Warning – This trip report may be too long, not coherent in parts, and generally may not interest you. If you have no interest in poker, sports or a lack of fine dining, save 10 minutes of your life and quit now. Also, if you want reviews on attractions or shows, this is not the report for you as we can’t be bothered for these on our brief trips. Now if anyone is still with me, here we go. Partners in Crime: Hoopswife and Coach. Alone trip which is great because we can do whatever we want and not have to worry about what others want to do. Don’t get me wrong, its fun to go with people and show them some of the cool stuff we like and we always have a good time with other people, but its great to go just the two of us. Excuse, I mean, reason for trip: Coach’s bday Plan: Have fun, gamble some, spend time in sports book, win lots and drink more Trip length: Thurs Oct 11 – Sun Oct 14 DAY ONE: On what should have been a fabulous homecoming for Coach getting out of school to come pick me up, I had just finished a phone call with a client who reamed me a new one because he had an unreasonable deadline for a project (less than 24 hours) involving 10,000 documents and software I had never used. It all ended “well” but not before he told me that I would not be going out of town until it was resolved. Pardon? I think not, I’m going to Vegas. After a few tense phone calls with software company, it was discovered that the client’s computer system sucks and that is why the software wasn’t working as expected. That’s what I get for working with lawyers. However, for anyone reading this that may be an attorney, YOU obviously have brains, personality, a social life and you don’t wear white athletic socks with a suit, so my comment certainly does not apply to you. Let’s dry our eyes, put away the violins and move on, shall we? It’s Vegas baby! Coach and I left home for CLE at approx 3pm for a 6pm non-stop to Vegas on Southwest. Tickets were booked in April for $260 per person including tax. Traffic was light as we made our way to “airplane port” as my now 9 year old daughter used to call it as a toddler. Parked car and grabbed shuttle where we checked in with skycap, threw him the luggage, tipped him a couple bucks and proceeded through security without a problem except a slight delay as they took a closer look at our DVD player. We had about 2 hours til our flight left, so we proceed to Max and Erma’s for an early dinner while contemplating our favorite little playground and anticipated what we hoped was a fun filled couple days in paradise. We boarded the plane with A boarding passes and the flight left on time. Coach and I watched Oceans 11 and part of The Sentinel til the battery died on the DVD player. I had never watched any of the “Oceans” movies and I enjoyed it. Moving on then, flight was uneventful, except for several announcements about two people on board who had never flown before, and easily in their 20s. It made me realize how lucky we are to be able to make this trip twice a year and a couple trips to the beach as well. Maybe one day our kids will realize life is good. I just have to say, the flight is about 4.5 hours and it really is an hour too long, ok, its about 4 hours too long, but I start losing it at the 3.5 hour mark. By the time we get there I need a drink, bathroom break, big stretch and to hear the DING DING DING in the terminal when we deplane. Ahh, we are finally here! We proceed to baggage where Coach knew I secured Presidential Limo for our ride to Bally’s. We found our driver and anxiously awaited our luggage to come careening off the conveyor, after what seemed like forever, it finally arrived. Had I timed it, it was probably only 15 minutes but it felt like forever at the time. I chatted with Sammy while Coach anxiously looked for the bags, muscling unsuspecting people out of the way so he could stand right in front where the bags come out. So off we go to the limo with our driver, Sammy. Nice guy. He assisted us with our bags and opened the champagne. I then dug a CD out of my bag that I had made for Coach of his favorite songs for his bday starting with a couple by a favorite local group, The Michael Stanley Band. Sadly, the CD player in the back of the limo didn’t work, but Sammy offered to play it up front, put the partition down and cranked it up for us. We had a great drive down the strip and attempted to finish the bottle of champagne in short order, but last time I did that I had some unexpected difficulty speaking clearly which can only be explained by eating and drinking very little before I fly, for obvious reasons, and then downing a half a bottle of champagne in approx 15 minutes on an empty stomach. For some reason this makes me a little loopy, so I opted not to do that since I wanted to check in at hotel and try the $20 trick, and I felt that slurring my words at that time might not be advantageous to the grand plan. I proceed to check in and Coach stayed nearby with luggage. I should say that I never tried the $20 trick at Bally’s at the actual hotel, as previously we used the airport check-in and although I loved checking in at the airport, I was not previously overly impressed with my accommodations with the $20 trick. Fortunately line was very short with about 3 parties ahead of me. I was judging the staff at the desk, trying to figure out my best first “bet”. I was fully prepared to “lose” my license in my purse and wave ahead the person behind me to get the right agent. However, I didn’t have to as a young man in his 20s finished up with his guest and waved me over with a big smile. Now, since I am a planner, I wore a rather low cut shirt on the flight, hoping to secure a male agent at the counter. On my walk to him, my purse somehow “caught” on my shirt, revealing even a little more than the shirt intentioned. Ding dang, how’d that happen? I would bet leaning over the counter certainly didn’t hurt things either. So I proceed to give him my ID on top, $20 in middle and Visa on bottom. He takes them from me with appropriate welcomes blah blah blah and then says “ma’am do you need change?” No, but if he had time to check if any upgrades were available I would appreciate it. He smiled and started typing away. Lo and behold, he announced that he had a Jacuzzi suite available, non-smoking king and although it didn’t have a full fountain view, it did have a partial and was renovated in North Tower and he would be happy to offer me this complimentary upgrade. Ah ha! Let’s just take a moment to thank the girls for their assistance in securing a fabulous room for Coach for his bday. Thanks girls! So we check in to our beautiful suite with a living room area, raised area with Jacuzzi tub, two separate areas, one with a bidet and one for other facilities, two large vanities, and two large mirrored closets. Fabulous, dahling. I only have one complaint about this room, and really more of an observation than anything. There are more lights in this room than I have ever seen and my father in law is an electrician. Good god. The vanity lights are insane, if they are on for more than 5 minutes, you start sweating. A few dimmers installed would have made the room absolutely perfect. But really, who cares? Its Vegas and I scored a suite upgrade!!!! And the room was great, we raved about it all trip. I didn’t even mind the long walk to the room as it was the farthest off of the elevator. For anyone who cares, we booked the room months ago using our Total Rewards card and paid $50 for Thursday, $120 for Friday and $140 for Saturday. And with a free upgrade to suite? Nice! Score one for the good guys. We later reduced that by $40 from Total Rewards card, so a total of $250 for a suite for 3 nights. Can’t beat that. Let’s move on shall we? That evening I played some quarter VP while I believe Coach ran down to sports book briefly and then off to poker room for him. I had no luck at VP, so I think I then met Coach in poker room, or maybe we went together. Hmm….things get a little fuzzy in there somewhere. Anyway we played some 1-2 NL. Had fun, had a few beers, but I left down $40. That’s ok. I had several beers and was entertained. Coach was down $5 on VP and $35 from poker room. I don't know what I spent on VP that night, but I don't think I played very long. Really had no cards to speak of in poker room but we had a good first night but by this time its about 1a? Vegas time approx so its about 4am at home, and we were beat. Only thing of mention was Coach ran to grab a sandwich and a gentleman in a cowboy hat we were playing cards with (who had way too many chips) referred to me as “city girl” but was being a tool about it. Frankly, I don’t remember the exchange or how that came about, but the dealer told him to please be nice to the other players. That earned the dealer a nice tip shortly after when I left although I hadn’t been in any hands while he was dealing. I had a good time, no reason not to tip the dealer, especially when he was trying to help me out when Coach left briefly. Otherwise, the other players were great and we had a good time talking to people and I love playing cards with Coach – we just have such a good time. And this trip, I was trying to talk him into drinking more while we are there and playing cards (good influence I know), he generally will be pretty well behaved, and at home he really has to be somewhat careful because of his job, he doesn’t need people walking around saying they saw him at such and such a bar drinking as the tongues would start wagging, so he is very reserved at home. Anyway, I just wanted him to have a great time and relax and it’s Vegas – where you do things you wouldn’t or couldn’t do at home! It was a long day and we were glad to be there and it was time to get some rest for our first full day Friday. Day Two "What? No kicker?" coming hopefully sometime tomorrow……..