Backstory I have always wanted to do something really special for my Mom for Christmas and finally the opportunity arose. Allegiant Air started flying non-stop from Knoxville to Las Vegas with some unbelievably low fares. I now had the how, but needed to find the why. I started checking and found that Elton John was playing in Las Vegas around my momâ€™s birthday. I sprang into action and picked up 2 first mezzanine tickets to his Saturday show along with 2 round trip airline tickets. I wrapped these up in a card thinking I was being sneaky to give to her for her Christmas gift. She opened up the envelope and read the note inside, then noticed that the card was dummied up. She opened that part of the card and looked up at me with tears in her eyes and I knew that I had done good. Thursday I worked part of a day, mainly just anticipating the upcoming trip, and head home early after receiving a call from Larry (Sanonofresurfer) telling me about the free ticket offer posted on the board to see Joe Piscopo at the Hilton. Unfortunately, this couldnâ€™t be in the cards as we are set to see Elton John on Saturday night, and KA on Friday night. After an uneventful day at work, I sat in front of my computer chatting with a few people from the board and waited on the folks to come pick me up for the airport. The folks pulled up and we were off for the airport. We find check-in is a breeze, snagging seats 7A and 7C, near the front of the plane. We say our good byes to my step dad and make quick work of the security checkpoint, the whole while my Mom nervous that she will do something wrong and get in trouble. Little did we know that she accidentally left a lighter in her purse and it made it through the security checkpointâ€¦ whoops! We settle in at Ruby Tuesday and enjoy a nice meal together while waiting on the plane to board. We finished up and I receive a text message from Becky (Kikky) asking if Iâ€™d had any beers yet, or if I was holding back due to my mom. I reply back to her and others that Iâ€™d had 2 beers, and everyone knew the trip was on. The flight was uneventful with the exception that we must have taken the long route or something as we arrive 20 minutes late. Becky is waiting on us in baggage claim, and introductions are made as we wait on the luggage. We pile into the Kikkymobile and are off for Luxor, where Becky had secured us a room for the weekend (Thanks again Becky!) We make plans to meet up with Becky for lunch over the weekend then head up to room 18211 in the west tower. Itâ€™s a nice room with a view of Excalibur and Hooters in the distance. Momâ€™s kind of worn out from the trip and has me head down to Starbucks to grab her a coffee. I grab a cup of Starbucks finest and she says sheâ€™s turning in for the evening after becoming a newly minted Starbucks convert. I head on down to the casino and find a video poker machine to my liking (you know, in the cocktail waitressâ€™s path) and got knocked around by that for awhile. I get up and get a feeling that one of the Top Dollar machines is calling my name to hit the glorious bonus spin, but I must have heard the wrong one calling my name as the machine I picked did me over fairly well. I make my way over to the Pai Gow Plus tables and see an absolutely gorgeous blonde sitting at position one. She is more than enough to make me sit down and play, so I buy in for a hundred. This turns into quite a fun table despite the language barrier amongst the players. At the table, we had the girl and her boy friend that only spoke Spanish to each other while at the table. I know that she could understand English as I had made a comment to the $300 per hand player, with a strong Middle Eastern accent, sitting beside me that he should buy breakfast for the whole table with his winnings which got a good laugh out of her. Then there was me with my Southern drawl, and the Chinese dealer who just mumbled under his breath when turning over the cards. It was thoroughly a good time and a few laughs amongst this group. They end up shutting this table down due to an equipment malfunction with the shuffler and we are moved over to a sit down table. One of the highlights was when I had just finished putting down my cards and just happened to look up and see two transvestites walking through the casino. I just shake my head and say, â€œDamn, there goes two of the ugliest men everâ€ to the tables delight. After four hours of Pai Gow action and getting a good drunk going, Iâ€™m up $135 and announce to the table that 24 hours is enough for me and that the pit boss should buy me breakfast. This gets a good laugh from the pit critter, but she tells me to charge it to my room and call a host when I check out to get it removed later. Maybe next time. I get in about 4AM and am out like a light. Gambling: Day â€“ Up $35 Week â€“ Up $35 Friday Mom starts moving around about 8AM, so we get ready and we head down to the Pyramid CafÃ©. She has an omelet and coffee, but really is disappointed by the quality of the coffee (yep, sheâ€™s now a Starbucks snob.) I have the combination breakfast, which includes eggs, bacon, hash browns and the smallest pancakes Iâ€™ve ever seen. Iâ€™m still a little drunk, so I load up on water and the nastiest tasting orange juice Iâ€™ve ever had, and, in a nod to March Madness, I ask Mom if she would pay me a dollar if I would drink my pancakes syrup. I didnâ€™t get any takers on that action this time either. About this time, I get the following text message from Terry (LV Terry), â€œHey! Quit having fun without us! WTF?!â€ I reply to him and Marty: â€œHave a drink on me!â€ Terryâ€™s reply, â€œDonâ€™t make me drive over thereâ€¦â€ My response, â€œBring it on bitchâ€ And finally, Terryâ€™s sad reply, â€œShit, I got nuthin. Stupid responsibilities.â€ Iâ€™m willing to bet he had to look up how to spell responsibilities before replying too. Mom and I get a good laugh out of this as we head out into the casino. Mom decides that she wants to try her hand at video poker, so we find a bank of machines that offer it up in the quarter fashion. We quickly run through our money here and decide to move on over to the Excalibur. I was trying to convince her to play blackjack with me this trip at a low limit table, but she wasnâ€™t sure she knew the right way to play it. We sat down at some blackjack machines so I could give her an idea of how to play it. She runs through her buy in fairly quickly, but I turn mine into a $30 win. We leave the Excalibur behind and make out way over to the MGM Grand where she finds another Deuces Wild machine to her liking and I sit down beside her and run some of my winnings through the MGMâ€™s blackjack machines losing it in short order. I leave her be for a few moments as I head over to the KA theater to pick up our free tickets (courtesy of one of the merchants that I work with online) for the 7PM performance. I find her again, this time at another machine paying her Vegas dues. She runs through another buy in so I take her over and introduce her to the Elvis slots. I donâ€™t know what I did to piss the King off, but, once again, he has no love for me or my Mom. We decide that weâ€™ve donated enough to the MGM Grand so far and head off to the M&M shop out on the strip to do some shopping. This place was a freaking zoo though. There were hundred of people packed into that building clamoring over the smallest M&M novelties. It was just crazy. Mom grabs a few souvenirs for my niece and nephew and we decide to head back to the Luxor to rest up for the show later. After a nice nap on Momâ€™s part, we decide to head down to the Pyramid CafÃ© for dinner. I had my Vegas original, the Philly cheese steak along with a chocolate milk shake, while Mom enjoys part of a Reuben sandwich. We finish up and I sit her down at another Deuces Wild machine while I take her leftovers up to the room. I return to see her with a modest gain and she declares that she has to play that machine again after the show. We made our way back over to the MGM Grand and get into line for KA. We make our way inside and to Section 102, row H, dead center. Oh. My. God. These seats were incredible. We could see the entire stage area and were close enough to the action to feel the flames from the pyrotechnics. I wonâ€™t go into detail, but this is a truly amazing show, and I hope to go back and see it again someday. Mom was all smiles and just kept raving about it as we made our way out after the show. We decide to go over to New York, New York to let her check that place out. She tells me she wants to play the Kenny Rogers machine and slips $5 into it. Two max spins later and sheâ€™s out. She says the hell with that and we head back over to Luxor. I take her back to her Deuces Wild machine and she tells me to go on and play my â€œCow Powâ€ game, not being able to pronounce Pai Gow for one reason or another. I make a quick run around the Pai Gow pit and donâ€™t see any open tables so I head back over and play some Deuces Wild with her for a bit. Iâ€™m taking a bit of a beating, but Mom is doing well, so I leave her again and finally find a seat at the Pai Gow table. Iâ€™m up and down a bit, but this table is nowhere near as fun as the previous nightâ€™s table due to the almost non-existent drink service (go figure for a Friday night.) A couple of hours into this, I feel a tap on my shoulder and Mom is standing behind me watching. I try and show her how to play, but she just gets a confused look on her face. I finish up a few more hands and the dealer thanks me for all of the bets that I played for them (I was betting $1 for the dealers on every hand all weekend) and I cash out with a $5 gain and we call it a night Gambling: Day â€“ Down $90 Week â€“ Down $55 Saturday I got some much-needed sleep in. We head down to the Pyramid CafÃ© once again, with Mom having a Danish and I the Western Omelet with a glass of apple juice. The meal is pretty good, but I begin to grow tired of the Luxor cafÃ©. Mom wants to play some more Deuces Wild so we find her a machine and I head over to cash in my chips from the past couple of days. I get cashed in then mosey over to the craps tables where one of the dealers calls me over and says the table is only $5. Since I hadnâ€™t played any craps as of yet, I decide to saddle up. It was lucky that I did, as they upped the limit to $10 right after I bought in, but I was grand fathered in at the $5 limit. Itâ€™s a choppy table, where I get to roll three times, with my final roll hitting the hard eight a few times to my and the dealerâ€™s delight. I finally seven out and color up with a whopping $7 gain after I toss another $5 to the dealers when I leave. I move over to the video poker area and find Mom having a hard time winning anything again. We decide to head over to Mandalay Bay and check them out. We make our way through Mandalay Place taking a look at their wares then onto Mandalay Bay where I buy in to a Wheel of Fortune machine. I hit the bonus spin fairly quickly and cash out soon after, up about $40. Up next, Mom finds another Deuces Wild machine and I find a 2-quarter Top Dollar machine. This machine is on fire as I hit the bonus round about 10 times, finally cashing out, up $20. Mom rejoins me and we check out other areas of the casino where I find a $1 Double Top Dollar machine. I have a good feeling about this machine and slide some money in. In the first spin, I hit the bonus round and hit a $50 payoff. I cash out and Mom and I head back to Luxor to rest up. After resting a bit, we grab a cab over to the Bellagio where I show Mom around the hotel. Her eyes widened as we entered the conservatory and she was just awe struck by the overall beauty of it all. We spend a bit of time here just taking it all in. About this time, we started getting a case of the rumblies so we made our way to the Bellagio Buffet. The line was non-existent so we were able to walk right in. I donâ€™t know if my expectations of their buffet are to high or what, but itâ€™s not as good as I remember it being. Donâ€™t get me wrong, the food is very good, but I guess my tastes are changing. Of course, it may have had something to do with them having Beef Wellington instead of Chicken Wellington, and I really do love that stuff. It was an enjoyable dinner and I even took a moment to send my buddy Dustin a text message to tell him how good the Bellagio crab legs were. His simple reply: Fuck you. We finished up dinner and head over to the Coliseum at Caesars Palace. The lines are fairly long as they are using metal detectors to check everyone coming through the door, but the line moves at a nice pace and we take the escalators up to the first mezzanine, row F (the back row) seats 401 and 402 right on the aisle. I run just outside from where our seats are at to the bar and grab Mom her first alcoholic drink of the weekend, a PiÃ±a Colada. I must admit that Iâ€™m not a big Elton John fan, but I was amazed at how many of his songs I had heard before and what a nice performance he put on. Mom thanked me again after the show by saying that was the nicest thing anyone had ever done for her. After the show, we made our way around Caesars with Mom playing on a few machines just to say that she had played at Caesars Palace. We walked over to the Bellagio and caught the last 30 seconds of the fountain show that featured Elton John. We waited around to catch the next show and I end up playing photographer for several groups while waiting. So much so, that I should have started charging! We catch the next show then walk down to the crosswalk and across the Strip to the other side. We take our time just walking down the Strip taking it all in until we get just past Harrahs and Mom decides that itâ€™s time to head back to Luxor. We walk through Harrahs and board the monorail to the MGM Grand, stopping to grab something to drink, then onto the Luxor to call it a night. Gambling: Day â€“ Up $115 Week â€“ Up $60 Sunday I had set the alarm for 9AM so we can get up and get ready to move over to the MGM Grand. We also have plans to meet up with Becky for lunch and some shopping, so we decide to forego breakfast this morning and head over to the MGM Grand. I find that check-in is a complete clusterfuck on their part as there are no lines designated for check out or check-in and this make it difficult to get checked in this early in the morning. Finally, Iâ€™m at the front of the line and they get us checked in, but, yes, you guessed it, they do not have any clean rooms at that moment. They take down my cell phone number and say that they will call me when the room is ready, but I think they do that so they can harass you with solicitation phone calls down the road. With some keys in hand and nowhere to go, we check our bags at the bell desk and wait on Beckyâ€™s arrival. A short time later, Becky arrives and we are on our way to the parking garage then out to the outlet mall. We do some shopping and I come to realize that Las Vegas must have an incredible shoe fetish, as the mall is at least 80% shoe stores. Weâ€™re starting to get a little bit hungry, so Becky takes us over to Silverton and Mi Casa Mexican restaurant. The food is plentiful here and Mom comes nowhere near finishing her chicken nachos that she ordered. My chicken burrito was very good, but I had a problem with the beans that came with the order as Iâ€™m used to refried beans with Mexican food instead of the pinto like beans that came with my meal. Becky had a quesadilla and a margarita that looked pretty appetizing as well. The only draw back that I could find with this place was that they seemed to short staffed and our poor waitress had a time trying to keep up with everything. After we finished stuffing ourselves, Becky drops us off at the MGM Grand and we say goodbye to her so we can go and rest up for our flight later. Once again, I stand in line forever, just to get our room number. Finally, itâ€™s my turn. I hand over my drivers license as well as the booklet that I was given earlier from the original check-in clerk. For a moment there, I thought that I was going to need a note from my Mom as well as a blood test just to get the room number out of this guy. He wanted to confirm my address with what they had on file, then hides my ID that shows my address so that I canâ€™t read it back to him off of it. Maybe I just got them on a bad day, but the staff at the MGM Grand hadnâ€™t impressed me up to this point. With the room number and keys in hand, we head up to room 28335. This was a fairly nice room; with big, comfy beds as well a view of the airport. Mom comments that she likes this room better than the one at Luxor then nods off to sleep on her bed. I watch some documentary on the creation of KA and nod off to sleep myself. We wake up a couple of hours later and decide to try our hands at some more gambling. We find a bank of video poker machines with Mom playing her Deuces Wild and me playing video blackjack. She runs through her money fairly quickly and says that that machine doesnâ€™t like her so she moves over to another machine while I continue grinding out a small win on blackjack that suddenly takes a turn for the worse. I turn my $10 gain into a $20 loss in a matter of a few minutes. With our tails tucked between out legs, we make out way over to the Wheel of Fortune machines and quickly run through yet another quick $20 each. With this final loss, we swear off anymore gambling for the trip and head over to the Studio CafÃ© to use up my $25 food comp that came with the room. It didnâ€™t take much to kill off that food comp, as this has to be the most expensive cafÃ© Iâ€™ve ever eaten at. The service was outstanding, but Momâ€™s pizza and my mushroom and Swiss burger were sub par and definitely were not worth the price paid (even free.) We take the remaining pizza up to the room and get ready for the trip to the airport. After an uneventful cab ride over to the airport, we head to the Allegiant counter and I ask if there are any exit row seats remaining. As luck would have it, 110 other people had checked in before us, but one exit row seat was still available. I decide to pass since this would mean that Mom and I would be split up on the plane so we opt for the right side of the plane on row 19. A nice view of the city as we take off and an uneventful flight back to Knoxville caps off yet another great trip. Gambling: Day â€“ Down $40 Week â€“ Up $20 Final words Is there anything better than seeing Vegas through someone elseâ€™s eyes who has never been there before? Thereâ€™s nothing like the grin that takes a couple of weeks too finally wipe off someoneâ€™s face after a trip like this. This trip meant a lot to me just because it was my Mom and that she thoroughly enjoyed herself. She has seen Elton John before, but she has never experienced the magic that only Las Vegas could help him bring to the table. Even though this wasnâ€™t my typical Las Vegas trip full of gambling, booze, and buffoonery, I will treasure this one forever.