OK. It’s been a couple of months, but I’m going to try to put it all back together. Might be tough.....many Long Islands that week! Left N. KY around 4 a.m. for Indy. Met my #1 Vegas buddy, Mike aka Whitey and his brother Marcus, both from Ft. Wayne in the parking lot at the airport around 6:30. Whitey and I had a flight on ATA scheduled to leave at 8:15. Marcus’ plane leaves about an hour later. Security took about 90 minutes, so by the time we got to the gate we pretty much walked right on the plane. Thank God for curb side check in! Very nice non-stop flight. Arrived right on time at 9:30 and we were at the Flamingo by 10:15. Checked our bags and checked in. Asked for a Strip view room since it was my birthday week and got it, but won’t be ready until later, so we got a couple of free Margarita’s and head down to Harrah’s for a couple of Italian Stallion subs and some VP in the sports book. Now, this is opening day for the Cincinnati Reds. I have been to opening day for the last 14 years, so since I couldn’t be there, decided to bet on the game. Thought long and hard and went with my head instead of my heart and put $25 on the Pirates to win. Ended up being a good move! After a few beers and a great sandwich, we walked across the street to the Mirage to meet my in-laws and some friends of theirs who were getting ready to leave for the airport. My father in-law got us fired up for the week. He’s a big gambler and had some great stories from his just ended week. Said goodbye and headed back to get into our room and get our bags. I was a bit disappointed in the room. Much smaller than the pool view room we had last summer and not in nearly as nice condition. Strip view would have been nice, except the front side of Ceasers looks like a bomb went off due to all of the construction. Took over an hour to get our bags delivered. Oh well. still OK considering the $40 a night rate and the location. Marcus was supposed to be in town by now, staying in another room at the same place with his girlfriend. Tried to call, but no answer, so we walked over to BC for a little Pai Gow. A few beers later left the table up about $50 each and caught the shuttle to the Orleans. This was my first time visiting the Orleans and let me say, everything I have read about the cocktail waitresses was absolutely correct!! WOW!!! Found the much anticipated Multi-strike machines and sat down to play. Four machines on the end of a row. Just like the web site version. Same sounds and everything. Multi denomination, nickels on up. I took the one on the end for optimum drink service. Wasn’t disappointed there! We played deuces wild and the initial $20 went pretty fast. Whitey decided he had enough and got up to find a BJ table. I stuck it out and ended up playing a couple hours. Lost about $50 but really enjoyed the game(and the scenery) and had quite a few Kettle and cranberries in the process. Found Mike settled in at a $5 BJ table, with a big stack of chips in front of him. I checked out the craps situation. $2 min w/ 2X odds. Not the best, but I was ready to roll. Bought in for $100 and played for a bit. Left the table with $40 and sat down with Mike at the Black Jack table. We had a great run. Things were getting a bit blurry, but neither one of us could lose a hand. I sat down with my left over $40 from the craps fiasco and never reached back in my pocket. The dealers were a blast. After stacking up a good stock of red chips, I started coloring up any time I would have 4 green chips and putting the a black one in my pocket. We left the table about 4 hours later extremely drunk. Went to the cage and emptied our pockets. Whitey had about $250 from his $50 buy in and I had somewhere in the neighborhood of $350. It was about 10 p.m. We shuttled back to the strip and stopped for some full pay DW at the Barbary before heading Down to Casino Royal. Went down and signed up for their card and got some pretty good coupons. Picked up a free drink and played some penny slots. The Beverly Hillbilly game may be the dumbest thing ever, but the girl sitting next to me thought it was hilarious. Walked over to Harrah's to cash in my baseball ticket. Not bad...won $35 or so $$ on my $25 bet. Went to the Barbary for some late night Barbary toast and breakfast. MAN...the best toast in the world. Something strange must be going on at the Victoria Room. It was pretty late and fairly crowded....AND THE SERVICE WAS ACTUALLY QUICK!!! We slopped down our food and headed back to the Flamingo. A good first day. Whitey and I were both up a pretty good chunk. Good thing, because Tuesday wasn’t quite as nice. Tuesday morning, I was up about 7:30. Whitey decided to sleep in, so I went down for some coffee and then looked for Marcus. Finally found him around 9 and went back to get Whitey. He was up and ready to go, so we headed north. The new “thing” in front of the Mall????? What a huge, amazing piece of architectural weirdness!!! First stop...The Ho for a cheap beer and then Slots-o-fun for penny 100 play VP. Nothing like a cold Heineken first thing in the morning.....only in Vegas!! Now, 100 play penny VP is quite an experience. Especially when you are putting on an early morning buzz. I played for about an hour and lost about $10. We continued on to Circus Circus and checked the Stardust for Harvey Corman /Tim Conway tickets. They only had seats at the very back corner available, so we decided not to do it. Stopped at The Frontier to sign up for a card and pull the gigantic free pull. Ate lunch at the Mexican place. The chicken burrito’s were pretty damn good and reasonably priced, but the cup of coffee I ordered was $2.50!! Left very full. Wandered up and down that side of the street. Along the way, we were all losing $$ here and there at a pretty good clip. Decided to stop at TI before heading up to room the for a nap. We were NOT pacing ourselves very well and didn’t want to burn out. Sat down at one of the bars for a little VP and a Long Island before nap time. Well...the bartender was a great guy. I think he called himself Small Paul, which he wasn’t, but apparently his son was Tall Paul. Anyway, this guy had been bartending in Vegas for about 30 years. Great stories and a fantastic outlook on life. We ended up drinking three or 4 BIG Long Islands and laughing our butts off at this guy. He flirted with every woman that approached the bar, ages spanning anywhere from 21 to about 60. In the mean time...Whitey hits 4 deuces. CHANGE OF PLANS....the nap can wait....LET'S GO DOWNTOWN! Cab fare on Whitey. Cab driver dropped us at --------. So it’s now 4 P.M. and we’ve been going strong since about 9:30 that morning. We stopped in Lady Luck to sign up for a card and get our deck of cards. Tried to win a sports car playing some nickle machine while Whitey and Marcus grabbed a sandwich.....no luck. Found some full pay VP at a little bar and gave it a shot....no luck, but good drinks. Stopped in 4 queens and Fitzgerald's for a bit. One of those places had $2 Caribbean Stud...don’t remember which. But we had a great time playing. Really hootin a hollerin. The folks around us were having a blast, but the dealers were like stone. Ran into a Guy we had met on the strip earlier that day. He was pretty drunk. And became our C.S. cheering section. Whitey and Marcus headed up to La Bayou and I headed to Binion’s to try the chili. Mikey was right!!! Yummy stuff!! And I love sitting at the snack bar right in the casino. Walking down Fremont street at night is great. What a fantastic atmosphere! On my way to La B, I stopped to watch a guy painting with spray paint . Very cool. At La B, Whitey and Marcus sitting at a Wheel of Fortune. This was my first time in this place and I was looking forward to a drink. Whitey suggested the Brain Freeze with an extra shot. I remember reading about that particular dink right here, so I went to the back to get one, enjoying the scenery as I went. The girls that work in this place are cute! The bar tender suggested I not get the extra shot. I think maybe she was my guardian angel. Either that, or she could tell I was already pretty well hammered! I took her advice and sat down at a nickel Money to Burn and popped in a five dollar bill. Right away I hit for $100. Well, in this place they acted like I had won the big progressive. Kind of fun, the girl with the microphone...”Bosco from Cincinnati has just won $100!!!!” Whitey and Marcus were sitting way down the row and I could here them hooting and hollering. Got my $ and sat down with them...boom $80 on the Wheel. “Bosco, from Cincinnati has won again!!!” After a while we decided to walk down to the Mecca..the El Cortez, for some craps. On the way, the disco show started and we stopped to check it out. Lots of fun. Two older ladies in sequin outfits were in the middle of the cross street dancing. What a hoot. The double shot that Whitey had in his drink was kicking in big time and Marcus and I had to keep him from joining them. Shoulda let him do it. I’m sure it would have been priceless. On the way down the street, we stopped at a drug store out from under the canopy. Lots of very strange characters down that way, but none of them threatening. Made it to the El C unscathed and headed straight back to the tables. All of the usual dealers were there from our last two trips. Rich, the stick man, remembered us and got us right into the game. We joked and played for hours. Didn’t win a whole lot, but came out ahead. What a great place. Smokey and dingy and TONS of character. Even Betty, the oldest cocktail waitress in Vegas was in a good mood that night and actually kept our drinks coming. We stayed until about 2 or 3 in the morning, and finally dragged ourselves away. Cabbed it back to the Flamingo and Marcus headed off to bed. Whitey and I settled in for a little Barbary Toast and eggs. Afterwards, Whitey headed to the room and I stayed at the Barbary for a little useless black jack. Afterwards, on the way to the elevator at the Flamingo, I stopped at a quarter pick ‘em poker machine at one of the bars. Man...the hookers were everywhere! Kind of scary . I lost $20 in a hurry and headed on up to bed. What a great day!! Wednesday morning, I woke up around 10. Whitey was still out like a light, so I got ready and went down for a little breakfast. Afterwards I went back upstairs and Whitey was still in bed. HE said his sinuses were bothering him. I’m pretty sure it was the extra shot of grain. So I headed out to the Aladdin to do the slot promo and get my $20 food voucher. Payed $25, spun some slots they had set up in a special area and went back to get my voucher. Also got $10 in free slot play....hmmmmmm. How to do this. I’m not much for slots, so I decided, What the heck....I’ll try the $1 slots in the high roller area under the upstairs lounge. stuck my card in a $1 Cigar and hit for $150.00 on the first spin. Cashed right out! Walked around a bit and caught a cab to the Palms for some VP. TONS of full pay machines here!!! Cashed out $100 on a full pay J or B after a mere $10 buy in. So far the day was going pretty well. Decided to walk back to the strip. Man, what a windy day. The little porno paper racks were blowing all over the place. Not a bad walk. and I needed the exercise. Got back to the Flamingo and found Whitey ready to go. we decided to grab a cab up to the Strat and then walk our way back. Luck ran out at the Strat. Couldn’t do a thing. Played mostly VP on the promotion they have going that pays back a certain percentage of your losses for the first half hour of play. Just got my letter from them in the mail. $54 dollars and some odd cents. Went back to the Karaoke bar and listened to some of the folks sing while drinking Long Islands at the bar. Whitey still wasn’t feeling too good, so he stuck to water. Heard an older guy sing the song Cossette sings from Les Miserable. What a hoot. Sounded like a bad Frank Sinatra singing a song that a little girl sings in the musical. Then this guy did a Eminem song and nailed it. I finally know what the words really are. A newly wed couple from England also sang a couple of songs. Looked like they were having a great time. Grabbed a bite at the Armadillo. Had a really good Cajun dish, but what really made the meal was the server....man....she was HOT!!! If only I were 20 years younger and single...I probably STILL would never have a chance! Left the Strat and made our way down the strip. Sopped at the Sahara and played some craps. Great dealers. Very friendly. But no luck. Strolled on down to the Riviera and the first thing we see is nickel town. So we played some dumb nickel slots and flirted with the old ladies. Actually had a great conversation with a 89 year old great-great Grandmother from Illinois. I don’t remember for sure, but I’m pretty sure she had about a million grand kids. Very spry for her age. And loved that bourbon!! I was impressed. Here it was after midnight, and this lady was hanging out, playing nickel slots (one at a time) and drinking free bourbon. If only I were 40 years older and single!! Told my wife the next morning on the phone that she had nothing to worry about. The only women showing any interest in me on the entire trip were twice my age!!!! Helped my new girlfriend find her group and then headed on down the strip. We stopped in the Casino Royale and played some 50 pay penny VP, then headed to the BC for late night Toast. Mike headed up to the room and I sat my drunk ass down at some spin the wheel slot machine and the wheel kept spinning!!!! Cashed out about $200. Went to bed a bit down for the day, but the hit at the end helped ease the pain. Thursday...BIRTHDAY!!! Got up late and just hung out for a while. Headed down to the Aladdin for the buffet. Used the food voucher. Great food! Tried a little bit of everything. The Middle Eastern stuff was really good. Rolled up the stairs and caught a shuttle from the BC back to the Orleans. Had a great time playing black jack and Multi Strike. Lost at both, but had many drinks and plenty to look at. Caught a cab down town. There was some sort of big parade going on and after getting on the grain train, we joined right in. Ended up back at the El C for some late night craps. I had told the craps dealers on Tuesday we would be back for my birthday...well, when we got to the table, they all remembered and proceeded to wear out the “your getting old” jokes. Had a great time. The clientele was particularly ornery that night, and we had the pleasure of watching Rich throw three different guys off the table for being jack asses. Whitey and Marcus headed home around 3, but I dug in for the long haul. Lost my ass, but had a great time. At the end of a loooong night , I was comped breakfast. Sat down and ate a huge breakfast, topped off by a big piece of “birthday” carrot cake. Caught a cab and fell into bed zzzzzzzzzz. Friday....the last day. Spent most of the day trying to find souvies to take home to the wife and kids. Saw Jim Belushi filming his TV show at Ceasers. Got in a few last hands of black jack. Ate lunch at the Carnival Court at Harrah’s and watched a really fun disco band. All of the musicians wore giant afro wigs. Very funny...especially their rendition of “Car Wash”. Headed to the airport. Of course, I had to drop a couple $$ in the wheel of fortune. Actually cashed out $60! Go on the plane and...that’s that. All in all, a great trip. It was really nice to not really have an agenda. Just kinda did whatever seemed like the next good thing to do.- -Really enjoyed the Orleans. -La Bayou is a good time! -Still have to say...doesn’t get much better than rolling the bones at the El C. -the buffet at Aladdin is Awesome -Didn’t make it to the south end of the strip this trip...didn’t miss it either! -after reading back over it, sounds like I won a ton o cash...I left out the losing stuff!!! -weather was lousy. No pool time and many outdoor things were closed due to the wind. Didn’t dampen the spirits, though! WOW...didn’t realize it would be this long......hope you all enjoyed it. Thanks for all of your Vegas insight. Every trip gets better thanks to all of your input!