This spur-of-the-moment trip isn't so much to gamble as it is for the change of scenery. I booked a 2 night comp at Gold Coast for Wed and Thur (good only Sun-Thur). A 4Queens BOGO gets me Thur and Friday for Thursday's rate of $25. I added Sat and Sunday for $54 and $25 respectively. I double booked Thursday since it was free at GC and I won't be rushed to check out and get that "trapped in no man's land" feeling between rooms. Plus I wanted to stay DT Thursday to catch YBR. Tuesday I find the zoom lens on my camera decides to stay tucked inside the camera body with a "System Error" on the display. It's a Lumix Z19 and further research indicates it's F'd up. After my depression wanes I decided to go old school and leave the laptop at home as well. Wednesday, July 17 The drive goes quick when you have non-stop Floyd albums in the mp3 player. Leaving late Wednesday doesn't hurt with light traffic the entire route. Made it in my customary 255 minutes. Checked in at Gold Coast for one uneventful night. Just walked around sampling the VP machines and drinking the Hi Life I brought. Cocktail Service was pretty bad compared to previous visits. No big wins to celebrate. No complaints about the room. Clean and roomy with a decent size bath. Here's a pic. "Psyche" Thursday, July 18 In the afternoon I head over to DT to check in at 4Q. I am on the Flamingo overpass and glance to my left to see the beginning of a big backup. I stay on Flamingo to Paradise long hauling myself as I tell myself traffic is bad on freeway so we take short cut. Later, the news says that was a humdinger of an accident so I high-five myself. As I was driving by I see one spoke on the LINQ Wheel is installed. It is blue and hangs inside the huge white supports shaped like a "V". Saturday I see they added another spoke. That is going to look cool later on with more of the spokes installed. I am deflated that I have no camera to document this LINQ progress and share it here. I don't feel any better when I drive by the new Silver Sevens sign. At least that won't change much for when I return in Sept with a new camera. At 4Q I asked for non-smoking away from the canopy. I get a North tower room on the south side of the 15th floor. I had to haul my luggage through the casino to my elevators. The view of the Strip would be amazing if not for the Downtown building that blocks everything, leaving only the Stratosphere and Trump in view. It is perfectly placed there and would love to share a pic right now. There's only two elevators and very close to FSE with no noticeable Security Personnel. I never had to wait long for an elevator on any of the four nights I stayed. A too small bathroom almost reminds me of a Golden Gate bathroom. You have to close the door to use the john and the sink's counter is practically worthless except for storage. The toilet sits all along that counter space preventing you from standing in front of it. I just put my coolers there. Well, ice falls out sometimes and melts then flows to the front of the counter where both rolls of toilet paper are spooled. They hold their form well and you're in for a gross out when you grab for a few squares of wet TP. I cannot spare a pic. So Thursday night finally gets here, and after 2 slices of camera worthy Pop-Up Pizza, I am treated to YBR on the 1st St Stage. The first set was what I expected, solid radio songs from Journey, Who, Foreigner to name a few. They break for the FSE show and I head back to the room to conjure up a Jack and Coke. Their second set featured edgier tunes from Van Halen, AC/DC and Zep's Moby Dick and Kashmir, a big favorite of mine. Another break, another conjure and the final set features a fantastic rendition of Hocus Pocus by Focus, Pink Floyd's Comfortably Numb and Money. The Floyd doesn't work without the proper guitar and Mark Cole is simply amazing. Stupid camera. It does video too. No, really. Not much gaming to report but I think I netted $100 at LIR in 4Q. They have the Progressive $1 Bonus and it was up to $109K. Walked away from the Plaza with $100 from their Crap table. By this time it is 1:30a and FSE has thinned out pretty good. I am walking past the GG and a husky gal on the phone asks me if I live there. I say "no" without missing a step and she gets pretty indignant I didn't stop and chat. I guess in hooker school they teach you to insult the prospective johns after they turn you down because everyone knows the johns will change their minds after hearing such compelling arguments. Again, no camera so you'll have to trust me on this one. "Husky" was being generous. Bridge! I finally caught them, which wasn't hard because they are the only act out right now. I got my second dose of Kashmir as they sampled their Zep Playbook. Friday, July 19 Bought a 3-Day bus pass. Hopped on the retooled HDX which did not stop until we got off the freeway at the Galleria Mall and Sunset Station Casino. An easy ride to a nice casino, I will definitely make this trip again. Clean and modern, friendly Crap dealers. I walked out up $175 after tips. They have a decent looking Sports Book where I might catch some college games. For this low-budget Vegas trip I Google-Mapped some bus options. From Sunset Station I jumped on the 115 at Power Center and Stephanie to get to Sam's Town. It was on time to the minute and a double-Decker to boot. I sat upstairs with 5 other people and took in the sights of old tires and dilapidated cars in the many backyards along the route. Anybody looking for a '67 Chevy II? Here's a pictu... Shit. At Sam's Town I played LIR and trying to get a drink with my fellow players. We asked the Pit, other waitresses and soon anyone wearing a name tag. Nothing. I get the Pit sticking up for their staff but come on. Do something. Gave up on the drink and the LIR and pissed a couple of $20's away at a bar top. A few Bud's later I checked out the time and in lieu of the BHX I took the Sam's Shuttle back to Fremont. That is the way to bus. Some small tv's and plush seats I can actually fit my big ass in. No pic for you. It's big and white on the outside. The bus, not my ass. Friday night turned out to be the Fremont Storm Experience. I missed the Big One because after Sam's I had a very average cheese steak in The Chicago Brew Co and took a nap. The thunder woke me up and I watched from the window for a spell, not realizing how big this storm was. Prepped and preened I hit the FSE only to find everyone standing under the sides looking at each other and the vendors packing it in. Debris was scattered about the street, like a wooden something exploded. It had quit storming by then with the Fremont and Binions dark from no power. Obviously they had some backup but not everything. Neither had outdoor neon lights, and no A/C in the Fremont. I strolled inside to find some machines were on but not all. Players were still sitting at their darkened machines, I'm guessing to make sure they don't lose their credits. Binions had lights and more machines up but only on the east side of the casino yet no A/C. Walk through to the Poker Room side and the A/C was on but absolutely no lights or machines. Cool and dark. Eerie. Only the north side of FSE was off. The south side was unaffected as far as I could see. Enjoy the pics: Saturday, July 20 Took the WAX to Suncoast to see what kind of Crap Fun $100 will buy. Not much in the end but I had a decent roll. One in a row won't cut it so I take advantage of the nearing Bus Departure Schedule. Back at the ranch I bounce between The MSS and The Cal because I did not want any part of that Tonic and Sister Hazel crowd. Spent a very long time playing Craps and LIR. Hit a 40to1 Three Card Bonus, with only a $5 on it. And I had just dropped it down from $10 as my bank roll was depleting but who can complain? This would be a great place for a pic of a 40to1 Three Card Bonus. Sunday, July 21 Watched Phil win the Open. Good for him. Hopped on the BHX to Boulder Station. I like this place. Good Craps game. Won $75 then took the 203 to the Strip. More of the same views but with the Strip Hotels in the foreground. Quite a contrast in fortunes. Google some pics. I was going to go to the Quad, (the 203 stops at Fashion Show Mall), but I wanted to check my options. I got off the bus to check the CX schedule that would take me back DT. I know it's hourly and as I look for the time table it pulls up behind the 203 I just departed. Taking that as an omen I hop on it and am soon back at Carson and 4th. I order a PBR and wings at the nearby Mickie Finns. The wings are big and the Buffalo sauce is pretty tasty. Hillary is friendly and quick with the service. Another Vegas favorite of mine. Not much gambling on my last night. I played Craps at The Plaza and 4Q with little success. I saved my one "last hurrah" For Monday morning. I bought in at the 4Q for $140 and got it doubled just before my turn. I get the dice and bet greens across and a few rolls later I am down to probably 50 bucks. I place the 4 and 10 and hope for some hits but we all know what happens next. I'll just have to get it back next trip.