â€¦and it wasnâ€™t pretty. Let me start by saying that this was one of the most entertaining trips that Iâ€™ve ever had. It was surreal at first but it didnâ€™t take long before I felt like Iâ€™ve known everyone for years and that this was more like a family reunion than an internet get together. Iâ€™ll skip the boring flight details and start with arrival in Mecca. Wednesday March 16th â€“ We land around 10:15pm & Iâ€™m surprised to see the airport jammed at this hour. Cab lines are enormous so we opt for the limo. It took maybe 15 minutes before we secured one & were on our way to the Mirage. We head up to the counter & Iâ€™m pretty much expecting a room on the 2nd floor overlooking the loading docks since the place is sold out and we are getting in late. I ask anyway â€œAny chance there is an upgrade available?â€ She politely replies no & says that they werenâ€™t able to fulfill our request for 2 queen beds either. Seeing that we were 3 guys & one king bed was not going to happen, she offers an upgrade to a tower deluxe on the 25th floor looking straight down on the pool & sheâ€™d send up 2 rollaway beds at no charge. No problem!! By the way, 3 of us checked in & no mention was made of any extra charge for the 3rd person. Disclaimer: We had the room at casino rate so they may not charge extra for the 3rd person. Anyway, got 3 keys & were on our way up. The night was still young by Vegas standards, so back down we went to play some blackjack. Tables were mostly $25.00 & up but we managed to find 3 spots at a $15.00 table since my buddies donâ€™t play green unless they are playing with house money. The table was fun with the exception of one horseâ€™s ass that sat in for about Â½ hour & played by his own rules â€“ splitting tens (always) & other non-basic strategies. This wasnâ€™t the reason he was an ass though. A really sweet girl sitting next to him politely asked why he did some of the things that he did (not jumping on his case at all) and his response was â€œHey, lifeâ€™s a bitch and then you sit next to oneâ€. He left shortly after that and wasnâ€™t missed at all. Why even come to Vegas dude? We all laughed at him & played on. Anyway, ended up staying down until the sun came up & lost about $500.00 â€“ not a good start but thereâ€™s always tomorrow (or would that be today??) Thursday March 17th â€“ St. Patrickâ€™s Day & the madness begins!! Have you ever had one of those days where you just couldnâ€™t lose? This was to become one of those days. I placed my early NCAA bets the night before which turned out to be a good choice. Woke up about noon & cleaned up for the trip downtown. We got down there around 3:00 & started out at LVC where we grabbed some grub at the Upper Deck (great burgers). Unfortunately, this was before I knew they sold corned beef sandwiches on the street by Fitzgeraldâ€™s. Oh well, down Fremont we went. Started by grabbing some beers & made our way down to El Cortez. Iâ€™ve never been in here so my curiosity was killing me. I was intrigued from the historical aspect however, the waitresses all looked like they knew Bugsy personally and I now know what smell everyone talks about. For cheap gambling though, the place isnâ€™t bad. We head back to the canopy to get some refills & catch some of the Irish band that is setting up next to Fitz. They start at 5:00 as does the T2V meet at MSS; however, I love Irish music so we opt to be fashionably late to MSS. The band was great. Killianâ€™s Angels was the name â€“ 6 ladies & some good hopping Irish sounds. I bought the CD for 20 bucks & would be asked by many T2Vers later about it. Unfortunately, it never made it back to my room that night. Oh well, 6:00 & onto MSSâ€¦ We walk into 777 Brewpub & right away I spot Mikey & Kikky. Soon I see RamBill, Jack21, Vegas Jer, RossW, Doc_Al, PrincePaul, Neon, 3Cats, & a little later Vegasbound. I probably missed a few, but forgive me as this was all so surreal. Mikey immediately wants some beads & I was more than happy to oblige providing he NOT show me his breasts. We had some really good microbrews. I was drinking the red beer like it was going out of style. Initial impressions were better than I could have expected. Doc_Al is quieter than I imagined & Mikey is the planet upon which all revolvesâ€¦ I say this in a good way because the man has a heart of gold. Kelly (Vegasbound) is a sweetheart. I never got a good read on her but this girl is genuine. We all motivate to a craps table where things were tight & it took a few minutes for me to squeeze in. I wasnâ€™t in a big hurry because Mikey & I had a chance to chat. He told me how it came to be that he lives with two strippers â€“ hey, I had to ask. I finally get in & really have no clue what to do. I buy in for $100.00 & I see Mikey got in on the end of the tableâ€¦ cool. I try to get instructions from Eric (Jack21) as he seems to have the most green chips on the rail. Following his lead I play the pass line with odds & place the 6 & 8. Mikey went on a nice roll and soon we all cashed out. I was up $150.00 and decided to play blackjack with Vegas Jer, Kikky, & RamBill. Remember before I said that I couldnâ€™t lose? Well the luck continued here however, I canâ€™t say the same for RamBill. He went out in a hurry. This was unfortunate for Jer as he was the next in line to get Billâ€™s crappy cards. Eventually they all left (some for the webcam shot) & later the rest went down to Plaza I think. I stayed as the going was good. Eventually I walked out of there up some pretty good money although at this point I canâ€™t remember how much. MSS side note â€“ drink service was awesome & Sunni the blackjack dealer was very nice. I was stumbling down to the Plaza to see if anyone was still there. I even lost my 2 friends that I came downtown with â€“ not the 1st time & wonâ€™t be the last. I run into Neon & PrincePaul helping a very intoxicated Vegasbound back to MSS. We all got a good laugh & Paul gave me his bucket of nickels that he didnâ€™t want to carry. I later found out that they took her home so she did not have to drive. I was glad to here this & expected nothing less from this group. I got to the Plaza & cashed in Paulâ€™s nickels â€“ all five bucks & changeâ€¦ I just canâ€™t lose. I donâ€™t see anyone from the group so I decide to head back to LVC for some more blackjack where I run into my two friends playing at table. I join them & start winning again. By this time I found out that I hit 7 out of my 8 basketball bets as well that day. After my â€œfriendâ€ informed me that St. Paddyâ€™s Day was over, I lost 3 hands in a row before a nice guy sitting at 1st base says â€œnot in Guamâ€â€¦ Thanks dude. I started winning again. We cab it back to Mirage at about 3:00am where I suffer my 1st loss â€“ The $20.00 Killianâ€™s Angels CD that I carried around all night, never jumped out of the cab with me (I hope that Palestinian driver likeâ€™s Irish music). After a quick stop in the sports book to check the lines & make some morning game wagers, itâ€™s off to bedâ€¦ Well at least thatâ€™s what my intentions were. Not wanting the day to end, I sit down at a Crazy 4 Poker table. I have no clue what this carnival game is about but the dealer was super nice and the 3 old bluehair ladies that were already sitting there were a trip. I kept getting 4 card straights & flushes, which I found out was good. I spent an hour there but after the bitties left it was boring so I colored up & was amazingly $400.00 up (I just canâ€™t lose). I pass by one more BJ table that gives me a good vibe & buy in for $500.00. It was a great table with a nice dealer. I cashed out a yellow chip ($1000.00) 2 hours later & headed up to the room grinning from ear to ear â€“ I love that walk up as the sun comes up & the 100s are so deep in your pocket that youâ€™re practically limping. What a day!! Friday March 18th â€“ I wake up around noon again & this time Iâ€™m seriously lacking motivation. I get a call from Beach Crazy (Angy) who arrived that morning & was also staying at the Mirage. I told her about the limo I had reserved for the 5:00 trip to Rio & we decide to meet up 1st at AVA around 4:30. After a HUGE turkey sandwich from the Carnegie Deli (ask RamBill about their sandwiches), it was off to AVA in the Mirage atrium. Here is where I met for the 1st time the 2 people that would make my trip something to remember. Angy & her girlfriend Chicago Cyn have a table so we join them for a drink then itâ€™s off to Rio. These 2 ladies are so much fun. Again, I had that surreal feeling at first, but that quickly subsided and in all honesty, it was an absolute pleasure staying at the same hotel with them. Anyway, as many have read, Voodoo was closed so we belly up to the Mexican bar. Youâ€™ve already read most of the buffoonery that went on here. Let me just add that Patron shots are the bomb!! Kikky, & 3Cats are good kissers (as is Mikeyâ€¦ donâ€™t ask). The bartender here was incredible. Jack21 & RamBill should not wear brasâ€¦ well maybe RamBill should. Beads are a beautiful thing & the women at Rio are unreal. The limo back to Jerâ€™s suite at the Plaza was quite entertaining. We had Sparkles (RamBill) in stitches. The man had a bra on his head & glitter on his face. If someone could piece that together for me, Iâ€™d be most appreciative. By this time, I had a couple of trip report titles, but none better than what I was about to seeâ€¦ We arrive in Jerâ€™s suite and most of this is piece meal as my memory was fading fast. They had trouble opening Mutha so it was handed to me. Unfortunately I was able to uncork the beast. I believe it was Terry who poured the cup-o-shots & it went down rough but alas I was able to keep down the mother. Iâ€™m not quite sure why, but I looked up & saw RamBill flashing his hairy double Ds â€“ ouch. At the time, it was not what mutha in my belly needed. We would laugh about that for the next 2 days & my trip report title was decided. As if I needed more alcohol, I head down to the bar to get some â€œTerryâ€ drinks. I meet Tim the bartender who is a friend of DonD. He sets me up nice with 8 or 10 of these drinks and charges me maybe for half of them. I recruit 2 girls sitting at the bar to help me with the promise of Patron shots up in the suite. They were more than happy to oblige & off we went. Later things got a little fuzzyâ€¦ On my way back from a bathroom break, I remember thinking how nice it would be to lay down for a few minutes to give the room time to catch up to me. I awoke at 3:00am not really sure how long I had been out for. I was hungry & dehydrated and found 3 large pizzas barely touched in the living room. I thanked God at the time but later found out it was Bill who deserved my gratitude. Thanks man!!! I split a cab with some cool guy headed for Hawthorne. They dropped me at Mirage & I went up to find my roommates still down gambling somewhere so I put in some Clear Eyes & grabbed my baseball hat & down I went. I played for 2 more hours & lost a couple hundred. The only memorable event was the idiot that had the nerve to yell at me when I split 7s against a 5. â€œYou ONLY split aces & eightsâ€ he tells me. I correct junior & tell him thatâ€™s ALWAYS and there are other times when you should split. He doesnâ€™t believe me, however, I get a ten then a 2 upon which I double & get the ten. Dealer busts & I win all 3. Junior leaves in disgust & I wish him luck with my middle finger. Saturday March 19th â€“ canabrothagetsecurity??? I get up around 11:00 and get my morning call from Angy & Cyn â€“ A guy can get used to this. Angy is still calling me on my cell even though we are 13 floors above them. I laugh & call her right back on the room phone. The girls want to see the Illinois game (they like college basketball too!!) Game starts at 2:40 so we try to figure out a place to go. Original plan was the Boulevard Bar & Grill but my buddy who owns it wasnâ€™t there so we decide to head back down to AVA. After about Â½ hour, we were able to secure some seats in front of the plasma screen however, the CBS regional coverage decided to show the Boston College game instead. Bummer for Cyn, but they were they only seats in the house. We start drinking & RamBill decides to join us followed by Neon & 3Cats. After losing my 1st 4 bets that day I head back to the book to chase my losses. 2 big bets & a large 2 team parlay on them, add a plus odds bet on Morales and weâ€™re off to Barbary Coast for some blackjack. 3Cats & Neon decide to foot it over so the rest of us pile in Billâ€™s rental. Man I wish Barbary was farther!! Iâ€™m in the back with Cyn piled on my lap. She starts flirting with every car we pull up next to so I decide to join the fun. â€œDammit HO, do you have to talk to every guy on the stripâ€ â€œYou want to marry the bitch buddy??? Go right ahead!!â€ â€œHey Ron, put the gun away!!â€ Man was that fun â€“ Iâ€™ve never seen so many guys roll â€˜em up quicker than Chevy Chase in my life. These guys were praying for a green light. We find a table that most of us could fit in at and play. I remember lots of beads, a dealer named Steve, and one really scared Pit Boss who looked 21 and about to poop his diapers when Angy started hitting on him â€“ Did I mention that I love these girls? It was some time later & Bill and Cyn were gone (I later found out they got something to eat), when Angy stumbles back up to the table & asks me for a hundred dollars so she can play. At 1st I am reluctant but decide what the hell & slide her a Ben. If this were the Montecito, Danny would have at least 4 cameras zoomed in on her with security in the isles ready to swarm. Well she didnâ€™t even get the Ben converted to red yet & down she went. I saw nothing but the bottom of her feet & then 3 men in black swarm in for the questioning. They take her out & I quickly grab my hundred back. I later get the call that they removed her & she is out on the street. As funny as this was, now Iâ€™m a bit worried & no sooner do I start down the isle to look for Cyn & Bill when they are coming to look for me. As we get into the car to start the search, Cyn gets the call â€“ â€œThey kicked me out of Carnival Court tooâ€. What in the world do you have to do to get kicked out of Carnival Court??? We are stuck on the strip & not able to stop for more than a few seconds but Mikey secured the lost soul & helped her back to Mirage. The night was pretty much a done deal at that point but man what frigginâ€™ good time that was. Thatâ€™s my story and Iâ€™m sticking to it. Sunday March 20th â€“ I woke up today with a smile that has yet to leave my face. Unfortunately, this was our last day but we had the red-eye back so it was going to be another full day. I found out that both my chaser bets along with my Morales bet hit so Iâ€™m back in the plus money. We start out by packing up & checking the bags for the day. On our way to the sportsbook to place some more wagers, we run into RamBill waiting in line at the Carnegie Deli. I warn him about the enormous portion he was about to receive & then tell him to meet us in the book when he is done. I place my bets & then call the girls to see whatâ€™s up. They are going to spend the day recovering in the room so we (my 2 friends & RamBill) decide to drive out to GVR & check it out. 1st I see that all of my morning bets have again lost. I like 3 afternoon games so I load up & parlay 2 (no balls to parlay all 3 â€“ which I would later regret). GVR is a really nice place. It was cool to see it after watching so many American Casino episodes. We toured the entire place including the lobby where we messed up some pillows in honor of Michael Tata. Then we holed up at the sports bar called Trophyâ€™s & wished we had known about this place sooner. What an awesome place to watch the games. I hit all 3 bets but 2 came down to the final seconds & a half point so that got the blood pumping again just in time for the 5:00 meet back at Barbary Coast. By the way â€“ thanks again Bill for taking us out there & back!! Back at Barbary, we meet up with some fresh T2V arrivals & pass the torch. Bosco, MyCarDick, Sanonfresurfer, & Typhinie show up along with RossW (who I hadnâ€™t seen since Thursday). Others follow in â€“ Mikey, Angy & Cyn, Jack21, Doc_Al, & probably more so forgive me if I left anyone out. We drink some more & take some group photos. I thank theKiller for the watermelon fruity thing that he bought for everyone & I thank Sonya for buying a round. That was totally cool from both who could not be there but wanted to. I guess it was Mikey who called Hoya & I enjoyed talking to her as well. Cyn & I sat at the bar for a while as my time was winding down. I had to head back to Mirage at 9:00 so we decided to join my friends who were with Bill and Angy at the blackjack table for one last hour of fun. I bought in for 300 & was down 150 by the time we had to go. I put it all on one hand & got a 20â€¦ dealer got 21. I decide that I wonâ€™t end this trip on that sour note so again (kids, donâ€™t try this at home), I go for even & throw down 300 cash play on black (I remember earlier Mikey talking about always play black). Thanks Mikey!! Black hits & Iâ€™m even steven. Wow what a trip!!!!!!! Some closing thoughts: - St. Patrickâ€™s Day on Fremont rocks!! - Next trip I gotta do the Grain Train. - What the fâ€¦ was up with the guy carrying the cooler? I saw him at MSS as well??? - Splitting 7s against a 5 is the right thing to do. - The Mexican bar upstairs at the Rio is awesome. - Only women should wear bras. - Drink service at Barbary was unbelievable. I had a full drink every trip w/o asking. - Itâ€™s hard to play blackjack while lying on the floor with your feet up in the air. - Doc_Al is quieter in person though I wish I had spent more time with him. - Mikey is everything that youâ€™ve read & more. Iâ€™m better for knowing you man!! - Typhinie is much cuter in person (if you can believe that). As nice to the eyes as she is, her personality makes the girl. I wish I had more time to get to know you Typh. - Bosco, Sanonofresurfer, & MyCarDick need to join us sooner next time as well. - Vegasbound is a sweetheart and Neon & PrincePaul are her knights in shining armor. - Everyone from this trip was fan-freakin-tastic!!! Kikky, Vegas Jer, Jack21, Terry, 3Cats, RossW & whoever I missed, thanks for some good times!!!!!!!!!! - I canâ€™t begin to imagine how much more insane this trip would have been if Sin showed up!! - Recovery from MM2 is taking longer than anticipated. Rambill â€“ you are truly a friend and a generous person. Thanks for hanging with us for 4 days of total buffoonery. Angy & Cyn â€“ Iâ€™ve saved the best for last. I canâ€™t tell you enough what a pleasure it was to party with you two for 3 days straight. You made me laugh harder than Iâ€™ve laughed in years & I really needed that. Thank you!! Iâ€™ve made some friends this past weekend that Iâ€™ll hopefully have for a long time. Cheers!! Finally, to the one special girl that I will never forget, stay cool & keep in touch. Nuff said.