Well................I wasn't going to report on this little adventure any more than I felt like writing something on the DYLAN trip the week before, but it dose deserve some mention and that is............SANTANA's SHOW IS HOT! The difference being, I usually don't report on Shows that are just 'casuals'...I like to stick to the ones YOU can see on your next trips and...SANTANA IS ONE OF THEM! The reason for the DYLAN and SANTANA trips were, I'm using up my SOUTHWEST RT's I've earned before I loose money on 'em...and it's just been coincidence that there's been some 2,3 free nighters that have fit the same days as the Shows so.......I'M TAKIN' 'EM FOR ALL THEY'RE WORTH! lol. Donald Fagen, Michale McDonald, Boz Scags as 'The DUKES of SEPTEMBER'... Van Morrison, KA', LOVE and MYSTERE are the same sort of deal coming up in the near future. I stayed at The PALMS this trip...haven't stayed there for quite a while now. The deal was for their standard room in the old tower, 7th floor (view of the RIO, lol). Those rooms are simple and comfy...nothin' special and they work just fine for me. I've been playing there alot lately. They still have the best gaming for the areas I like to be in and I'm close to my new favorite indulgence...'BLIZZBERRY', the new frozen yogurt joint that's taken up biz in town. (there's another one in the Mirage) Their PRALINE flavor is terrific! You fill up a tub...put some toppings on it if you like, then weigh it and pay for it...WONDERFUL. For the first time, I ventured next door to PALMS PLACE. There's a sky walk via an elevator in the food court that takes you across the parking area to the sister property. Up on the 6th floor is SIMON KITCHEN...a great little restaurant, med. priced, good quality foods which over looks a variety of small swimming pools on the patio outside. I used it for breakfast...it was never crowded, and casual/classy...a great little place. Kerry Simon has several restaurants that are pretty successful and this one is a little gem. NOW...if you haven't been to The PALMS before, be for warned. In the mornings and throughout the day, it's a great place to play. Full of locals (because the VP is good) but in the evening...PLAYBOY CLUB, RAIN, MOON...fill the place with young folks, ready to party and PARTY THEY DO!. lol, just getting to the elevators after 9pm is a real test of ones military maneuver skills...IT'S A REAL ZOO! When I saw GARTH BROOKS they gave you free buffet pass for two which was good til the end of the year. This was the perfect time to use it...my ol' guitar player Bill has lived there for years, and the two of us hit the buffet and Show together. The Wynn buffet is one of the better ones...lots of choices that are always fresh and the excellent dessert selections! We had plenty of time...had our fill and caught a cab over to the HARD ROCK and the JOINT for SANTANA. Now the seats I like at the JOINT are in the first, upper level off the floor. There's one on each side of the room and are made up of about 8 tables that seat 4. It's not crowed, there's lots of room to move around...watch the show from lots of different angles and you have your own cocktail server. These seats aren't reserved for comps....anyone can buy 'em but you can ONLY purchase them from one of the Hard Rock hosts which is a PAIN! but.....once you get 'em, you can't beat the view and sound AND...you're off the floor down below where it 'can' get a bit crazy, lol. When I was in town a couple weeks ago to see DYLAN, I picked up the SANTANA tics. I'd talked to, emailed, and talked to again...'JON OPAS', one of their hosts prior to hitting town and we'd arranged to get all my upcoming Show tickets. I've used Jon before for BRIAN SETZER's Christmas Show, the Australian PINK FLOYD and he's always been real helpful BUT...HE'S YOUNG, MOVES A MILLION MILES AN HOUR, IS HARDER THAN HELL TO TRACK DOWN but...that's what ya deal with at the ROCK. Anyway...we get there...we head into the JOINT...and the ticket taker says..."your tickets are for tomorrow night sir" OH JON!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (guess I could have looked at the date huh...lol) I go back up to the Box Office where I have my buddy Kim call Jon. He's running all over the place delivering other folks tics for that nights Show. She takes us the back way, through the heart of the ROCK off limits to the public to where she thinks we'll find Jon and sure enough...there he is. (AMAZING how quick you can get from point A to point B when you're not out in the public area of a casino, lol) LONG STORY SHORT...we exchange the tics...same seats/right night and in we go. The irony of the whole damn thing was...to avoid what had just exactly happened, LOL. Jon's style is to meet his guest the night of the Show...he tells you where he'll meet you...you go there...no Jon...you wait (30min. to showtime)...you wait, NO Jon... (15min. to showtime)...you wait some more...THEN JON RUSHES UP....says HELLO, passes out the tics, then runs off again. I'D HOPED TO AVOID THIS BY GETTING THE TICKETS THE WEEK BEFORE but NOOOOOOOOOOOO! lol. SANTANA was wonderful. He used his SUPERNATURAL band mates...just great. The Show started at 8:00 and was over around 10:30. No opening act, just CARLOS and the band. Most of the crowd were 'boomers' as I am but you did see some folks with their (probably grandkids) going in...explaining all the way who CARLOS SANTANA was, WOODSTOCK, the whole ROCK 'N ROLL history lesson. I noticed many of 'em coming out and they all had big smiles on their faces...IT WAS A GREAT SHOW!. That was Friday night and I also had Saturday in the deal. It was the anniversary of the last trip my Mom had made with me before she died and I was thinking of what we had done that trip. Having nothing special planned for the second night, I decided to re trace our evening. I went over to The ORLEANS and ate at the PRIME RIB LOFT, then to Bally's and saw JUBILEE's 10:30 topless Show. The PRIME RIB LOFT offers a great/no frills, excellent prime rib dinner, salad, bread, GREAT BAKED POTATO, coffee or tea for $24.30. I chose their standard cut...there's a BIG one, but it would take ONE BIG APPETITE to eat all of that! I was entertained during dinner from the table across from me. 10 guys....all in their 50's-60's from North Dakota. They'd all been in...THE SERVICE together and had all attended the same fraternity together in college. They were there having some kind of meeting to raise money for the frat...eating, drinking, eating, and DRINKING SOME MORE. 'Vini' was the most bombed and out spoken. He was 'toasted' and 'toasting' to everything and every one. I couldn't see what happened, but it sounded like he dropped the wine bottle on his plate breaking it, spoiling is BIG CUT of prime rib AND... they just brought him another one/no charge. He shut up after his second dinner arrived and just ate, lol, but it was pretty entertaining. JUBILEE is WONDERFUL. The last of the ol' Las Vegas showgirl productions...camp, glitz, show tunes, the sinking of the TITANIC, SAMSON AND DELILAH, and those FANTASTIC BOB MACKIE costumes!!! FANTASTIC!!! I still remember from taking the 'Back Stage Tour' years back, all the trials that stage presents to the dancers. There's holes in the floor, cracks where the staging moves in 'n out...IT'S VERY DANGEROUS UP THERE! The dancers learn how to walk without tripping in the flaws of the stage...some of those headdresses weigh over 30lbs. but they pull it off night after night and we just sit back and enjoy...never knowing what 'could' happen up there. Well...that's it. Ya know....even without these free flights and rooms...by not playing the slots any more, I've saved so much money on my trips lately. I play some video poker...I broke even this trip and will take that money back to the other Shows coming up...but it's still lots of fun...AND CHEAP! I really (liked) to play a few of my favorite slots, but since they've lowered the payouts at most of the properties, it just doesn't make sense (for me...) to play 'em any more. When ya win...ya win sooooo little, it's like throwing money down the drain. At least with VP I can get my gambling jones off...... (have more of a say on how I loose my money, lol) and like on this trip...I won!...EXCEPT FOR THE FLIGHT BACK. lol, we were all loaded up and the Captain came on the intercom and explained he'd seen a dent in one of the engines. They had called in...'the guys' who knew about these things and would let us know shortly if we'd have to change planes..............WE DID, lol. EVERYBODY OUT...down to the next gate....EVERYBODY IN...and off we went with only 1hr. delay. GOOD TRIP!