Returned from Las Vegas Sunday after a week's stay. Spent three nights at The Mirage and four nights at Ballys. The following is a synopsis of the trip and ala Bill Maher, some new rules at the end. Lodging: Room at The Mirage was a newly renovated room and was great. The new beds may be the most comfortable beds I have ever slept in at any hotel. We were supposed to be in the south tower at Bally's but were given a north tower room instead. I was under the impression that the north tower rooms had recently been updated. If that is true, they did not do much in the update. The room looked no different than when we stayed there two years ago. It was still fine lodging, but not what we were expecting. Pools: Pool at The Mirage was packed and hard to find a chair. When we eventually did find one, the cocktail service was sporadic. It seemed as if the servers did not have assigned areas or maybe the server assigned to our area was on extended break all three days. All three days we had to flag a server down who would then tell us they were a cabanna server but would send someone over to get service. Once we had a server, they would come back for awhile and then disappear again. Bally's pool is in need of some renovation/updating, but the service for drinks was great. Our food order took forever to get, even though our server kept telling us she would go check on it and it should be right out. Water was great at both pools. Eating: Ate at BLT and the Carnegie Deli at The Mirage. Food was great at both and the milkshakes at BLT, particularly the dreamsicle shake, were as good as I have tasted. My wife and I split the sandwiches at the Carnegie Deli as the sandwiches are way too much food for one person. Did the buffets at Harrahs, Flamingo, and Paris. Paris' buffet was easily the best, but all three were fine. Also ate at the Sidewalk Cafe at Ballys and the St. Louis cafe at Paris - both places were good. The only buffet that was crowded was the Paris buffet, the others were not crowded even though the times we ate were usually prime time. I love crepes and La Creperie at Paris more than satisfied my needs. Shows: The two main shows we saw were Cher and Love. There is one word to describe the Cher show - WOW. This may have been the best show we have seen in Vegas and we have pretty well seen them all. The costumes, singing, dancing were all unbelievable. Cher's stage presence is such that you sometimes find yourself not noticing the dancers who are excellent. Love was a typical cirque show but with better music. The acrobatics were not as good as "O", but combining the acrobatics, dancing, staging with music by the greatest band ever makes the show a hard one to beat. Also took in Legends in Concert (free tickets) - Jay Leno, Blues Brothers, Tom Jones, Springsteen, and Elvis. Thought the Springsteen guy was the best, but all were good. Saw Mac King to burn up an afternoon hour and as usual were not disappointed. Music: My wife and I love to listen to bands, especially late at night. Bands at the Carnival Court were pretty good, but their breaks are always way too long and the music they play during breaks way too loud. The band at Ballys in the Indigo Lounge was excellent. So was the band at Revolution at The Mirage. Sorry I do not know the names of the groups. Big Elvis was a great afternoon diversion as he usually is. Gambling: We are slot players and I occasionally dabble in Pai Gow and Three Card. The slot machines were tight, especially during the afternoons and early evening. Best play seemed to be late night (after midnight) and morning. In seven days, only saw two hand payouts - $1250 and $5000, first on a two cent machine and the second on a dollar machine. Almost everyone I sat by was saying the same thing about the machines being tight. Drink service was slow at Imperial Palace, Harrahs, Flamingo, Caesars, Paris, and Planet Hollywood; great at The Mirage, Ballys, Wynn, and Bellagio. Strongest drinks were the Imperial Palace and Ballys. New Rules: I am proposing the following "new rules" to help all enjoy Vegas more: 1. When walking, do not stop in the middle of the sidewalk or aisle to talk or take pictures - move to the side. 2. Repeat rule #1 for cell phone texting. 3. When waiting in line to order food, tickets, etc., know what you want when you reach the front. This is not the time to start playing twenty questions about different sandwiches, meal deals, etc. 4. Limit the "porn slappers" to no more than three in a 150 foot space. There is no reason to have 10-20 in a row all passing out the same cards or pamphlets. 5. If you take the materials from the "porn slappers" and then decide you do not want them, throw them in the nearest trash receptacle and not on the sidewalk, street, flower bed. I did see one young lady and one middle-aged man slip and fall after stepping on the one of the cards - neither were hurt but both fell hard enough to get hurt. 6. Repeat rule #5 for all refuse - food wrappers, bottles, cigarettes. 7. No talking in hotel hallways from 10:00 p.m. until 9:00 a.m. so people who are sleeping can sleep. We all know that drinking affects your hearing and makes you talk louder - sleepers do not want to hear your 2 or 3:00 a.m. or later conversation. 8. Close hotel doors gently between 10:00 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. for the same reasons as #9. 9. If you are a smoker, please hold your cigarette in front of your face so your smoke goes in your face. This would be a more efficient way to get all the smoke you can. Often, smokers hold their cigarette at the side of the smoker and the smoker's machine so guess where the smoke goes? 10. Leave the kids at home or if you are going to bring them, in the room after 10:00 p.m. There are some great places to take kids during the day, but none are usually open after 9:00 p.m. Next trip, spring 2009, unless I hit the lottery. Hope everyone going this year has a safe trip.