We got up early in the morning on 7/27 and headed off to DFW to catch our flight on AA that was supposed to leave at 9:07. Our flight was delayed and we were able to board shortly after 10. We sat on the plane until after 11. Apparently our pilots were stuck in Florida and they weren't able to get anyone else to fly the plane. After they found pilots, they couldn't find any flight attendants. It was annoying, but whatever. We caught a cab to the Mirage and checked our bags in. It was almost 1. We decided to go to the front desk to see if our room was ready. We were prepared to try the $20 trick, but figured it would be risky since the hotel was completely booked the first couple nights of our stay. When we got up to the desk my husband asked if there was any way that we could get an upgrade since we were going to be there for so long. The desk clerk said it would be no problem and that there was usually a $50/night charge for an upgrade but she would be happy to waive it. We ended up with a Tower Deluxe room overlooking the volcano - room 25-077. We still gave her $20 anyway just for being nice. The room was decent sized with a king bed. It had one entire wall that was mirrored. It proved to be a little *ahem* distracting. The bathrooms were nice - marble everywhere, separate jacuzzi tub and glass shower. They gave us bath salts, the standard shampoo and conditioner, a ton of nice soaps, and hairspray and mouthwash. The vanity in the bathroom had a nice lighted make-up mirror, but the location was a little inconvenient because it was right behind the door. In order to sit at the vanity, the bathroom door had to be closed. We unpacked our suitcases and changed clothes and headed over to Cesars. We wandered around the shops and played a few slots. We left there and went to MGM and grabbed a bite to eat at Wolfgang Puck's Bar and Grill. It was very good. We left to check out the Tropicana. My grandparents stay there everytime they go to Vegas, so we thought we'd see what that was all about. We weren't at all impressed and we didn't win anything so we headed back to Mirage to change and head out for the evening. We got dressed and headed next door to TI. It was only about 7:00, but we were still on Dallas time so it seemed a lot later. We went to Tangerine for a few drinks. It was a nice place, but totally dead early on a Tuesday night. They had a good dj out on the deck overlooking "Siren's Cove" so we hung out and listened to the music and had a few drinks. They had small bottles of Moet White Star for $10 (!!!) and I was a happy woman. The Sirens' show was cancelled that night due to high winds, so we moved on. On the way out, some guy handed us some coupons for a free drink at Mist. We stopped there before heading out. Mist was very dark and not very crowded. It seemed like a nice place and we went back there a couple more times during our trip. We headed downtown to the Nugget and I played craps for the first time. I did pretty well. we went to another casino (don't remember which one - alcohol induced memory loss) and I lost everything I won. The next day, my husband took off to go to his conference at Cesars. I called in room service for breakfast and then headed over to TI. I won about $250 on quarter slots and called my husband so we could meet for lunch. We had lunch at the Venetian and then went to check out Aladdin. It was just being built the last time we were there. The Desert Passage shops weren't nearly as spectacular as we thought they would be, but the little thunderstorm was kind of cool. We went back to the Mirage to change for the evening and stopped at Harrah's before heading over to a private party at Cesars. I won $150 playing craps over there. It made my night. Headed over to a penthouse at Cesars for the party. It was ridiculously crowded, but I did get to see a nice view of the strip once I finally made it to the windows. The penthouse where the party was taking place happened to be across the hall from Elton John's suite. I didn't see Elton (security cleared the halls when he was coming back up), but I did see his dog. It was a cute little black and white cocker spaniel. Left the party and went to Nine Fine Irishmen at NYNY. They had a live band that was pretty good and an excellent Irish dancer. The bar reminded me of my favorite bar back here at home. Had a few too many pints and headed back to the hotel. My husband went to his conference the next day and I hit the strip on my own. I met him for lunch at Noodles at Bellagio. It was very good and very fast. After that, I went to O'Shea's, Harrah's, TI, and back to the Mirage and lost all of my winnings from the previous day. We made dinner reservations at Simon at the Hard Rock. The food was very good, but the portions were HUGE. As we were leaving the Hard Rock, we saw John Goodman walking in. He is a very large man. We headed back to the strip and went to meet up with one of my younger brother's friends at Casino Royale across the street. We all decided to grab a free drink at Mist and then head back to Tangerine. Tangerine was excellent on Thursday night. They had a nice crowd, the burlesque show was great, but the Sirens show was cancelled again due to high winds. My brother's friend went off to hit on a couple of girls while my husband and I enjoyed the view of the strip. About 15 minutes later, my bro's friend stumbles back over, barely able to stand up and completely incoherent. We got him out of the club, took him back to our hotel, and sent him off in a cab back to his hotel. We called his hotel and told them that he was coming and they were going to have security meet him with a wheelchair. The next day, he couldn't remember anything at all after talking to those girls. We all got a good laugh out of it until we realized that he only had two drinks. It started to become clear that someone had slipped him something. After talking to a buddy of mine out there who works with a lot of the club hosts, I found out that he has heard a lot of stories like that lately. Surprisingly enough it seems to happen to men more than women. Very strange and very creepy. Our friend was ok the next day, he just had a major headache and didn't remember a thing. The next day we tried Cravings, the new buffet at the Mirage. It was ok. We were starting to noticed that most of the food we had tried on our trip was very bland. The dessert selection looked very promising at first until we realized that all of the best looking pies and cakes were sugar free. After lunch my husband went back to his conference and my friend and I headed down to Slots a Fun and played $1 craps. We had a pretty low-key night. We went to the Shark Reef at Mandalay Bay and it was awesome. It was very educational. The jellyfish display was very cool. We checked out the bar at the Hard Rock. It was packed. Lots of meatheads in tight shirts and silicone as far as the eye can see. It was very entertaining. After that, we gambled here and there and ended up at Nine Fine Irishmen again where they were charging a $10 cover charge. Not worth it at all, IMO, so we left and went back to the hotel to crash. We slept in Saturday and then spent the whole day casino-hopping. We had Mexican food for lunch at Gonzalez y Gonzalez for lunch. It was pretty good. The salsa was weak and we went through a whole bottle of hot sauce at the table in an attempt to spice it up. I won $80 playing craps at Monte Carlo. I liked their casino. It's very big and open. I played craps for awhile at Flamingo with some old guy named George from Tampa. He was a lot of fun. I won some money there, but I don't remember how much. I was having a hard time rolling the dice and hit some poor guy at the end of the table square in the nuts. Later that night we met up with our friend and his dad downtown. We finally saw the Fremont Street Experience. We've never made it down there early enough to see it. We had dinner at Binion's. Their chinese food was interesting. My friend's dad gave us a quick craps lesson and then headed back to his hotel to crash. We decided we were going to "slum it" and go to some skanky casinos, but in our drunken state, we couldn't find any. We thought that Glitter Gulch sounded like a sleazy place so we almost went there until we realized it wasn't the kind of sleaze we were looking for! We got tired of trying to think of places to go so we ended back up at NYNY in the lobby bar. Had a few too many beers and then went back to our hotel to crash. Sunday we got up and headed to the Spice Market buffet at the Aladdin. While waiting for our cab, it started raining. It poured for about 5 minutes and then it was gone. We loved Spice Market. The best buffet I have ever been to - hands down. The food was excellent and there was quite a variety. We left very full. We headed over to Paris to check out their tables. While we were there, I decided to get a foo-foo frozen drink. I'm normally a beer and bourbon kind of girl. I don't mess with the fluffy stuff. The one time I order a pina colada, I get it in a two foot tall Eiffel tower shaped glass. My husband is still making fun of me for that one. It was very embarassing. People kept laughing at me. I told him I was going to have to do a few shots of whiskey or tequila after I finished it just to regain my cool points. We spent the entire day playing all over the strip. We went to the M&M store and bought the most expensive M&M's on the planet for people back at home. We saw George again at the Flamingo and said hi. We didn't have any luck that afternoon. Sunday evening we headed down to the Stardust. We also hit the 'Ho, Slots a Fun, the Riviera, and the Frontier. We had pretty good luck at all of those places. We went back down to our end of the strip and played at the Imperial Palace and Harrah's. We finally had the best luck and the most fun at Casino Royale. One guy at the table rolled for at least 45 minutes. It was incredible. I was ready to take him home at the end of the evening. He won both of us a lot of money. We finally made it back to the hotel at 6am. We crawled into bed to catch a couple hours of sleep before checking out the next day. We rolled out of bed, still drunk from the night/morning before. We managed to get showered and dressed and packed and checked out. We ran by Bellagio for lunch and then headed to the airport. The trip home was miserable. Our flight was delayed 4 hours. We didn't get back to DFW until nearly eleven. We live about 5 minutes south of the airport but the south exit was closed so we had to go about 20 minutes out of the way to get home. By the time we got home, we were completely exhausted and it was after midnight. All in all, it was a great trip. I can'e wait to go back next year. For me, the best thing about it was learning to play craps. I don't think I will ever be able to play slots again!