For those lucky enough to have missed my sad story about being suddenly dumped by my girlfriend (Ms. Gecko), a week before our planned Vegas trip, you can catch up on "Who else has incredibly rotten luck?" and "Dating Thread Suggestion." We were only living together for 15 years! It's really pathetic, so if you're a glutton for punishment, have a box of tissues handy. Anyway, during the last episode of this drama, I had just made new room reservations to replace those in her name and had pretty much decided to make the trip by myself. I sure didn't feel like going, but thought I just needed to get away. Here's the update: Friday, Aug 14: Riding MARTA (the rail system) to the airport in the predawn hours instead of driving with Ms. Gecko was one of the sadist hours of my life. Not being able to get into the Sky Club preceding the 4-hour flight, and her unfilled seat next to mine, was equally depressing. Essentially, I was the walking dead with no anticipation or joy. Fortunately, I didn't encounter any problems and was able to get into my comped premium room at Gold Coast before 11 am. I'm not sure I could have coped very well had problems developed. I've enjoyed several solo trips over the years, but being alone under the circumstances was anything buy enjoyable. I had to force myself to go down to the casino and played mostly BJ and a little bar top VP. Most uncharacteristically, I pretty much stuck with newbie style minimum flat betting and the basic strategy. I wasn't the least bit interested and played just to pass the time with minimal risk; not a very good reason to be in a casino. The next day was a carbon copy. By some twist of fate, I had just signed up on one of those free on-line dating sites and was contacted by someone living in Vegas. To make it short, she drove over to GC and we shared some wine at the Red Zone, probably the quietest area in the entire casino. From there, we went to the Peppermill and more wine, and then she dropped me at Bellagio, where I had intended view the kabuki show. That was dumb. After standing in the triple digits for an hour and a half, it was nearly impossible to catch even a glimpse of the stage through the humongous crowds. And while the giant carp projected onto the fountains was neat, it held my interest for less than a minute. I was happy to get back to GC after spending nearly 30 minutes just trying to cross the pedestrian bridge over Flamingo. Without a doubt, it was the largest crowd I've ever encountered and I half expected the bridge to give way. Sunday, Aug. 16: The next day, an ex-pit boss buddy picked me up from GC and took me to my next hotel, MSS. Again, no problem checking in early and I demonstrated a computer program I've been developing on his laptop. I spent the rest of the day playing more BJ and VP at the Boars Head, again just to kill time, which was repeated the following day. I got a generous comp for the 777 and had a long enjoyable conversation with another solo gambler, which helped to pass the time. Tuesday, Aug. 18: Took the WAX to Suncoast and got into my premium golf view room right away. As at GC, the Orleans, and MSS, I had to explain to a least a dozen more cocktail waitress, dealers, and pit critters why Ms. Gecko (and Vern the Turtle) weren't there. They were as surprised as I was to hear what had happened. I played mostly Pai Gow, and like before, just passed the time. Wednesday, Aug.19: Timed things perfectly so the WAX arrived at Binion's 5-minutes before the Sam's Town bus left from directly across the street at the Fremont. I was able to sweet-talk my way into a premium room, mainly for the coffee service, and spent the next two days at Sam's Town playing low limit BJ, VP, and Pai Gow. Once more I had to explain where my ex and turtle were. Unlike previous visits, I didn't play any craps, Three Card Poker, or have any fun. The time passed slowly, at least until my new-found friend joined me for happy hour at Billy Bob's the following afternoon. That was fun. Friday, Aug. 21: New friend picked me up at Sam's and we had breakfast at the D before playing a little VP. From there, she dropped me at GC, where the trip began seven days earlier. Again, there's isn't much to report, except I was feeling a bit better and was able to bet a bit more aggressively there and at the Orleans. Amazingly, I got both Queen of Hearts with a $1 Lucky Ladies side bet with the dealer showing an Ace. Unfortunately, she didn't have a BJ, which would have paid 1000:1, but I was happy just to get the $200. The exact same thing happened on Saturday - the two QOH's with a dealer ace - and again, no BJ. (I couple years ago I did get the $1000 pay out, but not this trip.) Feeling a lot better, I got a comp for the seafood buffet and pigged out. I had lost so much weight, I couldn't do any damage - and still can't. And while I usually hate eating out alone, especially at a buffet, it didn't bother me that night for some strange reason. Sunday, Aug. 23: Friend picked me up at GC and we had breakfast at Coco's on Tropicana before she took me to the airport and another sad flight. Naturally, I couldn't get into the Centurion Lounge,either. All-in-all, it was the most miserable Vegas trip out of the hundred taken previously. I usually tally the damage before leaving Vegas, but I still haven't and probably won't. Nonetheless, I know I finished within $100 from where I started 10 days earlier, and that's after transportation, room, meals, drinks, tips, and gambling. I may have even made a few bucks, so I guess playing slow and stupid at least didn't cost me anything. I'm still in touch with my new Vegas friend and we'll meet up again. Unfortunately, there's no real chemistry between us, but a new friend beats a sharp stick in the eye any day. Her homework assignment is to check out potential housing in the Green Valley area. Sorry, I know this is far less than an exciting trip report; in fact, it's downright depressing, but it is what it is. Or as the French say, "c'est la vie," such is life! Maybe I'll try again around Halloween. Meanwhile, I have to figure out where to move and what to do with my tons of furniture, books, electronics, etc. I've been too paralyzed to deal with it, but need to real soon. I'm even seriously considering moving to Vegas, as there's precious little keeping me in Atlanta other than a couple friends, dentist, eye doctor, barber, and the familiarity of having lived here for 35 years. My son will graduate with a degree in business in December, and it's no telling where he'll be moving - possibly Denver. If uncertainly were worth its weight in gold, I'd be a zillionaire!