After several months of calling, I finally accept the pilotâ€™s invitation and return to Vegas over the Easter weekend. I let him pay for the airline ticket, but insist upon getting my own room. I chose the Monte Carlo. The Vegas airport is surprisingly empty for a Friday afternoon. (Although it is Good Friday, I have a hard time believing the Vegas saints outnumber the sinners.) The pilot is waiting where he said he would be and we are shortly out of the terminal.. and into traffic. The crawling pace continues at hotel check in, so it is approaching evening before I finally find my room. With a few hours to kill before a dinner function at Caesars, I want to try my hand at the casino tables and thatâ€™s when we have Disagreement #1. Living in Vegas, regular gaming is boring and the pilot only plays the sports book and an occasional tournament. I insist. He insists. I ask for an alternative. He is slow in coming up with one. Only after I give him my best eyelash bat, does he reluctantly agree and then proceeds to make himself a royal pain in the ass, standing behind me for the next Â½ hour telling me what to do. His cell rings and he steps back to take the call. I thought he said something about a new condo development being built next to the Rio, but then I got a blackjack and the dealer bust so I didnâ€™t hear the last part. When the table finally quiets, he leans in and says he has to go for a little bit to meet up with this guy. That breathing down the back of my neck is more than irritating, but I put on a little pained face anyway, before wishing him luck on his adventure. As I turn back to the table, the dealer chuckles, catching my roll eyes and small sigh of relief. The mood of the whole group lightens. However the cards turn and I am down $50 before heading back to the room to change for dinner. Caesars puts on quite the lavish event. Everything oozes quality. Too bad the food tastes like regular banquet fare. I know theyâ€™re feeding a lot of people but I thought perhaps a Caesars party would warrant a little upgraded cuisine, apparently not. After the meal is done, the pilot wanders off several times to chat with people. I sip my rum and coke, pretending not to be bored. But the piped in music is putting me to sleep and it isnâ€™t even 10pm yet. They are clearing the service when the pilot finally returns and we head down to the VIP lounge with another couple and two other men. The doors to the lounge can only be opened by someone with a special pass key, so the pilot flips out his card, quickly sliding the door open for the group. The wife doesnâ€™t stay long, but heads for the high roller slots just outside the door. (She won over $40,000 earlier in the day and was anxious to increase her winnings.) The men sit down and order drinks from the waitress who follows us in and I immediately check out the appetizer display. Finding it better than the dinner fare, I scarf down a plateful and the attendant goes to get more, leaving the 5 of us alone. After 15 minutes or so, neither server has returned and the pilot is getting impatient for his drink. When the attendant finally arrives, the waitress is following him, but she ends up leaving the room without a tip. When I realize this, I ask the pilot about it and he claims VIP service is just that, they shouldnâ€™t have been left waiting so long. What? In our prior conversations the pilot was always the perfect gentleman, but now the more time I spend with him, the less and less I like him. Deciding itâ€™s not worth the effort, I head out to the slots to visit with the wife (Janice). It was maybe 45 minutes later when Janice and I return to the lounge. The waitress follows us in, carrying refills. The pilot tries to start up again about the slow service, but the woman quickly cuts him off, first apologizing before explaining that she doesnâ€™t have a key to the lounge and can only enter when someone lets her in. Complain to management she says and I think she has a good point, but the pilot already has it in his head that itâ€™s a personal thing and waves her off. She just shrugs her shoulders, ignoring the man and Janiceâ€™s hubby slips her a folded bill before she leaves. In fact, I continue to ignore the pilot as well and strike up a conversation with the other couple. The husbandâ€™s name is RJ and he bares an uncanny resemblance to Kenny Rogers. Heâ€™s also got a great sense of humor, his wife the perfect foil, and before you know it, Iâ€™m laughing again. The other 2 men in the lounge are a father and son. The father won a big jackpot (I forgot which game and amount) so they upgraded him and he too has a pass key for the lounge. His son is a mere 20 something and unbeknownst to the kid, his actions proceed Disagreement #2. After I grazed through the appetizers, the attendant refilled them and the son had a shot at the fare, sending the man back to the kitchen several times before having his full. Mindful of the incident with the waitress, when heâ€™s done, the boy pulls a coin from his pocket and throws the thing over RJâ€™s head at the attendant standing on the other side of the room. Fortunately the man has quick reflexes, ducking to one side so it bounces off his shoulder instead of his face, before falling to the floor. I thought the act rude and call the boy on it. But he just looks at me, with that stupid â€˜What I do?â€™ and his father laughs, â€˜At least he tipped himâ€™.. apparently condoning his sonâ€™s behavior and I see where he got his manners. But wait, here we go again, as the pilot chimes in (Disagreement #2) with an arrogant rant about little people and big people. Iâ€™m fed up with the man, but I let him continue to dig his grave and when he is done, I stand up to give him my take. You my dear, are not big people and it doesnâ€™t have anything to do with how much money you have. You canâ€™t buy respect, not from a cocktail waitress and certainly not from me. Ignoring the father and son, I pick up my purse and walk past the pilot to RJ and Janice. I say my goodbyes to the couple and without glancing back, I cross the short distance to the door, swing it open with a forceful push and march out. Before I know it, Iâ€™m past the casino floor and out the front doors. A valet notices my scowl and moves to open the door of the next taxi for me. I smile my thanks and slide in. The cab takes me to Mandalay Bay, where the pounding music and a couple of tequila shots does wonders for my mood. Itâ€™s daylight when I get back to my room. There are 2 missed calls on my cell phone. Both from the pilot. I never call him back. Falling into bed, I sleep only a few hours. Room service arrives at 9am. Having little luck the previous day at the Monte Carlo, I decide to spread my losses around some, roaming through the Excalibur, Luxor, Mandalay Bay, MGM and NYNY on Saturday. Put $10 in a $1 slot at Excalibur, won $80 on the third spin and cashed out. Went to the IMAX showing of Sharks 3D at the Luxor. An adrenaline rush that made me a little sea sick for so early in the day and on so little sleep. Browsed the stores in Mandalay Bay Place and spent at least a Â½ hour in the spirits shop. Lost $50 on slots in Mandalay Bay, $100 more on BJ at the MGM (where I admonished a newlywed to go upstairs to his wife) and then gladly gave over another $150 for a cute pair of shoes I found on sale. My feet were dragging when I sat down at a BJ table in NYNY with a group of guys from Canada. One of them played more than a little conservative. Would never hit on a 14-16 no matter what the dealer had. Finally the woman goes to him; What? No hit? You gonna lose again. You chicken-chicken. (Flapping her arms like a hen at the last part.) The rest of the table was on the floor laughing. The poor boy's face turned so red I thought he might get sick. He took the hit, reluctantlyâ€¦. and busted. My luck was down most of the day, but I made it all back (and more) in what I like to call - Blackjack: The Team Sport. Sitting down at a table in the Monte Carlo late Saturday night, I won a few, lost a few until the guy at 1st base left and I moved over into his seat. (I like that chair and always seem to do well.) There was a deck shuffle and several other players left, only to be replaced by a few more. Beside me is a woman from Arizona. The other two in our group are men from Minnesota and North Carolina. The four of us remained through a marathon streak that raped the dealerâ€™s chip rack and continued until I had to tear myself away at 4:30am for a 6:30 departure. I made it just in time. When I arrive at the gate, they are already boarding. The weekend finally catching up with me, I am out like a light shortly after take off. The highlights of my 36 hour tour? Besides an abundance of outstanding people watching, - 3 straight hours of no dealer blackjack - meeting RJ and Janice - the antics from the Canada boys - and the Monte Carlo graveyard shift dealers as well as AZ, MN and NC â€“ my new bestest friends but dumping the pilot early enough to have a thoroughly enjoyable (and unexpectantly profitable) weekend was priceless.