What was a normal, well set up in advance type trip, turned into some last minute 'roll with the punches', lucky breaks, type of trip. Getting from here to there went slick. SOUTHWEST pilots were sober, flight attendants and passengers were fun. I'd called ahead a couple days prior to leaving and talked to my reservation buddy and when I got there at 9am, she'd blocked out my room, kicked out the guests and fired up House Keeping to have it ready by 10am. For this, she gets fourty bucks. If she's only been able to block it and the guests ignore the threats from SECURITY...I get it around 3pm and she only gets half, lol. Luckily there was no bloodshed and I was up right on time along with a four nights supply of Carrot Cake. I unpacked my cloths, set up the Mr.Coffee maker I bring, along with three 5 Liter bottles of water, cup and coffee...pulled back the curtains on the two walls of floor to ceiling windows and took notice of any changes in my view. City Center is growing so fast... What was a steel skeleton in December, is now a solid wall of silver/blue glass. Out the other window view (and not as impressive) were Wynn's ENCORE and The PALAZZO. Cool...everything SOS up here, I went to the casino. Things are pretty much the same at RIO. The new McFADDEN'S IRISH PUB is now open, serving a new ?improved? menu of bar food and drinks. I tried their version of SHEPARDS PIE which, next to their FISH 'N CHIPS, was claimed to be their biggest seller. (Hmmmm, i wonder why...) They use ground beef instead of lamb...theres a little corn, a few peas and they melt some cheese over the top...THATS IT. Its like eating Sloppy Joe out of a bowl and it's fifteen bucks! I asked for some bread to go with it...(they gave me that for free) 2 slices of white. RUB BBQ is also open. I tried it for lunch. Its NEW and they're still fishin' for the right time and day to set they lunch hours...right now its noon but I bet they don't stay open too many days for lunch. Theres lots to choose from on the menu. I chose to build my own combo of chicken, brisket, and baby back ribs along with a side of greens and beans...you 'sauce' your own at the table. ...it was OK, nothin' wrong with it. BBQ (like pizza)...IS PERSONAL! I like my Oakland Callyfornia joint better. DAMN!...the RIO's SEAFOOD BUFFET still wasn't open yet. It's been closed since November and will stay that way til Spring...whenever that is (April/May/?) It's new look is light wood, lots of polished brushed steel and glass. There appears to be a Platinum/Diamond area but still retains a full, open feel...not closed in like at the World Buffet. Bet the new price will be at least fourty bucks too... I can't remember the last time I ate in an Indian restaurant so I have nothing to compare it too, but I can remember how many times I've passed by GAYLORDS without stopping in and it must be hundreds. They're trying a 'lunch' at 11am for under $15.00...I went in, I LIKED IT! Again, I chose a combination. Chicken & veggies sizzling on a metal plate, rice, a spinach dish with chunks of Indian cheese baked in, and lamb curry...VERY, VERY, GOOD. I planned to hook up with a friend from several of the message boards I surf. 'sonntex' 'delo'...(she goes by many names) was on a solo Caesars slot tourney and we'd planned some Shows, dinner, etc. WELL!, Rich Little canceled at the Golden Nugget with a medical excuse. It certainly was a more graceful exit as apposed to just canceling his contract due to poor ticket sales. Del and I went downtown any way, stopping by the Palazzo (yawn) on the way... I haven't been downtown in years and now I don't have to go back for a bunch more years!, lol. We DID have a good time, saw a couple Canopy Shows, shared a deep fried Twinkie (burp...) and checked out the new home of the RAT PACK at the PLAZA. I'll see that on a quick trip for CHER's May 6th opening night. I was really looking forward to seeing TOXIC AUDIO's Show in The VTheatre. (They're a great 5 piece acapella group) To use a familiar currant event phrase...SHAME ON YOU VTheatre! Our 9:00 show time was changed to 6pm. two weeks earlier and they NEVER CALLED ME! They had my two phone numbers and my location at the RIO. Once in a while, GUANO HAPPENS with these Shows and when they don't call you (as they're suppose to...) it makes the situation all the more frustrating. I talked to the Sales department at VTheatre's corporate office but only got apologies. I'll try it again in June. We licked our wounds around the corner at STEVE WYRICK'S 'REAL MAGIC' Show. Tuesday night was 'deloressonntexdelo's award buffet at Caesars and I got to be her escort. HUNDREDS OF PEOPLE! She missed placing by 15 points and the $40k Grand Prize Winner was a 'no show'. We were going to Red Rock Casino after the festivities but got lazy. Del had noticed there was a good line up on the bill at LEGENDS IN CONCERT at the I.P. Barry White, Dolly, The Temptations (some of their best...) and all hosted by Jay Leno. Bob Cohen is a host there. I've never met him but he has quite a reputation for providing good room rates to the members of www.everythinglv.com/forums/ We met that night, had a great little visit then thanked Bob and said good night. He said..."hold on a minute" He then surprised us with tickets to the Show in a great center booth! (this was turning out to be not such a goofy trip after all...) Talking with Bob about Harrah's and their future plans, his gut feeling was that BILL'S is going away, he's confident the I.P. has around 4 more years, and watch for the sale of the RIO in aprox. 6 months. ...know who the strongest rumored buyer(s) is(are)? TONY MARNELL and GEORGE MALOOF. George was over checkin' out the property a short while ago my RIO friends told me. I'VE GOT MY FINGERS CROSSED... My last day/night was Wednesday and I was going to BETTE's Show that night. I played the day away in Masquerade Village, earning my 1000 Tier Points for that trip. Earning 1000 points each trip is usually pretty easy and with 4 trips a year, keeping my Platinum level is a snap. Registration printed my SOUTHWEST boarding pass for the next day, and I went up to change for the Show. For some reason, the excitement of a Colosseum Show seems greater than some of the others. You dress up a bit more, the 'buzz' of the crowd is more electric, and the Theatre is such a joy. My seat was in 1STMEZ5...great view and sound. A billboard, a donkey, and a tornado open the Show. Bette makes her appearance with a good opening number along with occasional outbursts of SHIT! and Fbombs...all accepted by the audience in great fun. The Divine Ms.M's mouth is in great form, lol. The Show is entertaining and I had a good time, but was disappointed with it. (I have more thoughts in Shows and Entertainment) Fewer Shows this trip, but made up for it with things I haven't done in a long while or never at all. I took a $3k bankroll and brought $2,900. back home...(it was a 'MY TURN' trip) *NOTE: Its been going on now for over a year and I don't see it changing. If you prefer rooms in Ipanima Tower at the far end of the hallways like I do...furthest from the elevators, you just DO NOT have hot water after 11:00pm or before 7:00am...its lukewarm at best. Facilities were called every day...NOTHING. Front desk was notified...a little off the bill, thats it. (bet Marnell and Maloof wouldn't put up with that) NEXT TRIP May 5-7 for CHER.