The trip started with a 2 hour drive to the Cedar Rapids airport for the Allegiant flight that was supposed to leave around 9 PM Thursday night. Once there we found out it was delayed almost an hour and ended up being all of that. The flight was full. I think this airline is making good money lately as the planes are almost always filled to capacity. We arrived in Vegas a good hour late and off to the rental car lot for our Dollar rental, which was fast as usual using the frequent renter program. A fast drive down I-15 to downtown. Our hotel for the trip was the Plaza hotel. I know, I know, I was leery of this also. Got checked into room 2230 in the south tower. The room was decent and modernized with all that I would need. They called it a deluxe room. I could recommend this room as clean and as nice as LVC MYP room and as adequate as the Main Street station, larger than Fremont rooms and except for smaller bathrooms similar to the Fitz. With the small bathrooms they are real close to the same as 4 Queens but nicer than the Queenâ€™s north tower rooms. So my first concern was overcome. After a quick unpack we headed down to the casino for a few drinks. Ouch, they charged $4 for a bloody mary and $4.25 for a miller lite. I found out later that Bud and Bud light and Coronaâ€™s are only $2. But mixed drinks here are way over priced and way too weak to drink. Noticed the bar by the sports book was a hang out for women looking for work and rode the elevator up with a guy who was helping support one these workers in keeping the economy going. Good for him. It wasnâ€™t long and she had found another friend at the front bar. I found a DD BJ game near there and sat down. It was the only BJ game that did not have a continuous shuffler. What a shame as in December this casino had made progress in BJ rules but has fallen back to crappy rules. I won a $200 profit before we ended the night. It was now almost 3 AM. A quick check of the firmness of the bed and off to sleep I went. Woke at a good time and enjoyed coffee I made in my hot pot that I packed. Nothing like coffee in the room so a person can take their time while getting ready for the day. Plus it takes me 2 cups of coffee before I can handle exercise in the morning. It was a day I had planned to use my free match plays and slot money from LVA book. We started at the Golden gate and went to the coffee shop. I had a patty melt while Rhona had a French dip. The appetizers of onion rings were the best. Rest of food was adequate and nothing special. But with my coupon it was only $8 for 2. I slipped a $20 in a monopoly machine and played for a few bonus rounds and got bored with a $10 profit. Time to wander over to the Binions for the $10 free slot play there. Goofed off at several slots and finally conceded the $10 to them. Next stop was 4queens for some BJ. They have decent BJ games in here. Used 2 $10 match plays and lost them both. But still netted and $100 profit before quitting. Next stop was the Fitz and settled up to the bar for some VP and cheap drinks. Got served a few while wasting time at VP and donating $20 to them. I got some match plays they sent me and one from LVA. I had 5)$10 and one $5 match play. I used all up at the start and won $35 off of them. I got a real decent run with one guy there and we hit lots of double downs. I stopped with the $500 profit I wanted. This was turning out to be a good day. Our next stop was the El Cortez. I had $10 free slot play which didnâ€™t last long. It was time to try some craps. The table was up and down as most are and it took my second $100bill to get it rolling some. I finally got another $100 win. Time for the stroll to the Gold Spike. Entering her is like a new casino you would find in a small town in Iowa. It is very clean and all new. Bar service is great while playing and friendly. They have 2 BJ tables set up. The stakes are $3 min and $200 max. They were closed right then and will tell you more about that in day 2. It looked like all employees but the security guards were female. No complaints here. We played some VP and I lost $20 but felt I got more than that in Jack Daniels. Rhona actually played and lost $5. Her big gamble of the trip. It was time to head back to the room and freshen up before dinner. I had wanted to try the Mandalay Bay buffet. It is a total maze in the back of the Mandalay bay to find Valet but in time we found the right spot and got the car dumped off and in we headed. Unique was you paid for the meal at kiosk machine. The Friday night buffet cost under $30 with tax. I will recap what I ate and my thoughts: The peeled cold shrimp were large and very firm. I had cold crab legs that were split dipped in hot butter that tasted very fresh. They also offered hot legs that you had to crack which I passed on. The cold smoked trout was firm and fresh. The fried fan tailed shrimp was large and very good, as good as any I have had. I enjoyed seconds of these. The fried calamari was tasteful. I had mussels and shrimp in a red sauce which was different. I enjoyed the mussels in the sauce more than the shrimp. The vegetables they had out did not look good so I passed but did get some of Rhonaâ€™s asparagus they put out later which was good. She said the carrots were a little too raw for her. I forced myself to try the prime rib and must say it was one of the best I had had in a long time. You could cut it with a fork and it was cooked to perfection for me. The creamy horseradish sauce was the right amount of bite for me. Rhona is a mashed potatoes expert and I agree when she said they were excellent. Anymore mashed taters are hard to find good and fresh and not fake. The salad selection is very limited except for making your own plain lettuce salad. Very few cold and assorted salads. A little disappointing to me since I like cold salads and was hoping for some seafood salads. Hardly any fruit was offered except a banana to put in a ladies purse was there. Other dishes offered that I passed on was crusted salmon, oven baked fish, turkey, fried chicken, many oriental dishes, pizza and a pasta department. They also offered your raw fish and sushi type stuff. I am sure some other things I canâ€™t remember but nothing special. The dessert selection was bountiful. The cookies I stole and ate the next morning were great especially if you like nuts in them. They had many cheese cakes and cakes and little sweets to satisfy anyone. Personally I rate their desserts close to the famous Wynn and Bellagio. Over all for a person who want seafood as an emphasis and a good selection I would pick this place over the 2 mentioned. Plus we did not wait in line at 7:30 PM. From what I ate I would definitely eat here again and when in a seafood mood I would defiantly come back again. After dinner we strolled around abit and I gazed at all the spike heels and short short dresses and skirts. Wow some of these women really dress to kill while their boyfriends are in ratty jeans and look like they just got off work. I admire how they do all that walking in those heels but sure appreciate the effort. Defiantly not the quite the same crowd as at the Plaza. Business looked fairly good here to me with the poker rooms full but the food places seemed a little empty to me as we walked around. It was time to head home and hit the bed as I was fading fast and this trip was to be for relaxation. Rest of the trip later. Hope you enjoyed.