Breeze Trip Report, 8/20 to 8/28 Okay, let's get this out of the way first. Confession being good for the soul and all. I was a regular on Trip Advisor for many years and just stating for the record, I was well known. Anyway, I was banned. The reason doesn't matter, I stepped over a line one too many times. I'm getting a fresh start and I promise I will act my age, which is 64. On to the TR. I write in a folksy, first person style. Some people like that, some don't. This being MY trip report, well, you know the rest. I'll try to keep to chronological order, but several dozen adult beverages may have clouded the brain a bit. Day 1 - Mirage Airport to taxi in less than 5 minutes, "Use Swenson, please", along the way I reflect that if I were driving I would use the tunnel and the freeway, because it is quicker and I have ants in my pants to get started. Line moves swiftly and I am in the room in 15 minutes. Unpack and chug a 24 oz. Bud. Straight to the Sports Book bar for more beer (Stella) and the first of many VP sessions. Lose. Over to Venetian for dinner at Grand Lux, a tradition of mine. More beer. Back to Mirage for $10 Blackjack and more beer. I sat at 3rd base (I seek out 3rd base, btw) and lose $300. I'm the only one of the more or less steady players who lose. In more than 3 hours of semi-drunk play, I never made a mistake at 3rd. The other players and the dealer confirm this. It's been a long day, I didn't sleep the night before, so it's off to bed. Slept fairly well. Day 2 - Mirage Up with the birds, SSS, taxi to Peppermill for an omelet and stroll back down the Strip, stopping in the Flamingo long enough to take $160 off of the Craps table. This is noteworthy in that it is the first time I have ever won a nickel at Flamingo. To the Quad and win about another $60 on Craps. To Harrah's, where I drop $50 at the Craps table. Pool time around noon. It's crowded but someone poolside is leaving just as I get there. Score! This would be a recurring theme. I never had a hard time getting a chair, despite the horror stories. Chug 2 18 oz. Stellas, go wading, read. Watch "scenery". The booze hits the head. Blah! Up to room for what turns out to be a 3 hour nap. My body clock says it is time to eat. Here comes the first bad part. Despite all logic, I go to BLT Burger. I have had some problems here in the past. The good angel said, this time will be different. The bad angel said, you are heading into the lion's den. I ordered a vanilla milkshake to settle the belly. It was great! I order a cheeseburger, American cheese, fried onions, waffle fries. Pretty basic stuff, right? My server disappears for 30 minutes. Finally, the meal comes and it is ice cold. "Yo, dude", I say, "This (stuff) is ice cold". He comes over and picks up the burger and the fries with his bare hands and then picks up the plate and disappers. He comes back about 5 minutes later. "Duh, you only have to pay for the milkshake". That's all he says. No apologies or anything. I pay for the milkshake and incredibly, intstinctively, I leave a buck tip. Jump the tram to TI, furious now. I go to Francesco's for a slice of pizza. Everyone in the joint has English for a second or third language and I cannot understand a word anyone is saying. I drop some of my favorite Ugly American theories. Now, I really like gambling at TI. I pick out a $10 table. The guy next to me is so drunk he can hardly sit in his chair and is betting $500 - $700 a hand. The dealer asks the pit boss for help. He eyes the size of the bet and does nothing. Finally, the guy just stands up and walks away, leaving about $1500 in chips on the table. He never returns. I get about $150 up and cash out. Back to Mirage to Sports Bar. Drop about $60. Get the extremely bright idea that I could get takeout pizza and beer at California Pizza Kitchen and go back to the room to watch Big Brother and then come back down for more gambling after the show. After getting the vague impression that Helen is trying her best to get Spencer evicted, I wake up fully-clothed on the bed at 2:00 A.M., one slice of pizza and about half of the beer still on the desk. Day 3 - Mirage Wake up about 8:00 A.M., SSS, Carnegie Deli for takeout bagel & cream cheese and eat in the Sports Book. The Phillies had picked this week to finally start winning, so I collect $36 and invest $20 of it on that night's game. Over the entire week, I would be about $40 ahead on Phillies bets. Decide to get touristy and start walking the Strip and gawking in the casinos. Drop another $60 at Bally's VP bar. Make about $80 or so at Planet Ho Craps table. Drop a hundo on NYNY Blackjack $10 table, but meet a very nice African-American couple. We have a great time chatting. Finally, up comes this dude who is a dead ringer for Pierre Maguire, the hockey commentator. Both he and his mate have these (stuff) eating grins on their face. He proceeds not to hit anything or double down, but splits any pair against anything, all the while with this stupid grin on his face and never saying a word. My new black friends pull their money out. I bust out and leave the table a hundred down. Things get cloudy here. Some of these things happened on Day 4, but they are all touristy things. Took a lot of pics and wandered my way back to Mirage. Very ugly skies. Went to pool anyway. After an hour or so, I see lightning on the horizon and know it is time to vacate. There were two extreme PYT's in front of me. These two guys were trying to hit on them without any success. I gradually came to realize that they could not speak English. I get it out of them that they are Brazilian. I say, "Oh, El Copa de Mundo". (The next world cup is in Brazil). All they want to do is point at my Phillies cap and say "Baseball, baseball". Yeah, yeah another slice of life poolside in Vegas. More VP, lose some more. Pasta at CPK for dinner. TI for gambling. Up, down at Craps and Blackjack. Take a soaking on 3 Card Poker at Mirage. Go to bed. Day 4 - Mirage Breakfast at Mirage buffet. Get into a pi$$ing contest with a guy in a Steelers hat who says I cut the bacon and sausage line. (I didn't, the line goes left to right, not right to left). It was raining with very ugly clouds. I honestly don't remember what I did, but this is when the trouble with the room key started. I could not get the card to work, so I went down to the Front Desk and went to the Gold Card line, where I managed to get stuck behind a guy who was checking in an entire kid's soccer team and their entourage. I finally get to the front and I am very mean to the girl. I feel bad, it wasn't her fault. Anyway, get new keys and go back to room. I can't remember eating. Off to The Palms for the Steely Dan concert! Third time I've seen them at the Pearl Theatre. The show was fantastic, got me up and dancing and cheering. Great Show!!! Back to Mirage and after a few nightcaps and another loss in VP, go to bed. Day 5 - Mirage Somewhat of a blur, because of what was about to happen later. I know I ate breakfast at Carnegie Deli. Out to the pool, sunny but then dark clouds roll in. I manage to pack in two Bloody Marys before it starts raining again. Up to room, key does not work. Use the house phone this time and Security comes up (BTW, I was in 19-092). Brings up the engineer to change locks. We try my key about 10 times and it works. Being paranoid, a little later I step into hall and close the door to see if the key will work and it doesn't. Furious now, I stomp back down to Front Desk. If you know Mirage, you know that this is a trek. I'm seeing Daniel Tosh at 10 and it is now 8 and I haven't eaten yet. I want the manager on duty. Dude tells me I have to wait in line. I tell him I am not waiting in any (freaking) line. Manager comes out. She is very nice. She gives me 2 new keys. I go back to the 19th floor. They do not work. All the way back down. I ask for her again. She says that I clearly have a problem and would I mind if she moved me to a SUITE on a higher floor and $150 in food and beverage credit? I tried to keep my composure but gushed all over her about how great she was. People, the suite was off the hook incredible! And all of my food that I had charged, which was just about all of it, except tax and tips, was paid for. My anger immediately disappeared. Made my show, Tosh was crude but funny, went back the Sports Bar and hit 4 Deuces for $500. Humbled now, I went back to my suite for the most fabulous view of the Strip at night that I have ever seen. Slept like a baby in the most comfortable bed I have ever been in. Gee, I hope I get rich some day! Day 6, 7 8 - Golden Nugget Housekeeping wastes no time kicking me out of my free suite and I am at the Golden Nugget by 11:00 A.M. I get an upgrade to a Rush Tower room. All 3 days seem to blend together, now. I know that one of the days it rained all day and one of the nights there was flooding all over the Valley. Some of the highlights: I won, I lost, but I ended up winning more than losing. I could not win at bartop VP, nor could I win on the only slot I will play, Lobstermania. I won on BJ, Craps and finally 3CP, at The California, where there was a delightful Hawaiian lady dealer named Abby. She is very funny and quite the story teller. Lots and lots of laughs. Played $5 Blackjack at Binion's. This huge biker dude was sitting next to me, chugging Crown Royals. He was interesting, but he stated for the entire table that he was never going to hit 15's or 16's. I stuck around because the table had some interesting characters and I didn't feel like moving. About 2 hours, ended up $40 ahead. Played lots of $2-$4 Limit Texas Hold'em at Golden Nugget, about 12 hours total. I already reported on these sessions on the Poker Room page. Finally caught a nice day and went to the pool. I love this pool, but the pads on the loungers were filthy! Bruised my hip on the water slide. Lost my glasses at the bottom, but a little girl with goggles retrieved them for me. Ate steak and eggs at Carson St. Cafe, went to Golden Nugget buffet (not nearly as bad as what people say), $11.99 Prime Rib special at Mangolia's and Chicken Parm at The Grotto bar. Lost some at VP, but had some great conversations at the bars. Final day, off to the airport and back home. Got caught up to date on Big Brother. Went to bed at 2 A.M. because I was now on reverse jet lag. I had a very good time, despite the weather. I ended up a bit down gambling, mostly because I started quitting after I doubled my buy-in on some hot tables. I should have pocketed my buy-in and keep playing, which I usually do. Another trip in the bag until next summer. I might try Mandalay Bay next time. I have always wanted to stay there and I have been at Mirage 5 straight times, so maybe it is time for a change. We'll see. To anyone who has gotten this far, thank you and I hope you enjoyed it.