I am not writing a traditional trip report. I'm just writing random thoughts and observations in roughly the order in which they occurred. Flew Southwest from Hartford. Used Rapid Rewards points from Amex and flew for free. Uneventful flights and most Southwest associates were very friendly and helpful. The way you have to get your boarding passes exactly 24 hours prior to your flight stinks. I had to leave an excellent craps session and go to the Mirage business center so that my wife and I could sit together on the flight home. Stayed in a Mirage Penthouse Suite for an average rate of $207/ night M-TH. What a deal and a treat! Spacious and well equipped. It occupies the space of 3 regular rooms, about 1250 sq ft. The decor is dated, but the room is in very good shape. Many dates still available for the penthouse and tower suites for the balance of Sept and Oct for under $200. Treat yourself, you won't regret it. Arrived at noon, room not ready until 3 pm. Had lunch at BLT. Burger was good... but 2 burgers, 1 fry, 1 beer and 1 soda $47 including tip... for a burger??? I find the Mirage casino to be dark and the low ceiling claustrophobic. The location can't be beat. Tram to TI, a 5 minute walk to Venetian/Palazzo complex and a 2 minute walk to $3/100 times odds crap tables at Casino Royal. Because of recommendations on this board we dined the first night at the Grand Lux Cafe in the Palazzo. Great space, great food, great value. Thanks for the advice. The hotel was very nice, but the casino is like an airplane hanger. There are very few good original ideas in life. You have to steal some. LVS needs to steal casino design from Steve Wynn. He has perfected it in the Bellagio and Wynn. High ceilings for a spacious feeling made more intimate by bring the height down around the table pits. And what is that escalator doing coming down in the middle of the casino? It reminds me of the Excalibur. The Mirage pool is now our favorite in town. That includes the Bellagio and Mandalay Bay. Lush foliage and great music (for our mid 40's ages), chairs are tight but not like sardines at MB. The new Eastside Cannery is also our new favorite locals casino. Good BJ and VP, comfortable surroundings and pleasant staff. The fact that we won probably didn't hurt either. We saw Danny Gans, he was very excellent. Wife saw Cher and loved her . I was equally thrilled that I did not have to go, I would rather have a root canal. Had the Bellagio breakfast buffet, excellent as always. The Mirage breakfast buffet was OK. The Mirage's new buffet had all of the ambiance of a military mess hall. Spend $1 more and walk to Bellagio for the buffet. Bellagio and Mirage both have $5 BJ during the day. The evil empire has only $10 ??? MGM Mirage needs to have their decorators' heads examined. The Bellagio has that upscale European decor and they changed the buffet entrance and signs to the 70's Formica decor that is consuming all of their resorts. Brown plastic laminate EVERYWHERE! I think it will age as well as leisure suits did. Bellagio was beautiful 10 years ago, is beautiful now and will be beautiful in 10 years from now. It's decor is timeless. A great trip overall.