Flying SWA. We didn’t know what to expect crowd-wise at the airport, so we got there 2.5 hours early because it was a holiday weekend. We normally always fly non-stop but on Friday our only two choices were 7 AM or 3:30 PM. We are not morning people, so I booked a 11:50 AM flight with a connection in Phoenix. It only added another 1:10 to travel time vs. non-stop. Well crap. First our flight out of Milwaukee gets delayed 15 minutes, then 30, then 50 minutes. Finally get boarded and the flight deck blames it on a holdup with the air traffic controllers, whatever the hell that means. Since we only had a 40 minute layover in Phoenix for our flight, I assumed we’ll miss it and have to catch a later flight. This is one of those good news/bad news stories. The FA announces we need to hustle to gate X but our flight to Vegas is waiting. Great! We had boarding positions A 34 & 35 for the connection. We didn’t miss the plane, but it is totally boarded and our only seat choices are middle seats and three rows apart from each other in the back of the plane. My seatmates each must have weighed 250# and I’m no slouch at 210#. A very tight flight! Now I need a drink! Almost on cue…”there will be no drink service on this flight, but we can bring everybody water”. While I’m the airline topic, we flew a 737-800 plane to Phoenix and a standard 737 to Vegas. I didn’t find any difference in seat size, leg room etc, although I know I have read some complaints about the 800 series. I also read here on VMB that the 800 had drink carts, but they still did it the normal way on our 3 hr flight. Get to baggage claim and it is always just so nice to see the casino limo driver standing there holding that sign with our name on it. For us at MSS, not really the casino limo from the hotel, they just contract it out to Bell, but the feeling is still the same. Some of the drivers have now gone high-tech and they hold up tablets with the name on it. Ours was still cardboard. Anyway, still a thrill for us. After last month’s gambling beating, I was hoping for a new start. Friday and Saturday, just brutal again! Friday, 1 4oak & Saturday, 3, 4oak. But Sunday was a new day! I play dollar DDB most of the time. Sunday I hit quad 3s with a kicker for $800 and about 3 hours later, I hit the aces with a kicker, for $2,000. I held two on both hands. I’ll gladly receive that W2G! Permit me a small whine. That is my seventh quad aces w/kicker, but I have not had a Royal since March 2010. My wife once again had three straight flushes, the same as last month and a ton of 4oak. In the end we can home about even. That’s winning! For the fourth trip in a row, we said we were going to get to Mon Ami Gabi, at Paris. Things just came up and we didn’t. OK, so this trip we actually made concrete plans. We caught the WAX bus Monday morning across from Binions. $1 each way for us being over age 60, otherwise $2. I still don’t know the answer to this. We show our WI driver license and insert the buck, but others have said you need an official RTC ID? This is the 7th time I’ve done this using the WAX and the driver has never said anything. Not that another buck would kill me. We got off the WAX at Tropicana and began to walk to Paris. For all of those complaining about downtown and walking on Fremont, jezz have you walked the Strip recently? What a clusterf*uck. Porn slappers, panhandlers, beggars, costume characters by the dozens, timeshare assholes, etc. Give me Fremont St anytime. End of rant. On to Paris. They don’t take reservations for the outdoor seating and we knew that. Anyway, so it was 10:30 and we thought we would go at 11 AM when they start serving lunch. Go up to this mechanical sounding host and ask if we can get an outdoor table at 11 AM. No, come back later and put your name on the list. You can’t put our name on the list now? NO! I’m already not enjoying this experience. So we gamble for about 20 minutes and go back at 10:50 AM. Now there is a 45 minute wait. My thought is F*ck you. We left. We thought maybe we could try one of the outdoor places as we walked back to Tropicana to catch the WAX, but for a variety of reasons, nothing enticed us. Loud music at one place, $15 hamburgers at another. We walk over to NY NY and catch the WAX to go back downtown. We really don’t enjoy the Strip. We are downtown people and this just reinforced that opinion. Getting really hungry now and still have the urge to eat outside. I’ve read many good things on VMB, so we head over Triple George Grill. OK, not outdoor dining on the Strip, but still outside. None of the entrees struck our fancy, so we ordered the crabcake appetizer ($13) and a side of mac & cheese ($7). Both were very good and it just felt good to sit outside and relax in the sun. My wife had 2 tap beers, $5 each. I ordered two house, cabernet. Shocked when the bill came to find out the wine was $12 EACH! I double checked with our waitress, saying I ordered “house” wine. Yes, that is their price. RFB at Boyd maybe distorts my perception, but that still seems outrageous to me. We’ve been to Seattle, Phoenix, San Diego, Tampa etc and have never paid that much for a house wine. The view of the Grand from Triple George. Our server claims they have moved up opening to Sept, from Oct. After lunch we were going to try Hogs & Heffers for a drink, but if you thought the D music was loud, this place makes it sound like a church. We were there at the same time as the Punk Rock Bowling festival. I have never seen so many people with so many tattoos in my life. No problems, everyone we ran into seemed well behaved, I just wonder what these people are going to do when they need to go out and apply for a job in the real world with all those tattoos. Maybe it’s just me, but all those tattoos are a turnoff to me. When we were in Vegas last month they were pouring the concrete foundations for the new zipline on Fremont. Holy crap, this thing must be five stories tall and no elevator! I’m not a scientist, but I just don’t see how gravity will carry someone all the way to the Golden Gate landing area. Rest of the food consisted of Chicago Brewing Sunday for pizza. Good as always. I had the prime rib special at Redwood on Saturday 24oz for $30. It was done a perfect med-rare. My wife had the 8oz lobster and 8 oz filet ($52). I got a taste of the filet and it was melt in the mouth tender. All the rest of the meals/appetizers ended up in the 777 brewpub and one breakfast buffet at MSS. Our plan was to go the 777 at 5 AM on the day we left for breakfast before heading to the airport. Gawd, I hate getting up at 4:15 AM in Vegas! Anyway, we get down there and the 777 is closed for cleaning, so we ended up across the street at the Cal in the Market Street Café. Amazing the number of people eating oxtail soup at 5 AM! No more Vegas until our anniversary (32) in October. July is Seattle, Sept is Maine & November is San Fran. I'm not burned out, but I think a 5 month break will feel good. Or, maybe after my 3rd trip in 3 months, maybe I am a little burned out and I'm sure my liver would appreciate a break. Turtleman you hear that. No Vegas for 5 months! Hope I didn't bore you. I know a couple of 4oak pictures would make it better, but I don't carry a phone, let alone a camera. My wife takes all the pictures.