A brief background: My wife and I scheduled this trip to celebrate surviving the first three months with two little boys under the age of two. I had some offers from Harrahâ€™s, and having stayed at most of the other properties, we opted to give Rio a try. We booked four comped nights from August 24th through the 28th. We werenâ€™t as concerned being off the strip as we planned to spend more time relaxing by the pool, and Iâ€™ve always been impressed with Rioâ€™s pool area. We left out of Atlanta on a Delta flight at 7:20 PM. The flight was not bad, we had our bags quickly and were in a cab in no time. There was no line at the front desk to check into our room. Check in was a breeze. Based on some prior posts that I read, I was a little concerned that we were assigned to the older Ipanema Tower. We became a little more concerned when we got off of the elevator and realized that our room was at the very end of the hall. However, our concerns were alleviated when we got to our room and found a great corner room overlooking both the strip and the pool area. The room was much larger than any room that Iâ€™ve had at Bellagio, Paris, Flamingo, Ballyâ€™s or Harrahs, and also had a fridge in the room. Weary from the dayâ€™s travel and getting the boys settled for the in-laws, my wife opted to pump due to milk overload and call it a night so she could catch up on sleep. Fortunately, she was understanding that I had other plans. I headed to the gift shop to load up the fridge with cheap beer, and then I was off to the craps table. The dealers at the craps table were great. I had a great time, but lost my initial $300.00 buy in after about two hours. Didnâ€™t have much better luck at the roulette table where another $200.00 was lost in record time. Decided to grab a bite to eat at the San Paolo cafÃ©â€™. The service wasnâ€™t great, but the burger was OK. Headed to the room to gear up for the following day. The wife and I got up about 9:00 AM the next day and decided to check out the buffet using a coupon from our Harrahs rewards coupons. Iâ€™ve had the buffets at Bellagio and Paris, and in my opinion Rio wasnâ€™t too far behind. What they didnâ€™t have in quality, they made up for in selection. Following breakfast, we spent some time familiarizing ourselves with Rio. I really like the ambiance of the place, and it is plenty large enough compared to the other resorts on the strip. Eventually, we made our way to the pool. The pool area at Rio was fantastic. There was plenty of available chairs among the four pool areas and the drink service was fine. Unfortunately, I did not feel the sunburn coming on, which pretty much eliminated pool time for the rest of the trip. Around 3:00 PM we headed to the room for a much needed nap. After a nap and shower, we took a shuttle to the strip. We walked from Paris to Planet Hollywood where we picked up tickets to Tony n Tinaâ€™s wedding. For those of you unfamiliar with this show, it is a recreation of an Italian wedding where you become a guest of the wedding. You are seated at a table with at least one member of the cast from the show. We had a great time. â€œDonna Marasalaâ€ and her date were seated at our table, and they were hysterical. Throughout the production, the cast members interact with you and do a good job of staying in character. At one point, Donna pulled me onto the dance floor to dance with her. The brideâ€™s gay brother sat with us during the toasts to mock the toasters. We went through the buffet line with the bride and groom who were entertaining. The father of the groom and his inappropriate girlfriend visited for a bit too. After the show, we headed back to the Rio for some gambling. Had a pretty long craps session where I pretty much broke even over three and half hours with my $300.00 buy in. The Billy Zane clone who ran the craps table made it a little less fun than it was the night before. My wife eventually got bored watching craps and went to the roulette table, which is her game. The roulette session didnâ€™t go to well. She eventually went to bed while I played a few slots. Luckily, I was able to cash out $120.00 up at slots and headed to the room. Since I had a sunburn, we opted to skip the pool on Wednesday. Instead we headed to the strip to walk around. Not much had changed in the four months since I had been to Vegas. We made our way to Tix for Tonight to pick up tickets for Fab Four, Carrot Top and Terry Fator. Fat Elvis was not playing that day to our disappointment, so we rushed off to Planet Hollywood for Fab Four. Fab Four was great as usual. They made a few set changes, which keeps it interesting for me since I have seen this show many times now. Although I did miss hearing Here Comes the Sun, which was nixed in favor of While My Guitar Gently Weeps. After Fab Four, we headed to Luxor for Carrot Top. I had heard a lot of good things about this show. Once we got our tickets, we grabbed some nachos at Tequila & Tacos. T & T had a fun atmosphere. After we finished the nachos, we headed into the show. Carrot Top was great, and much better than I expected. I guess he could open the show up a lot more not being on TV. The theater is small, so all of the seats are great. After the show, we headed back to the Rio for our nightly gambling session. The craps crew switched between some great guys, and some that sucked. Regardless, we had a good time. After craps, we played some slots. I didnâ€™t do too well, but my wife ended up winning $85.00. Woke up on Thursday morning with the sunburn lingering. We headed back to the buffet and over ate as expected. Since I couldnâ€™t go to the pool, and hangover lingering; my wife booked a massage. Once her massage was over, I shook off the hangover and got ready to head back to the strip. We went to Ballyâ€™s to grab some nachos at Tequila Bar at Ballyâ€™s, which was good. Once we finished the nachos, we used our coupons to attend The Price is Right at Ballys. During the second round, I was called down to the front. Item up for bid, a pierre cardin watch. I bid $250.00, which was the exact amount, and won the watch. The game I was called up to play involved guessing the prices of various items. I placed them in order with help from the audience. I got the first one right and won $100.00. I risked it on the second item, and won another $300.00. I wasnâ€™t as confident with the next item and called it a day. At the end of the show, they gave me a voucher for the $400.00 plus a cash payout on the watch of $60.00. Cashed in the $460.00 at the Ballyâ€™s cage. Then we headed to a gift shop to buy some gifts for the boys, and I found a cool Beatles shirt in a memorabilia shop. After walking around for awhile, we stopped in Imperial Palace for some gambling. Both my wife and I took our first shot at Pai Gow poker. It turned out pretty well as we both cashed in up a little. We grabbed a drink at Cesarâ€™s before we realized that we were running late for Terry Fator. We rushed out to grab our tickets at the box office. On the way in, I ran into Chris â€œJesusâ€ Ferguson. I was hesitant to ask him for a picture, but he was as nice as he could absolutely be. He posed for a picture and I do not think I have ever met a more friendly celebrity ( I will say that Kevin Costner and Evander Holyfield were also very friendly). Terry Fator put on a very good show. This show was my wifeâ€™s favorite by far, and she immediately TiVoâ€™d his special on CMT when we arrived home. Itâ€™s pretty amazing what he can do. After Terry Fator, we had some great steaks at Rumba in Mirage. Once we were full, it was back to Rio for a final night of gambling. The wife quickly became bored with me playing craps and headed to the roulette table. I finally cashed out up at craps. My wife apparently took to Pai Gow and spent the rest of the night playing. We both were worn out and headed off to bed. The next morning we packed and rushed around Rio to do some last minute shopping. Unfortunately, we made the mistake of not making our purchases earlier, and all of the shops where we wanted to make purchases were closed. Had a quick and easy checkout, and then headed off to the airport. Thoughts: This was my ninth trip to Vegas, and it has taken nine trips for me to finally get it all down. It really takes several visits to be able to time how long it takes to get from property to property, where to eat, where to shop and to have seen most of the touristy stuff. There were still decent crowds, but you can tell the economy has slowed things down some. Several of the sports-books (surprisingly Palazzo) were closed until September. Many of the restaurants were open only for dinner that normally would be open at all hours. The strip was a little easier to navigate, and show tickets were not as difficult to obtain.