This trip almost didn’t happen. Just over a week before the trip, I was hospitalized with the worst gallbladder attack in my life that turned into an infection. They consulted with a surgeon the night I was in the hospital but I was too sick to undergo surgery so I will be having it out soon. I was on 4 different meds in the hospital and sent home with 3 prescriptions, 2 of which were antibiotics with horrible side effects that led me to come very close to canceling the trip until I saw a doctor 3 days before and spoke to the surgeon who both said I could go, but would need to be very careful of what I ate and to keep alcohol to moderate levels. I am so glad I went, as this was easily the best trip of the 5 annual trips I’ve made. I went with a girlfriend for the whole time, which was fun even though she totally “does Vegas” different than I do. Transportation: Flew Allegiant Air from Bellingham, which is always the first gamble of the trip as I’ve been (un)lucky enough to have been delayed on literally half of my flights on this airline over the past 5 years and some of those delays caused the loss of a half day or more of precious Vegas time. It’s a gamble I’m willing to take, though because the price can’t be beat compared to flying out of Canada. I paid $260 Canadian (about $230 US at the time of booking) for the return flight with all baggage and seat reservation fees in. Both flights were pretty much full. I flew out of Bellingham at 12:17 pm and flew home at 8:45. The return flight seemed like a good idea when booking because of the cheaper flight, but I won’t do that again as getting up at 5:30 am after 6 nights in Vegas was brutal. Trying to get the best bang for my buck, I didn’t preorder a limo transport from the airport but rather picked one up when we arrived. When you preorder, the time starts when your plane lands but when you pick it up on arrival, you get the full hour. We stopped at Whole Foods for some snacks, booze and a case of water on the way to the Strat. I ordered 2 three day passes for the bus a few weeks before the trip and we only ended up using them for the day we went downtown. The rest of the time we walked or took taxis. I was pleased that none of the taxi drivers tried to long haul us and all were friendly which is the first time taxis have all been positive experiences in Vegas. Rooms: I’m a simple girl when it comes to hotel rooms. I just need a place to sleep and shower. For the past 5 years, I’ve stayed the bulk of my time in Vegas at the Stratosphere and even though I’m a low roller, I have had a host for the past 3 of those years. So for this trip, I planned 4 nights there and then 2 nights at NYNY courtesy of MyVegas. But then 2 weeks before the trip I received a crazy unexpected offer from the Cosmopolitan for 2 weeknights in a City room and so I decided to double book to see how the other half vacations. We ended up checking out later in the day of the 3rd day at the Strat to move to the Cosmo and I kept my double booked room at NYNY. We checked into the NYNY room and just looked at the room but didn’t move our stuff or stay in the room until the next day when checking out of Cosmo. Stratosphere: This place always feels like home to me as I’m very comfortable there. After 2 years being comped in a suite, this time I was given a Select room, probably because of my low play last year due to getting food poisoning and being stuck in bed for 36 hours. Still, it met our needs. The wifi here was terribly slow but was included in the resort fee (although I didn’t pay resort fees on the comped room) which was different than in the past stays here in which you had to pay per device. The wifi was free for up to 3 devices which was perfect as we each had a smartphone and I also had my laptop. But as I said, the wifi was so slow there were things I couldn’t do like access pictures I paid for from doing the Slotzilla zipline so for that, I had to pay for 20 minutes internet on a kiosk. I put about $55 in room charges on the room and got that comped off when I checked out which was great. Cosmopolitan: As I’m a simple girl when it comes to hotel rooms, this place at first made me feel a bit like a redneck trying to blend in with the pretty people. LOL But I loved it here and hope to get another offer to stay. Knowing I was getting the lowest tier room, I didn’t think I’d get any kind of upgrade but I politely asked at check in if we could have a Bellagio view room. Not only did the front desk guy accommodate that, we were also given a high floor (52). Everything about the room and the view blew me away. Loved my time here. NYNY: While I had 2 nights comped via MyVegas, due to the double booking at the Cosmo, we just checked in the first night but didn’t move our things until the day before our last night. As expected, we were given the lowest tier room on the 9th floor with not the greatest view. While it was towards the strip, we couldn’t see much because we were low and the casino roof was close. We could see the rollercoaster but didn’t hear it very often. The only negative here was the longest walk ever from the elevator. This wouldn’t have been a bad thing except we stayed here for the last of a 6 night trip and I had been burning the candle at both ends with 4 hours or less of sleep most nights and a LOT of booze. LOL I wear a Fitbit and most days I recorded anywhere between 14,000 and 18,000 steps so by the end of the trip, my feet were very swollen and sore. Despite bringing 4 different pairs of shoes to rotate through to avoid blisters, I ended up with about 5 blisters in different places. Food: Due to my gallbladder issues, I had to be very careful what I ate, but I was happy to find good choices everywhere. We ate at Roxy’s (the 50’s diner) in the Strat our first night and I had a giant yogurt and fruit parfait that was delicious. We also ate twice at the buffet in the Strat which was great for the price (discounted with players card to $24 for both of us for brunch). Paid for dinner at the Wicked Spoon our first night at the Cosmo and as it had the first time I ate there 2 years ago, it was amazing. Found lots of good choices and ate very well here. We had a lunch buffet for 2 at Aria courtesy of MyVegas and that was as good, if not better I thought than the Wicked Spoon. We also added the $12.99 unlimited cocktails/beer/wine option which was good, but it’s hard to take advantage of lots of drinks when you are eating a big meal. LOL I think we each had 3 drinks which still made it good value. The rest of the time, we just picked up snacks at fast food places which was good. McD’s, a NY pretzel place and snacks. As is my tradition, I had one huge slushy drink from Fat Tuesdays, TONS of Ceasars, wine and while at Cosmo, some raspberry lemon drop martinis comped on the slot floor. I also fulfilled a bucket list item by having a drink in the Chandelier Bar at Cosmo. We enjoyed a “Dante’s revenge” which was incredible, and despite the expense (came to about $40 with tip for the 2 of us) it was an experience I will repeat again. Gambling: I am a low roller slot player. I use the envelope system and budgeted anywhere from $300-450 a day which includes all gambling, food, entertainment and transportation. I consider my gambling money spent to be entertainment and am happy just to have it last a long time. I played slots for many hours every day and was pleased to be “ahead” almost all the time, a couple times I was still playing on the budget from 2 days previous. In my world, that is a “win”. I played enough to have about $50 in room charges comped off at the Strat, $23 comped off at the Cosmo and one of the 2 resort fees comped off at NYNY. I did the best at the Cosmo where I racked up about 2200 in points in just the 2 days we were there. Not bad as those days I had $450 and $400 budgeted for all expenses. I really hope I get a future offer from this property. At NYNY, most of the time my money didn’t not seem to last long, until I had one good win ($160 bonus round) which is when things turned around. That was on our last night. I ended up coming home with about $800 leftover which was great as after landing in Bellingham, I did a bunch of shopping before coming home to Canada. Other: Did the zipline downtown which was incredible and lots of sightseeing. Also had a groupon for doing the Linq which was amazing. We did it at night and enjoyed 2 for 1 cocktails with the deal. I think I took more pictures here than anywhere else. LOL I know people complain about how boring this is, but I loved it and will likely do it again if I’m in Vegas with other people. I enjoyed pool time 3 times on this trip. Twice at the Stratosphere where I actually love the pool. It’s never super crowded, loungers are not stuffed next to every other one and I’ve always been able to locate a lounger near the pool. Not to mention that I’m able to walk in there with a drink I mixed in the room without a problem. Also spent several hours at the Bamboo pool at the Cosmo and absolutely loved the padded loungers but loved the bamboo ones right in the pool even more. I could have spent all day at this pool but was worried about ending up with sunstroke or a burn so I tore myself away after about 2 hours. Only one negative about this trip. I traveled with a girlfriend I’ve only known for about 6 months and while she was pretty chill about me doing my own thing (she’s not a gambler), she complained for days about a few personal issues and at one point I had to tell her to please stop as this is vacation and I wanted it to be a positive experience. She also spent a crazy time in the room just sitting on her phone and after awhile that annoyed me because heck, it’s Vegas and I wanted to be out and about. The good thing is that I made the conscious choice to do what I wanted anyway, so I didn’t let her attitude drag me down.