wow, it was another great trip! We travelled to Vegas to watch our friend run the Las Vegas Marathon on Dec 4, and met up with some T2V'rs as well! We (the wife and I) arrived to the airport about 3 hours early for our flight on a Saturday and the airport was EMPTY. We got there early to try and get on the earlier flight to Vegas (there are about 8 flights from San Jose to Las Vegas per day). We originally had the later flight as the in-laws weren't going to be able to be at our house to watch the baby any earlier. But anyway, we get there early and find out to move flights on southwest, we need to pay the full price to change flights. This change would cost over $100 for the two of us, for one way, so we decided against it, went to the bar and started the vacation. After a bit in the bar, I decided to try and get the upgrade again, but from the front check in desk instead of the gate counter. The lady there told me the same thing, but then after talking to her a bit, she let us upgrade to the fight that was leaving in about 20 minutes for free (it was only 3/4 full). FIRST WIN (unfortunately, it turned out to be the only monetary win....) We get to Vegas and cab over to Monte Carlo. We were comped for this stay for a regular room, so we decided to try and get a suite instead. They said they didn't have any available (it was about 4:30pm on Saturday afternoon and we were staying through Tuesday), but that they had already upgraded us to the concierge view level. We said, okay, thanks, whatever that is. We ride up to the top floor of the hotel and find we have a full-time concierge waiting for us as we get off the elevator, as well as a lounge with food and a full bar free for our use. The full free bar replaced the vodka we brought with us (hey, can't beat free booze!). We went gambling for a bit, lost some money, then headed over to Maragaritaville for some food and margaritas. We shared Conch Fritters (yummy!) and a HUGE nachos. Both were tasty, as were the margaritas. We ended up talking to the table next to us and just about joined our tables together. It was a fun time. We were still early for the T2V meet happening on Saturday night, so we headed over to the IP to watch the dealertainers. We've never seen them before and they were great! We saw Elvis and Billy Idol perform. It was awesome. We've decided that every trip to vegas now includes a trip to the IP! After that, over to the T2V meet at Carnival Court. We walk in and Kikky is already at "our" blackjack table (the same one we used in July). The wife and I sit down and start to chat and loose more money. Fun was had, even though it was VERY cold at the tables. The heaters don't put out enough heat and the wind was blowing. It was very cold. VegasDrea, VegasTonya and Jokerjake (and wife) show up after a short while and we either gamble or hang around the table. Drinks kept coming and I kept loosing money (no one seemed to be doing that well), so we decided to head to a bar and just loose our money on booze. We decide to head to Shadow Bar at Caesars, after a break for the restroom. Man, we were a tough group to keep on track. We kept loosing each other, then we'd all find each other and then just stand somewhere talking, forgetting that we were on our way somewhere. The whole walk ended up this way. Kikky got us into gear and said "Go that way!", so VegasDrea, wife and I started walking, and everyone started following us. Problem is, I didn't know where we were going, and I had enough to drink that I should have just been following whoever was leading. Usually I know where a group is going and lead the way, so I just acted the part and started walking, the wrong way of course. Shortly after, Kikky and the others informed me oh so politely that I was heading the wrong way. I think they said something about me being a jackass, or a loser, or something like that. I simply replied with: You must learn this about me, whenever possible, I will always lead you astray. I think during this walk is when Kikky took lots of pictures. During this walk, Kikky decided picture taking would be good, so she took a photo slightly more in focus than this one: So I decided to take a picture of her taking pictures: That picture was in focus for me that evening Shadow bar was an okay place, but nothing super special. It was more fun talking to our group there. The drinks were over-priced, but tasty. The only problem was to get a drink, I had to be groped by some lady sitting at the bar. Normally I don't have an issue with being groped, but this was just a bit creepy. She was sitting at the bar with her husband drinking, and when I walked up near them (there was an 'open' spot next to them to get to the bar, i now know why...) he offered to have his lady get me a drink. I had just gotten the attention of the bartender and he was already pouring for me, so I said, no thanks, I just got their attention. He then says, well, she always has their attention, she just flashes her boobs when she wants something and they come running over. At this time, I'm standing to the right of the lady, and the husband is on the opposite side of her, sitting on his stool. The lady looks up at me a bit sheepishly/devilishly and puts her hand on my leg, running her hand up to a normally receptive spot for a woman's hand. The surpised look on my face was noticed by the husband, who just gave me a wink. Drinks came, I paid, said something nice to the lady and took off. Told VegasDrea and my wife about the encouter, both thought it was hilarious. We watched this couple throughout the evening (what better entertainment?!?) and they proceeded to do similar things to everyone that walked up. Some guys where openly appreciative of the attention and lots of mutual groping occured. Great vegas experience. Waking up Sunday morning was a bit tough, but we had to get to the Marathon finish! We got there and couldn't find our friend. there were thousands of people at the finish line (in the Manadalay Bay Event Center parking lot). It was quite inspiring watching these people finish the event. I applaud anyone who has ever run a marathon! Quite amazing! After a while of not being able to find her (all through we did she her once, she disappered into the crowd again and couldn't hear us yelling for her!!), we went and had lunch at Burger Bar and kept calling our friend. We headed back to the MC for some free drinks in our lounge and to rest a bit. We finally got a hold of our friend and met up at Paris in the evening (she was staying there) for some gambling and food. Side note about her experience: at about mile 20, she started to go 'crazy', talking to herself and other weird things. 26.2 miles is long way for a human to run. She finished the race in 4:47, which was under the mean average. She didn't bring anything to the race, no money, no room card, no phone.. just herself. So, after the race, she decided to walk back to Paris from Manadalay Bay. remember, she started going crazy just a bit before. She got on the tram from MB to Luxor and was going to walk the rest of the way. On the tram, she started shaking and couldn't stand or talk anymore. Other marathoners and marathoners families were in the Tram and were worried about her and asked her where she was going. She said she was going to walk back to Paris, when no less than 5 people pulled out 20's and gave them to her, told her to get in a cab. she declined but they all insisted. One group of people helped her to a cab and put her in it to make sure she got home. We REALLY were uspet we didn't find her after the race, but we found out that after the race, she left immediately. We went looking all around the event trying to find where she was (the massage tent, the meet-up tent, the standing tent.. all of it!). she was just totally out of it. When we met up at Paris that evening, she was still pretty out of it and very sore. She kept asking us the same questions over and over again, honestly not knowing she had asked the question before. But, she wanted to stay out so we ate then watched a little house band at Paris and had some drinks. It was a very nice evening with a good friend. not a crazy Vegas experience, but one of the best. The rest of the trip was the wife and I visiting the Bellagio Fine Art Museum and the RUSSIA! exhibit at Venetian and loosing more and more money. We made our trip to the top of THEhotel to check out MIX as the sun set (as usual). this is one of my favorite places to chill in Vegas. The view is incredible. We sat outside under the heaters and really enjoyed our time up there. Things learned this trip: 1.) VegasDrea LOVES cowboys. I mean really loves cowboys. 2.) If you run a marathon, make sure you have someone to take care of you when you're done 3.) Dealertainers, as cheesy as they are, are a must see. A very Vegas expereince! 4.) MM3 is going to be a blast, need to get there.