(I apologize, this is much longer than I intended. If you make it through, thanks for reading!) In the weeks leading up to our short trip, I was so excited. I was driving my husband crazy as usual. I was getting things together to pack and gathering coupons and finding discounts... Then May 5 rolls around and I get bad news from work. The advertising agency I work for is laying off 27 people. Yep, you guessed it, I was one of them. Terrible news days before we're supposed to leave and spend a relatively large sum (well, for us, anyway) of money! I talked to my husband and we decided we have to still go because our plane tickets are non-refundable, we had non-refundable show tickets and 2 of our nights were free anyway. Plus, we weren't sure when we'd be able to take a vacation again. The show must go on! So, we were all set to head out to Vegas early on the morning of Saturday, May 10. We live in Cincinnati, but often can't fly out of CVG because their fares are so high, so we booked a flight on Northwest out of Indianapolis. About an hour and 45 minute drive - not so bad. Our flight was to leave at 6:40 am so I figured if we leave the house by 3:30 am, we'd have plenty of time. I was right, but we didn't leave until almost 4:10. We are perpetually late and I really should have built in more time as a cushion. Anyway, we got on the road, my husband went to sleep and there I was battling the THICK fog on the way to Indianapolis. LOL. Well, we got there at about 5:50, parked close in the expensive long term parking lot and jumped on the shuttle. I had checked us in online the day before and printed boarding passes, and we only ever take carry-on, so we just had to get through security. That was a breeze. Actually it was a puff. There is this booth now that I had not encountered before, that shoots a puff of air at you to test for explosives. Weird, but no biggie. We made it through security 1-2-3 and were off to buy some snacks and get on the plane. My husband is a big guy (6'1" and about 300 lbs.). I'm always a little squished in my seat next to him on planes, but this time, a guy bigger than him was in the seat in front of him. And he reclined. Actually, I'm not sure he did, but it looked like it! I think there was maybe 1-2 inches for him to move his legs around behind this guy. Aside from the cramped quarters, the flight was uneventful and we arrived around 8 am at McCarran. We grabbed our backpacks, hopped the shuttle and took a cab to the MGM Grand for our first night's stay. We figured we'd just have to check our bags at the bell desk and come back later given that it was 8 am, but we lucked out and got a very friendly lady at the check-in desk who said, "I'm going to go ahead and get you into a room". We were thrilled! My husband tipped her a $20 and off we went. We had a West Wing room and got it for $89.99 for the Saturday. We weren't sure what to expect, but we loved it. It had the most comfortable bed I think I've ever slept on. The decor was obviously recently updated. Great room, but we dropped our bags and headed to the monorail. We bought our 10-ride, shareable pass at the ticket booth for $35. This one isn't available through the automated vending machines anymore, but is a slightly better deal. We rode up to Bally's and then headed across the street to Bellagio for the champagne brunch. I had been anticipating this brunch for weeks. No, months! It was everything I remembered. Unfortunately for us, we got to pay a "special" Mother's Day price this time. A couple bucks more, not a big deal, just thought it was funny. We had so much food there. I always like their waffles, hubby loves their French toast and we both love the tenderloin medallions. Both of us made 3 trips to the buffet counting dessert. Once we were suitably stuffed we made our way over to the poker room. Now, we've both been wanting to play at Bellagio, but we're $1/3 NL (or $1/2 in Vegas) players. Bellagio has $2/5 as their lowest no limit game. While I'm perfectly comfortable playing at that level, I really wanted to come back after we played somewhere else so we didn't blow our bankroll on the bigger buy-in and mess up the rest of the trip. But, my husband reasoned with me that we were already there and what could go wrong? So we played. We didn't have more than about a 10 minute wait and we ended up at the same table, which we have mixed feelings about. Neither of us had too much luck there. I won a few bucks and then my husband, after being up and down, finally busted out when some older guy called his raise and hit two pair with 9-7 off-suit. We decided to go then while we weren't too far behind. We hadn't been to Palazzo, so we headed over to check that out next. That place is beautiful. We played a little craps there and did okay for a little while, but ended up losing about $100, which isn't too bad, I guess. We mainly just wanted to check the place out anyway. Next stop was Venetian. We love their poker room and always love to play there. We had already planned on visiting the Guggenheim-Hermitage Museum and this happened to be its final weekend open and it was free. I've always been interested in art, but this was not the place for me. Just not my taste, or my husband's, so we ran through there pretty quickly and landed at the poker room for some 1/2 NL. I guess we waited for 5-10 minutes and got on separate tables. I took my seat and my very first hand was QQ. I didn't even have my chips yet, but raised, picking up a couple callers. The flop looked innocent enough, so I bet out. Still got a caller. Turn was another blank, so I bet again. Same caller. River... nothing. I pushed all-in and the guy called me! I turned over my queens and he mucked his hand. So I doubled up on my first hand, and then my $100 in chips arrived. LOL. Strangest thing that's happened to me at a poker table, being all-in before the chip runner got back with my chips. We played there for quite a while and my husband actually ended up moving to a $5/10 Stud Hi/Lo game in the Salon that a bunch of locals play every Saturday night there. He had a great time with that and we both walked away winners from the Venetian. We decided it was time to get some dinner (I think around 10 pm, not too sure) so we headed over to the little cafe/food court around the way from the poker room. I had a nice big BLT and he had a Philly Cheesesteak. We had to run over to Mirage and pick up some $1 chips for a friend and then decided to call it a night and we headed over to Harrah's to take the monorail back to MGM. We got to bed at a reasonable hour for us in Vegas and both woke up pretty early. After a good night's sleep on that comfy bed I decided I wasn't checking out without first using MGM's pool. So we headed downstairs and my husband went to play a little poker and I headed out to the pool. I had no idea where it was so I was glad I called the front desk to ask about it before I headed down there. It's a pretty nice pool, plenty of chairs and towels available, although I can imagine later on it would be plenty crowded. I stayed for a couple hours and then headed up to the room where my husband was supposed to meet me to check out. He wasn't there so I gave him a call to tell him to cash out soon and he informed me that he had doubled his buy-in and that he'd be up in a few minutes. I grabbed a quick shower and finished packing, he met me and we grabbed our bags and headed downstairs. I had gotten $5 in slot play for staying there, so we burned that up pretty quickly. I was up at first. We headed out to catch a cab to In-N-Out Burger for lunch. This is a Vegas must for us! It was super crowded when we got there, but we saw a cabbie who was getting lunch and we told her if she'd still be there in a few, we'd need a ride back to the strip. She was really cool and when she finished eating, she actually came in and told us she'd be waiting outside for us but not to rush. Nice! We've sometimes had to wait to flag down a cab there, so this was a score in our book. So we enjoyed our burgers, fries and icy cold Coca-Colas and then met our cabbie and headed back to MGM. We then jumped on the monorail and headed up to Flamingo for our 2 free nights there. When we got there, the place was packed! The line was long, but moved very quickly. We got this sweet older lady when it was our turn. I had asked my husband to try the $20 trick when we got in line (because I'm too chicken for stuff like that!) and he said he would. He asked if there were any free upgrades available (keep in mind we had a free room anyway). She said they may have a GO room available for either $25 or $50 a night, and asked if we'd be interested in that. He said yes. She looked and said she had one that was probably ready, but had 2 queen beds instead of a king, but was still non-smoking. Fine by us! Then she said, "I think I can get it for you for $25 a night and I believe you can see the fountains from it! You'll have to come back and let me know for sure." Awesome! Sure enough, we got a GO room for $25 a night and we had a perfect view of the fountains at Bellagio! It was on the end looking over Bill's, I believe the room number was 201 on the 24th floor if I'm not mistaken. She definitely deserved the $20 tip and she was happy when we stopped back by and told her about the fountain view. The room was great. Clean and comfortable like we'd come to expect from Flamingo, but with some really nice perks and upgrades. Needless to say, we weren't there long though. We had Spamalot tickets so we wanted to head up to Wynn early and play come cards and try out their buffet. So off we went to the monorail. We found out this time that if you get off at the station at the convention center, Wynn has a free shuttle from there. Nice! So we took that. We were the only 2 people on it and the driver was nice and friendly. She was very talkative and kept us entertained. When we got to Wynn, we had to walk past the craps tables to get to the poker room and my husband somehow convinced me to stop and play. And then somehow convinced me to throw the dice too. I usually try to avoid it because I'm really good at throwing reds. Anyway, we bought in for $100 and shared it. We were the only two at the table and I actually made a couple points! We decided to cash out when we were up to a little over $300. We went to the box office to pick up out tickets and then headed to the poker room for some $1/3 NL. I just can't get used to those crazy $3 chips. After a terrible suckout that busted him out, my husband managed to battle back and double up and then come out ahead and I won a little bit too. It was getting to be around 4:00 or so, so we figured we'd head on over to the buffet to beat the crowd. Well, we beat the crowd and then we got to pay the "special" Mother's Day price for that buffet as well. LOL. Everything was pretty good, but personally, I prefer the buffet at Bellagio. Wynn did have some yummy desserts though. So we finished up dinner and then headed out to feed a couple slots. We found these new Dukes of Hazzard machines, which looked fun. So we sat down and played on those for a while. They didn't pay too much and were kind of hard to hit on, I think. Soon enough it was time for Spamalot. Well, the theater is pretty small and the seating is a bit cramped in there. I'm only 5'4" and I had a hard time with the leg-room (or lack thereof), but the show was awesome. Hilarious. John O'Hurley was great in it. We had a great time there. After the show we decided to head over to Caesars Palace to play some cards. We headed out and started walking down the strip and somehow my husband convinced me that it would be fun to play at O'Shea's at their strip poker tables. I wasn't too enthused about it, but said what the heck, we can play there for a little bit and then head across to Caesars. Well we ended up there all night. I think my husband got caught up in trying to find and beat the fish at the table. We only bought in for $100 each, but I think he bought in 4 times. I ended up flopping quad 7's against none other... my husband. I did get the $83 quads bonus though, so that was cool. There was this weird, unfriendly guy who sat down there won a couple big pots then disappeared for about 1/2 hour. While he was gone, this drunk kid was hanging around wanting a seat and watching the action. He ended up spilling his drink on the missing guy's chair. Well, I was in a hand when the guy showed back up and before I could say anything he sat down and immediately shot out of his seat complaining about it being wet. Oops. Well he sat down, played a few more hands, won a few more decent size pots and got up and disappeared for more than 1-1/2 hours and finally got his chips picked up. We were finally getting tired and decided to retire to our GO room. This is where it all went wrong for me. At about 5:30 am, I woke up with the worst stomach ache ever. I headed for the bathroom and then crawled back into bed and woke up my husband and begged him to go find me some Pepto Bismol or something of the like. I didn't think I'd make it out that day if I didn't get something. So he went downstairs and tried to find it for me. He showed back up with a bottle of the pink stuff (I was really hoping for chewables or caplets, but made due). Ick, ick, ick! It really wasn't working and ultimately made me sick to my stomach. I was in bad shape, but was determined to get out and do something. I really wanted to check out Flamingo's pool since I've heard it was nice, but decided sitting in the hot sun may not be a good idea. I sent my husband downstairs to play cards while I tried to pull myself together. I ended up sleeping for hours though, in between getting sick and well, you know... I finally called him because I was actually getting hungry. I asked him to maybe just get me some rice and a Coke. He came back upstairs with rice and a Sierra Mist and some waters. He was very excited to tell me that he was sitting at the table at the time the Super Mega Bad Beat (or whatever Harrah's calls it) was hit. So he won $385 just for being dealt cards. Cool! I thought I was starting to feel better. I ate my rice and drank some water. He headed back downstairs and I was going to meet him. My body had other plans. He came back upstairs, this time with Imodium AD (thank god). I told him I couldn't possibly make it out, but asked him to please find me a Coke and some crackers before he came back in for the night. I saw no reason for him to sit in the room and watch me sleep! He headed over to Caesars Palace to play cards and ended up doing pretty well, so that's good. Then he found out the hard way that the Harrah's establishments have only Pepsi products. He finally made it to Mirage where he said he had a good steak dinner (that wasn't the same without me, he said) and his server was nice enough to box up a ton of soda crackers for me in a to-go container and she directed him to a store inside Mirage that actually sold Coke products. Thank goodness! He also got me a couple Fiji waters while he was playing craps there. So he lugged all that stuff back to Flamingo for me. I managed to keep the crackers and Coke down, thankfully. The next day (Tuesday) we were headed back home around 1:20. More crackers and Coke for breakfast. I was feeling better and we decided to pack up, check out, check our bags and play some cards at Flamingo until we had to head back to the airport. We managed to book a small win, but then stupidly gave it back at the craps table. The flight back to Indy was right on time and uneventful. I was scared that I'd have a relapse on the plane, but was fine. We didn't keep very good track of where we parked the car at IND since we left it in such a rush, and ultimately had to have the shuttle driver drive us around until we found it. But, we eventually made it home by around 10 pm our time. We had a good trip, aside from my getting sick. Now we're just trying to work the details out for the August trip we have been planning. Oh, and I'm still trying to find a job. Eek.