The Players â€“ our married friends M (husband) R (wife), my husband G and myself Pre Vegas â€“ The Boring Stuff Fri. May 1, 2009 We dropped Buster at the puppy sitterâ€™s an hour south of where we live and continued on to Quality Suites at the Toronto Airport where we were spending the night. Met our friends M & R, headed to dinner next door at the Lone Star CafÃ©. We were all very pumped for this trip and anxious to just be in Vegas. Back to our suite (each couple had their own), had some drinks and shared some laughs. Weâ€™d originally planned to grab a limo at the airport in Vegas, stop at the Welcome to Fabulous Las Vegas sign for a photo op, hit a liquor store and continue to the hotel, but when I told the gang that The Gold Coast gift shop liquor was reasonably priced, we decided on a cab as everyone just wanted to get to the hotel and get the party started. Pre Vegas â€“ The Boring Stuff Sat. May 2, 2009 Up in the morning, grab the shuttle to the airport at 7 am, check in a breeze, had breakfast (which was barely edible) and finally at 9:30 am we are on our way to Vegas on Westjet. Very nice airline and the televisions really help to pass the time. Longest flight to Vegas Iâ€™ve had out of Toronto though (5 hours) now that the airlines have reduced speed to save fuel. Arrive in Vegas 11:30 am Vegas time, bags come out quickly and into the cab. I was fiddling through coupons and papers and didnâ€™t notice until it was too late that we were being tunneled (ughhhhhh). Said under my breath â€œOh goody weâ€™re being long-hauledâ€ and everyone laughed so I know the very quiet, completely unanimated (although I think I did see him twitch once) driver heard. By the time we stopped at the entrance to the Rio the normally $14-15 fare was $22.10. The guys unloaded the bags and were heading in the door, so I handed the driver $23 (sorry the fare ate your tip big guy) and R & I headed for the door. He chased after us and said the fare was $25.80. We both looked at each other and said in unison â€œthe meter said $22.10â€. Good, I hadnâ€™t read it wrong. He insisted it was $25.90. I had no intention of ruining my mood arguing with this clown, but did thank him for long-hauling us and turning what has always been a $14-15 ride in the 30 times Iâ€™ve stayed at The Rio into a $23 ride. I asked for the 3 singles back, handed him a $5 and then took my time counting out exactly 80 cents, including some pennies! Point made. He didnâ€™t have the nerve to ask for a tip, so Iâ€™ll give him that! Vegas â€“ The Rio â€“ Sat. May 2, 2009 Check in was a breeze, very quiet, but the rooms werenâ€™t ready. I was told our room would be ready in an hour as housekeeping was in it and M & R were told 2 hours. We headed to Shutters bar to pass the time playing VP (which I affectionately call Video Warfare). A glimpse of things to come, I played DDB poker and couldnâ€™t catch a cold let alone a decent hand. I did get the first of my â€œfour card Royalsâ€ that always had me muttering â€œLook, I was one jack offâ€ (pun intended). I must have really ticked a Jack off (pun always intended) somewhere along the way because I would get this hand many times over the next 5 days in various suits and almost always missing just the jack. Drink service was quick considering there were only two bartenders, a theme everywhere we went. $60 later our room was ready so we all headed up and deposited the bags in our room and went to lunch at the All American Bar & Grill. The burger I had on this particular day was one of the best I have ever had. After lunch M & R collected their keys, moved their luggage to their room, and we headed to The Gold Coast. Played some BJ there (6 card shoe) and grinded up and down for a couple of hours before finally giving up even with the $100 Iâ€™d started with. G was a little ahead; M & R had played slots and deposited around $40 eachâ€¦.not bad for 2 hours of play. The Gold Coast gift shop has a good selection of liquor, wine, beer and is very reasonably priced and you get a further discount with your B Connected card. We got our supplies and headed back to The Rio for a drink in our suite, split up to shower and change, M & R met us back in our suite for another drink (and the start of our livers going into shock). The game plan for the night was to just hang at The Rio and perhaps back to the GC or Palms. No one was hungry yet after the huge All American burgers, so we split up and each went to play. G & I decided on VP againâ€¦..I hate playing HET 6-5 BJ. G was playing Deuces Wild and I was determined to win at DDBâ€¦â€¦â€¦â€¦it never happened for either of us. Many drinks and many deposits into the machines later, M & R joined us; they hadnâ€™t had any luck either. Now it may have been my eyes playing tricks on me after all the â€œfreeâ€ cocktails, but Iâ€™m almost certain I saw the Hoover trademark on my machine! M was the only one hungry (the rest of us were full of beer), so he grabbed something by the Sports Bar I think. R, G & I continued to get virtually spanked at VP. The guys were tired and wanted to head up, R & I debated staying down for a bitâ€¦.but it had been a day of grinding losses and travel and we were both a little wobbly on our heels at this point, so we called it a night. I do believe this would be a record for me as we were in bed around 1:30 a.m.; more proof that Iâ€™m getting old as I also noticed they've done something odd with the mirrors in the rooms at The Rio..........I used to look so much younger in them when I stayed there frequently in my 30s and they now have a funhouse effect that makes me appear wider as well.....yep that's my story and I'm sticking to it. Vegas â€“ Sun. May 3, 2009 Rio & Venetian We were up early, showered and I went downstairs to get G & I some of that HORRIBLE Starbucks coffee. My apologies to my American friends who seem to like the stuff (we do have Starbucks here in Canada too), but Tim Hortonâ€™s â€“ now thatâ€™s coffee. Back to the room and waited for M & R to call. They called before we could finish the tar, I mean coffee, but I needed that caffeine so took it with me for the walk to the Gold Coast for the breakfast buffet (a first for all of us). It was Sunday, so the breakfast buffet was actually Sunday brunch and it turned out I had enough points on my card from the previous dayâ€™s play (wow those BConnected points add up quickly) to pay for all but $4 of G & my brunch. G, M & R didnâ€™t have a card, so decided they'd get one after breakfast. We ordered a bottle of White Zinfadel with breakfast (and explained to the waitress that we really don't have drinking problems other than on our Vegas excursions). Sunday brunch at the GC is very good, especially considering the low price. G & I have always really liked the GC for gambling and M & R developed an affection for it this trip as well. After brunch the gang got signed up for their cards, I finally changed the name on mine to my married name (only took me 3.5 years) and we decided to play a bit. I started on a Double Diamond machine that showed no love, then moved to DDB machine on the floor that I managed to grind $75 from. Drink service is the best I've seen anywhere at the GC.....the cocktail waitress was by every 5 minutes and we all had several more White Zins, except G who'd switched to Jack & coke. None of us hit anything big, but we all left with a little extra cash and could cross getting drunk during the breakfast hour off of our list of things to do. Back to Rio; G wanted to lay down and M, R & I headed to the pool. We spent a pleasant few hours at the pool with a couple buckets of Corona before it got too hot. M in the waterfall at The Rio M at the pool at The Rio Back to our rooms to shower. Today was the day G & I were to check into our second comped room at The Venetian and we intended to sleep there tonight as well, so packed a duffel bag leaving most of our belongings at The Rio. For some reason (alcohol perhaps), G transferred everything I'd packed to a small suitcase. We tried to get the shuttle to Harrahs to walk to The Venetian, but couldn't get on with the suitcase (should have left everything in the duffle bag). M suggested we get the shuttle from the GC to Bill's (not because he's cheap, but we'd never tried it and are really liking the GC and considering staying there at some point). With the construction between The Rio and GC, it's easy to cross the road (very little traffic), so we gave it a whirl and sure enough no problem getting on. From Bill's we walked to The Venetian to check in. The comped room was in the Venezia Tower with a private registration on the 10th floor. I'd never stayed in that tower before. The common areas are quite ornate compared to the Venetian areas. It really is gorgeous. There are also two private pools and hot tubs on the 10th floor for Venezia tower guests, so we decided we'd sit out there the next day. It's a bit of a maze to get to the room, but I actually really liked this tower....it is still furnished like the Venetian was before the reno. Me in the short check-in line, Venezia Tower Lobby Area Me on the left, R on the right in the lobby area of the Venezia Tower Grabbed some mix (we brought some drinks from our rooms at the Rio) and sat in the room for a bit and had a few drinks. G & I in the room at The Venetian We decided to do some of the next day's scheduled "slum tour" this evening (IP for Dealertainers), so we decided to start at The Victorian Room at Bill's for dinner. The prime rib was quite good. R wanted to play Let It Ride and I was game. When we left the Victorian Room, there was a completely empty $5 LIR table at Bill's, but M wanted to move on to the IP for the Dealertainers. R & I sat at LIR, G went to the new Texas Hold 'Em table game and Mike went to BJ. I hit the first hand of LIR for a pair of jacks (hey, that's where those jacks hide) and then started the usual up and down grind. I bore of LIR quickly if I'm not winning so when my $100 buy in was at $80, I played 3 x $25 and the $1 bonus. I drew 10, Q, K of Spades so let it ride. The dealer turned over the A of Spades.........and no one was holding their hand so that I could try to spot the dreaded much-needed jack. I let it ride again (and was mentally buying shoes) and the dealer turned over.............drumroll - NOT the J, not even anything that would pay me - it was a low red card of some sort. R stayed on for a bit until the cards eked out her $100 and I moved over to BJ to watch the dealertainers and play dreaded HET rule BJ. I played 3rd base at Michael Jackson's table while watching "Whitney", "Billy Joel", a hilarious "Freddie Mercury", "Celine" and got royally spanked by Michael who had $200 out of me before he even performed. "Michael" suggested I bend over the stool before I leave so he could give me one final spanking - bad boy Michael! The HET rules didn't hurt my game as I always drew a bust hand against a 7 or up for the dealer and had to hit. Never got anything I could work with at all. M & R headed back to the Rio and G & I headed back to The Venetian.....all of us down for the day. G was ready for bed and I hadn't done any gambling at The Venetian, so I played around with a few slots and won $50 before tiring of the grind and deciding to join him around 2 a.m. Noticed hubby somehow managed to miss transferring my clothes for the morning to the suitcase so unless I washed what I was wearing, I'd be prancing around on the strip in my bikini the next day (no one wants to see that), so I washed my dress in shampoo (you do what ya gotta do) and hung it to dry. Vegas Mon. May 4, 2009 - Venetian & Rio Up at 7 a.m., showered, called M & R and decided to meet at Registration in Harrahs at 9:00 a.m. to head to Ellis Island for breakfast. It turns out the shuttle from Rio doesn't start until 10am now, so M & R walked it (very brave with all that traffic) and arrived in one piece, well actually two pieces - they weren't welded together on the walk either. We started out for Ellis Island (with a quick stop at IP to cash out 2 green chips I found in my purse that I'd forgotten - turns out my spanking was a little lighter than I'd thought) when M spotted the sign saying Margarittaville now serves breakfast. So much for finally eating at Ellis Island this trip, but we all really enjoy sitting on the terrace at Margarittaville, people watching and dining. No wine at breakfast this morning, just good 'ole Java. Service was very slow compared to other years, just not enough wait staff and breakfast was almost a 2 hour affair. We enjoyed several laughs and licked our gambling wounds, hoping today would be a better day! We decided not to bother using our 2fer coupons for Legends as we've all seen it several times and we have shows booked for Tuesday and Wednesday. On with the slum tour (minus Ellis Island), first stop Casino Royale. No one (except me) had a Players Card there and mine was in my former surname, so we all signed up and tinkered about with the coupons. WOF for me and I immediately spun for 100, which meant waiting 15 minutes to have the win verified to collect the bonus $10. Onto VP to try to collect on the bonus $25 for a 4OAK, no luck for any of us. I hear many complaints about the scent in The Venetian (I rather like it), but there's just something about the "scent" (I use that term graciously) in CR - it's a combination of beer, desperation, despair and a certain something I can never quite put my finger on - a$$ perhaps? It's an inexpensive place to pass a few hours though so we four losers enjoyed the reprieve. I left "up" a whopping $25, G the big winner at $80 and M & R each around $10. By now it was quite hot so we decided to scrap the slum tour idea, do a bit of shopping on the way to the room at Venetian. G bought some new Oakley sunglasses, R & I bought some cheap $15 sunglasses earlier in the day in Carnival Court as we'd both forgotten our sunglasses at Rio. Checked out Cache and Bebe.......anything I found that I liked was size 0 or XS,,,,,,how come when I wore size 0 and XS I could never find anything? Oh the irony! Gave up and made our way to the room for a drink, then off to enjoy the pool at Venetian for a while. It's very quiet at the Venezia pools compared to the main area. Two $38 buckets of Corona and lots of sun later, back up to the room to shower, pack up most of our stuff as we were undecided if we'd stay at Venetian tonight or Rio and just head over to check out of Venetian in the morning, at any rate if we came back we'd bring the duffel bag so we left some things behind. We headed to Bill's (with suitcase - G what was wrong with the duffel bag?) to see Big Elvis (finally, have been wanting to for yrs!). We arrived between the first and second set and the only table left was right in front. M was starved and I noticed hot dog wrappers on the table beside us, so R & I went to hunt hotdog. The cart was just outside the lounge. We paid for four hotdogs and the lady advised we're out. "Isn't that like McDonalds running out of hamburger patties" I asked in a joking manner and heard chuckles behind me in the line. She responded with a "deer in the headlights" look....so I asked if more were on the way (since we'd paid) and confused the poor lady with that question. Fortunately they arrived so no further conversation was necessary as I was really starting to question whether I'd suddenly begun to speak in tongues. Back to the lounge with the hotdogs, ordered drinks. Chuck (the guy that sings Roy Orbison) came out and said to my hubby "You haven't been here before have you?" G was sitting right beside the door that Big Elvis comes out and apparently G was in peril in that close proximity, so we moved over as best we could. A rather grumpy lady behind us had already asked that no one sit in such a way as to block her view, so it took a bit of doing to keep her happy. Big Elvis was very enjoyable and R & I ended up being one of the four ladies to go up so we got the certificate and CD. We stayed for one set and caught the shuttle to Rio. Showered and changed (ahhhhhhh it felt good to change my clothes), drinks in our suite then off to the Carnival World Buffet (I was hoping to try the buffet at The Palms to use a coupon Westie had sent me, but was outvoted - thanks anyway Westie!). It isn't as good as it once was, but it is still very good! I'd printed coupons for free entry before 10 p.m. to the Voodoo Lounge so we went up to chill, enjoy a drink and gaze out at the strip. G, Me & R at the Voodoo Lounge Grabbed the shuttle back to Harrahs and did some strip walking and casino hopping Harrahs, Mirage (haven't been in there in years), Caesars, Bellagio but very little gambling other than $20 in here and there. I wondered if Loser was in the Mirage and I might be passing him without knowing but thought it best not to ask every man I saw if he was Loser. We decided to do our gambling at the GC so grabbed the shuttle over. M & I sat at a 6 deck BJ shoe, there was only one spot at double-deck at this point so G sat there and R went to play slots. We had two dealers that rotated a female and male whose names I can't recall as the drinks flow very quickly and freely at the GC, but like clockwork the male would have me up a few hundred and the female would come over and suck it right back out of me. This went on for several rotations, M moved onto slots, G came by and I moved over to double-deck BJ with him with my original hundred and a bit. M & R left around 1:00 a.m. and G & I played until about 4:00 a.m. This was the first session we had where we were able to put together a few hands and get our bets up and we had a lot of fun at this table with a lively fun group of people. I had everyone doing a hail "We're not worthy" wave for the dealer anytime she busted. I finished off up $300 after I bet $50 and split 8's to the dealer's 5. I drew another 8, so split again and doubled on two of the hands when I pulled a 2 on one and a 3 on the other only to draw crap on all hands and have the dealer pull a 21. Oh well, that's why they call it gambling and those are the hands you love when you win! We took that as our queue to call it a night and G finished up around a little over $400. Vegas - Tues. May 5, 2009 - Rio I was up at 8:30 a.m. feeling not so perky <subliminal hung over> but I volunteered to head to Venetian to check out; G looked a little worse for wear than I did and needed more sleep. I grabbed a cab, didn't feel like dealing with the shuttle and got a very handsome cab driver with a personality to match. Quickly reminded myself that I'm married when he asked if I was in town alone and chit-chatted about Danny Gans on the way over. I hadn't heard that he'd passed until we arrived in Vegas and was very sad to hear the news. I'd seen his show several times and G was sorry he hadn't gone to see it. Made my way to the Venezia room and there was nothing left.....toiletries gone, some wine and beer and I racked my brain trying to think if we'd left anything worthwhile behind. Decided we hadn't so just checked out. I hadn't given the Venetian much play, so decided to play a few slots of the way out (safe bet I won't be seeing a Venetian offer again anytime soon). On my way to my favourite WOF machine (I've never lost on it), I spotted a bank of the old Elvis machines 25c. Sat there and ran my freeplay through ($50) and another $20, then ran another $20 through DDB Video Warfare. Today is our "downtown" day and we have to pick up our tickets to Gordie Brown. Everyone else had said they'd be heading to the pool and I wanted to spend some time there as well, so I grabbed a quick hotdog and headed to Harrahs to get the shuttle. I met the gang at the pool around 12:30 - it was quite hot, in the 90's. Decided a hair of the dog might help (still wasn't feeling too chipper) and ordered a Margarita ($12). We only stayed at the pool once I arrived for about an hour as everyone was feeling the heat. We headed to our suite for Happy Hour and I realized I'd left my expensive Movado watch under my seat at the pool. My sweet hubby quickly went down to see if he could get it. Fortunately it was sitting right where I left it, but he messed with my mind for a bit before telling me that. Whew! Had a couple drinks, M & R headed to their suite to get ready and we showered and changed. Grabbed a cab to the Nugget and picked up our tickets for Gordie Brown and checked out the pool at the Nugget which is really nice. Love the aquarium. G, me & R pool at the Nugget We decided to sign up for the GN players cards. M & R in one line G & myself in the other. Very nice lady signed us up and asked the usual questions before she turned to G and asked "When is your wedding anniversary G? He got the month correct, but wrong date and year. Normally he knows this so he said to her, "I'm really tired and I've been drunk for 3 days". Everyone in line laughed including the other GN employee who overheard. We played some WOF, Video Warfare, played off our free play on a machine similar to the Double Diamonds that move up or down, then headed to MSS to the 777 BrewPub which was on our list of things to do. G, me & R walking to MSS Loved this place; the food was great though if you put a gun to my head right now I still couldn't tell you what we had. M took pictures of everything, including food, but I took very few pictures this trip and he hasn't emailed any of his yet. M, R, G and myself at 777 BrewPub MSS After dinner we started back to the Nugget. I wore some funky heeled shoes (a high wedge with a cut out making heels) that were killer by this point and M commented on how comfortable his were so I asked if he wanted to switch. He made a valiant effort, but just couldn't squeeze in so trooper that I am, I continued on in my cute hotpink killer shoes. M in one of my shoes, me in one of his (a couple of guys seemed to hit on him in these shoes, hmmmm) If you haven't seen Gordie Brown - I HIGHLY recommend this show. We all laughed so hard we almost cried and R & I were quite happy to discover that looking at him for 2 hours was going to be a very pleasant experience indeed. I have to say, I've developed a bit of a crush and every so often R would mutter "He is so hot!". He did a tribute to his "good friend" Danny Gans Louis Armstrong's What a Wonderful World and had tears in his eyes, as did most of the audience, when he sang. Gordie's show is right up there on my favourite shows I have seen in Vegas and we all agreed we would definitely see it again. G wasn't big on the idea of this show when I booked it, but he loved it!!! After the show, we played a bit more DDB Video Warfare, won a wee bit, then headed back to The Rio. We went up to our room for a drink then back down to the Shutters Bar for more Video Warfare. It was crazy busy tonight at The Rio for Cinqo de Mayo. I kept getting my usual 4 card Royals sure that I'd hit one eventually when I pulled two Aces and the second two came up with a deuce. My first 4OAK of any sort the entire trip.....glad it was a good one. I played up and down for an hour or two; G was holding his own and M & R headed to bed. I finally quit with an even $500; G $125 and we called it a day. Vegas - Last Full Day Wed. May 6, 2009 - Rio M & R were up early and ready to eat when I had just stepped out of the shower so we told them to go ahead without us......when M is hungry he wants to eat NOW! G & I finished getting ready and headed back to the GC for the breakfast buffet. It really is worth a visit $6.99 and you get $1.00 off with your cards. It was Sr's Day at the buffet and I was grateful they didn't offer me the free buffet with 200 pts. There's an omelette station so we both got omelettes and fruit. We ran into M & R playing slots when we left the buffet so we all sat down to play. Tried a BJ game on the multi-game machine for a change and though it took a couple of hours, we all managed to eke a couple of hundred out of our respective machines. The GC is dangerous.......the CW comes by more frequently than I'd ever seen anywhere and once again we managed to get drunk right after breakfast, it was about noon by the time we accomplished that feat so we reasoned it was 3pm at home. When we headed out to go back to The Rio, it was very hot. We only put in about an hour of pool time then grabbed a shower before donating some of our GC winnings at DDB. We went up to our room for a few drinks. M wanted to grab a few things at the gift shop and while he was gone we decided this would be the night where we would all win! When M came back we told him that and he asked how. I told him we'd decided to rob the casino and we had a good laugh over that. On the agenda for tonight is Ka and we need to pick up the tickets. We got the shuttle to Paris at 4:30 and we were scorching hot by the time we reached the MGM. The concierge said it had been the hottest day of the year thus far 98 degrees and the guys were dressed for the show in long pants. At least Reen & I were in dresses and the mandatory why am I walking the strip in these heels footwear. I punish myself just to be brave. It took quite a while to get the tickets as the one person ahead of me in line had no idea what it was he wanted or if he even wanted anything and was looking at every available option. We had wanted to go to PH for dinner, but decided it would have to be something quick in the MGM because we only had an hour to eat before we had to be seated for the show. We ate at Something Cafe, it was alright - nothing to write home about. We didn't really do much in the way of restaurants this trip and I usually like to go for at least one really nice meal. There's always next time. The Ka theatre is really awesome. Snuck a couple of photos that really didn't turn out very well. I've seen a few Cirque shows Mystere (liked it), O (thought it was a complete snooze fest), Zumanity (it was alright, G hated it) and now Ka. There was about 15 minutes of the show that was action packed and exciting, the rest was stuff and filler. As we sat watching two of the cast sitting on the floor doing shadow puppets I leaned over to G and said "I can't believe we paid $150 each to watch these clowns making shadow puppets". G said that line was his favourite part of the whole show. I wasn't sure how M & R felt about the show until I looked at R's eyes after and they had completely glazed over. M quickly blurted "That was the weirdest thing I've ever seen". I nodded off several times. The four of us have decided, we are not Cirque people. If the story line hadn't been explained at the beginning of the show, I would have had no clue what was going on. I won't give anything away in the event someone suffers a severe bump on the head causing them to buy tickets (just kidding.....sorta) but I left feeling there's two hours of my life I could never get back. I would have much preferred to lose that $150 gambling as I'd have had far more entertainment value. We all left wishing we'd booked The Fab Four (which was my first choice) instead. Walked over to Planet Hollywood and played a bit of WOF. Hit several spins, but all were little ones, under 100 and headed back to home base. We went to our room for Happy Hour, then back down to the Casino. We decided to stick around at The Rio as our flight is at 12:15 so it would be a busy morning. We all sat for our final round at Shutters, no one got hurt too bad $20 or $40 and we played for a couple of hours but in the end it all went back into the machine. M & R decided to play some slots and G & I decided to move over to the Sports Bar. Chris at Shutters had made G some wicked strong JD's & Coke. We played at the Sports Bar for about an hour (still no luck), then I said I wanted to try WOF before heading for bed. There are two on the wall around from the Cashier, 25c. First spin I hit for a spin and hit the 1000 - nice start. My WOF spin Played off the rest of my original 20 up and down a bit, then G decided he wanted to play that machine when I was done. He hit a couple of quick spins, one for 500 and one for 250, played off the rest of his original 20, then we headed to bed. It was around 3 a.m. G was NOT feeling well when I poured him in bed.....put some cold cloths on his forehead, moved a wastebasket into emergency position, gave him a there, there 'lil buckaroo and watched him immediately go to sleep. I knew all preparations in the morning would be up to me at this point, set the alarm and called for a wake up call. I got up at 7:30, packed both our bags, tidied up a bit (I hate leaving a mess), showered then called M & R to see if they were ready for breakfast. George stayed in bed and I told him I'd bring him back something. We did the buffet at the GC again (I would have preferred San Paulo) but majority rules. M & R stayed to gamble a bit after breakfast. I grabbed G a coffee and bagel at Seattle's Best (knew he wouldn't want Starbucks) and some fruit from the store at the Rio. Once he showered and had his coffee, he felt a bit better but was a hurting unit. M & R stopped by our room with their bags, they checked out on the way up, so those of us who weren't hung over decided to finish off the last of the beer & wine before heading to the airport. G decided he wanted no part of the remainder of his bottle of JD and asked that I not even pack it. Cab to the airport, we asked not to be longhauled - fare $14.40. Checked the bags at the curb, had a final beer before going into recovery (G excluded - he had lemonade), flight on time and off for home. I slept the first hour of the flight, G most of it. Final Thoughts Staff cutbacks are evident everywhere Restaurants that are open rotate Didn't spend nearly enough time on the strip this trip and missed the "strip walking" Still haven't gone to Ellis Island, but finally saw Big Elvis After the brutal start, we recouped some losses so not so bad Missed shopping at the Miracle Mile Didn't do much in the way of dining....would like to change that next trip. Our friends are easy companions; this is our second Vegas excursion with them and we shared countless laughs! This TR is very long and has obviously induced many a coma. For anyone coming to several hours from now with key marks on their faces, my sincere apologies.