TR previously posted on another msg. board-------------------------------------------------------------------------------- Second New Years trip in a row for us, enjoyed ourselves so much last year we booked it again this year. Flew out of Milwaukee on MW Express on the 28th, paid for a $5 snack and a $10 "meal" , neither were worth it, both were cold but we were hungry...anyway, we arrived on time and took the shuttle to the Plaza where I had booked 4 nights @ $25 per night + tax with Hotel Kingdom back in February. They had our reservations but instead of $25 a night they had us at $85 per/nt!!! I brought out my 2 pieces of email showing verified reservations at our price but the best they would do is let us have it for $25 rate for 3 nights and $85 for NY Eve. So, I asked for a room facing the strip and high up enough for us to view the fireworks and decided to just fight that battle later with Hotel Kingdom or thru the credit card. After some further dithering about and obvious hustling for a tip, for which I was in no mood to give after the reservation snafu, we got a ninth floor room facing the strip. Upon reaching the room I called Hotel Kingdom and they said, "enjoy your vacation, we will either have your bill right by the time you check out (that didn't happen) or we will send you a refund for the balance" (still waiting). Gambling: Anyway, we are in Vegas baby and those problems can wait so we head out for a little restrained gambling due to a limited bank roll and 5 days/nights to make it last. I had great luck with video poker in 2003, 3 royals (two on $1, one on .25) and one nice ACES on a quarter machine so VP is what I played 90% this trip. I moved around from 9/6, to DB and DDB and even tried Triple Bonus where one must get kings or better and even dueces once while waiting for a refill but that isn't my game. This trip I never got better than a straight flush on my last morning, and that was on a quarter machine so no biggy. I must have gotten 4 to the royal 20+ times but never could pull that last card so now am realizing how lucky I was earlier in the year. I only had two winning sessions in craps during the trip (out of about 6 tries) so I was a net loser on that. I won at Horseshoe and 4 Q, lost at Plaza, GG, 4Q, Fremont. I played both sides of the table but was only moderately successful at the don't and missed out on 2 real good shooters in a row at the Fremont being on the wrong side when they took down my don'ts and kept rolling while I waited for a new shooter. Aaarrgghh!! I hate it when that happens and you guess a shooter completely wrong. As for blackjack, I ended up $50 on my one session playing reds (should have been playing greens) at the Fremont where they still pay 3/2. At LIR I lost that $50 and another $90 during 2 sessions, also at the Fremont. Entertainment: We met a couple we knew from our hometown, she is a math teacher here at the school where I teach Driver Ed, and they had bracelets allowing entry into the NY eve party downtown that they weren't going to use so they gave them to us. Fitzgeralds included the bracelets in their package deal but they left (on a half-empty plane) a couple hours before midnight, so we made use of them. We enjoyed the live bands and crazy people until almost midnight and then went up to our room to watch the strip fireworks. That wasn't the only fireworks going on though, the room next door had a very loud girl and several guys taking turns for about 3 hours, at least that is when we finally fell asleep. Food: Nothing special to report except that the Plaza said they don't take food charged to the room off the bill at checkout for play so we ate bad chinese and diner food for nothing. The 4 Q on the other hand took all our charges off for the times we ate at Magnolias coffee shop for our play during the 5 days, even though we only stayed there our last night ($20/nt + tax). I think my most enjoyable meal was a bowl of navy beans and ham with warm cornbread at Horseshoe snackbar. The last morning when we were getting ready to check out of the 4 Q and head for the airport to catch our 1pm flight, my wife was playing the Megabucks with her last money. I got after her for only playing one coin at a time since she couldn't win the jackpot like that. She eventually tapped out and headed for the room and I followed after cashing in my bucket of quarters from the last VP session. But something turned me around after only a few steps toward the elevators and I plugged a twenty into her MB machine to see if she left anything behind. First spin I got a cherry for a lousy $2 and reasoning that nothing ever comes after a cherry, I only bet $1 on the next spin. Up comes double, seven, seven!!! Just what I had warned her about, only playing a buck instead of full coin so I only got $160 instead of $480. I comforted myself by rationalizing that the random number generator probably wouldn't have brought up that combination if I had put in the $3 but one never knows, eh? Anyway, something to put in the wallet for the flight home is better than nothing. The flight was delayed due to a malfunctioning onboard weather radar, which was necessary since Milwaukee had fog, so we took off 2 1/2 hours late. I did hit 4 sevens on a DDB quarter machine while waiting and quit after that so we got a free lunch before takeoff. I am already scouting out good prices for next year but not seeing them as yet, at least on Travelaxe. California has already sent me the first free nights offer of the year but we have to get some cash together to fund the 2003 IRA's before we can think about going back. Good Luck to all the board members in the coming year, may the last card in the royal pop up for you (and I) on your next trip to our favorite city. Steve H.