Observations from a guy’s Vegas trip for the NFC/AFC Championship weekend: Stayed downtown at the El Cortez – good value and a nice tower room. Food at Siegel’s 41 was average and Blackjack table limits and rules were favorable but dealers were pretty much “stone faced” as usual. Downtown was a great time as expected. Good bands on Freemont Street playing – Metropolis played a great version of Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb and even Santa and Keith Richards liked it! If you have not tried Nacho Daddy’s downtown, I highly recommend eating there. The Sirloin Nachos are great and on Taco Tuesday’s you can get 3 tacos for $6. The Plaza is a ray of light downtown with a Party Pit overlooking Freemont Street. Like most Party Pits, the dealers are friendly and the drinks flow freely. Unlike all other Party Pits, the rules and table limits are good. Definitely worth a stop before Casino greediness steps in. The LVA offers a 25% off coupon for up to 10 people at Oscar Goodman’s Beef, Booze, and Broads restaurant overlooking Freemont Street. The food was excellent and the side dishes are large enough to share and reasonable at 3 for $30. If you have a choice, ask for Scott as your server. He has lived in Vegas most of his life and is a wealth of knowledge on old Vegas and sports! The work at the Westgate sports book is complete and it is amazing. We watched the NFC/AFC Championship games there and the place was hopping. On the positive side, the rumors about charging for parking are mostly false. There is a charge for parking at the sports book only during busy conventions (it was free when we visited) and the parking garage is always free. The new drink ticket rule for sports bets is a negative, but they give you 1 ticket for each $50 bet with a maximum of two per window visit. If you are betting $200, you can maximize your tickets but making two visits to the window betting $100 each time. We went for dinner at Piero’s on Saturday night to see Pia Zadora. The lounge is intimate and food is amazing, but expensive. Pia is only 62 but she sang with Frank Sinatra and her three piece band is led by Frank’s former band leader – we saw him last October as part of the show Frank: the man the music. There was even a cameo appearance by Rich Little – his table was 3 feet away from us. I dropped my buddies off at the airport on Wednesday and took a later flight back so I could golf. Reflection Bay was $95 for a round – a fraction of the cost that has prevented me from playing in the during our October visits – so I could not resist. This course is amazing and the best I have ever played in Vegas --- more picturesque than Paiute and more fair than Wolf Creek. Although surrounded by beautiful homes, there is plenty of wildlife – as evidenced by the coyote carrying his rabbit dinner. On the way back to the airport, I stopped a Capriotti’s for a giant Cole Turkey sub. This is a Vegas tradition and I enjoy a piece of Vegas on my flight back with some for those at home! Jerry’s Nugget, the D, The Silverton, Joker’s Wild, and Ellis Island were all great places to gamble, as usual. We wish we could make it to the Long Horn or Big Horn, but we just didn’t have the time. A four night trip is just not enough time!