I'm back! Had a great time, as usual. Where to start?...at the beginning I suppose... Dropped the kids off Monday morning (one at school, one at daycare), and hit the road. About two hours into the drive I saw the one thing you never want to see....red and blue flashing lights in my rear-view mirror. Damn. The old motorcycle cop behind the bush trick... hate that. He had me fair and square, so I couldn't get mad (and wasn't about to ruin my vacation). We were both polite, and just got on with it. My favorite quote..."I'm assuming you didn't see me, since you started going even Faster after you passed me!" hahahahahaa!! He only gave me a ticket for 80mph, which was nice...I guess that qualifies me for ticket school, so it won't go on my record (or insurance). Got that over with, and got back on the road. Stopped in Victorville for lunch, then in Barstow at the Huge factory outlet mall (always stop here when I go with the wife)...still an hour and a half from Vegas, and I am WAY behind the curve on cash outlay versus winnings! hahahahaa Come over the top of the last hill at dusk, and see Vegas lit up before us....Man, I just love that. Get off at Tropicana and cruize the Strip to Harrah's. At check in I tell the clerk that the last time we stayed there the Manager put us in the computer for an upgrade (they were building The Venetian, and it got loud early in the morning)...it's not there anymore, which doesn't surprise me, but I ask if she will upgrade us anyway, and she does. So now we have a mini-suite for $39/$39/$29... things are looking up. We get to our room, and can tell that it has been recently renovated. We have a view of the Mirage volcano. Excellent. I was surprised to see a coffe maker in the bathroom...I guess it was just that one hotel that had their's pulled. There was also a fridge inside a cabinet that matched the armouire (sp?), which was nice since the sodas in the mini-bar are $1.50 per can. So, we get settled in, call to check on the kids (having fun with Grandma and Grandpa), and decide it's time to eat. We look through the phone book, as I don't feel like a buffet. We decide to check out Kokomo's in the Mirage since I've heard good things about it, and it's in our favorite casino to gamble in. Call and ask about reservations and dress code (yes, you need one, and the dress is casual). Great. Walk across the street and check out the menu before going in....hmmm....didn't really want to spend over $100 for dinner, and my idea of casual (dress shorts and a polo shirt) seems to be a little more casual than what I see inside. We decide to just go to the buffet, so we can start gambling. Had to laugh because the buffet was ok...this is funny to me because I remember when the Mirage buffet was Amazing, and always had a huge line. Now there are others that make it pale in comparison, and there was No line! hahaha So, we eat, and are ready to go. I remember my promise to Sonya, and go to join the slot club prior to any gambling. Go to sign up, and find that there are two cards, one for slot club, and one for table games. You get the table game card at a table, and you have to be playing $25 minimums....uh, looks like I'll just be needing the slot card. My wife goes off to play black jack and I try my hand at Video Poker (another suggestion of Sonya's). Playing VP, you get one slot club point for every $30 through the machine....the 100 points for a line pass to the buffet just doesn't seem like that great a comp, but I want to activate the card to get the mailings. I put $20 in a machine, and play it for about an hour and a half...hey, this is pretty cool! It's not until later that I find out you can also play $20 in five minutes! hahaha! Spend the rest of the night playing black jack with my wife at a table where we know the dealer (and he us) from previous trips. This is getting long....gonna take a break and put the rest of the trip in a seperate post. And yes, I'll be briefer..heeheehee T.