This was my annual trip to Vegas with my two sisters and for the second year my nephew tagged along. We flew out of Peoria on Allegiant arriving in Vegas half an hour early. Mikey surprised us at the airport and brought along some spiked diet cokes. Tried the $20 trick at Paris and was shot down yet again but at least I was able to get connecting rooms...no view...we were on the fourth floor looking out toward the pool, but the trees blocked the view. Spent every day down at the pool and evenings out. Gambled very little this trip but Iâ€™m pretty sure I broke even so thatâ€™s a win in my book. A few comments about Parisâ€¦First of all there was no exhaust fan in the bathroom, the toilet was not in working order and neither was the hair dryer. They no longer serve the big Eiffel Tower drinks at the pool but they did have large plastic cups for the foofoo drinks...$17....ouch!! The remainder of our experiences at Paris were pleasant. They even had some $10 blackjack tables on Saturday night. No more Eiffel Tower drinks Prices for Paris Mini Bar Mikey took me to his favorite pizza place, New York Pizza and Pasta for dinner. A quite little place off the strip. The pizza was excellent but my favorite is still a family owned pizza place at home. Later on we headed over to the Sahara to listen to the band playing in the lounge. One of the members is married to Mikeys niece so that made it a little more special. As soon as we arrived we ordered 2 captain and diets, total price...$7....after drinking $17 drinks at the pool all day that was a welcome relief. I havenâ€™t been to the Sahara in years and have to say I was pleasantly surprised with the casino, they have really cleaned it up since I was last there. We played a few slots and some Pai Gow and headed back to the strip after midnight. On the second day sister #1 and I headed over to Flamingo to check out the pool. She had some friends staying there so it was no problem getting in. That place was packed but God is it fun!!! Flamingo Pool Later, back at the ranch, there was a knock on our door (this is where the 40-year-old virgin comes in).....NO, not that kind of virgin :evillaugh ....a Vegas virgin and a first time flier. My youngest brother decided to surprise us and come out. You have to understand that heâ€™s very reclusive and has severe social anxiety, so this was a HUGE deal for him and us not to mention the fact that heâ€™s never been anywhere outside of Illinois. We were so ecstatic and I quickly ordered a roll away for him. Later that evening sister #2 and I left for Mandalay Bay. Dinner at R Bar Cafe was excellent. I had a glass of champagne, sister had Iced tea, we had an appetizer of oysters and then split the surf and turf for dinner. I used a $25 off coupon from Restaurant.com so our bill came to a grand total of a little over $80 plus tip. Excellent meal. We then had tickets to Mama Mia....what an excellent show! We were able to get tickets when they were offering buy one get one free and had seats third row and center. Surf and Turf R Bar Cafe After the show we had to quickly cab it over to the Palms to meet the rest of our group at the Playboy club. Once we saw the huge taxi line I used a trick that VegasDrea taught me. I walked right up to the front of the line and asked if we could get a town car. Much to our surprise a huge (4 rows of seats) white Hummer pulls up and off we went ( cost $47). On the ride over we called our group and told them to meet us out front for a photo. Unfortunately they didnâ€™t know we were arriving in a Hummer and missed the photo op. Playboy Club...If it werenâ€™t for the fact that we had free passes to get in I would have been disappointed. Itâ€™s not really a club, itâ€™s just a floor with some tables (min bet was $100) with bunnies dealing. There was a small lounge area with a bar and fireplace and there were private tables scattered about. I was still on my champagne kick so I ordered one....$15...and slowly sipped on it. Evidently there were a lot of famous basketball players there. I only knew this because my nephew pointed them out to us. A little later we headed upstairs to check out the club (Moon). Same prices for drinks, girls dancing on platforms, the usual club setup. Nothing impressive but the view was awesome and we had a great time dancing. Hostess at Playboy Club Sign in Womens Restroom at Playboy Club Dancer at Moon Views from Moon On the way back we had a cab driver whom I thought looked Like Sanonofresurfer. OK, so maybe it was the champagne...but at the time I thought he looked like Larry. Iâ€™m told he looks more like Dane. Whatcha say Hoya? Dane moonlighting in Vegas? Larry or Dane? Friday night we had tickets to KA. We were able to get the $165 seats for $50 through the Ticketmaster offer. We were seated on the main floor, next to last row to the left of the stage. Our seats were excellent and the show was amazing. This was my first Cirque show, Iâ€™d go to another one, but only if I could get cheap tickets again. KA cast members and the three sisters After the show we strolled the strip, stopping in for a few cocktails here and there and ending up in Planet Hollywood. Itâ€™s definitely a different vibe than Aladdin. We tried to get into the Heart bar but there wasnâ€™t an empty spot in the place so we decided to eat at P.F. Changâ€™s, very nice meal for the price and at 1 am thereâ€™s no waiting line. Looking inside Heart Bar at Aladdin Dancer at Heart Aladdin Casino Dinner at P.F. Changâ€™s While on our walk I thought about picking this up for Blackjack And I saw this slot machine with Stickyâ€™s name all over it! On Saturday there was a DJ at the pool and some Stoli girls passing around free shots and little Stoli trinkets. Throughout the day they had a bikini contest, hottest guy contest and some trivia games. The prize for all the events was a free bucket of beer that would normally cost $30. My little brother, the Virgin, surprised us all by winning one of the trivia contests and a free bucket of beer. What a fun day...free shots and free beer!! Paris Pool Sexiest Man Contest Later in the evening we headed downtown to introduce the Vegas virgin to old Vegas. Of course we had to ride the grain train. We got our drinks at Mermaid's and they were terribly sweet but managed to finish the entire thing. I tried to get everyone to check out Hogs & Heifers but none of them are quite as adventurous as me so that was out. We did stop in to have the 99Â¢ shrimp cocktails. They are now served in a smaller plastic cup. They also didnâ€™t offer the big shrimp, only the small ones but Iâ€™m not sure if they were just out of them or if they donâ€™t offer them anymore. Our last stop downtown was at the Golden Nugget where we had to stop and check out the pool. Love it!!! I know people have mentioned it before and pictures donâ€™t do it justice, but if you are downtown you need to check it out. Shrimp Cocktail....boooooo!! Grain Train Golden Nugget Pool Sunday all of my family left so Mikey and I headed to one of the cafes at Paris for lunch. We shared an appetizer of calamari and I had the seafood crepe. It was good, but very filling. I tried, but I just couldnâ€™t finish it all. We then headed over to Frontier where we met up with my girls VegasTonya and CoasterKikky. The minute we walked in the place we were overcome by the stench of days old vomit and piss. We had a hard time finding anywhere to sit where be couldnâ€™t smell it. Needless to say we didnâ€™t stay long. We decided to head to Isla at Treasure Island for some chips and salsa and some more cocktails and catching up. Later Tonya had to head out so Mikey, Becky and I decided to try out the $10 blackjack table. Every time one of us cut the cards we got horrible hands so we kept having this one dude at the table cut and our luck changed. There was one hand that sticks out in my mind. I had a $10 bet out...my last chips...I was dealt two fours against the dealerâ€™s four or fiveâ€¦ I Had to split them so I dug out some more money. I got two more fours. I ended up with four hands â€” a 12, a 13, and two double downs (a ten and doubling to 18, and an 11 and getting a 20). I was so nervous...then the dealer busted...Awesome!!!! We all started yelling and screaming like I had just won the lottery!! Well, I think thatâ€™s how it happened but Iâ€™m sure Becky or Mikey will correct me if Iâ€™m wrong. Then they changed dealers and our luck changed so we all decided to cash in. A great way to end my day. Seafood Crepe at Paris Cafe A final look at the Frontier Kikky, Beach and Tonya Monday was my day to fly home. I had a late afternoon flight so Mikey suggested lunch at La Collin a restaurant he had found in his neighborhood he was wanting to try. It didnâ€™t hurt that the place had an awesome view of the strip either. I canâ€™t even imagine how beautiful it would look at night since it looked pretty cool in the daylight. We tried out a couple of different martinis and dined on warm bread and butter before the appetizer arrived...some fried calamari that was pretty good, and another appetizer called Portobello con Granseola, which, according to the menu, was a large crab-stuffed Portobello mushroom drizzled with a yellow pepper sauce and a balsamic reduction. At some point Mikey thought it would be a good idea to order a small NY-style pizza. Once the pizza arrived we realized we had ordered to much but gave the pizza our best shot. The food was quite tasty but I will definitely go back for the martinis. Misc. photos from La Collin After lunch Mikey dropped me at the airport and it was an uneventful flight hope. Oh, with one exception...I was getting bored at the airport so decided to play some slots. Not long after I sat down at a 25Â¢ Wheel of Fortune I hit the bonus spin and ended up with $125 to the good. Nice way to end a great trip.