Trip Report Friday 5/18-Monday 5/21 Had a frequent flier about to expire and a free room at TheHotel and finally a free weekend. Departed in the early hours of the morning, good flight and got their about 10:30 am local time. This was my 13th trip to the city. No issues with the flight but the baggage took forever to come out the chute. Disappointing when you get to Vegas and you are fired up and the luggage takes forever. The cab line was long but it moves quickly. Told the cab driver where we were headed and he advised me that the tunnel route, although more expensive was much quicker. OK whatever. Got checked in fine and an excellent room on the 26th floor. Hit some casino action in Mandalay Bay and Excalibur and took a little off both of them. This is significant for me because I have never ever ever won anything at MB. Headed over to Hard Rock Casino for dinner and more gambling. This is a tradition for me dating back to my initial trip to Vegas. I always spend one evening at HRC gambling but in recent years I have found it less and less rewarding. They never seem to have that many tables open, and at this point in my life I feel like [at age 37] a Grandfather when I hang out there. Just doesnâ€™t do it for me. Kind of sad in a way but I have removed this from future Vegas excursions. I did manage to take 10 dollars off them net. Day 1 concluded with playing some roulette in Luxor with some girls from England. Ended the day up about 150 dollars at the tables in strong position to start day 2. Day 2 started with brunch buffet at MB. A buffet is a good way to start the day in Vegas. Every trip I say that Iâ€™m going to go up on the top of Stratosphere and never make it. Well this time I made it a priority. Took a cab down there and went up to the top, walked around the observation level and went outside to WATCH the thrill rides. Glad I did this, and can cross this off my list of things to do in Vegas before I die. I then sat down and played some BJ at Stratosphere. There were two guys next to me who were doubling down on 12s and 13s against 5s and 6s. They seemed to be holding their own if you forget about their trips to the ATM. I was doing pretty well but I must say that the cocktail service was lacking. There is nothing worse than to be playing cards, being thirsty, and no cocktail waitress in site. After a while I left, ahead. At this point for some idiotic reason I decided I would walk back to MB from Stratosphere hitting as many casinos as possible along the way. After paying my respects at the remains of Stardust, I settled in at TI. This is a casino that I have limited experience with. Played for a while there, made some money and moved on. Next I walked through Mirage but could never find a table with a good vibe so didnâ€™t actually play any there. I skipped Caesars Palace which is one that Iâ€™ve never liked and went to Bellagio which is one that I have always liked. I played some BJ here with some girls who were spending their husbands' paychecks like it was nothing. Played for a little while and did ok here too. So far this trip was shaping up to be excellent financially but my feet were killing me and I was still struggling to get consistently good drink service. Next I headed to Monte Carlo. A casino that I like the layout of but have not done very well at recently. The good news is that MC had hands-down the best drink service of the day. She was there early and often. The bad news is that my good luck for the trip officially ran out, and I got piped at the table for the first time of the weekend. As a result Iâ€™m cutting MC out of my next trip to Vegas. They get a one trip penalty from me. It was getting later and we had tickets to Zumanity at NYNY so I walked back to MB and got cleaned up. I was at the same time proud of myself for walking from Stratosphere to MB and also concerned for my sanity. Zumanity was a combination Cirque de Soleilâ€”Old school Vegas tittie show. Definitely the weakest Cirque show I have seen. Had some good parts that made it watchable but overall a disappointment. Dinner that night was at the steakhouse at Excalibur. I concluded that day with some BJ at Excalibur and gave back some of my earlier winnings. For day 2 I had taken money from Stratosphere, TI, and Bellagio given back a lot at Monte Carlo and a little at Excalibur. Ended the day 3-2. Day 3 I decided that since I had walked down one side of the strip the day before what could be more fun than walking down the other side of the strip today. I had a cab take me to Riviera. An unexciting casino that historically has been very good to me. I found a bj table and sat down. About 2 minutes later two gentlemen sat down to my left. Hovering behind them was a woman that was one of their wives, and was the sister to the other one. She immediately starts bitching when they put their money in for chips and continues to hover over them and hound them at every bet. It is impossible to enjoy yourself much less actually win under these circumstances. The only way you can win at bj is to have a good group of fun people cheering each other on against the evil house. I know this and for some reason I stayed. Partially just to see how awful she could get. As you could expect the house wound up cleaning us all out. I ran from Riviera as if it was on fire. Next I walked down the strip to Oâ€™Sheaâ€™s. I had heard many good things about it from a fun-loving contributor at a board I frequent and I wanted to check it out for myself. Good fun place with free flowing drinks. At the tables, I played for several hours and kept seeing 12s and 13s. However, I held my own and lost about 50 dollars there. After this I headed back to MB. I hadnâ€™t yet been to their heralded pool and wanted to take it in. Spent a few hours out there checking out the scenery and such. The water was very wet. Dinner that night was at Paris at a cafÃ© that I had seen earlier that day. Best meal of the trip. I spent the rest of the evening playing at Excalibur and MB trying to build up my roll. For the most part I had moderate success. At the end of the night I had an interesting conversation with a girl in the Video Poker lounge at MB. She claimed her name was Mercedes. Iâ€™m not sure I believed her because she couldnâ€™t spell it. She kept asking me what I was into and when I told her gambling and having a good time she seemed receptive. She kept asking me if I wanted to have some real fun and when I would explain to her that is why I am here she got excited. Probably just someone selling her own little â€˜timeshareâ€™. Day 4 was Monday and had to catch a plan pre-dawn so not much sleep. Overall trip number 13 was a smashing success, to recap: â€¢ Finished about 200 ahead on the gambling, which when you factor in free hotel and airfare makes for a very affordable weekend. â€¢ Took money from Excalibur, Mandalay Bay, Luxor, Stratosphere, HRC, and Bellagio. â€¢ Got destroyed at Monte Carlo and Riviera, and lost a little at Oâ€™Sheas. â€¢ Iâ€™m taking Hard Rock out of the rotation for the next trip. The end of an era. â€¢ Did waaaaaaay too much walking. Walked each side of the strip on back to back days, next time Iâ€™m taking the Deuce. â€¢ Zumanity is the ideal show if you canâ€™t decide between a Cirque show or a topless show, otherwise skip it. â€¢ Definitely like going to Vegas in the warm weather months. â€¢ I need to be there for 4 nightsâ€”3 nights just isnâ€™t quite enough. Respectfully submitted, Mr. Politics.