This was an unplanned trip that came about due to some cheap tickets from Southwest and comps from Bally’s and the Fitz. I’m glad we went; I was ready to get back to Vegas. Saturday, 1/17/09 Oops; I forgot to check in with Southwest until Friday afternoon; our flight was set for Saturday morning! I got B60, my wife C1…ouch. I felt sure we would both get middle seats far from each other. Luckily, we were able to score some back row seats right beside each other. The flight attendant told me that the back row seats are actually slightly smaller than the ones in the middle, just FYI. But the flight was fine. Landed in Vegas, right to baggage claim, and there was the bag waiting. Perfect. We were at the rental facility in no time flat. It did seem less busy than the past, but not dead. We got a Dodge Caliber for $9 / day from Dollar. Alamo had $10 for any size, but only on the weekends, and we were staying ‘til Tuesday. The car was fine, but had roll-up windows (yes, they still make those) and non-powered locks! But hey, it was cheap. It was the last economy car on the Dollar lot…no upgrade, lucky me! Headed to Bally’s and thought we’d try to check in. It was 11 AM, so we were unsure. We found that they had two options: north tower with two queens for $20 more per night (“renovated room”) or South tower “suite” for $25 more per night. I wanted the chance of at least a partial Bellagio fountain view, so I opted for the suite. We get to the suite, and it is hilarious! I call it the “80’s porno suite.” It hasn’t been renovated in years. It has a bathtub on a platform next to the bed, a bidet, toilet, shower, two sinks…pretty big room but just seriously out of date. It is just fine for us, and the South tower is close walking distance to the Strip. We had somewhat of a view of the fountains, but an even better view of the Eiffel Tower. The worst thing, though, was that the windows were extremely dirty, clouding our view a bit. We drop our stuff and head out to eat. We try “Burger Brassiere” at Paris; it was good, not great…a little pricey. The gambling isn’t the greatest at Bally’s (blackjack and VP for us), so we head south. Along the way, we ran into a guy with some sort of giant lizard. He hands the thing to my nervous wife and we take some pics. Of course it is for "tips." (PS: Not the wife in this pic; she didn't want her pic posted ) We settle into Planet Hollywood, where we find some decent tables. We play for a while, but I don’t win much. I find some multi-hand VP machines (my favorite), and the wife and I play for a while. I don’t recall if we won or lost, but it was fun anyway. I really like P-Ho. We make our way back to Bally’s for a bit, then off to the Mirage to pick up our tickets to Love for that evening. While there, we decide to take in the buffet, which was a bit expensive and underwhelming. It just wasn’t our kind of food, maybe, but the food that we do normally like wasn’t that good. I wouldn’t recommend the Mirage buffet. We have some time to kill, so we first walk up to TI because we've never seen the Sirens show. Ugh...that show is terrible! It was humorous when it probably wasn't supposed to be. Oh well...it's free! (The show, burning in flames) Over to Casino Royale. We have a very profitable session of blackjack there. It was a great time, and the drink service was fantastic (maybe too good, you know?). We stumble out of there and cross the street to the Mirage, in time to catch a volcano show. It looked pretty good to me…I like the changes. I tried to take pictures, but I think I had too many to hold the camera still. We go into Love and buy a big Pina Colada in a souvenir cup, then take our seats. As many have said, there doesn’t seem to be a bad seat. We’re in section 201, row P, and the seats were great. The show was something to see. Visually you can’t keep up, and the sound is great. I wasn’t aware that there were speakers in the seats until about halfway through the show. If you’ve had a few drinks, it makes it even crazier. Cirque is phenomenal. I’m not even a big Beatles fan, but I really liked the show. Weird, but good. Afterward, we stumble out and back to Bally’s to pass out for the evening.