May 20, Mustangs take Las Vegas II begins. The group included C and her boyfriend J, L and her hubby P, G and her hubby R, and myself. C,L, G and R and I went to high school together. C and J arrived at Ballys on Wednesday, the rest of us were coming in on Friday. L and P were coming in from Houston arriving about 15 minutes after me. I was on SWA and they were United. I had asked my host to send a limo but used their flight info since they were getting in a bit later. I don't know what made me think of it, but 3 days before the trip I checked the airport map and realized they were coming in to Terminal 3 and I was coming in to Terminal 1, ruh roh. I called the Ballys limo office and asked what to do. They told me they'd pick me up first, then we'd go to T3 from there. I told them I would carry my bag so there wouldn't be a wait once he met me. I arrived at 4pm after the worst bumpy last 15 minutes ever! It was windy windy. I was glad to be on the ground. I met driver, dashed into the liquor store for a bottle of Tito's and we were off to T3. L sent me a text to say they had landed so I told them we'd meet them in the baggage claim, their flight was equally as rough. We got there just as they came down the escalator and their bags were the first on the carousel. We were on the way to Ballys within 25 minutes of me landing. I tipped the driver a little extra for making the additional pickup and for being so nice. We get to Ballys and check in at the diamond check in. I had coupons for friends and family, L and G both got Sunday nights free. L and her hubby and I get our room keys, they put us all on the same floor (except for C since she checked in a few days earlier). I had a junior jubilee suite, 7006. I had 2 queen beds, a full sofa, a couple of chairs, the little 2 piece sofa thing, a bar with a sink, huge TV, fridge and coffee pot. There was also some sort of air purifier thingy that was new, my room in April didn't have one. L and G were down the hall a few rooms. We set up the snacks and bottle of Tito's up at the bar , we were going to use my room as party central. C met us in the lobby and came up to the suite so she knew where we were. L and her hubby went to unpack, C and I visited while I unpacked, then she went to her room, we'd meet up in the casino, we were still waiting for G and R. I decide I need to get my gamble on so I head for the high limit slots and put a hundy in....honey, I'm home! I churn through about $40 (and earned 100 TCs) when I get a text, everyone was at the bar at BLT having a drink while we wait for G and R. Who am I to pass up a cocktail? I order what was probably the prettiest raspberry lemon drop martini I've ever had, it was very tasty too. I put the first round on my room to use up my food credit. 7:30, the eagle has landed, G and R have arrived. I run to check them in and get their free night set up, they go up to unpack and I run back to the bar. We all go up to their room to get them and decide where to go for dinner. L had read about Guy Fiere's at the Linq, so the 6 of us head over. We got there about 8:30 and they said an hour wait for first available table. I gave her my name the said wait, I have a diamond card. She says, oh, then it will be 2 minutes. I said ten? She said 2. My friend L said she sure was glad I have a gambling problem, line cuts are the bomb! They seated us outside and our waitress came to take our drink orders. She told us she recommended the brisket nachos and the bacon Mac and cheese burger. I suggest the nachos for the table, everyone agreed. C and I split the turkey sandwich, G and R split the bacon Mac and cheese burger and L and P split another burger. Everything was really good. We then went to the 3535 bar at the Linq for a drink. We sat in a booth but it was really loud so we really couldn't talk. I had the nastiest Moscow mule ever. I think they're supposed to be served in a copper cup, this was metal and I had a weird metallic taste in my mouth for quite awhile afterward. We should have stopped at that bar by the check in at the Cromwell, it would have been a better place to sit and catch up. We made our way back to Ballys, the wind was still howling! Everyone called it a night, most were tired from traveling so I went back to the high limit. My favorite cocktail waitress Victoria came up and gave me a hug and took my order for a cape cod. She's the best. After a few drinks I switched to coffee and ended up slotting around til about 2:30. I ended up the night with 500 TCs and was only down $100, I call that a win. My room faced Drais but I set the sleep timer and watched TV and fell asleep about 3:30. I think the noise on the Chateau side is louder than the Drais side, but it didn't bug me. I left the dark drapes open and closed the sheers so I could watch the High Roller change colors from my bed. What is it about Vegas that you can't sleep in? Despite the 2 hour time difference (I had been up for 23 hours when I went to bed) I was up and wide awake at 7:30. I sent a text to the group at 9 to see if anyone was hungry and to see who was up and about. Every replied within about 15 minutes, we'd meet up in the casino around 10:15 and head to Cafe Bellagio for breakfast. I told them to meet me in the HL slots, we were burning daylight and I needed my fix. I slotted around until the group came down, lost $60 and earned 100 TC's. We walk to Bellagio and go back to the cafe. The new display is really neat but I never stopped to take any pix. We got in the gold card line and had about a 5 minute wait for a table for 7. We were seated at a round table the overlooked the conservatory. I love round tables in a group, it's a lot easier to talk to everyone than a rectangular one. Breakfast was wonderful as always and the group appreciated yet another line cut due to my affection for gambling. G and L wanted to bet on the Preakness so we wandered over to Aria. L and I wanted to play $5 top dollar so we went into the HL area but someone was on the machine we wanted to play. $100 each on another machine, no bonus...booooo, so we went into the lounge and took a $100 Hershey bar. Last year L and I had way better luck on the Top Dollar machines, that's what hooked her! Next stop, the Aria sports book. They make their bets and we get seated in the big comfy chairs and order drinks thinking the race would start soon. An hour and a half later it finally starts! Apparently they had missed the time zone but that was ok, we talked and drank and enjoyed ourselves. Plus, I wasn't losing any money sitting in the sports book, except for the small bet on 2 horses and they were neck and neck in the beginning but I ultimately only won one bet. L had picked win place or show for the 3 horses in first second and third place so she actually almost doubled her bet. I've never watched a horse race anywhere but at home so it was really fun watching the race with a bunch of people yelling and cheering. Funny how quickly a horse race ends. I'm more used to watching college football in the sports book. Hubby had given me $400 to play on the $5 Top Dollar that was his friend in February at Caesars so we decided to head that way. We walked through Cosmo, had to stop to take a pic of R in the high heeled shoe. He's a nut! I had wanted to walk outside along the strip but C wanted to go back through Bellagio so we when into Bellagio. We played a little on some quarter machines and C suggested we zip into Hyde for a drink, they were just about to open. We waited about 10 minutes and at 5 they opened so we had a couple of rounds of drinks and some appetizers. We got to watch several fountain shows and we saw 3 ladies with varying degrees of Botox, one lady looked like she might have been on an episode of Botched. People watching is so much fun in Vegas. After Hyde we went to party central for a drink before dinner. We had a reservation at Carmine's in the Forum Shops at 8 so we left around 7:40 to walk over. We ate at Carmine's last year and really enjoyed it. We had an order of calamari, a Caesar salad, chicken Marsala, angel hair pasta with garlic and olive oil, broccoli, one bottle of wine, 3 iced teas and one vodka drink and it was plenty of food for the 7 of us and pretty reasonable at $223 before tip. L had a friend from Cali that works for the same company as she does that was in town so he met us after dinner. We left Carmine's and head to the HL slots to play hubby's $400, which I turned in to $700 for him (he gave me $300 in April that I turned in to $500) so he would be happy. We also went into the HL table games section, L's friend D was trying to explain baccarat to us, plus he wanted to check the blackjack tables to see if he wanted to play. He didn't so we head back to Ballys. D ended up playing blackjack in the HL section, just him at a table alone with L, P and I watching him. Everyone else went to find their favorite slot machine. D seemed to be playing speed blackjack and was doing pretty well. He spoke Chinese to the dealers and told us by the time we left hi we'd speak it too. All I got was monkey, which he said any time he wanted a face card, and monkey was in English. Maybe it's the same in Chinese too? I watched awhile, then hit my $1 2x 3x 5x pay machine, then went back to watching, then back to my machine. D finished playing BJ so L wanted to play high card flush so she and I bought in for $100 each. She wasn't doing well so she cashed out at $50, I ended up with my buy in back. We went back to the HL, D played more BJ with L and P watching and I went back to slots. I did something incredibly stupid after the second time back to my machine. I cashed out at $150 and had to use the restroom so I went to the one on the HL area. There's a little stool/table so I set my players card, TITO and then my purse on top. When I went to leave I grabbed my purse and never looked back. Not even 5 minutes passed when I realized I was missing something so I went back in, and only my card was still there. I hope that turned out to be someone's lucky $150. Lesson learned, always cash your ticket before going potty. It was really fun watching D play BJ, he kept telling us to play, I said no thanks, don't want to LEARN a game at $50 a hand! Victoria was taking good care of my friends in the HL area so they never lacked a drink or water. She was great. After losing that $150 in the bathroom I was down about $400 for the trip but had earned another 1000 in TCs. At 3:00 I said I was turning in, since I'd only had 4 hours of sleep and no nap, I was tired. I found Victoria to say goodbye til July, she doesn't work in Sunday's. It think the rest of the group stayed up til about 4. I slept a bit later Sunday, til 9, but I think I was the only one up since I hadn't heard from anyone. I called the hubby to let him know how I did on his $400 and to see if he wanted to invest in anything else that day. He told me to take $100 of it and play $25 4x on the number 20 at roulette later. I got ready and sent out a text at 10:30 reminding everyone that the limo was picking us up at 12:45 to take us to the neon museum for our 1:30 tour. I wanted to see if anyone was hungry or what they wanted to do. I told them I was heading to the HL slots, text me or come find me. G & R said they'd meet us at the limo, C said she was headed to Starbucks and L and P were getting ready and heading to the food court. I met C at Starbucks. I also had a groupon for the waffle bar so I grabbed a coffee with her and ordered a mixed berry waffle. Yum O, I'll use my second one when the hubby and I go next month for my bday. C and I sat outside enjoying the morning at the Grand Bazaar. As we sat a guy came out and out up a sign that said special event at Wahlburgers. We walked over, they were doing burgers and tots and a water for $10, too bad I was full. We met the limo driver at the side entrance, he was running a little late, they had been extra busy that day because of the Billboard Music Awards being that night. He told us he'd been working at Bally's since it was the MGM. He dropped us off in plenty of time for our tour. We got checked in and head out for our one hour tour with guide Tracy. It was pretty warm but they did provide umbrellas to keep the sun off you. What we wouldn't have given for the wind we'd had on Friday and Saturday! The tour was really interesting, I'd like to maybe do it at night once, even though I know they aren't lit my the neon anymore. It was also very reasonable, $18/person. I definitely recommend making your reservation in advance as then tours are limited to a certain number of people per tour. When we got there they had a sign out saying there were no open tours available that day. After we finished the tour we were going to walk to Fremont St. but it was really hot so the group decided to head back to Bally's. The people at the museum said they could call us cabs or they had coupons for free rides through Lyft. I'd already used Lyft, so I couldn't use the coupon but L and C set it up on their phones so in 5 minutes we had our free rides back to Bally's. I can say my 2 experiences with Lyft in Vegas have been great. It was about 3:30 when we got back to the hotel, L and P wanted to go to their room awhile, I gave them the key to the suite for a drink to go, we still had a LOT of Tito's left. J was hungry so C was going to take him to get a burger at Wahlburgers, G and R were going to wander. Back to then HL slots for me. L sent me a text saying their room was being cleaned so they were going to watch TV in the suite til their room was done. After earning a few hundred TCs and losing a few hundred on slots I head to roulette. I texted the group to tell them where I'd be. I bought in for $100, plus the hubby's $100. Never hit 20 playing hubby's quarters. I was playing at a fun table when C came up, said she and J had gone to the Palm at Caesars for a bite instead of Wahlburgers. J had gone to the room, she was heading to penny slots. L and P came up, they wanted to find $5 or $10 blackjack so they were going to go to Paris. I was down to my last $17 so I told them to wait til the spin and my $$ was gone and I'd go with them. I normally play $3 on 20 and $1 on the 4 numbers surrounding 20, plus a few other numbers. If 20 hits, I get $173. Well 20 finally hit that spin so I told L and P I'd find them later. G and R came up while I was playing, said they'd been to Bubba Gumps and they were going to the quarter slots and would catch up with us later. I hit 20 3 times total so I decided to leaving with $450 so I'd made up my slot losses. I went to Paris to find L and P, they were still playing BJ but we're about done. L and I went and pooled $200 in the $5 double top dollar in the champagne slots, no bonus, no luck. We went to find C playing slots by the lounge over by Chateau. There was a great band playing there. Since L and P and I were the only ones that hadn't eaten since before noon, we were hungry. We all went back to the suite for snacks and drinks, We talked about the neon museum, then P said he'd looked up some of the stuff the tour guide talked about, then we got to talking about the mob influence and Bugsy Siegel and the Flamingo. I suggested next year we go to the Mob Museum, I've been and I know they'd enjoy it. We then went to Burger Brasserie around 8:30. I really think that will be my last trip there. In Feb. when the hubby and I ate there I wasn't thrilled. This time I ordered the French dip. The meat was really dry and the au jus didn't make it taste any better. If Wahlburgers isn't good were going to have to find a new burger place. After we ate L's friend D showed up so we went back to the casino. My pit boss friend Andrew was at the HL tables so we talked to him awhile, then D started to play BJ with P and L watching. I went back to slots then back to watch D play BJ. I was really tired around midnight so I said my goodbyes. C was playing pennies and G and R were playing quarters. I earned 1000 TCs so I got the 1000 bump. I ended up with the 125 bump Friday and 1000 each Saturday and Sunday . Can't wait to see what I end up with in extra TC's from the spring bonus since I was there both in April and May. I had to be up by 7 for my flight home. L and P and I were flying out within a few minutes of each other but from different terminals so we couldn't share a cab, same with C and J and G and R but a bit later in the morning. I had the nicest cab driver, he took me to the SWA skycaps on the very end where there is never anyone waiting in line. I checked my bag and was through TSA pre in less than 5 minutes, even if I wasn't pre it wouldn't have been that long a wait on a Monday. I grabbed a breakfast sandwich at Nathan's then bought candy at Ethel M, can never go home without Ethel M. I was heading from the bathroom to my gate and ran into J and C, they had just gotten there. The flight home was easy, I slept most of the trip and we arrived 20 minutes early. Hubby picked me up and I was home by 3. I heard that much of the rest of the group was up again til 3 or so. I told them next year I'd try to get more sleep the first 2 days so I can hang with them longer on the last night. Another VB (Vegas Buddies) trip in the books, already planning the next one. In the meantime we have our 35th class reunion in a few weeks. Hubby and I will be back in July for my birthday, staying at Paris.