Took my brother to Vegas to play pinball. My ninth trip. His first. Left Monday, Oct. 4, Early evening flight Detroit to Vegas nonstop on Delta. Flight arrived at 8:05 pm, 45 minutes early. Used Dollar rental car, $69.00 total, tax included Monday night thru Thursday night for a compact, ( Ford Focus ). Took a gamble on staying at the Tropicana based on the latest reviews of how nice the renovations were. And the fact that the rate after resort fees only came to $40.00 a night. Tried the twenty dollar trick at check in and got a very nice lady, (Linda) , whom I asked if she could give us anything special as this was my brothers first time in Las Vegas and I was trying to show him how great it was. She gave us a strip view on the seventh floor in the back tower and a 1:00 pm check out for our last day. Maybe I could have got the same simply by asking, I'll never know. The good- Very friendly staff. Very, very comfortable beds, very good rate. The bad- The room renovations kind of seemed like a band-aid renovation, the bathroom floor tiles had several cracked and chipped tiles. The bathtub itself looked rather old and dingy. And after a ten minute shower, you were standing in three to four inches of water. We were awakened each morning around 9:00 by construction noise on a higher floor. Saw sunflower seeds on the floor on my last night by the bed that we didn't eat. So that doesn't say much for the maids vacuuming skills. I don't want to sound like a complainer, The room rate was fine for my needs. But I wish I would have picked a little nicer place to make a good impression on my brother. After getting settled in we drove down to Mirage to walk back toward Bellagio to see a fountain show. Was kind of turned of by the mass of people at the bottom of the steps coming in from the parking garage. Apparently they were all waiting to get into whatever club that is. There were enough people that it made it hard for anyone coming in from the parking garage to walk through. Walked past the cool fish aquarium, and showed brother the atrium, walk thru the casino fairy quickly as I wanted to make sure he got to see a fountain show. As we walked past Ceasars my brother made his first of many comments of how big and over the top everthing is. Got to Bellagio and watched a fountain show. Thought the pedestrian traffic seemed high for a Monday night. Crossed the street and did a breef walk thru of Bills, and Flamingo, Harrahs, Casino Royale, into Venition than back to Mirage were we played a few slots and video poker. Stopped at conveniance store on way back to Trop. , then walked over to Excaliber for a little more slots and video poker. By now its 5:00 east coast time and were ready for bed. Day two. (Tuesday) We head to Pinball Hall of Fame. We both love pinball, and it's the main reason this whole trip came about. Well worth the time for any fan of pinball to make time to spend a couple hours here. We spent a little over four hours playing pinball. Actually had sore fingers and wrists from playing so much. Went to the In N Out Burger for lunch as I had heard they were a good fast food hamburger and we don't have them in the midwest. Did'nt really think it was anything special, but glad I got to try it. Went back to the Trop and decided to sit by the pool for a few minute on our way to our room. Only about half of the usual pool area is open now due to the renovation, but still enough to enjoy. Did'nt care for the to loud hip hop music that they play at the pool area. Would rather have no music than this. After relaxing in our room for a bit we headed down to TI for the early Mystere show. Had time once car parked to stop and have a drink a the bar right across from the showroom. We had seats midway back from the stage but were asked shortly after being seated if we would like to move up closer as they were trying to fill the lower theatre. I was kind of supprised that such a popular show was only a little over half full. I had seen several of the traveling Cirq shows but never one in Vegas. I thought the show was very good, maybe a little better than the traveling shows I've seen elsewhere, but not by much. After the show we walked over to the Mirage and ate dinner at the California Pizza kitchen. Walked down to Bellagio for a fountain show, got there just in time to see one start from the top of the stairs on the side. Since we were already inside I suggested we check out the conservatory. My brother seemed most impressed with all things Bellagio more than any other casino we have been in. As I'm showing him everything I try to explain the whole Steve Wynn story and his influence on Vegas. The conservatory is very impressive as usual. Casino quite busy for a Tuesday. Walk out front door and catch another fountain show from the inside of lake perspective. So much pedestrian traffic that by the time we get back around to the front sidewalk it is time for yet another fountain show. The plan was to head down to the top of the Strat., but it was near a little after 11:00 and I was'nt sure what time they stopped letting people go up. So instead we walked over to Wynn. Foot traffic after TI seem to be about 1/4 of what it was going the other way. While I'm a big Steve Wynn fan, the Wynn just doesn't impress the way his previous properties did. I insisted my brother sign up for a slot card just for the $10.00 in free play. He begrudgingly did, even though they were very slow to process. He proceeded to turn his free 10 into 34 in about fifteeen minutes and was quite amused with himself. We nickeled and dimed there for awhile, noted that they seemed to have more frequent cocktail offers than we had been getting. Headed back to the Trop and walked over to NY NY played for awhile, brother usually had much better luck at least making his money last than I was having the whole trip. When we went back to the Trop to call it a night we both noted that while everywhere we stopped was fairly busy, going in the Trop there might have been maybe 50 people in the whole place. Day three (Wednesday) After coffee and donut, headed to Hoover Dam. We took the $30.00 tour as apposed to the $15, Not sure the extra fifteen was worth it. The only difference I thought was worth it was you got to look straight out of one of the access tunnels about midway up the middle of the dam. The whole dam tour is very interesting and well worth the time to get over there. Also the new by pass bridge is quite an impressive sight itself. On the way back to Vegas we stopped at Sunset Station for lunch, ate at a Hooters, I know, how boring , but were not fancy eaters. Brother played video poker for awhile. I just fed slots my money with no return. Stopped at the Pinball HOF for our fix of pinball. only stayed a couple of hours. Wish I had a arcade even half this cool back home. Head to the Strat. Elevator to the top. Wonderful views. Noticed you can no longer walk completely around the outside viewing platform as one of the thrill rides is keeping you from doing this. My brother had no interest in any of the rides. And since I had done most on other trips I was ok with it. But the Big Shot sure looked fun. Drove downtown, parked at Main Street Station. Love the unique arcatecture of the interior . My brother too seemed to be amused with the old west feel of the place. Walked over to Freemont street, They had three different bands playing throughout the street, walked though most of the casinos, showed him the Golden Nugget pool area. Went out for the 10:00 light show. It was a tribute to Queen, Walked down to the neonopolis area and checked out some of the old neon. When we got to the Freemont we ate at the Tony Romas. Love there ribs. Got to see one more light show, (George Thorogood tribute ), and watch some of the street venders paint city scenes with spray paint. Went back to Main Street Station and played slot and video poker for awhile. About 1:30 we drove back to the strip and stopped at the Luxor, as my brother was intrigued to see the inside. Played a little, headed for the Tropicana. Virtually empty again. Day four (Thursday ) Leaving today. Awoke to our wake up call, ( construction from above ). Packed , had a 1:00 check out but was'nt really needed. Checked out a little after 11:00 , Had coffee than headed to Red Rock Canyon. It was even more impressive than I remembered. Very, very highly recommend if you rent a car to drive to Red Rock. Feels like your a thousand miles from any population instead of 30 minutes. After locking in as much mental image of its beauty we head back toward Vegas. Stopped at Red Rock Casino for lunch. Had been once before but was still very impressed with how nice this casino is. Ate at a food court, don't remember which one. Played video poker for about an hour. Than made the mistake of driving back through the city to get to the strip rather than take the freeway. Lots of traffic. Drove to the Pinball HOF for one last time, played for close to two hours . Loved it. Drove back to strip. Figured if I came in from the back side I would avoid all the traffic. I did avoid the traffic but parking at the Planet Hollywood garage made up for it, seemed I had to go up and up to find a parking spot. Walked to Bellagio for one last fountain show; Than back to Planet Hollywood to feed the last of my gambling budget to the machines. As it nears 9:00 pm we figure we should start heading for the car rental return. Stop at the Welcome to Vegas sign for a picture as we head down the strip for fuel and car return. Get through airport security fairly quickly and realize we still haven't eaten supper. Not a lot of options open at 10:00 in the airport. End up eating a Pizza Hut personal pan pizza. Flight back was full, and very smooth. Arrived 6:05 am , 25 minutes early. Then got to look forward to another 2 1/2 hour drive home. And back to my wonderful wife and the real world. Observations. Vegas message board is the best source of information out there. ( although we refer to it as "Sonya's Page " ) Vegas was very busy for a weekday visit. Tropicana might be a lot nicer than it was , but it's still got along ways to go. I hate all the hip hop music being played virtually everywhere up and down the strip entirely to loud. ( reminded me of the county fair where one carny ride tries to play music louder than the next carny ride.) In front of the Imperial Palace is especially annoying. Feel like I did'nt get to show my brother enough, yet he said it was the fastest paced 72 hours of his life. He said he would go back in heartbeat so I must have done something right. Vegas seems to have changed alot in who it caters to in the last ten years. Even though its not the same, I miss it already. And find it depressing that I'm not likely to go back for several years. If you've read this far you must either be family or really obssesed with Vegas to sit through such a dull trip report.