will be our first choice again, especially for 5 nights comped.