I’ve been lax in posting TRs the last couple years, so I’m trying to get better at that again. I don’t feel like I have all that much to share, but we’ll see how long this gets, I guess. Here we go. Arrived Sunday the 11th after a great flight. Taxi line was short, but our cabbie tried to long haul us. I put a stop to that, and he hit the button to charge us a couple bucks more since he “determined” we refused the best route. He also took us down the Strip instead of coming in the back way. Ticked me off – he did not get a tip. Arrived at Paris and had a short check-in line. Long story short, it took over three hours to get into our room, and that was only because I kept checking back every hour. The fourth desk agent finally put us in a different room, and instead of having a newer red P room, we had an old blue one. It was really quite worn and tired, but at that point, we were just glad to be in a room (and happy with a corner room). It was clean, comfortable, and did the trick; it just badly needs a facelift. Waiting to get in, we lost several hundred dollars, which would pretty much be the story of our trip overall. The rest of this I’ll just write in highlights rather than chronologically. Seems to flow better that way: Downtown: We headed to Main Street Station on Monday night after losing lots of cash that day on the Strip. Sister-in-law happened to be in town for a conference, so we met her at the 777 Brewery. The national championship game was on, so we were surrounded by Ducks and Bucks (had to root for the Big 10 team, of course!). Food and drink were great as always. We spent time on Fremont afterwards and showed her several places we love. Had a great time! Love the vibe downtown but just can’t pull the trigger on staying there; we love the Strip. One note: Not a fan of the seemingly new trend on FSE – young women wearing nothing but pasties on top. There were some scary sights with that look. It’s not attractive on most. Food: Mon Ami Gabi twice for breakfast (excellent food and service! The crepes are to die for! ). Le Burger Brasserie for dinner once (decent food, way too expensive for what you get, service was marginal at best). The Pub at Monte Carlo (YUM! Spent my $50 MyVegas credit here – had about $15 left, so I told the server to get something, so he bought the bus staff two things. Service was fair). Le Cafe Ile at Paris for dinner ( got the $39 three-course special – steak was good but sides were cold – baked potato wouldn’t even melt the butter. Service was pretty good). Tropical Breeze Café at Flamingo for brunch (we usually love this place, but this time, not so much. Nothing was the right temp – omelets and toast must have been sitting for quite awhile before they found their way to the table. Keno service was fast, though). Drink service: We were at all Total Rewards properties except Rio and also gambled at MGM and Monte Carlo. The only place we had decent drink service (and it was actually very good) was at Caesar’s; drinks came quickly and had a lot of alcohol—hubby is not even close to being a lightweight, and he commented that he got a decent buzz. Bonus! Second runner up was Bally’s. Worst was Harrah’s (I walked for over five minutes in that casino to even find a server. Had terrible heartburn and needed a water. Once I finally found one, she was rude and turned her back on me. Went to the little store and bought one there). Gambling (slots): TIGHT. Ridiculously tight. We saw one hand pay during the entire trip. We broke even at PHo and Caesar’s, so those were a little better than the others. One of our servers told us that she never, ever plays the machines during January and February. We go knowing we’ll probably lose, but c’mon – let us at least play a little bit before it’s taken. Not the case this trip (with one exception, which will come later). New experience: We always try to do at least one new thing each trip, and this being trip #20, it still wasn’t hard to find something. We settled on visiting the Pinball Hall of Fame on Tropicana. We are going to get a pinball machine for our basement, so we thought, what better way to try some out and find one we like? I did my research beforehand, and once we walked to MGM, it was only another 1.2 miles to the place, according to their website. We decided we could walk (I walk regularly, but hubby does not). We took off from Paris and walked and walked and walked….Come to find out, it was twice that far! From MGM, it was 2.4 miles, and when you add in the additional .85 miles from Paris to MGM, our one-way walk was over 3 miles. Thankfully, it was only 60 degrees with a healthy breeze! LOL We had a great time playing pinball (we did chuckle at the garage-like feel of the place), but that walk back about did poor husband in. He took a nap, and I went shopping. Win-win. Second new experience: We were going to live on the wild side and take on two new things this trip. That second thing was seeing Absinthe. We had tix for the Wed 8:00 show (and we were slated to leave at 4:30 the next morning). Bad choice. Hubby really didn’t want to go (still suffering from that long walk, I’m afraid). We had dinner and discussed it. I came up with an idea: I had $40 in my pocket, and if I could turn it into $120 (half of what our tix cost), we’d be OK with not going – but if I couldn’t make it happen, we’d go. He laughed (given our losses the last three days) and said it would never happen. I, however, had “the feeling.” I chose a dollar Double Gold, his favorite, and sat down. I was up $20 right away, and then $40…and then a dry spell. THEN I was up $120! I did it! I took off to find a young couple to take our tickets, which was MUCH harder than I ever dreamed it would be . Geez. The first two couples said they had to be up too early for a morning flight (c’mon – you are 25 – pull an all-nighter!), the third couple had seen the show and loved it, and finally the fourth couple I found was thrilled to take them off my hands. I hope they had a great unexpected time! Here’s the thing I did not anticipate: Each one of the couples thought I was hawking a timeshare visit – Haha!! Free show tickets? Of course they did! We got a good laugh about that later – we would have thought the same thing. One more surprise: When I got back to hubby after finally giving away the tix, he was up another $50 on the machine for a total of $170, so we only lost $50 on the tickets overall. We’ll go see the show in May for sure – just not the night before we go home. We’re officially old. Bally's shops: Thought they might finally be open, but now it's a February date. Can't imagine how much revenue is being lost from this long-delayed opening. Trip home was quick and easy. Looking forward to the pools being open in May and having a mid-day break there, drinking and munching on the cheese platter.