My apologies in advanced as a lot of this was written on my phone while I was waiting to get my car fixed. 1/2 Players in this trip Boudge7, Mrs. Boudge7, Courtney (C), and Andrew (A). C and A had booked a 5 night stay at Fitzgeralds starting Jan 2 and they invited the wife and I to join them. I was happy to but since we just had our 1st born 10 months ago my wife was not ready to leave the baby overnight with grandma and grandpa. After some bargaining we finally agreed upon a 2 night stay. We booked the same outgoing flight on Allegiant as C and A departing Colorado Springs at 9:15. Our plane was a little late picking us up but we still arrived in Vegas 10:39 local time. We booked a rental car through Thrifty and their "wild card" promo that guaranteed us at least a mid-sized but could also be anything better. We got a dodge charger and were pleased. It had been about 1 1/2 years since my last stop in Vegas so we drove up the strip to see the changes. The wife and I have been watching Pawn Stars on the History channel and she said she'd like to go by the shop. We happened to drive by it on our way to downtown and that satisfied her. Arrived in our room about midnight local time jumped on the one of the 2 double sized beds and it was hard as a rock. If I had to guess I would say it was just a box spring in top of another box spring with a layer of cement between. I'd never experienced such a hard bed in my entire life. It was also a bit of an adjustment to go from a king size at home to a double but we like to spoon so it wasn't too bad. My wife was hungry so we wandered over to Binions Cafe. Three of us went with the Philly cheese steaks and C had the nachos. While waiting A and I each put a $1 in a penny machine. We each got a cocktail and I cashed out $3 when our food finally arrived. After that monster win I was ready to do some real gambling. A likes 4 Queens so that was our next stop. Bought in to a pai-gow poker game to get the drinks flowing. Unfortunately playing $10 hands lost 6 won 1 and had 3 pushes in 10 hands and called it quits after losing $50 in such quick fashion. Went back to the Fitz around 2 and all 4 of us played double deck blackjack. I play basic strategy and try to help my wife but sometimes she just can't help but go with her gut. I tried to explain the reasoning behind it but if I advised her to hit when she wanted to stay and she busted it was my fault she lost. From then on advice was only given when asked. I just wanted her to have a good time because our last few trips weren't especially fun for her. C went to bed but we played for about another hour until to cocktail waitress told A after he ordered his 5th crown and water to slow down. Now I could understand if he was acting loud or uncivil in any way but he wasn't. So it was kind of a shock and turnoff to the property when she said that. After it was all said and down the wife and I walked away up $13 when we hit the room at about 4:30. 1/3 After a horrible attempt at sleeping I was up at 7:30 and walked over to the Golden Nugget. Signed up for a players card and was rewarded with $5 in freeplay. I've always been a poker, blackjack, craps gambler in Vegas but decided to add video poker to the mix. My grandparents were Foxwoods regulars and played tons of video poker so when I was little my little brother and I received the little handheld version. Had a good feel for the game after spending some time on WizardofOdds. Played double bonus for a while after hitting quad 10s. Andrew woke up at some point found me so we got him a players card and went back to the same bank of VP machines. He hit quad 2s without a kicker and we played on our winnings for a while. Cocktail waitress suggested we try ddb so we moved up to the bar. I played my $100 down to $3.75 before hitting quad 8s to keep me going. Two deals later hit another set of quads. Cashed out even after 2.5 hours of play. By this my wife and C were about done getting ready so I quickly went back to the room showered and we all went to Magnolias in 4 Queens for breakfast. Eggs, hashbrowns, and an English muffin hit the spot. The plan for the day was to head to the Venetian for the day while the Wife and C did some shopping. A doesn't like the strip properties so he stayed back. Before we left the Fitz I tried a $20 spin of roulette spread across 10 numbers. Came up empty and we got the car from valet and off we went. The girls jumped out of the car while stopped on the strip and I continued on to self park at the Palazzo. I didn't understand what the lit signs meant down each parking row buy found a spot and got up to the casino. It was refreshing to get out of a smoky, low ceiling downtown casino and into a well lit, airy, gorgeous casino. Found the Club Grazie desk got my card along with $15 in free play. My plan was to play a ton of video poker but the poker room was calling my name. I can't pass up an opportunity to play in a game where I know I have an edge. As it turned out it was also not a bad place to be to watch the broncos game. There was another guy from Colorado at my table and we tipped the floor $5 to switch a particular TV to the Broncos game and lock it down for us. I wish we hadn't, the Broncos played horribly but I managed to cash out up $55. Missed 2 nut draws or I could of had a really good day but was happy to walk away a winner anyway. I knew I still had quite a bit of time to waste as the girls wanted to get mani/pedi treatments in the spa so I figured maybe I could rack up some points because Iâ€™ve heard Club Grazie has been pretty generous with the offers. I put $100 in a DDB video poker machine and wasnâ€™t really feeling a good vibe about where I was sitting. Too much foot traffic right next to me so I cashed out my remaining $40 and found a Monopoly $0.01 machine. Started playing and after a few minutes happened to look up and see my wife and C coming into the V from the Palazzo side. The fact that I looked up was a miracle in and of itself but to also see them worked out nicely. My wife watched me hit a couple bonus rounds so I let her make all the choices. The girls decided to get their treatments tomorrow since they still wanted to do more shopping. Finished down another $15 at the Monopoly machine and decided it was time to take C back to the Fitz and for my wife and I to change for dinner. We printed off a $25 off coupon from Restaurant.com for Enoteca San Marco back at the Venetian so we headed right back to where we just came. I feel like we could have planned that a little better but regardless was looking forward to relaxed dinner in a nice atmosphere for just the wife and I. We started with a sample of 5 cheeses that came with dipping sauces. The best part of that sampler was the dipping sauces. A brandy soaked cherry sauce, an apricot/chile sauce, a traditional olive oil/balsamic were all excellent and pretty much always offered a nice accent to just a plain bite of cheese. For entrees I went with the veal meatballs and my wife had the eggplant pasta. Both were excellent but I couldnâ€™t finish all three of the baseball sized meatballs. A nice added feature to the ambiance was a fantastic string trio playing. I love live music be it an orchestra, a country musician, or a college band, and this trio was just great. The violin player was top notch. After dinner the plan was to go the MGM and play that old horse racing game. My wife loves it and was looking forward to it since we booked our flights. It is one thing I recommend to anybody looking to have fun as a group on the cheap. However our plans were foiled as we literally didnâ€™t move after 25 minutes of waiting on the strip heading southbound. Northbound was fine but we finally made the decision just to flip around and hit the MGM on our way out of town tomorrow. My wife I and played a little bit of BJ before heading to bed around midnight finishing up again about $20. 1/4 I woke up at 8 to see that A was already downstairs gambling. I quickly threw on some clothes and found hit playing vp at the bar. Apparently he hit near back to back quads and was up $100. Saw if he wanted to play some craps and he was down. Fitzgeralds had an open table $3 minimum game that we saddled up to. I bought in for $100 and playing full 3-4-5x odds quickly lost that and another $50. Shell shocked since I had really only had some small wins/losses up to this point went over to a $5 BJ table and played 2 $10 hands at a time since when I played with the wife we had done ok. Not this time burned through that hundo as fast as at the craps table and went upstairs to get showered and pack. As I was getting ready to jump in the shower heard 3 or 4 loud pops like firecrackers, I said to the wife that sounded like gunshots having actually never heard gunshots in real life. As it turns out, it sure enough was gunshots about two blocks away at the courthouse. Saw later on the news a gunman opened fire and killed a federal agent. Never heard what the final outcome was but that activity shut down Las Vegas Blvd. so I guess weâ€™ll take the highway. I finished getting ready packed, we packed our bags and stopped to play a little more BJ on the way with my wife. This time we finished up $40. I learned a lesson on the trip, only gamble with my wife around. I get a little aggressive and have some big swings. She keeps me level-headed. My philosophy is â€œGo Big or Go Home,â€ whereas she likes to just have a good time. We grabbed a half dozen Krispy Kremes and enjoyed our sugar laced breakfast. We then walked over to the Golden Nugget to get her a players card and $5 in free play. Cycled it through a penny machine and we were on our way. We got our car from valet and I drove the girls to the premium outlets near the I-15. The shopped for about 1 Â½ hours as I roamed the grounds. If I donâ€™t have a purpose for shopping, I canâ€™t just look around. When they were finally done we made our way south. The plan was to drop me off at MGM so they could go to the Hard Rock where my wife confirmed over the phone a nice special for a mani-pedi. Turns out the wouldnâ€™t honor the offer she was told over the phone and they came back try their luck at the spa in the MGM. I bought into a $10 craps table with $500 and played a very basic Donâ€™t pass/Place strategy. Cashed out a small $60 win and went to play the quarter horse machine with my wife. Side note: A young couple started playing next to me and bought in for $100 each. They really had no clue what they were doing as the dealers had to tell them how much money they needed for every bet they thought they wanted. They were just lucky and each cashed out over $400 each. I hit quite a few points/numbers while shooting but I was playing the wrong side yet again, but at least had my place bets to keep me afloat. After each losing $10 betting the mechanical ponies we were off to get the car and end our Vegas trip the only way I know howâ€¦In and Out. I had the 3x3 with a chocolate shake and my wife had the cheeseburger â€œanimalâ€ style and fries â€œlightâ€. Topped off the rental car for $8 and made it the airport in plenty of time. On my way out I always throw $10 into the $0.25 Wheel of Fortune progressive just so that if I hit, I can extend my stay. No dice, uneventful flight and home to see my baby boy. Had a great trip with good friends and as always Iâ€™m ready to go back. It might not be for a while unless my small time play generates some free room offers as I already have a golf trip planned with my buddies from college and a family trip to Disney World. This is my first trip report so Iâ€™m hoping I didnâ€™t ramble too much. Next time out, Iâ€™d love to try and meet up with some of you on this message board.